Oh hi there // Kali Kopae

The Auckland Arts Festival programme is a little overwhelming, so we’re spending the next few weeks highlighting a couple of things we think are important, and might be up your alley. Kali Kopae is appearing in Not our Neighbourhood at Q, a one woman show inspired by Kali and writer Jamie McCaskill’s experiences working at the Women’s Refuge. Here’s a little more info straight from Kali herself!

I’m an Actor, Singer and Songwriter
but I’m also a super ​crocheting baby bootie maker who needs to learn how to make adult sizes.

My day usually begins with a toddler smackin’ my face with a phone, we then proceed to watch ‘Hakuna Matata’… I can’t take much more of The Wiggles…then sooo much coffee!!
​It ends with, hopefully red wine and chocolate​.

Name your three favourite places in Welington to eat, drink and play.
Hmm… Mr Wellington. This little city is just a special bowl of awesome! I love KC’S! Omg! If I could eat there every night I would. You can’t go past the Southern Cross, what an awesome place to eat, drink and be merry with friends. Then there is coffee…which I’m not too fussy about where I buy but I do like to wander and often go to the wee caravan on the waterfront by Circa Theatre.​

Tell us something we’d be surprised to know about you
I’m a Southlander. I​ grew up in the Mossburn, the venison capital of the country, before moving to the big smoke, Invercargill.​ I used to roll my Rrrrss​.

Pick a book and a park you’d like to read it in, anywhere in the world.
​’The Velvet Room’ a kids book by Zilpha Keatley Synder… I remember it from my childhood, I couldn’t tell you what it was about but I know I liked it, I really need to find out why??? I’m not too sure about reading in a park but Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg looks pretty nice.

Tell us a little bit about Not in Our Neighbourhood
NION is piece of theatre presented as a documentary, giving the audience  a snippet into the lives of 3 contrasting women seeking help at Hauraki Womens Refuge as well as shining a light on the awesome job the Social workers and office staff do. This play’s mission is to raise awareness and advocate against violence towards women.

How did the work come to be?
​Jamie McCaskill and I (he’s my man friend, we are engaged and stuff) were both living in Thames and working at the Refuge, Jamie as a performance advocate and myself as the Housekeeper at the SafeHouse. He wrote a play to raise awareness and it just so happened that as well as being an awesome cleaner and gardener, I was also okay at acting.

What was the most unexpected thing you learned during your time working at the Hauraki Womens Refuge? 

I will admit to being blissfully ignorant to just how important a Refuge is before working there. To be honest everything was unexpected. I didn’t expect to see women with their children. How embarrassing that I never put families into the picture. I didn’t expect to see women arriving with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. I didn’t expect to see women from all walks of life, hell, you may as well say I was so oblivious that I didn’t expect to see anyone! I am lucky I was​ able ​to work there.
What I do know is that from a house keepers prospective, bleach, Handy Andy and ant killer are essential to keeping a Safehouse super clean, oh and you can never have enough light bulbs.

What do you hope people leave the play thinking about? 

Basically I hope people leave the play thinking about the play. I hope that they think about just how insidious violence. And​​ I really hope they go away having a bigger appreciation for the work Women’s Refuge does.​​

If everyone in the world had a theme song that played when they walked into a room, what would yours be and why?

Any part of Bob Fosse ‘Rich Man’s Frug’​ from Sweet Charity would be awesome!! Why? ..cause I’d like to whip my pony tail like the awesome girl does in the video.

See Not in Our Neighbourhood in Q’s Loft from 2-4 March, and at Te Oro in Glen Innes on the 5th.