Women of the Adelaide Fringe: Amity Dry
To continue our interviews with the amazing women of the Adelaide Fringe, let us present to you Amity Dry. If you’re thinking “where do I know that name from?” It’s probably because she graced your TV screens on The Block back in 2003. But oh my, she’s so much more than just a pretty face.
Amity Dry: Fortified
Tell us a bit about yourself and your fringe show
My name is Amity Dry, and my latest show is called Fortified. I wrote it after my marriage ended and I was dealing with the pretty horrendous fall out that saw me lose almost everything that was familiar to me. So, it’s about blowing up your life and starting again but finding yourself in the process.
How did you get into stage performing?
I started playing the piano at 5 and singing in shows at 6 and I have loved being on stage and making music for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first song at 14 and was absolutely hooked. Songwriting has been both my joy and therapy ever since then!
What does a typical day during the Adelaide Fringe look like for you?
Being a working mother, I have to organise my kids around my show schedule so that makes Fringe time very hectic for me. Especially this year because my 8-year-old daughter is also in a Fringe show, so I have to manage her rehearsals and show schedule as well.
On school days I will be a typical mum and do drop off and pick up and then hand them over to my parents to go and do my show. On the weekends, I will be dropping my daughter at her Gluttony tent and then going to do my show, meeting my audience afterwards and then going to pick my daughter up to get her home to bed.
So, it’s pretty intense. But I will also make sure to get at least one kid-free weekend where I can go and watch my friend’s shows and hang out in the Artist Bar afterwards. Fringe is my absolute favourite time to be in Adelaide so I try to make the most of it (as much as a single working single can)!
How would you describe your show in three words?
Raw, emotional, real.
How do you wind down after a show?
I don’t drink any alcohol during show seasons so, unfortunately, I can’t wind down how I’d like to. So, I will have a cup of tea, usually with Manuka honey, and maybe steam my voice. Then I like reading all the comments and messages from the audience afterwards so that’s a good way to wind down. These days you get an instant review via social media, which is really lovely when people are loving the show! This show has been very intense though because it’s such a raw and painful subject matter so I’m receiving a lot of really emotional messages from women who are going through the same journey and want to share their stories. So, I’m trying to write back as much as I can, which is probably not the best way to wind down, but I feel that it’s important.
What do you do in non-fringe times?
Well, firstly I take care of my two kids and one just started high school, so I feel like that’s a full-time job on its own! But I also travel a lot with my shows. I’ll be touring Fortified to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the next two months and will also spend 3 weeks in London doing another workshop of my musical ‘The Mother Life.’ Plus, I do cruise ship gigs, so I get to travel around the world doing that and I am hoping to write a book later this year. So, I’ve got just a little bit on!
What’s your favourite and most rewarding thing about performing?
Connecting to an audience and moving them with my music. I love when a song I wrote or performed can make somebody feel something, it’s my absolute favourite thing in the world. I still receive messages about my song ‘The Lighthouse’ (above) and how much it means to people and I wrote that song when I was 24. So, it’s a very special feeling to create something that is bigger than you.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There are so many! But it’s probably something I learnt in Sunday School as a child “Do unto others as you would have them do to you”. It’s simple and old fashioned but I try to always consider people’s feelings and treat them the way I would want to be treated, no matter who they are.
Where is the best place you’ve ever performed?
Performing my musical Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life at the United Nations in New York was pretty surreal! As was being on stage in NYC’s iconic cabaret club 54 Below. But for the bucket list, it has to be the Channel 9 Carols by Candlelight, back in 2003. I grew up watching them and dreaming that one day that would be me, so to live out that moment and know all my family were watching at home was pretty special.
Where can we find you at the Adelaide Fringe?
I will be in the Octagon in Gluttony from 15th – 24th February. Last shows this week so don’t miss it!
You heard her, don’t miss out on your chance to see the formidable Amity Dry at this year’s Adelaide Fringe. Book your tickets today!
Do you have a show at the Adelaide Fringe that is sitting on your wish list? Let us know in the comments below or share with The Jane Community over on the Ask My Friend Jane Facebook Group.