Actor returning to stage of heart attack
For Mick Innes an onstage heart attack is no figure of speech.
Three years ago a season of ill health began for the Aucklander when he suffered an attack while performing his solo show Zen Dog at the Basement Theatre.
‘‘It was about 10 minutes before the end of the show and I’ve seen a video of that particular show and you can see it happen… I didn’t know what it was,’’ Innes says.
‘‘Some people said they noticed it. I sort of look up at the ceiling and I look a wee bit lost and then I carry on.’’
Despite feeling the impact the next day, the 62-year-old says he didn’t think it was anything serious.
‘‘I was buggered but thought it was over-work.’’
Two days later Innes had trouble breathing and a producer he was working with for a voiceover told him to see a doctor.
‘‘I had a blood test and that was about three o’clock. … by eight o’clock the doctor had rang me and said ‘there’s an ambulance on its way, you’re having a heart attack’.’’
Around the same time Innes suffered two strokes. But now after a period of recovery the Grey Lynn resident is returning to the very stage on which his ill-health began.
Zen Dog: Satori is an open and honest expression about Innes’ past.
A zen buddhist word for sudden enlightenment, ‘Satori’ is a reference to a turning point Innes I just came to where he knew he had to change his way of thinking in life.
In the show he reflects on his history which includes substance abuse, various marriages, rehab and psych wards.
Nowhere,’’ he says.
‘‘I’ve lost a few friends .. people were dying and I just decided I don’t want to be like that.’’
He’s now been sober for nearly 10 years and says the last cigarette he had was while waiting for the it get me? ambulance to collect him three years ago. A professional actor since 1983, Innes now wants to inspire people to run their own race in life. ’’I don’t want to be a casualty, I don’t want to be a hasbeen, I want to be somebody that’s still doing things.’’ Born in Christchurch in 1953, Innes spent 30 years living in various parts of Australia where he starred in a number of well known productions including Home and Away. Zen Dog: Satori performs November 1 to 5 at the Basement Theatre. Visit basementtheatre.co.nz for more information.
Mick Innes outside his Grey Lynn home.