For 14 seasons, Julia Zemiro hosted the SBS RocKwiz Music Quiz. In the notoriously unstable land of television, it was a hell of a game.
RocKwiz finally hung up his hat in 2016 but Zemiro is still a regular on our screens. Today, the talented Frenchwoman runs Julia Zemiro’s home delivery for ABC, where she escorts local celebrities like Celeste Barber and Yael Stone on trips back to their hometowns. And on Saturday, June 5, Zemiro will return to SBS to co-host Australia’s Biggest Singalong, a special event meant to honor community choirs like the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir.
Her animated shows take her across the country and no matter where she goes, Zemiro always carries one thing: a yoga mat, which helps her stay focused on the road. Here, she tells us about the calming properties of this bright orange carpet, as well as the stories of two other very important goods.
What I would save from my house in a fire
They must be photo albums from my childhood. I know it sounds obvious, but I haven’t scanned them to a cloud yet.
In a way, though, it’s the feel of glossy cardboard or sometimes matte paper that I love. I was born in 1967, and now in 2021, these photos really look like little artifacts. Some photos have scalloped edges, timestamps, and time stamps. Of course, they are both in color and in black and white.
My family and I came on a boat from France in 1970, so the pictorial shifts between rural Provence, Maryborough in Queensland, and Sydney are fascinating.
My most useful item
No matter where I am – backstage in a locker room, at night at a hotel, at a friend’s house, even at company concerts – there is something heartwarming about unfolding my yoga mat.
I wouldn’t say I have a 30 minute practice that I do every day, but there is something so fundamental about stretching on this mat when I’m tense before a show or feeling lonely away from my house. Sitting down and breathing are two of the most generous acts you can do for yourself.
The mat is very thin and easy to fold into a suitcase too, so I don’t have to carry it around with the Gwyneth Paltrow hoisted over my shoulder, crossing an airport. It’s also a bright orange, which I love.
The object that I most regret having lost
An Olympus SLR camera. It was my dad, he loaned it to me in 1980 and it kind of became mine. I was obsessed with it, I took it everywhere. It was heavy and chunky but I loved it.
I never graduated from developing my own film, but I loved experimenting with light, outdoors, indoors, fashion shoots with friends, and took a lot of “selfies” in front of the mirror. I think it was an exploration of wanting to see what I looked like, but not having to smile. And with 35mm film rolls anything can happen.
Then I did it on a tour where I played Shakespeare in high school and I just… lost it. I would love this camera so much now.