Spotlight profile

“I used to watch films sat at my piano – playing my own live soundtrack along with the scenes. I’m sure that’s how Hanz Zimmer must’ve started out, too.”

What kind of actor do you aspire to be?

One that is bold, resourceful, inventive and above all else, self-sufficient.
I’ve tried sitting in my bedroom waiting for the emails to roll in – it doesn’t happen. I want to make my own luck.
I’m a believer in the idea that, generally speaking, you get back what you put in, 
so I want to be the kind of actor that rolls his sleeves up and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. 
Oh – and also someone that gets the job done. I don’t think enough is said about those actors that just get the job done. It’s what we are paid to do!

What performance piece did you choose for the showcase and why?

My friend and I are working on a play about Watford Gap Services so the speech is sort of taken from that. 
I’m obsessed with small town attitude. I grew up in Nottingham and it wasn’t until I moved to London that I noticed the difference between the two places. It’s only around a hundred and fifty miles but it could be a thousand and fifty. And about thirty years.
The character in the monologue is telling his dad how much he wants to leave – he needs to go somewhere where art is appreciated and people are serious. It’s a real issue where I come from. To Stay or To Go. 
For some, venturing south of the Watford Gap is like joining the dark side.
I sort of think there’s folly on both sides – those who are left behind and those who go – there is no right or wrong. It’s just some people know how to pronounce posh names and some don’t…! (A joke. I’d like to make it home alive the next time I’m back.)
I think the speech encapsulates all of that madness a little bit.

What book, theatre, film or TV production has most inspired you?

A lot of Ricky Gervais’ work. The Office and Extras are two of the finest TV programmes ever written. 
I’m also a massive Coen Brothers fan, I remember watching Inside Llewyn Davis when I was younger and never quite recovering. It’s an unbelievable piece of work.
My family also used to go to the pantomime every year at the Nottingham Playhouse. That definitely made a huge impression on me.

How have you been keeping creative during lockdown? 

Which one?
I became very deeply involved in video gaming over the first lockdown, last summer. Not sure what it did for me creatively but I learnt what it was like to win and lose, so I suppose some work was done.
I managed to learn how to play the accordion during more recent lockdowns – which I suppose is a much better answer.

What advice would you give for anyone else preparing for a showcase?

Pick your material wisely. Don’t do something you’ve written unless you want to give yourself an even harder time!
Choose a very good speech/scene and be bold. It’s your work, no-one else’s. It belongs to you for the time you’re speaking the words, so make sure you don’t give that up. No one will argue with your work if it is fully owned.
Work with integrity, heart and, above all else, give the audience a good time.

What do you hope to be doing this time next year?

Working. Preferably doing something I love but I won’t be exclusive.