Heads up British agents!
David Black chats to actor/writer Callum Gault. This is a man who has played everything from the really nice guy to the creepy villain. I’m hoping today to get under the surface to see what makes this man tick.
DB — Hi Callum. Thanks for taking time to chat with me today. To get where you are now, you’ve put a lot of work into studying the craft of acting. Can you give us a run down on this?
CG — Sure! I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was 10 years old, so since then, I’ve attended drama classes, musical theatre classes, and private vocal coaching. As well as studying drama and media at school, I also completed a Bachelor of Film and Television, allowing me to gain a perspective of the other side of the camera. I also spent 9 years at Centrestage Performing Arts School, where we’d have annual concerts, where I acted, sang, and danced (the third one was amusing to watch), allowing me to perfect my technique between gigs. I’m currently perfecting my audition technique with Paul O’Brien when I’m not working.
DB — You’ve also done a fair bit of acting in film and on stage Callum. Can you give us an over view of this too?
CB — As well as all the performances I did for Centrestage, my first stage gig was as Judah in Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat for St. Gabriel’s Theatre Group in 2006, when I was 12. My first screen job was as a featured kid on a TVC for VicRoads at 15. From there, I did lead and supporting roles in many student films and indie films for a number of years, as well as stage roles, and of course, training.
In 2012, I scored a leading role as Carl Hanratty in a stage production of Catch Me If You Can, which was my first solo song on stage (scary!), and something I never previously thought I could do… And then, in 2015, I fulfilled a lifelong dream: I had a lead role in a feature film. I was Ian Roberts in Marital Problems, due for release in late 2017 — so definitely keep an eye out for that one! That opened some doors too — I’m slated to be in another feature next year: sci-fi flick Novum, set to begin filming in 2018, and a TV Pilot shooting later this year which… well, I think I’ve said too much on that one already! Keep your eyes peeled!
DB — Is there any particular type of role that interests you most?
CG — For roles… I’m a sucker for character acting. The big show that lit my fire for acting was Doctor Who — particularly the 9th incarnation, Christopher Eccleston. From that moment, I knew I needed — not wanted, NEEDED — to be a character like that — not quite good, but not quite evil, with enough wit and charm to be a good guy, but enough darkness and pain to be a villain, or anti-hero, as well.
In my acting past, I’ve been on two ends of the spectrum: either playing the innocent, nice guy that you’d take home to meet Mum, or the evil, twisted villain. To play a layered character, using the Doctor above as an example, would interest me greatly, as it can bring the light and dark performances together to create something wonderful.
DB — You’ve acted on stage and in film, written and directed. Do you feel that by experiencing things from each of these angles that it has deepened your appreciation of the craft as a whole?
CG — Absolutely. As I’ve said, I studied a Bachelor of Film and Television from 2013 to 2015, where I gained a much deeper experience into how the filmmaking process works — particularly when faced with a difficult shoot on my student film “Linger”. It’s not glamorous and easy — it’s tough, it takes dedication, and it takes a tough skin. Myself, I’d always been interested in writing, and have been writing stories and novels from a young age, so I went in with that naive interest, and came out the other end understanding there’s a lot more work to film than people outside the industry give to it! I found a lot of the technical components like camera and sound went over my head, so I appreciate someone who has those skills even more! However, for myself, I’m sticking to the writing — and possibly directing in the future — side of things. I’m currently working on a sci-fi/fantasy trilogy titled “Their First Mistake” — but that’s all I’ll reveal for now.
DB — Now Callum, I believe that you are planning on leaving us here in Australia and going off to the UK next year? And you are also hoping to find an agent there. This is a major step forward and must have taken some thought and planning. What are your hopes and dreams for the UK?
CG — Well, honestly, it was a very spur of the moment decision — but it’s one that has stuck! The fact is, Australia’s industry is certainly a growing one, but it’s still very small compared to other countries. You need a certain look, and you need a certain personality — and rather than getting upset and blaming the industry, I figured it would be a better idea to go where my acting style and look could possibly be a better fit, and try my luck there… plus, I can pull off accents easily enough (seriously, ask for my Scottish accent — you’ll love it). It’s an open-ended decision though, and if something incredible were to happen here in Australia before I leave… then who knows?
As for an agent — yes, I’m absolutely hoping to find one over there — but I certainly wouldn’t say no to an agent here either! All the work I’ve mentioned in these questions has all been done off my own effort — but I reckon it’s time to take that next step! Scary, but exciting!
DB — Thanks for taking the time to chat to me today Callum. You are a very interesting man and I wish you all the best for the big move overseas. Can you provide us with some links so that we can follow your career?
David Black regularly writes for Oz Indie Cinema — https://ozindiecinema.wordpress.com/
And is the lead singer/ bass player for Darkness Visible — https://www.facebook.com/DarknessVisible/