It’s 5:34 pm
I know,I know…this interview was supposed to be with singer/songwriter Angela McCluskey but I seem to have caught her in a busy time as she flew out Los Angeles for work and she also had a few shows lined to play as well.
I will run our interview as soon as this very lady can find the time to sit and chat with me.
But I have to tell you….I am pretty excited to start a run of “8 Questions with…..” with some of the fresh acting from the United Kingdom. I interviewed actor/director Darren James King and had a wonderful response to the interview,Darren is putting the finishing touches of his 2nd feature,”Blood Feud” which should be out very soon.
So I decided to venture back over the UK and see who else we could talk to.I went to a UK actors/artist page and asked if anyone would be willing to answer some questions.
Despite what some think,this isn’t always a sure thing,I have had my fair share of “thanks but no thanks” when asking for an interview.
So I basically posted an Open Invite” to any artist who would like to be interviewed for the blog. I reposted my interview with Darren and also a “Have Cheetah,Will Review” in which I reviewed a British crime drama,”7 Cases”so any potential actor would see I was serious.
Peter Kearns was the first to take me up on my offer. As I was looking Peter’s short film,”Simon”,I saw a friend celebrate about getting an interview with a “name” actor for his website. I had to laugh,opening up my blog to actors and actresses from England that no one here as even heard of….well it reminds me of my Marsugi’s days. Booking bands like Sublime and Weezer before anyone had heard about them as well.
I am happy to introduce you to a whole new slew of artists as I ask…….8 Questions with…….Peter Kearns.
- Introduce yourself to us. Where were you born and where are you based at now?
Hello there,My name is Sean Kearns, I was born and still live in a little town called Kettering in Northamptonshire. I go by the name of Peter Kearns for my acting work.
2. What was growing up in your house like? Who encouraged/inspired you to take up acting?
It’s a bit clichéd but all I ever wanted to was to be a performer. At a young age I wanted to be a singer, but then as I got a little bit older it became clear that I couldn’t sing at all! It was then at about the age of 5 or 6 that I wanted to be an actor.
I suppose the first spark of wanting to be in this profession was to see the effect an actor’s performance could have on ordinary people. Most of the conversations I would have when growing up would be “what happened on TV last night”, and from that the idea to have a job where I could be a part of a role and a storyline that would make anyone and everyone sit and chat about the next day at work or school. It was something that was very appealing to me. I also loved showing off, that was inherently built-in to me. I was always quite a shy child, but when it came to performing live in front of people then I had no fear, so I suppose even at that age I knew that this was the right path that I should take.
3. Did you have any formal training before starting out? If so,which teacher who taught you had the most impact on you?
I started out doing an A level in performing arts, but quickly came to find that the lack of practical work didn’t suit me.(I’ve always prefered doing rather than writing about doing). So I went to my local college and did a national diploma for two years. Which was much more suited to me, I got to perform in so many shows, while also touring schools with TIE(Theatre in Education) shows. which was really beneficial for my progression as an actor.
It was then after many years away from acting, that I then realised I needed more training until I even attempted to become a professional actor. So I did a HND in acting, in which I got to dust off the cobwebs from my years away from acting. The course allowed me to be a part of performances that I never thought I would be, such as site specific work and even cabaret shows!(my singing is still atrocious) and the course to ended up giving me my showreel, that then went on to get me my agent. So it all worked out for the best. And was the best decision I’ve probably ever made.
I would say all three tutors I had during my HND ended up shaping the path I’ve taken since, and the performer that I am today. Emma Boulton Roe taught me to be a lot more creative in my work, allowed me to create pieces of performance that started with a small idea I may have mentioned one day and then sprung into a creative piece of performance.
Kim Laughton taught me work ethic, it was fair to say that before I did that course I didn’t have the greatest work ethic in the world. I much prefered partying than putting the effort needed into performances and preparation. Kim completely changed that, and the hard work that I did in her sessions showed in the performances I created I believe. Also Kim had the unenviable task of being my singing teacher, and although she didn’t make me into the next Michael Buble, she improved my voice to a level I never believed it could be at.
