Ko Motatau te maunga
Ko Taikirau te awa
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Hineamaru te tupuna
Ko Kawiti te rangatira
Ko Ngāti Hine te hapū
Ko Miriama McDowell ahau
Miriama McDowell is a founding member of Intimacy Coordinators Aotearoa.
In 2018 she began training with Ita O’Brien, while simultaneously working on Ahikāroa Series 2, Aotearoa’s bilingual drama series. She was a founding member of Intimacy Tāmaki which was created to develop intimacy work in Aotearoa.
Miriama has been a board member of Equity New Zealand since 2018. Along with Tandi Wright, Miriama helped to develop a series of intimacy protocols for Shortland Street in 2020.
Miriama’s IC credits include Ahikāroa Season 2, Life Is Easy, Brokenwood Mysteries, Shortland Street and US series, Destination Love for Hallmark Channel.
Miriama has Mental Health and First Aid certificates from St Johns, and Neuro-Diversity training from Mind Over Manner.
Miriama graduated with a BA in Acting from Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School and has been an actor for the past 20 years. She is a theatre and television director, and has extensive experience in working with physical theatre and devising with Massive Theatre Company. She has also trained at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Clown and Le Jeu.
Miriama also regularly works in the Hokianga with Maranga Ake, a group of young aspiring Māori actors. In 2017, Miriama directed Pop Up Globe’s production of Much Ado About Nothing which was seen by over 100,000 people in New Zealand and Australia.
Miriama is passionate about working with indigenous storytellers and POC.
“I was super nervous about my first intimate scene on screen but Miriama helped me navigate the journey with ease and confidence. Through the environment she created, with clear and simple protocols, I felt free and able to safely make and accept offers with my scene partner. I couldn’t have hoped for a better Intimacy Coordinator to instil us with the necessary skills and trust (in both ourselves and each other) to take the work off the page, into rehearsals, and onto the shoot.”
SAM WANG (ACTOR, LIFE IS EASY)
“When dealing with such a daunting role, involving sexual violence and a high profile crime, I felt incredibly grateful to have her deep understanding and appreciation for the gravity of the situation. Miriama will always be my preferred IC, and I highly recommend her to anyone developing an important but delicate script.”
MOLLY LEISHMAN (ACTOR, A QUESTION OF JUSTICE)
“Miriama has the unique ability to move through spaces, the space of an actor, director, mother, daughter and wahine maori. She brings all of this with her when she works with our cast and crew. As a Māori production house we needed someone who had an understanding of our cultural considerations – Miriama understands that when she is working with an actor she isn’t just dealing with the person in front of her, she is working with their tupuna, whānau, hapū and iwi. The measure of her success was when I saw the confidence of our actors lift to a place of self-determination and personal governance in a way that was empowering for everyone involved in our kaupapa.”
NICOLA SMITH (PRODUCER, AHIKĀROA)
“It’s so important that we awhi our actors and create environments that respect and honour the vulnerable places they so often go in order to tell a story. Having Miriama in rehearsal and on set ensures this. I am always delighted to see actors walk off set at the end of a scene feeling empowered. What an investment in good storytelling, and our industry in general. The end product is not only beautiful to witness on screen but something that we as filmmakers can walk away from feeling really proud of.”
EDEN VAWDREY (1ST AD, A QUESTION OF JUSTICE)
“Miriama was an incredibly vital part of the making of Life Is Easy. As our production was made up of mostly Queer POC actors and makers, having Miriama was a huge bonus to making us feel safe, heard and inspired to create scenes that were dynamic and brave. She was able to shape scenes organically and encourage from a space of lived experience, something that was empowering and creatively fulfilling for me as an actor. I could not recommend Miriama enough. I had a surprising amount of fun, joy and laughs as the tension melted and we got back to being playful creatives again – and doing what we were there to do, our jobs!”
CHYE-LING HUANG (ACTOR, LIFE IS EASY)
“Miriama can communicate the things you need for a scene in a way that makes the cast not only feel comfortable and safe but also excited and empowered. Her ability to translate what is required for the scene into action through working with the actors is nothing short of game-changing. As both a director and a producer, I would say not only should you work with Miriama for the benefit of your actors. You must work with her because her results are a hundred times better than any director can achieve without her.”
OLIVER DRIVER (PRODUCER/DIRECTOR, SHORTLAND STREET)