It all started when...
"I'd always wanted to try different things, different sports, instruments, genders... (Jokes). One day I wandered past a drama school offering a three-week short course in acting, no prior experience required. I was scared, but intrigued. I wanted to know what would happen to me when I tried performing in front of people. Would I seize up? Would I cry? Would I piss myself? I guess I initially saw it as some sort of macho self-improvement challenge; something to tick off the bucket list. But when I eventually plucked up the courage to sign up, and actually attend, I felt alive. Properly alive. Thrilled. Excited. Petrified. But alive. So alive. So I kinda just carried on doing as much ‘am dram’ as I could, and so owe a lot to the Timeless bunch, especially Hari Ramakrishnan (Timeless overlord and dominatrix) as well a Angelina Castellini and Steve Bond off of LSE Improv Society. Basically, after a while I just realised I didn't really have any concern for anything outside of performance, so I applied to drama school.
Stella Adler Studio of Acting, New York offers training in voice, movement, script analysis, stage combat, acting for camera, and a lot of other stuff I can't remember right now. They also provide the best training in the world for those wanting to pursue the Stella Adler technique as part of their repertoire of acting approaches. She trained Robert de Niro, Meryl Streep, Harvey Keitel and a tonne of other A-Listers that I can't be bothered looking up. Stella was a prominent member of the famous Group Theatre, who interpreted Stanislavsky's various thoughts and approaches to theatre. She was and is one of the most respected theatre practitioners. Her approach sees the development of the actor and the human being as synonymous. She wanted her students to act with stature, size and grandeur. That is to make big and bold choices. She maintained that actors are ennobled by the wider responsibility and influence that they have on society, culture, art, humanity, et cetera. I know right, pass me the sick bucket. I personally don't think actors should open up about these things really, because it mars the process and the product to analyse and compartmentalise these things but oh well, it's written now. Hayters gawn hayte.
My plans for the future are to lead as simple and focused a life as possible. Few possessions, many passions. Ooh that was a cute one, came up with that as I wrote it! Erm I guess first and foremost my day-to-day goal is to get some yoga and meditation in there. Some reading. Lots of eye contact and impromptu chats with strangers. Artistically, as a professional actor you should probably run your repertoire of speeches every day, as well as do some voice exercises, but I haven’t gained the self-discipline to do that yet!
But in terms of plans within the industry, I guess I just need to keep working on roles and jobs which inspire and challenge me, ones which involve risk. If I continue to do that then it'll be hard to avoid decent career progression!
LSE has offered a couple of really good opportunities. For instance the Timeless show of 2013 was an amazing opportunity as it was just a huge show, 150 performers in all, and on the Lyceum stage, usually only reserved for The Lion King! LSE Improv Society has also been amazing, teaching me so much about performance, and giving us regular opportunities to perform to a paying audience!"