Books Magazine

My Melbourne Story So Far

By Amybg @amyspeak

Three years ago I took a plane from the airport near my hometown to Melbourne. I had just one suitcase and it carried my whole life at the time. It was less than a month since I’d moved back from living in Vancouver and traveling through North America, and I was still reeling from the experiences, nursing a broken heart.


Hot air balloons in Melbourne.

I’d moved back to Australia partly because Vancouver hadn’t felt right and partly because I wanted to fully commit to being an actor in Australia. I’d never felt like I had done that, and after some modest successes in Canada I knew it was something I had to do to move forward. Melbourne was my city of choice.

Apart from those thoughts, I didn’t really have a solid plan. I got off the plane, was picked up by a family friend and spent the next few weeks intensely searching for a place to live and a job. The living came first, with one of my best friends from school setting me up with a room in her sharehouse. The job was harder.

I thought I’d try and get some office work, just to pay the bills while I figured out the acting industry here, but somehow I managed to fail at every job interview I went to (and I was normally at my best with the interview part of the process). While trying not to go mad without work I started searching for acting events and opportunities specific to my interested and training.

Me and Clare Dea

Me and Clare Dea

I soon found Meisner Melbourne and booked in for a free class. After meeting the artistic director, Clare Elizabeth Dea, I signed up for an eight week course. Not long after I met with a writing contact who offered me work that fitted in perfectly with my newfound Meisner training. It became the perfect balance and that acting-writing dynamic is a core part of my life now.

Since then I’ve worked hard, putting in countless hours searching and prepping for roles, meeting people in the acting community, expanding my writing assignments and generally getting established in Melbourne. I’ve grown as an actor, writer and human being through training, work and other experiences. I’ve made mistakes in all areas of my life and I’ve learned from them; I think I’ve even learned not to be quite so hard on myself when I do fall down, and now favour a more constructive approach.

In the last three years I rediscovered dance, enjoyed romance, suffered betrayals, shared achievements, and faced a lot of fears (like doing the Howard Fine Master Class last year, which was wonderful and made me feel like a part of the Howard Fine Acting Studio family). I’ve been cast in films and stage shows and written blog posts and feature articles for a range of publications.

I feel like I’ve really lived, fully, in almost every single moment of my time in Melbourne. I’ve stayed true to myself and my commitment to acting, to writing, to life. I’ve also changed a lot, becoming more self aware, open and adventurous.

Melbourne is this amazing, eclectic, multifaceted, creative, beautiful city that I’m so happy to be a part of right now. But more than that, I am so grateful for the wonderful people I’ve met here. There’s a real heart to this place, to the people that live here and are drawn here. The friends I’ve made in Melbourne are my inspiration and support. My friends make me love living here, they make it feel like a home more than a place I’m just staying for a while (and maybe I am just staying here for a while, who knows? But having that feeling is so important to me).

I grew up in a town with such a strong sense of community that it will always be my home and always have a big part of my heart. But I’ve found a community here that is beyond anything I expected. I came here with a churned up heart and soul and, three years on, I feel like I’m on the path I’m truly meant to follow, wherever it leads from here.

Filed under: Acting, Australian, Personal, Travel Tagged: acting, community, friends, Melbourne, moving

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