We caught up with some of the cast and crew members of Codename: Mimic ahead of their upcoming performance at the end of June. If you haven’t been keep yourself in the loop, Codename: Mimic is an exciting, yet terrifying, sci-fi multimedia production that questions everything. The performance is said to be showcasing a profound weaving structure, where real stories come together.
First of all, could you tell us who you are and what your role is in the show?
I’m Kyle and I’m an actor. I’m Steph, who’s also an actor. I’m Cienna and I’m one of the directors. I’m Olivia and my role is the dramaturge, which, for those you don’t know, is a literary editor of the script. One of my main duties is to ensure there is cohesion with everything you see on stage. I get final say a lot of the time, which is great. I’m Connor and I’m an actor and creative in the play.
Give us a bit of an insight into Codename: Mimic. What’s it all about?
That’s a bit of a tough question because I think we can all agree there isn’t one main storyline in which the show focuses on. The simplest explanation we could probably give is that it’s a vignette show based in the future. It portrays our own stories, with a sci-fi twist. Something we could probably compare it to is Black Mirror. In saying that, it’s not derivative of the series by any means. But I guess as we’ve taken this journey, we’ve realised in hindsight how we share some aspects. Just as well, our first bit of inspiration came from the 1920s film A trip to the moon.
Although every part of the show is quite difference, the way it probably all ties in together is through its relevance—every person in the audience can relate to at least one scene in some way. A common theme we’ve also noticed is ‘loss’ and how this can be interpreted in different ways.
What do you all think the most important message is in the show? What are you really trying to convey to your audience?
That change needs to occur, and that it can occur in society. When we describe ‘lost’ as a predominant theme, we’re not just talking about someone in our lives dying, or whatnot. We’re also talking about environmental issues and the future of our political climate. One of the other messages we’re conveying is that we’re not alone—if there are certain struggles a person might be experiencing, there is always someone else who can relate to it.
What many people don’t really know, is that you’ve all been creating the show yourselves. What has the experience been like in creating such a collaborative piece of theatre?
Throughout this process, we’ve all become a family. A lot of us have revealed a piece of themselves, even if its something we’d consider to be very personal. You know, vulnerability isn’t a bad thing, especially in this space. Everyone has all come together to support one another. This breaks down a lot of barriers we seemed to have held onto with our other peers. For example, some of us have been in the same classes together, but never really had much of an opportunity to speak to one another. If it wasn’t for this show, we wouldn’t have bonded as much as we have been. We’re not just strangers anymore. Also, when we reflect and look back on the moment we were given the topic ‘sci-fi,’ to what it has become now, you start to really put your own efforts into perspective and notice how far this show has come.
Something I found interesting was that you have a Kickstarter to raise funds for the show. What has the reaction been like so far?
It’s been difficult, for sure. In previous years, we know the course has been associated with the Cabaret Fringe Festival, but for us, we didn’t have that to fall back on. We’ve had to do our own promotions, our own sourcing, and have basically built it from the ground up. In saying that, it has really unified us because we realise how significant it is to be doing our part. We’ve had to reach out to our own communities and ask for their support.
In saying that, why do you believe its important to ask for help, as artists and performers?
We don’t think you can go through life without asking for help, and it’s important to be doing that. I think a lot of people believe they’re too good to be asking for help, or that they might be perceived as being weak. But the truth is, you need to lean on someone and ask for that support. I think what the Kickstarter has represented is that ‘yes, we do need this help, and although we’re university students, this is still a real production we’re creating here.’ It also shows people that we’re not afraid to be reaching out for that financial assistance.
Moving along now, what are some of the hurdles you’ve all encountered during this process, and how have you been able to overcome them?
One of the biggest hurdles for us has been the lack of time we’ve had to create this show. It doesn’t really allow us to, maybe, pursue more of our talents, other than what we’ve sort of fallen into already. But, with that said, I think its rare that you ever get this sort of opportunity to be developing a show that is reliant on the ensemble, so you have to appreciate that aspect of it.
Adding to that, we’ve all had to, in some way, go outside of our comfort zones. Some of us might have more experience in film, for instance, so we’ve had to convert what we know and apply it.
What do you all feel has been the most rewarding experience during this process?
Seeing the show, in all of its glory, has been incredible. We had a complete run-through the other day, and afterwards, we had to take a step back and process that we actually have a fully functional production. All of that hard work has really started to pay off. It’s a bit surreal because we didn’t feel that way until everything had really come together. We’ve gone from a prompt, to this magical moment of a fully realised theatre production. Now we know exactly what our roles are and how we can execute them to the best of our abilities. The wonderful thing is that we created this whole thing. There wasn’t an original script to rely on, or our tutors telling us what to do. Yeah, we may have had some guidance from these professionals, but it has all been created by students.
You can also see the ensemble of Codename: Mimic at the upcoming Showpony open mic night on 14 June, where they will be providing us with a glimpse of the show. You can check out all the information about the event here.
Interview conducted by Tanner Muller