And Esther Brooks, who had been my teacher years previously always believed in me, probably when I didn’t actually believe in myself. Especially coming off several years away from acting, to have someone there that would trust me with a main character, lots of dialogue to learn, and be sure I would do a good job, was exactly what I needed.
4. What is it like working in Britain in terms of a relative newcomer? Does your youth work for you or against you?
It’s such a tough question. I think it is probably different for each person. I think that Britain is producing some of the finest shows in the world personally. And in turn we get to see some fantastic performances from young British actors. Shows spring to my such as Black Mirror, which has a completely different cast every episode, so gives so many young actors a opportunity. Plus I’ve never seen anything like Black Mirror created anywhere else in the world. I think the popularity of shows like Skins and The Inbetweeners has also shown the industry that it is in their best interest to give untested actors a platform and let them run with it, because you only have to look at the success of those shows to see how many quality young performers the UK can produce.
I think as long as you have the right attitude, age doesn’t really matter in the industry. There are problems such as the “it’s not what you know but who you know” culture that is rampant in the industry, and the class disparity, in which some agents won’t even consider you unless you have been fortunate enough to have the money to go to a top drama school. However in saying all that, I never went to a drama school and I have an agent, and get many of the same auditions that RADA trained actors do, so you can come from any walk of life and make something of yourself if you have enough drive and enough luck!
5. Your background is primarily is on the stage,what drew you to the stage first before film work? Which medium do you prefer and why?
It wasn’t a conscious decision to pick stage work over filmed work. I’ve actually always prefered filmed performances out of the two, as there is more chance to get the best performance from an actor with multiple takes, rather than stage which is whatever performance you put in, is what it is.
However stage does offer that immediate response. There really is nothing better than hearing an audience gasp, or laugh, or whatever the intended reaction is when your character says a certain line. I don’t think there is a better experience an actor will ever get than that.
6. Share with us the very first time your performed as a paid actor on stage? What emotions were going through your head?
All my work on the stage so far has been non paid. Its been some of the filmed stuff that I’ve received money from. When I first got any payment from performing it was strange. And im sure many actors coming up agree with this. You do something for so long for free, that when you actually get paid for it you almost feel like it you don’t deserve it. However it was an uplifting feeling, it isn’t so much about how much money I received for the role I did, but that I was good enough for someone to be willing to pay me for doing it.
7. Where do you see your going in terms of your career,where do you want to be in 2-3 years acting wise?
Being an actor is probably the hardest thing to plan for so it’s a tough one to say. I currently have a lot of commercial auditions in London, so my hope would be to get a commercial job and get more exposure/experience from televised performances and then go on from there. My agency(Imperium Management) have been fantastic, and they have a clear route they want to take me on to get me where I want to be. So I trust them to keep getting me the right auditions.
If in 2-3 years I can live comfortably from being an actor than that is brilliant. Anything else is just a bonus.
8. It’s opening night for a new play and you have a key part: walk us through what your day would be like,what do you to get ready for the show?
Probably stress the whole day *haha*. By the day a show is actually about to start it’s too late to prepare any more, so I just try to relax, I know the character, I know the lines. I find the more I think about it on the day the more likely something is to go wrong. So I’d take my mind of it, and do anything else until it comes to show time!
9. In your opinion,what is the state of the British film industry? Is it thriving in welcoming new talent like yourself or is very closed and hard to break into?
It is thriving, as I mentioned before there are so many fantastic productions happening at the moment, that it gives so many actors great opportunities! However it is incredibly hard to break into. You just have to build up to where you want to be, it’s very rare that your just going to get discovered out of the blue. So you have to set the wheels in motion to be able to be discovered.
I think overall the industry is constantly looking for new performers who bring something that no casting director has come across before. If you know as an actor you can deliver a performance that no one else can, then your half way there.
10 What is next for you? What projects can we expect to see you in?
I have a few short films coming up over the next few months, so they will appear somewhere during the next year. And im usually in London once a month auditioning, so fingers crossed something high-profile quite soon!
Many thanks Michael for interviewing me and all the best for the future.
My twitter is @peterkearns89
My spotlight cv can be found here – http://www.spotlight.com/9655-9052-6632
My YouTube channel can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/user/seanpeterjohnnkearns
My thanks to Peter for a great interview.
If you’re on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_3400