Marta Dusseldorp graces the cover of our Truth issue, in which she shares how her determination to honestly tell other people’s stories brought her own reality into sharp focus.
What about your early life pushed you towards performance?
I was a ballet dancer from the age of four and that meant that I got really involved with storytelling. I found that to be probably the most engaging thing I did at school. I had an amazing drama teacher, Dick Johnson, who basically said to me “You are an actor”, and an amazing teacher, June Jago. I had mentors along the way who helped me to understand that I possibly had a future in this and my mum and dad were both completely excited every time I did a play. I had a vision of what I thought I wanted to do, but it’s so important when you’re young that people let you know you’re doing well and encourage you to live your dream.
You say Dick Johnson told you you are an actor. What do you think he meant?
It’s about storytelling and I’ve always felt that. Essentially, dancing is storytelling with your body, so when I decided not to leave school and try to get into the Australian Ballet, I had a dream expanded. Every door closes – and it’s a cliché because it’s true – that seven are waiting. Some are locked – so many in my life have been – but the ones that opened have given me the most incredible experiences and I feel incredibly lucky to be an actor and to be able to walk through those doors.
What is it about telling stories that you find so compelling?
I’ve worked with some of the best storytellers I believe in this country. It’s just a gift for me and I get a lot of courage from that and camaraderie and collaborate – that’s the only way you grow, you grow collectively in our business. I want to be part of the human race, I don’t want to be an individual. I like being part of something and that has to represent the right things in the world – to be good and to be honest and to be morally uncorrupt. And to not covet and not want and desire and pare down but to build up and nurture, and my whole story comes from mentors, these people who took their time to tell me I could walk faster or stride bigger and not to be afraid. As I get older and my children get older, I see my role more as that.
Love what you’re reading? Grab the Truth issue of muse for her full cover interview by editor, Rebecca Long.