Amy Ingram: Out Damn Snot!


 Out Damn Snot


I first saw AMY INGRAM in 2011 at Metro Arts in the Metro Arts Allies’ & The Good Room’s stellar production of Nina Raine’s Rabbit, directed by Dan Evans. As Bella, Ingram was a one woman tour-de-force. As Mackenzie, in La Boite’s first production of 2013, Shake & Stir’s Out Damn Snot! she is hilarious.


Here’s what Amy had to tell us about what’s happening in her world of snot and goop at the moment!


Out Damn SnotDaddy’s Girl Mackenzie is settling in for an afternoon of dress-ups with her best friend and sister-from-another-mister, Kim. The only problem is that Mackenzie’s annoying little brother Heath is hanging around like a bad smell, and so is his forever-running nose. When Heath’s sniffing and snotting becomes too much, the girls decide to take action and devise a spell to turn him into… a girl!


Mackenzie and Kim soon learn that messing with magic can have disastrous consequences when they find themselves transported into Heath’s gooey nasal cavities. As they dig around for clues and a way out, they meet a collection of crazy characters and have to leap pits of snot, dodge tickly nose hairs and avoid the gigantic finger that keeps coming in for a pick!


Loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and tightly squeezed into a hilarious show for kids of all ages, this disgustingly delightful tale is set in a large pool of green slime and will have audiences squelching, squirming and squealing with joy.


Out Damn Snot will sound familiar to many…sort of! Can you tell us about this production and who it’s aimed at?

Well Well Well …… I think those who watch the show will recognise a few familiar story lines. Out Damn Snot draws from MacBeth and A Midsummer Nights Dream but the story itself is more about friendship, adventure and SLIME!  This show is definitely aimed a younger audience and all of those people with their imaginations still fully intact. Oh and anybody who enjoys watching other people get goop all over them!


We hear you’re having marvelous fun in the rehearsal room at La Boite. What happens in a shake & stir rehearsal?

Fun. This never happens! HAHAHAAAA. I can honestly say we don’t go a single rehearsal without something testing my bladder control. I think we are just all enjoying the opportunity to play and be young brats again. It’s exhausting being 8 but it does give you license to get away with things perhaps an older person would not do.


Ross (Balbuziente) is directing this production rather than performing in it. What does Ross bring to this show and what do you enjoy about working with him?

Well for one thing he reins us in when our imaginations go to far! Without Ross the show would go on for hours……Ross is great he lets us explore the story , push ideas, test boundaries and then shapes the whole thing while always keeping the younger audience in mind. It’s a hard balance to strike – making sure that the kids who this story is aimed at understand everything and enjoy themselves but also keeping the lovely parents who are taking their children along engaged in the story as well. I think Ross is very aware of this and always moulds the show with that in mind.


What do you love about Shakespeare?

I have seen too much Shakespeare done horribly over the years so it is sometimes easy to forget what fantastic characters he writes. I think some of the darker characters in his plays are fantastic and unique in terms of giving an actor the opportunity to explore people who are bold, complex and larger than life.


What’s your favourite Shakespearean insult?

“You should be women and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so.” From MacBeth about the 3 witches.


What are your favourite memories of studying Shakespeare at school?

Hamlet during my final year at University. It was the first time I really engaged 100% with Shakespeare and funnily enough Nelle Lee and Leon Cain were in the show as well. I played Rosencrantz and Nelle played Guildenstern and I actually think our director regretted putting Nelle and I together so closely as we were always up to something!


We can see how shake & stir is changing the landscape of youth theatre. I don’t think Shakespeare at school has ever been quite as exciting! How do you think the company has done that?

Shake and Stir make Shakespeare accessible for youth. Often Shakespeare is done without any passion or relevance to today and I think the way that they bring the stories of Shakespeare to kids actually makes them interested in Shakespeare and understand what is going on. They have amazing marketing and branding, meaning they know what grabs kids attention, the kind of stuff they want to see and be a part of. Let’s face it, when you read Shakespeare in a classroom at school it is possibly the most boring experience of your life and I certainly think they are changing this!


