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Stage and Screen

Part 1: Industry types share what makes them thrive

HomeNews hubIndustry insightsPart 1: Industry types share what makes them thrive

The first of a 3-part series. Where do successful creatives find their inspiration? Does the definition of success change over time? We asked three creatives about what makes them tick.

Janelle Da Silva, actor, producer, director

Janelle Da Silva began her career in 1999 as the co-host of the ABC music show Recovery. She is the director of the women’s health program Birthing the Mother and recently directed, produced and performed in shows at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

What drives you professionally?

In the entertainment industry only certain voices are spoken and heard, so when I find an opportunity to present an alternative voice I seize it.

What kind of environment do you thrive in?

The best creative environment is all about pulling together a really energetic and passionate team. I look for people who have strengths that are different from mine and who are really good at things that I'm not.
For example, I recently collaborated with 20 erotic performing artists for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. I had never worked with erotic performing artists before, but I directed and produced a show that featured 15 artists a night with 20 of us on location. We performed six shows a week and all were a sell-out, so it was a big success.

Has your definition of success changed over time?

I got a break in the industry right at the beginning of my career, starting off on one of the best shows on air at the time. It was called Recovery and from 1999 I was the female co-host. I was 21, totally green and the pressure was on – it was all live. I was interviewing people and I really had no journalism skills, so I was flying by the seat of my pants and cutting my teeth at the ABC. It gave me a flying start to my career and it’s still a highlight for me.

But in terms of what I call professional success now, it’s running my own show. I had two shows in this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival and the highlight was getting a standing ovation at my one-woman show. I did my own work, backed myself and produced it – and an audience decided to stand and clap. I've come away from it saying that my art counts and is worth 100 per cent of my energy.


Written by Drew Turney