How did you start off in theatre?
I went to York College, then East 15, but I only started musical theatre training when I was 24.
What is your best advice for drama and musical theatre students today?
Do your homework and work hard. Sing the stuff you love and sing it like it’s the last time you’ll ever sing – you’ll break barriers and inhibitions and that’s how you find your voice.
What would you change about drama and musical theatre training in the UK?
The fees. If they were lower, I feel that a lot of people would be given the opportunity of training through having genuine talent.
What is the best part of your job?
Working with talented, like-minded people. When you work with people who have been a member of Spotlight for 54 years, you’re in good hands. That sort of learning is something you can never pick up in a classroom.
And your least favourite?
That most people never get back to you. You pour love, dedication and passion in to an application, an audition, a letter or a pitched idea and then hear nothing. But be persistent, don’t be disheartened and if you want something, go get it.
Which practitioners do you admire most?
Strasberg, Stanislavski, Meisner and Grotowski. I went to a method-acting school so I’m pretty biased, but I don’t think you can rule any technique out because they all teach and they all give you different tools. Brian Astbury is an incredible teacher.
What is the one skill that every successful actor should have?
A good work ethic. I have seen the most incredible talent fall by the wayside because they cannot commit to all the other stuff that this career entails: admin, endless applying for jobs, networking. You are your own business. No one is going to do this for you.
Ionica Adriana was talking to John Byrne