The corporate acting jobs: (the best workshop you’ll do)

I’ve had a few corporate jobs come up over the last few weeks. That’s great for a few reasons; one being that it’s been scarce on that particular front for a couple months (though filled by other acting work); two it’s with new clients which is great business wise; and three it’s the best emotional workshop you can possibly do AND you get paid for it.

I’ll talk a bit about #3 by going into some fuzzy details about the jobs.  With corporate work (Role play and Video) you are hired to show the good and bad of human interaction so that the people learning can see and practice what to do and what to avoid. What that essentially means for the actor (ie. me) is that I get to play the juicy parts of the human condition. Some times it’s the emotional journey of your favorite Shakespeare tragedy EVERY HALF HOUR

One job involved a character that was dying and the clients were training on getting information through to him. The tricky bit here was in a lot of the scenario’s my guy came in in a state of middle-of-the-road-happy but had to break down when confronted with the scary information.  This might seem a little obvious but for me as an actor I have been inclined to prep for the sad stuff and think about the rest of the scene as a chaff for that seed.  Here I was in a position to find it, or more accurately let it find me, in the scene. Now I’ve never been the cry-on-cue kind of actor but I was happily surprised to be able to pull it out of the bag very half hour for 8 hours a day for a week.  Big win.

This time I’ve been using Chubbuck (as taught by Anthony Wong so a little of a different flavour to what you might read) to get me over the line. He talks about setting up little land mines of emotion on words or gestures or concepts, in home time rehearsal and then setting them off (or letting them find you) in the scene.  I’ve been a little unsuccessful in the past doing this (at least for my own happiness) and I think that the main reason is the self judgement in the moment getting in the way of getting the action/objective. But in the immortal words of Bullwinkle Moose “This time for sure”.

Like any good magic there is a trick behind it and by trick I mean loads of tough training and constant practice, and I won’t go through it here.  If you need to know then get a hold of Anthony and do the dying exercise (or sexual chemistry or any of the amazing things he does).  The thing is it’s no different from being angry on cue; or being in love on cue; or what-have-you emotion.  The trick is focusing on yourself and the (sometimes sub-textural)  story that gets you there and making it about the dialogue between you and the person opposite you. I think that being in those 2 places at once makes it harder for the self judgement to be heard and get in the way of doing the job. Corporate jobs are great ways of training what you learn in class.

I’m in a glass case of emotion

So it’s been a big emotional couple weeks for me, both fake and RL (ironically real life stuff always happens at the same time doesn’t it?).  That’s a segue into looking after yourself emotionally.

We all know putting your hand in the fire is a bad thing. But the actors job is to metaphorically do that, and with glee and often.  Some of the reasons that actors (and all artists) are loved is that they are vicarious vehicles for emotional catharsis for the rest of us. The important actor trick here is to be very skilled at recovering from horror.  All the crying and anger and love is based on real feelings and (esp for my style of performance) very real events. After such a performance you get a couple hours of cathartic joy and relief in your body. It does (like the drugs that mimic it) come with a crash afterwards. So it is extremely important to have a good set of techniques to get you back to reality and back into yourself. Some might call this de-rolling but for me it’s just resetting. All the drinks at the pub and good reviews are poor substitutes for good de-rolling techniques. This is another thing that I’ve been thankful for – getting skilled up by Anthony. Actually he’s the only one whose taught this to me over the 15 years I’ve been going to his class. I never learnt this in acting school or any of the other classes I’ve been to which is sad.

Anyway that is some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about wrt corporate jobs. I’d love to hear some of your experiences.

Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting

Foxtel camera challenge

Seton buys me coffee

I had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago to work on a great little project.  It was a competition in-house for Foxtel.  The channels received a brief and they were to make an action film a couple of minutes long.  We had a day to film, which is not a lot of time with action.

1st things 1st.  We had a morning of fight choreography with director John Masiello and fight teacher Igor Breakenback at his MMA gym (!).  Just the idea that I was doing a fight rehearsal (which I can do) at an MMA gym (which scared the pants off me) was a challenge. Seton Pollock (the Newman to my Seinfeld) was skipping rope like Rocky when I entered the Octagon (no exaggeration).  Of course I can’t skip rope but I gave it the old college try. Ahh college was a good 16 years ago but hey I’m not total fairy floss.

The fight lesson went well.  We had bags of fun and did some great work but it was a lot to remember.  Fight dialogue is as hard to remember as regular dialogue… except if you get it wrong you are slightly more likely to sprain your face.

Foxtel Camera Challenge

What’s my line?

The next day we filmed.  It was a torrential weather outside but nice and cozy in the deserted Foxtel building at North Ryde on a public holiday. The warmth came from the crew and cast.  Such a great gang and ridiculously talented.  We did a LOT of work in the office.  I was clocked with a stunt coffee mug which looks great and worked brilliantly. Seton and I fought under the caring guidance of Igor (a kinder guy you cannot help to meet) and we were safe and looked after.

