Local Artist Spotlight: Brigitte Jarvis
Monday 21 September 2020
Whilst our theatre and exhibition spaces are temporarily closed, we're putting the spotlight on local artists like actor, theatre and film maker Brigitte Jarvis.
After graduating with an acting degree from top-ranked drama school Manchester Metropolitan University, Brigitte worked as an actor for several years in London, and at the Edinburgh Festival. Her body of work spans short and feature films, TV commercials, web series and theatre. Since coming to Australia, she has filmed with her community on the Peninsula and recently won Best Actor and Best Runner Up Short Film at LA Shorts Festival for ‘Madre’, a short film in which she was writer/actor/producer.
As Artistic Associate/Actor at local multi-art form theatre company RAWcollective run by Creative Director Ru Atma, Brigitte has created and performed in several projects funded by Frankston City Council and Frankston Arts Centre, including ‘Brain Fog’, ‘Spring Clean’ and most recently through the HATCH program ‘No.33’. All having their debut seasons at Cube 37.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently beavering away on the release of the first season of my first web series ‘Spring Clean’, which is a spinoff of a character created in two RAWcollective shows.
“Racing to win promotion and find love, daily chaos follows lonely, 40-something Rowena. A new shiny cleaner disrupts her messy endeavours. But is this love or friendship? And who is the man behind the binoculars?”
The series is a 20 minute, 4-part dramedy. Women will see elements of themselves hilariously reflected. Those specifically over 40 will need to tighten their pelvic floors and prepare for unbridled laughter, as they’ll see the s*#t they have to deal with in ‘mid-life’ played out on screen in all its unfiltered glory. This short Season 1 is a ‘proof of concept’ for Season 2 (longer TV length episodes with several storylines) which will be pitched to a number of TV and streaming platforms. The themes of love, loneliness, middle age, LGBTQ and family make for a very colourful palette for writing!
Has lockdown and the current pandemic changed your approach to creating?
Oh, it has actually been really freeing in many ways! I was bursting to create one day, I just had to look in my wardrobe and dream up a character that could have her own isolation storyline. That was ‘Nestle Into My Nook’ which is on my YouTube and IGTV. Since March, I have filmed over 20 different characters, so my body of work needs a little village of its own for all the characters to live in now.
In terms of the future of Season 2 of Spring Clean, I need to go back to it with fresh eyes and rewrite it so it can be filmed with fewer cast and crew. It feels limiting, but often, on the other side of limitations is where the good juicy ideas happen, so I am still hopeful it will come together as it should.
As an artist who is passionate about creating stories that create connection and empathy, what motivated you to create Spring Clean?
It’s important for me to cut through to the heart with the stories I tell, using laughter, but always some pathos scratching under the surface. I wanted to create something relatable for women of my age. For all my sisters out there who need to feel seen and understood at this time in their lives. Women feel inspired by seeing strong alpha women on their screens but also need to see that it’s ok we are not perfect. Even Wonder Woman would need to pluck her chin hairs occasionally when she gets to a certain age.
In this climate of self-reflection, I feel like this is perfect timing to share the work. The character of Rowena in Spring Clean is an elegant mess and helps us to embrace the ugly parts of us behind the facade... and laugh a little.
What are you most looking forward to once the pandemic is behind us?
Oh gosh! Sitting around a table at a restaurant with friends, or dancing on a nondescript balcony with people, arms in the air like we just don’t care. Going to an art gallery, the theatre, the city! Sitting in my backyard with friends and sharing ideas and ideals. And hugs, lots of hugs!
Season one of ‘Spring Clean’ will be released on various online platforms on 16 October.
Follow Brigitte on the platforms below to hear more about it:
Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
Whilst our theatre and exhibition spaces are temporarily closed, we'd love to keep sharing the spotlight by featuring a local artist in future news! A reminder of just how talented our local community is at a time when the arts are more important than ever, helping us get through the days, weeks and months. Know a local creative who deserves some time to shine? Perhaps they might be a dancer, visual artist, actor, musician, playwright, theatre group or author. Send us their details so we can share the love, by emailing us here.