Michala Banas is an award winning actor, producer, writer and singer with an impressive folio of roles on some of Australia’s most loved television shows which include the long running McLeod’s Daughters and the hilarious Upper Middle Bogan.
Her most recent role in the industry is as one of Australia’s first intimacy coordinators; it’s visionary and timely.
I first met Michala in 2015 and was instantly drawn to her kindness, warmth and generosity. She has an abundance of talent, strength and intelligence, and is a beautiful friend.
I sat down with Michala in her Melbourne home that she shares with her husband Toby and adored puppy Gordon.
What have you been working on, and what is upcoming?
Considering Melbourne has spent the last year in and out of lockdown, I've been quite busy! I've been working on television shows including Ms Fisher’s Modern Mysteries, Fam Time, My Friend Anxiety (a pilot) and have recently completed a short film. I'm also excited about the return of live theatre to Melbourne, and will be appearing on stage in 2021. In 2019, I became one of the first Australians to be trained as an Intimacy Coordinator. Engaged across screen and theatre, I consult, educate and choreograph to ensure physical, psychological and emotional safety during scenes or moments of intimacy in productions. Whilst a stunt or dance coordinator are commonplace, the role of an intimacy coordinator is surprisingly new. I'm passionate about shifting the culture, which can take time - we need this to be taught in drama school to ensure these thought processes are second nature for next generation producers, filmmakers, theatre makers, performers and stage managers.
What or where is your happy place?
I love Waiheke Island, New Zealand for its beauty, beaches and nature, and Palm Springs, California for its mid-century architecture and design coupled with the richly diverse culture and landscape. Palm Springs in particular holds a special place in my heart; it's where Toby and I got engaged. I also love spending time at home with Toby and our puppy Gordon.
What do you do to reset?
Being by or in the water really helps me to focus and reset, whether it's a long bath or putting my feet in the ocean. The healing power of water is one of my go-to saviours.
What has been the silver lining of the past 12 months?
I've enjoyed being home with Toby and Gordon, and having an appreciation for health and wellness. It's been great to live life at a slower pace. I'm hopeful the last year has brought the wellbeing, physical and mental health of the entertainment industry into focus- for too long, the notion that 'the show must go on' has come at a great cost, and I'm hopeful that a shift will occur.
What is your favourite, most treasured item in your wardrobe?
Tell us about another female-led business you know and love.
My dear friend Alana Tiller has a gorgeous childrenswear label called Goldie + Ace. They make fabulous, high-quallity vintage-style clothing for kids, babies and toddlers.
You can follow Michala on Instagram.