John emulated a load of camera styles that came together fantastically.  The final product looks amazing.  A visual feast.  I hope that it sees public viewing someday.  Also would love to work with any of the crew again in the future.

FOLLOW UP. – Here it is for your entertainment!! Enjoy


[vimeo w=585]

not so Tricky Business

Just received a lovely letter from the series producer of Tricky Business thanking me for me for the work on Tricky Business ep 11.  I was honestly touched.

It was a whirlwind casting costuming and shoot.  I was cast 2 days before the costume fitting and then shot the next day down in Carringbah.  My audition was a little shaky which is I guess how we always feel.  I had it totally down in the waiting room at Mullinars and had a good substitution for my “holding back the tears” scene.  It was a bit more chaotic in the test as it always is with a non actor reading in lines but it was OK and I hit all the marks.  Someone must have liked it as I was cast without callback.

I get a call the morning of the costume fitting which is the day before the shoot wanting me for a particular time which I can’t make. No issues with them at all they change it to whenever I get there.  I get there in about 15 minutes and everyone is amazing.  They’re obviously super busy like the Flash family on amphetamines. Except when ever I have to talk to anyone.  Then they are funny and generous and interested in what I have to say and me being comfortable on the job.  Costuming is the same, and it sets the tone for my time at Tricky Business – patient talented professionals.

Shoot day was a 4 hour call in the south and walking onto a big set like that is a bit like parachuting onto a battle field – who knows who is who and to whom you are supposed to talk to.  Added to that it was lunch time and everyone was mixed up in a moshpit of food and mobile phones under these 2 tents. I had done my research however and recognized the actor I was acting opposite from his head-shot. From there it was the establishing enough of a relationship to be comfortable and believable on the set.

Hair and makeup was crazy.  They gave me an impromptu- incharacter hair cut to resemble the middle class limo driver in Woolongong.  I object to this in film.  If you are doing a 50 worder on TV for $200 and they feel the need to do a permanent change to you it needs to be negotiated.  I often have multiple jobs on not in that one bogan style they like so I have to take $50 of my wage and get the hair fixed up which after tax and agent fees leaves me with $100 for a days TV work not including the 2 hours travel. Enough whinge about that. All the crew and cast in the makeup room are lovely and introduce them selves whether they be leads or head of department. If I wasn’t focused on being in character sad I’d be embarrassing my self with the usual diatribe.

Tricky Business on nine

We get onto the set and wait around while I try and extricate myself from well meaning nervously chatty new actors (well new extras, but I fail to see the distinction when you’re starting out at a new job). I’m hoping to get 5 minutes to focus and settle myself before my crying scene without appearing like a diva.  I do. They call me for my scene and we do a run through with the director and the AD gets up to stand in unnatural positions and proximity to one another (as usual) and away we go.  My scene partner gets 2 takes and they switch to me. The director asks if I wanted to do it with the tear stick (we’ve not talked tears yet) so I say OK and makeup go off to get some. A second later someone says action and I’m baffled, mildly panicked and snapped into focus in the space of a sigh.

… then I false start the 1st line. When you dry or stumble or false start on camera things slow down.  Moments seem to last an eternity but if you f*ck up as often as I do you learn to use it to your advantage. I take a breath for me and editing and start again in a slightly different tone. I get through the 50 words and I hear cut and “that’s great, lets move on.” and it’s time to be wide-eyed and panicky again. ONE TAKE?! Oh well.  That 45 seconds is my day on Tricky Business.

So now I’m reading the lovely note from Denny at TB specific to me and remembering why I got into this biz, or at least why I’ve stayed now I’m here.  This is the kind of uplifting egalitarian ethos we are trying to produce on our films.  It makes me proud to be in this industry.

There are no people like show people.

Revenge of the Nerds, NERDS!

Had a long weekend of gaming at the EYE-CON RPG convention over the long weekend.  It was a wonderful weekend of hilarious, exciting and some disappointing games leading ot a rollercoaster ride of an event.  But first some qualifiers.

What is a role playing game?  If I had a dollar for, “is it a computer game?” (nope that’s a …computer game) “Do you dress up and put on silly voices?” (nope that’s my day job). Well as described by wikipaedia – “A role-playing game  is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative through a process of structured decision-making and character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines (and chance; ala dice). The original form (sometimes called a tabletop RPG) is conducted through discussion. An arranger called a game master (GM) usually decides on the rules and setting to be used and acts as referee, while each of the other players plays the role of a single character.

That being said it’s really interesting to me as an actor what drives other people to this hobby and how do they interact with it.  Over the weekend I found a great amount of classy acting in the guise of escapism.  People playing covert Nazi’s with their own agenda or insanely explosive Goblins, all with characterizations that I’d envy to have in an improv class, and that I found myself interacting with gleeful abandon.

