Taking the road less travelled with The Couch Outloud

The Couch Outloud is a unique local production that offers a live talk show setting based around every day topics that are part of day to day life on the Gold Coast.

After three years and ten shows, The Couch Outloud has offered hope and inspiration to people from all walks of life in an entertaining and insightful production that will leave you thinking long after you leave, as well as offering social connectivity.

“I’m looking at things from the local’s perspective,” explained Director, Producer and Writer, Michelle Dunbrell.

“We live in such a great city and the reason the show pretty much started was people would say that the Gold Coast has its own culture, but it also seems like we haven’t been given the platform to express it, because we are the number one party spot in Australia and we are beaches and we are theme parks, but what about the people who live in it?  We have so much culture: don’t forget about the people who make up the Gold Coast and not just the landscape.”

The Couch Outloud is primarily a live talk show with audience participation, but Michelle stresses the importance of the show’s structure being based around a set topic that is addressed from differing viewpoints.

“I am contacted by people that would like to be a guest on the show,” she said of the creative process for each performance.

“I make sure I meet them in person because I want to make sure they are passionate about what they are talking about and they will be a good fit for the show. Then I generate the questions around what they would like to talk about so the four chosen guest speakers have a common thread and I script the show around them.

“Also, because it is a live talk show, questioning can divert and they are made aware of that. We also have audience questions as well so it is scripted, but there is also that element of ad-lib in there as well. The focus is on what we as a community can do to help and how we’re going to solve this problem. It’s not focusing on the negative, it’s an uplifting process even when we do touch on topics that could be edgy. It’s about focusing on the positives of that.”

The next production on 18 October is titled Self-Empowerment – The Road Less Travelled and promises to deliver more of the same divisive yet informative subject matter for which The Couch Outloud is known for.

“Self-empowerment is as individual as the person is,” Michelle says, “so what would empower me would be very different to what would empower you. The four guest speakers that we have are sharing their stories on the struggles that they had through life and how they overcame it by moving forward in life.”

Popular local musician Felicity Lawless is one of the guest speakers at the next event, but she won’t just be talking about music.

“She is talking about her healing that she does with people and how it empowers her through the healing sessions that she does,” explained Michelle.

“We also have Terry Daktyl who is a drag queen and he has been through a lot in his life with depression and struggles with his own identity, and will speak about what he did to bring himself out of that. It’s about what people have done in their lives and their life story and how they have come out the other end feeling more than happy to be who they are and what they did to do that. It’s about the road less travelled because they didn’t simply pop a pill or go and see a psychiatrist; they took action for themselves and found their groove to be where they are now.”

Self-Empowerment – The Road Less Travelled will be performed at Karma Collab Hub, Miami on 18 October. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.

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