Cramond songwrites through anxiety in Interrupting a Crisis


Georgina Cramond. Picture:  Andrew Ritchie
Georgina Cramond. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

GEORGINA Cramond had always suffered a little anxiety and become stressed in social situations, but it was never problematic until it escalated three years ago.

“When I turned 20, I started having panic attacks and the anxiety started becoming unmanageable,” Cramond said.

“At first, I tried to keep it to myself and deal with it, but I realised that wasn’t working so I talked to my mum and she told me to go to a doctor and see a psychologist.

“My doctor suggested I get a hobby so I had something to focus on other than my work and all the other stress going on in my life.”

Cramond, who studied performance at Curtin University and is studying contemporary music at WAAPA, decided to take this advice and dust off her old keyboard.

“I used to play piano and always loved music, but wasn’t doing it at the time,” she said.

“I’m not really a pianist, but I started teaching myself to write songs and I signed up to a couple of songwriting classes.

“When I started performing them at open mic nights, I would get two reactions. My friends would come up and ask if I was OK, because some of the songs are quite explicit in how I was feeling, and then strangers would come up and say they’d felt like that.”

These words of encouragement triggered the 23-year-old to create one-woman show Interrupting a Crisis, a play with words showing at The Blue Room Theatre from May 16 to June 3 about songwriting your way through anxiety.

“When I first started writing my songs, I never thought I’d perform them, then I got brave and did my first gig at Rosemount Hotel,” Cramond said.

“I wanted to put them all together in Interrupting a Crisis because it’s a nice way to break down that anxiety is a scary thing. There were a few years which were a bit tough and I’d freak out and the music wasn’t a quick fix.”

Cramond has been mentored by Barefaced Stories co-creator Andrea Gibbs and collaborated with a creative team including director Finn O’Branagain, producer Georgia King and designer Clare Testoni.

“It’s been totally exhilarating and terrifying,” Cramond said.

“Every time I perform it to a new person, it’s like I’m revealing this big secret, but I think that’s really empowering.

“It’s nice to say this is what I’ve gone through and I made it out the other side. I hope it’s an uplifting experience for audiences.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Interrupting a Crisis

Where: The Blue Room Theatre

When: May 16 to June 3

Tickets: www.blueroom.org.au