How did you come to be a part of the shake & stir team? What do you love about this company, the way they work and the way in which audiences respond to the work?

I have taught for them in the past but this is the first show I have done with them. I basically was asked to play the part of Mackenzie and I said yes! The project sounded extremely fun and it was a great opportunity to work with Nelle and Leon who I went to uni with. This is the first time on stage together again since graduating and it is great. When you do a Shake and Stir show you know you are going to get audiences who just love what they are seeing. I have also seen their other shows and the kids especially are all so engaged with what they are seeing onstage it is a great opportunity to be apart of that.



What else are you doing this year?

Well THIS year – not much! Going home to SA to see my family for Christmas, which will be great but next year is going to be exciting. I kick off the year with Out Damn Snot of course but I am also doing Trollop with QTC and my company alongside Daniel Evans; The Good Room has a few things up it’s sleeve which we are really excited about.


What is it about working with students that you enjoy?

 For me working with students really re -invigorates my love for the arts and why I chose to be a part of this industry. Teaching and doing workshops also makes sure you are on top of your game. The best way to keep your skills base up to date is often teaching it to someone else. It is also great how they just throw themselves into projects especially something they love. No hesitation. No questions.


What are the major challenges when you’re working with students?

Ha! Focus! Not just for them – for me! Basically just keeping them engaged. You know when they are bored or not interested so you have to work hard to give them something that they want and also change their minds about a few things…encourage them to push past their own preconceptions and try something new.


What are the most common comments you get from teachers and parents with regard to The Arts and your work in theatre?

I honestly don’t have much to do with teachers. My work with students is always outside of a high school curriculum but I often get similar comments from parents about how great it is to see certain kids come out of their shell – or they can’t believe I got them to be onstage and on task for so long! I think parents generally are just happy when their kids get an opportunity to be a part of something they are passionate about. You can see it and it affects their everyday lives.


How did you get into theatre? Tell us about your start and what students might need to consider studying or gaining experience in if they wish to pursue a career in The Arts?

I always wanted to be involved in the arts but I guess my ideas on what that actually means has evolved over the years. You have to be passionate and thick skinned. If you are in it just to get your face on TV then I think you will find it hard to be happy and fulfilled. It is a tough industry but if you honestly can’t help yourself or think of a single other thing that would make you happy then you do it and you find a way to make it work. I grew up in an area where there was not much art around or opportunity for young people but luckily I had a great Drama teacher in high school who infected me with a love for performance and encouraged me to get out there and give it my best shot.


What’s your plan? Where will you go next and where do you want to be in 10 years time?

I’m rubbish at the 5-year -10-year plan thing. I know there are things I want to do but I’m not obsessed with when they need to happen. I also like to have a healthy dose of the fantastical mixed in with reality. I still like to believe I will win an Oscar and I also plan to travel more and create as much new work as possible. I want to be challenged and I am very open to plans changing and new goals jumping up. At the moment it is about pushing myself as a performer, seeing the world and being an artist.


What would you be doing if you were not involved in theatre?

Nothing. I would always find my way back one way or another. THERE IS NO ESCAPING!


Amy Ingram

Theatre: Seeding Bed, Young Playwrights Program, An Oak Tree, Fat Pig (Queensland Theatre Company); Where We Begin, Rabbit, Single Admissions (with Lazy Young and Talented), Holy Guacamole (The Good Room); Tracksuit Girl (Rebecca Meston). Television: Mabo, God’s of What Street, Scott Spark Music Video, Tim Freedman Music Video, As Director: Trojan Women, Wolf Lullaby (Griffith University); The Bacchae (Brisbane Girls Grammar); Ivy Shambit and The Sound Machine ( USQ Children’s Festival). Other: Director of National Young Writers Festival 2008 and 2009, 2high Festival Performance Coordinator 2007. Awards and Positions: 2010 Matlilda Award Best Emerging Artist, Co Artistic Director of The Good Room and Co Founder of The Lame Academy, Chair of USQ Alumni. Training: Graduate of USQ. Amy is a proud member of equity.


Amy Ingram Trollop

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