How did you start off in theatre?
I had a brief taste of drama at school. Then, following a five-year stint working in a supermarket observing people from all walks of life, I enrolled, aged 21, on a three-year course at City of Glasgow College. However, my real education didn’t begin until after I graduated and began producing my own plays, pantomimes and other shows.
What is your best advice for students?
Infinite patience produces immediate results. Many people talk about luck playing a big part in success, but it’s possible to make your own luck. The harder I work, the luckier I get.
What would you change about training?
I’d introduce a curriculum that explored the career options both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Having a basic knowledge of costume making, lighting and sound skills, set design and prop making, along with production and marketing would equip new talent to thrive.
What is the best part of your job?
Working with people from all over the world.
And your least favourite?
Getting frustrated when I see lost opportunities as a result of other people’s lack of vision or willingness to innovate.
Which practitioners do you admire most?
I could say the usual suspects: Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud, Berkoff, Meyerhold, Boal and Grotowski. But my real admiration is reserved for people like Laura Pasetti, artistic director at Charioteer Theatre. I spent two years working with her in Italy, learning about preparation and performance. As a result, I credit her with my winning The Stage’s best actor award at Edinburgh in 2010.
What skill should every successful theatre professional have?
The ability to keep learning. At some point in our careers we will all meet our own ‘Laura Pasetti’ – the trick is to recognise that person when we do. I learn from everyone I work with: my peers, fresh faces or old hands. Often the best lessons come from unexpected sources.
Scott James Kyle appears as Ross in the TV show Outlander. He founded NLP Theatre Company and teaches at Edinburgh Acting School