Monday Conversations

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at Belvoir St Theatre

Performance Anxiety: Sydney

Pounding heart, shaking hands – it’s not just ordinary people who soak with sweat at the prospect of a public appearance. The list of famous figures who have suffered from crippling nerves includes Rafael Nadal, Barbra Streisand and even Mahatma Gandhi.

At this conversation, hosted by Kate Jinx, we’ll talk about the phenomenon of performance anxiety and what it reveals about the chasm between our interior and exterior selves. Prefaced by a reading on nerves by actor Gareth Davies, musician Tim Rogers and actor Claudia Karvan will share stories of pre-show and mid-scene tears and tremors; dread and despair; panic … and puke.

Can stage fright be a source of strength? Do all of us – even non-performers – lead double lives? And how do top performers pull themselves together backstage before they break out in cold sweats and involuntary jazz-hands?

Presented by the Wheeler Centre, Sydney Writers’ Festival and Belvoir.


Portrait of Claudia Karvan

Claudia Karvan

Claudia Karvan is one of Australia’s most respected and acclaimed film and television actors. She was most recently seen on the ABC series Newton's Law.  She also appeared in the ABC series Jack Irish alongside Guy Pearce, Network Ten’s Puberty Blues, and The Time of Our Lives for the ABC – for which she was awarded the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama.

She is the co-producer of the Nine Network’s Doctor Doctor and she co-created, produced and starred in the Foxtel series Spirited. The second series of Spirited won the ASTRA Award for Most Outstanding Drama in 2011.

Portrait of Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers is one of Australia’s most enduring and respected rock icons. Tim is the frontman singer and lyricist for the legendary Australian rock bands You Am I and The Temperance Union. 

Portrait of Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies is an actor and playwright based in Sydney. He has written and performed for the Black Lung Theatre (of which he’s a member), Belvoir St Theatre, the Malthouse and many more.

Portrait of Kate Jinx

Kate Jinx

Kate Jinx is a writer, broadcaster and film curator (mostly). She is the director of programming at Golden Age Cinema in Sydney, and appears regularly on ABC TV’s arts and culture programs The Mix and The Critics. Jinx is currently a PhD candidate at UNSW in cinema and cultural history, and has presented performance lectures about important topics like evil cats and teen witches at contemporary art institutions that are really far too reputable for that kind of thing.

Monday Conversations

Each month, join us at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre for a focused exploration of one idea – beginning with a performance or reading inspired by the topic.

Presented by the Wheeler Centre, Sydney Writers’ Festival and Belvoir.


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