Amity Dry is an Australian wife and mother with an ever growing list of accomplishments beside her name beginning with The Block on Channel 9 in 2003 and no end in sight. We were able to ask her some questions about her career to date and are left wanting more……
Hi Amity and welcome to Beauty and Lace, thanks for taking time out to talk to us.
You got your big break after appearing on the 2003 season of The Block, what made you want to be on the show?
When I heard the ad looking for people for a new renovating show I thought it would be one episode and something to do for fun. I had NO idea it was a reality TV show! When we found it we initially said no, but then decided it was a good break for my music and a great life experience. But we had no idea how much it was going to change our lives.
2013 saw you compete on The Block: All Stars, can you tell us a little about the experience?
It was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I loved the renovation and design part of the experience but the drama that came with it and missing the kids made it tough on some days. But it was all worth it in the end.
Reality TV is just the tip of your career iceberg, can you tell us a bit about the music career you embarked on after The Block?
During the 2003 series I released my album, The Lighthouse, which went to 6# on the Aria chart. I had been singing and writing music since I was a kid and trying to get a record deal since I was 15, so this was truly a dream come true. I had an amazing year of performances and the album went GOLD, so it was all very exciting.
What can you tell us about your cabaret show ‘So You Want To Be Famous’?
I wrote that show about the real side of fame and the reality TV experience. It’s a very strange thing to go from being average and unknown, to a household name on the cover of magazines, back to average within the space of months. It can mess with your head a lot and with so many people chasing fame these days I wanted to give an honest account of it, the good and the bad.
Later this month your musical comes to Adelaide, can you tell us about ‘Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life’?
Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life was originally a one woman cabaret show, born out of my desire to tell the truth about marriage and motherhood. I realised there were no stage shows about motherhood and all of us mums know every day is a comedy/tragedy and drama waiting to happen! When the show debuted in the Adelaide Fringe Festival it was such a hit, women absolutely loved it, so I decided to explore the idea further and write a full musical that followed the lives of four women. Kind of a Sex and the City, the musical – for mums! I had never written a musical before, but I had written a parenting column for years, so took all the topics we discuss on there, plus all the things my girlfriends and I have gone through and just started writing. By now I was pregnant with my second child, so most of it was written throughout my pregnancy and when she was a newborn. So it wasn’t hard to find inspiration! Since it’s debut in 2011 the show has had four successful seasons in Adelaide, has been seen by over 4000 people, received rave reviews and was nominated for Best Musical in the Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Awards. So it’s been incredibly rewarding (and unexpected) and I’m thrilled to now be bringing it to Melbourne and Sydney this May.
What inspired the writing of the show?
So often in movies we see the Hollywood version of marriage and motherhood, but none of our lives actually look like that! It is exhausting and relentless and wonderful and hilarious and I wanted to explore all of that. I also wanted to celebrate female friendship and the way girlfriends support each other through their life struggles, because I know I couldn’t live without mine. Essentially I wanted to show that the juggle to do it all isn’t easy, we all struggle through it sometimes and none of us are alone in that. So it’s funny and entertaining and uplifting all at the same time!
How do you manage to juggle the career/family balance?
With lots of help! My husband and I share the load with the kids and both of our parents are amazing in the support they give us. I honestly couldn’t do it without them, but even then it’s hard. You can’t do everything perfectly and you have to let go of some things (like the dusting)
(Michelle – Funny you should mention that, Dusting was the first thing to go in my house too)
Are you working on anything new you can tell us about?
I have some very exciting news about Mother, Wife that I can’t announce yet, but it means my already crazy year is about to get even bigger! I also have ideas about a new musical, but I might have to take a holiday before starting on that!
What’s been your greatest career highlight to date?
Singing at the Nine Carols by Candlelight in 2003 was a big highlight, as I had dreamed about doing that since I was a little girl. And this tour is a huge high light, to be able to tour a show I’ve written nationally is an amazing accomplishment. But with my news I’m soon to announce I think my biggest highlight is yet to come!
What does being a woman mean to you?
It means I am capable of doing and giving so much. I think women have endless stores of energy, love and compassion in us and when we put that energy towards something we are a force to be reckoned with.
Thanks so much Amity and please be sure to come back and tell us about your big news, I don’t like those little teases. And of course a big good luck with everything on the cards for you this year.