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COWEN, Oliver

DegreeOliver Cowen

Bachelor of Arts (Acting)

Graduation year

2015

Current position

Performer

Employer

self

What are some of your career highlights?

One of the most enjoyable, and most challenging, parts of my job is that I get to make the work I want to make. For a few years now I have been performing in solo shows that I have devised, and this has culminated in my latest project Oliver Sudden which I recently performed at the 2021 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It wasn’t necessarily financially successful, but it was the work I’ve had the most pride in showing. It’s the best work I’ve ever created.

Describe the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of your job

The most enjoyable part of my job is discovering new little stories I can tell and finding the exact right way to tell them. The satisfaction of finally cracking something is immense. On the other hand, easily the hardest part is being motivated enough to do those things on my own. I mostly work on my own, so I don’t have anyone to encourage me to work or a boss with a deadline.

What are your strongest memories while you were studying at the University?

My strongest memory of university was realising that I’d finally found my people. How lucky for me to learn and talk about the things we were learning with a bunch of other people who were all really excited about the same things as me. We spent at least five days a week with each other for three years. It could be intense at times, but we made some really beautiful stuff.

Do you have any advice about life after study to pass on to current students?

This would be the best advice for someone like me: set yourself deadlines. Book in an arts space to present your work in so you have to get work done by then. Set yourself a weekly or a daily creative task, it doesn’t matter how big or small. I’ve recently started drawing a horse every day. I’ve never been good at drawing, but I’m forcing myself to be a little bit creative every day. Don’t stop being creative, not everything has to be shown to anyone. Oh, and just be nice! You don’t get far by not being nice :)