Now in 95 I went to New York- I was awarded a drama scholarship at a drama school in Manhattan and I took off to move there and live there.
Now it was here that I discovered more people blending a performing arts career with voiceovers. In fact there were quite a number of artists earning equity minimum On and Off Broadway by night, so you know, and let me tell you that is not enough to survive in a city like Manhattan but they were making good money in voiceovers by day.
So the other thing that I discovered in New York was although there was some incredible talent there, I didn’t really feel it was better than the Aussie talent. I mean the same- I would say the same percentage of good people, you know, of extraordinary talent to ordinary talent was probably about the same. I mean, you know, look at something like the Oscars, you know, our best rub shoulders with US and the UK best and I felt good about that.
But the big difference was, that I really noticed was their approach to their craft and their approach to their business. They understood business concepts- so they were like these two guys. There’s the artist- like probably not as dashing as this guy but there was the artist and then there was the businessman. Pretty stylish business man here but I think, you know, they would definitely these two people combined and that’s when I really started to really realize that this was something that I needed to start to incorporate if I wanted to be successful as a performing artist, no matter what realm I ended up in.
Now, one of my favorite quotes comes from a great hockey legend- Wayne Gretsky- and although he was small by hockey player standards and was by no means the fastest on the ice, he was regarded as the greatest with a record to back it up. Now, when asked what his secret was he referred to his father who told him that players always skate to where the puck is. The secret was to “Skate to where the puck will be.”
Now, this quote had such a profound effect on me and has influenced many of my life and career decisions. For example... I was in New York on set of a film shooting in New York called The Boiler Room with Giovanni Robissi. And I remember one of the shoot days he was performing this scene which was him running this gambling table in sort of a, you know, in a private home. And I was amazed at how quiet, and insular his performance was. It seemed, well to be honest, it kind of seem flat to me and I felt it sounded needed more, you know from where I was standing. I admit I'm pretty egotistical and stupid of me to think that with my limited film experience that I would be able to judge this veteran and I soon learned how wrong I was. When I finally saw that scene on the big screen
I learned how perfect his execution was, and that it actually came across so much bigger than it seemed when he performed it. He obviously knew this and understood the power of the less is more concept which had been literally just pumped into us all through drama school and was now being executed by, you know, this young master.
So I started to hear and sense that trend towards this less is more in TV as well. And I knew that advertising was next, as it kind of always been. You know, film in any new concepts whether in being performance or style always tended to start in independent film and then move in to bigger features and then those techniques, might be camera technique or a technology or a performance technique, would blend, would then end up, you would see it in TV like TV drama or stuff like that and the very next step traditionally was advertising.
So when I started to see this trend, is less, is more trend in TV, I knew that advertising was next. And to be honest, had already started and I started to develop a much different style of voiceover performance when I was doing voiceovers in New York.