I was 11 when a teacher suggested to my parents that they should send me to drama classes to curb my disruptive ways in the classroom. The next Saturday I was acting, and thereafter it became a ritual of my youth to see a show at the Belvoir on Sundays and, if I was lucky, another at the Opera House on Monday after school.
There's different ways of getting into character. There's what's called 'the outside,' in which is finding the physicality of the character first. To give an example, in 'Gettin' Square' - Johnny Spitieri - that's how I found that character. I knew those people that I'd seen up at Kings Cross. I knew how they sounded.
I always loved putting on shows - when you're the youngest of seven and five are older sisters, you've got to get noticed somehow! I did puppet shows and magic shows... even ventriloquism. My doll's name was 'Dan,' and I used to write these scripts, and my schoolmate hid under the table and supplied Dan's voice.