Meet Temeka – Star of Me & My Shadow and ZOOOM

July 30th, 2020

We spoke to Me & My Shadow actor Temeka Lawlor about acting, Patch and children’s theatre.

Temeka Lawlor is a professional actor and children’s theatre enthusiast. She has collaborated frequently with Patch Theatre over the past two years, including co-developing and performing in Patch’s ZOOOM last year. Temeka is over the moon about performing in Me & My Shadow for the second time in 2020.

What was your first ever acting role?

Technically my first ever acting role was in the Gumeracha Primary School Christmas concert. I was in year two and I remember being so excited when my wonderful teacher Mrs Whitehead said I was going to play Kylie Minogue in a dance to the song “The Loco-motion”. I had a couple of lines and got to lead everyone at the front of the stage. I’ve been hooked on performing ever since!

My first professional role was in a show called The Terrible Infants, performed in Adelaide Fringe. I was 14 and my incredible drama teacher Kristina Vonow produced the show and directed a few of her most enthusiastic drama students in this high-energy storytelling ensemble piece. I played many roles, as did the whole cast, and it was the most incredible and playful experience. I owe Kristina a lot of credit for where I am now – she’s the first person who believed in me and made me realise acting was an option as a career.

Tell us about your role in Me & My Shadow.

I play the child in Me & My Shadow. She is a quiet creative and her imagination is limitless. She is always making, playing and problem-solving and she enjoys doing this on her own. Like me, she’s an introvert and refills her energy while she’s alone.

Through the show she is tested when her imagination – her shadow – comes to life! She learns to make friends with people who have a different energy – her shadow is silly and loud and pushes her into worlds of play and imagination that she wasn’t brave enough to go to alone. 

My role as the girl is to invite the audience into her world and share this story with them. Maybe the story one audience member gets from the show is different from the person next to them, and at Patch that is more than okay, even encouraged! 

Image: Me & My Shadow cast Tim & Temeka

If you could be anyone for a day who would you be and why?

My first thought is my cat Larry. Every morning I leave the house and Larry the cat is either in bed or lying in a sunny spot on the floor. I think that might be my perfect day, napping in the sun, having a stretch or two, watching the world go by with not a care in the world and then, at the end of the day, someone comes and feeds me –perfect.

There’s really no particular human that I would prefer to experience a day in over another. I think just being anyone different for the day would be such an incredible learning experience – we only ever see the world from our own point of view, how special would it be to experience another.

What is your favourite Patch memory? 

This is such a hard question to answer! Every experience with Patch is my favourite, even the challenging ones. Patch has gifted me the most amazing opportunities and experiences, so it’s hard to pick just one!

ZOOOM as a whole has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, from the first days of creative development, right up until performing it and beyond! One of my favourite ZOOOM memories was performing in Port Pirie last year. The theatre was full with over 500 loud, bouncy and excited kids. I remember coming out into the audiences toward the end of the show and it being so loud I could barely hear my own voice. I felt like a real rockstar on stage, everyone’s lights were waving and everyone was dancing, it was like a great ocean of little lights all around. I couldn’t stop smiling for days after, it was the most energy and fun I’ve experienced in one space before!

Why do you love children’s theatre?

Children’s theatre is my favourite kind of performance to be involved in. I love the challenges it presents and the rewards it gives. 

Children are the most honest audience members of all. I love going out after a show to meet them and being told all the million things they have to say. They tell me what the show reminded them of, the stories they made from it, the questions they have and (most importantly) all the answers they have. 

Making and performing in children’s theatre means I get to play with magic, imagination and big ideas in beautiful and well-crafted ways. I love every giggle, squeal, comment and heckle each and every child in the audience has while I’m performing. 

As the biggest sister of seven, young people and children have always been close to my heart and important in my life. Being able to make work with and for them is a dream come true. 

Me & My Shadow is showing at Adelaide Festival Centre on Sat 15, 22 & 29 August 2020
SA Schools tour: 12 Aug – 25 Sep
For more information (including SA tour dates) click here.