Fly­ing high

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - DEB­BIE SCHIPP HOME AND AWAY, South­ern Cross, Mon­day to Fri­day, 7pm

LISA Gorm­ley was some­where in the air be­tween London and Sin­ga­pore when she re­mem­bered there was some­thing she had to do.

It wasn’t that she hated her job as a Qan­tas long- haul flight at­ten­dant but more that she’d some­how be­come side­tracked.

Two failed at­tempts to be ac­cepted into the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Dra­matic Art at 17 and 18 had seen her take a gap year in Eng­land. That stretched to three or four years.

Some­where along the way, she’d for­got­ten how much she loved act­ing.

So, at 22, Gorm­ley threw in the job, reap­plied to NIDA, and headed home to Australia. On grad­u­at­ing, she was of­fered a role on South­ern Cross’s long- run­ning soap Home and Away. Two years on, as the feisty Bianca Scott on the show, Gorm­ley has had one happy land­ing.

In its 24th year on air, Home and Away reg­u­larly rates above the magic mil­lion view mark in its 7pm times­lot.

Gorm­ley is rel­ish­ing juicy sto­ry­lines for her char­ac­ter, which this year have seen Bianca marry long- time flame Liam ( Axle White­head) af­ter an in­ter­lude with bad- boy Heath ( Dan Ewing). The new bride is now preg­nant to ei­ther Liam or Heath. Mat­ters are complicated fur­ther be­cause Bianca’s sis­ter, April ( Rhi­an­non Fish), is get­ting it on with Heath.

Gorm­ley, 27, says her real life is ‘‘ pos­i­tively bor­ing’’ by com­par­i­son.

‘‘ My so­cial life has none of the in­trigue of Bianca’s,’’ she says.

‘‘ Be­cause it’s such a so­cial en­vi­ron­ment at work, and I’m liv­ing these sto­ry­lines, by the end of the day I just want to go home and sit on the lounge and watch tele­vi­sion.

‘‘ But once you get into the rou­tine of this show, you can achieve lots of things.

‘‘ When I got out of NIDA, the last thing I wanted to do was a singing class or a di­alect class or any­thing at all and now I’m ac­tu­ally get­ting back into that. ‘‘ My so­cial life is learn­ing new skills.’’ She says there are not mul­ti­ple love in­ter­ests, a wed­ding or a baby on her per­sonal hori­zon.

‘‘ I’ve been fly­ing solo for a while,’’ she says. ‘‘ I have plenty of fun, but I’ve been re­ally dis­tracted by this pretty amaz­ing job I have.’’

Gorm­ley was a late starter in Home and Away, which reg­u­larly re­cruits teens to its Sum­mer Bay cast.

Born in Eng­land, her fam­ily moved to the Barossa Val­ley when she was three. They then moved to a farm in Tas­ma­nia when she was 12. An only child, she started do­ing com­mu­nity theatre.

‘‘ I had never been what I would call to­tally de­ter­mined to act,’’ she says.

‘‘ For me, it was some­thing that just al­ways made me feel com­fort­able, at home, happy if you like.

‘‘ I needed the time in Eng­land. It was meant to be a year but I fell in love with the place and the peo­ple and my first proper job as an air host­ess and for­got about act­ing for a while.

‘‘ I did a lot of grow­ing up. Then I had this re­al­i­sa­tion one day when I was on a trip to Sin­ga­pore and thought ‘ Hang on, there’s some­thing I re­ally wanted to do’.’’

Her third ap­pli­ca­tion to NIDA was suc­cess­ful – she be­lieves be­cause they ap­pre­ci­ated the life ex­pe­ri­ence she’d had this time around.

‘‘ I think that makes me, makes any per­son, a bit more in­ter­est­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘ There was no defin­ing mo­ment with a dif­fi­cult pas­sen­ger or an ex­haust­ing turn­around which made me quit. More a re­al­i­sa­tion I’d got side­tracked.’’

She doubts her al­ter- ego Bianca would make it as a flight at­ten­dant.

‘‘ Oh God, no. She’d rip holes in peo­ple. She’d fly busi­ness, but she cer­tainly wouldn’t work it,’’ she says.

‘‘ She has a con­fi­dence most women may wish they had on a day- to- day ba­sis and it’s nice to in­dulge that nasty fan­tasy of rip­ping holes in peo­ple. But she’s a bit too much hard work to be a friend of mine in real life.’’

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