Actor, writer, chart-topping musician - Eddie Perfect is perfect by name, and perfect by nature. Though best known for his Logie-nominated role as the lovestruck, Mick, in Channel Ten’s 'Offspring' he’s also notched up numerous cabaret hits under his belt, including award-winning, “Shane Warne: The Musical,” making him one of Australia’s true showbiz all-rounders.
But after six seasons on the hit TV show, the gravel-voiced star is moving on to pastures new after landing a dream gig as score writer for a Broadway adaptation of cult movie classic,'Beetlejuice'. Alongside this, the in demand performer is gearing up for his second outing as role co-artistic director for the upcoming Adelaide Cabaret Festival. He talks to Flight Centre about his travelling life.
What's your favourite holiday?
I really love Europe. We did a trip driving around Italy a few years ago, which was great. I love music, food and people, so Italy really stands out. I also love the ocean - I’m not the best surfer, but I like it, so going somewhere where I can do that is always a bonus. A lot of the time I’ll go down the surf coast of Victoria to Fairhaven or around there. I also went surfing in Seminyak in Bali, which was pretty rad.
What's your carry-on essential?
A book. I like reading fiction. I love all sorts of things, but the top of the hierarchy is really great fiction. The good thing about a book is that it doesn’t run out of batteries and that you don’t have to put it away or switch it off when the plane is taking off. That’s also the great thing about a long haul flight - getting to work my way through a good book.
How do you beat jet lag?
I’m commuting between here and the US a lot now, so I love jet lag tips. I immediately pretend I’m living in the time zone I’m arriving in. I also try to find a patch of sun to shove my head in - I’ll just stand on the street in the sunlight.
Sometimes I get off the plane and go straight to a theatre show, where it’s usually really warm and dark, which makes it difficult to stay awake. I remember watching Bear Grylls who was saying that if you want a shot of adrenalin you bite your tongue as hard as you can. You don’t draw blood and it sounds bizarre, but if I need to stay awake and focus I do it and it wakes me up for a few hours. That’s my hot tip!
Also, water - drink water and it’ll help. The other thing I’ve done is to stop drinking alcohol this year, which is kind of crazy. So not drinking on the plane and staying hydrated definitely helps. Who knew?!
What's your favourite city for theatre and why?
Adelaide is one of the great theatrical towns in the world. I’m co-artistic director of the upcoming Adelaide Cabaret Festival and I really think there isn’t a festival like it anywhere else in the world, which is quite difficult to believe. So I’d say Adelaide for cabaret, Melbourne for comedy and New York for music theatre and London for straight theatre.
What's the essential ingredient for a good trip?
This is going to sound a little bit eccentric - and probably lame! - but I bought this skateboard, even though I’m almost 40 and I love to take that with me when I travel. My daughter has one and I started to muck around on it about six months ago. I began to skate to work and I just love it. I ended up buying quite a nice longboard and it unscrews really simply and fits in my bag, so I’ve started travelling with that.
Instead of getting cabs everywhere or the subway or tube, I just skate. If you get too lost you can just pick it up and get in a cab or hop on the train. It’s really portable and it’s a great way to get inside a city. I haven’t taken it to New York yet but I’m looking forward to that!
What's your top travel tip?
Immerse yourself in the local culture. My wife Lucy and I always talk about the fact that there are two types of holidays - a beach holiday, which I have a short amount of patience for, and a cultural trip. Generally we’ll opt for the latter and go to a new place and immerse ourselves in its culture. Eat the food, watch the theatre…I love to travel and I think being amongst a new culture is when I feel most alive. Getting a new perspective on things and bringing it home. It’s so important, otherwise you can get a bit myopic with how you see the world. Saying that, it can be tiring and sometimes you need a holiday after your holiday!
What's your biggest packing mistake?
I do the same thing as everyone I think - I either take too many clothes or not enough. Because I’m travelling a lot now I’m trying to get to the ultimate stage and go somewhere without having to check in my luggage. No waiting for bags and you’re out, awesome! However, I can’t physically imagine the weather other than the weather I’m standing in. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of being from Melbourne where you just don’t trust the weather. I get up on a hot day in New York and think, ‘yeah, it’s hot now but you never know.’ So I end up wearing a million layers and it’s so stupid.
Where do you want to go next?
Continuing on from my surfing ambitions…I’ve haven’t done it yet - partly because I think I’ll end up taking all of my skin off on a reef and contract some kind of tropical disease! - but I’d love to go to the Maldives. I’ve seen photos and it looks amazing. So hopefully one day, but it hasn’t happened yet!
Eddie is co-artistic director at the upcoming Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which runs June 9-24.