A panel of fascinating figures discuss their new memoirs and what it means to live a life in the public eye – on stage, on screen, or in community. Mawunyo Gbogbo’s Hip Hop & Hymns recounts growing up African-Australian and forging a media career in New York. Shane Jenek’s Caught in the Act charts his hard-won journey to fame as drag artist Courtney Act. Heather Mitchell’s Everything and Nothing depicts the light and shade that co-exist in love, family and the arts. With host Maeve Marsden.
Shane Jenek aka Courtney Act (Australian)
Boy, Girl. Artist, Advocate. Shane Jenek aka Courtney Act is more than just the sum of their parts. A contemporary artist and queer community advocate who embodies the zeitgeist of an era. From Australian Idol, to winner of Celebrity Big Brother UK to series host of One Plus One (ABC). Shane is the voice of Reef School's Ms Flouncy (ABC), Courtney co-hosted the Opening of Sydney World Pride. Shane is a bestselling author of Caught In The Act published in 2022.
Heather Mitchell (Australian)
Heather Mitchell AM is one of Australia’s most acclaimed actors appearing regularly in theatre, film and television. With a career spanning four decades she has performed in hundreds of productions and her film and television credits are countless. She has worked alongside some of the world’s greatest actors, directors and writers and this year received the Sydney Theatre Award for her performance of RBG for the Sydney Theatre Company. A few of her credits include: Ricky Stanicky starring Zac Efron; RBG: Of Many, One by Suzie Miller and The Harp in the South adapted by Kate Mulvany for STC; Love Me, TV series for Binge/Foxtel; The Unusual Suspects for ABC/BBC, Upright with Tim Minchin and The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Mawunyo Gbogbo (Australian)
Mawunyo Gbogbo is the author of Hip Hop & Hymns. Published by Penguin Random House, her book is described by Books+Publishing as “a beautiful and heart-wrenching memoir”, and Stan Grant as “Puberty Blues with a hip hop beat”. Raised in the sleepy coal mining town of Muswellbrook, NSW, Mawunyo's love of storytelling takes her to the city that never sleeps – New York City. She's worked in the media for 20 years and is a Pop Culture Journalist for ABC News.
Maeve Marsden (Australian)
Maeve Marsden is a writer and theatremaker. She was a 2020 Phillip Parsons fellow at Belvoir Theatre, and has written, directed and performed in a number of critically acclaimed theatre productions, touring Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Maeve curates national storytelling project Queerstories, and her writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, Junkee and Archer Magazine, among others.