At the low points like most games we were stuck haggling over rules, but the heights were when we were haggling over character motivations and thwarting schemes. In essence we were acting in complex improv dramady and loving it. eg: A George Peppard like ex-army boss played by me (professional actor) with the Nazi/student to my left, the Italian Resistance Fighter/Actuary on my right and the Allied paratrooper/IT tech at the end of the table, all looking at each other as suspiciously as the character list of Reservoir Dogs.

The acting was engaging and funny, all well motivated and for the most part with an idea of character.  I think for that reason we were all on a level playing field regardless of acting experience.  We were all solidly in our imaginations with respect to the setting and played our successes and failures at the whim of dice with convincing aplomb. All this without standing up from the table, wearing a crazy costume (outside of the Sheldon Cooper wardrobe we all seemed to have raided) or having met one another before.  People had traveled interstate with pals and stayed at the YHA to be there.  The commitment to having fun was equally as impressive.

It’s good to know that what I feel as the camaraderie of acting occurs outside of the biz, and that anyone with a solid character motivation can pull of some fine acting feats.  That and it was a blast of a time. All in all I write off EYE-CON 2012 as a success. Bring on the next one.

Electronic birthday

Met up with amazing director and recurring flatmate Ben Flaxman today to a birthday catch up and chat about the state of interpersonal electronica today. One has these conversations when one gets old re: new fangaldy devices and services bah-humbug! We mused on many a topic including “iPads; the most expensive book I’ve ever owned?” and “Twitter; more than just griping about bowel movements and transient emotional malaise?

I think that Facebook almost solely exists on birthday reminders.  I was wonderfully blessed today with a hundredish salutations and celebratory remarks on the anniversary of my birth, from close colleagues and people I haven’t seen since high school 2000 years ago (and oddly a few who wouldn’t have wished me a fall down the stairs back then let alone happy birthday). And to be honest I reveled in the sentiment in just the way it was directed.

However I think that it’s a sign of the times when one feels that an SMS “happy birthday” is such a wonderfully personal gesture (I got a card a little later in the day and had to lie down and breathe into a bag till the room stopped spinning).

Silliness aside it was a wonderful birthday and I really think that social media is a darned good part of that.  To my mind these social electronica are more than just a life support system for out of date acquaintanceships (as we often decry). I’ve lost count how many times I’ve used it to look up the name of someone I should know, or have been saved by being notified of a breakup before I could blurt out a faux pas in person. I’ve seen friends rally to a heartbroken pal; distant relatives reconnect without the need for painfully embarrassing, intoxicated wedding conversation.

So in short I’d like to say that for all my complaining, jibing and sighing over the ever-changing technologising of our human relationships I’m happy that it exists, especially for a agoraphobic, curmudgeon like myself.

To quote Seinfeld “it’s very important for human beings to feel that they are popular and well liked among a large group of people we don’t care for.”  …And for myself, amongst group of people I treasure and feel blessed to know. Many thanks.

1 is the loneliest number, 100 ROCKS!

To quote Mr Sheldon Cooper “Somebody just hit 100 Twitter followers.”
That is all

the MOViE ON story

Welcome back to I felt a little silly not adding something about MOViE ON to the page considering as it took up Xmas for Tristan Kenyon, Drew McCourt, Michael Walker and myself (and many others).

It started as an idea over the years for a TV dramedy (we don’t know what that means either) based in a small indy video store similar to the one we may have worked over the years for a little extra $ (depending on who asks). As anyone who has ever worked retail and customer service can tell you the show started writing itself. Odd customers and over qualified staff at the wrong end of the art form they loved.

"And I will always looove you"

After a particularly rough spot Tristan, Drew and I eventually sat down and came up with a concept for the looming Optus one80 comp.  It was a deadline we new could motivate us – a 3 minute trailer by New Year and one month to do it!!!!!

Video stores are dying for a number of reasons including piracy, the shift in marketplace to downloadable content and a GFC. All things that are boring as hell to read about but tough to live through, especially when you are a struggling artist 30 something artist who is at that particular time in their life when they need to work out if mom was right and they should have stuck with med school. We were all guilty as charged.

The face I made when they told me we didn't make the cut for Optus one80

The characters were a mix of ourselves, our immediate friends and enemies, and a distillation of the bizarre customers we had known throughout the years and wanted to celebrate on film.  Tristan wrote the initial script and he and I worked on subsequent drafts. That lead us to the trailer. We filmed this over a couple weeks like mad men after hours and juggling a schedual that looked mad. Our saving grace was our amazing crew (ie. friends) and especially our good pal and amazing camera genius Michael Walker. Click here to see his other recent stuff.

The cast were off the chart as well.  Often we gave a brief to the guys coming in (also great friends donating their talent and time) that set up the playground we wanted to work in and let them improv their way to success.  Bless you all for running with that. the results are GOLD!

Coupled with Tristans vast talent and experience as a director, editor and DOP we got this trailer together.

However Optus didn’t love it like we did (#sadface) so we were sad for about 5 minutes. NOW Tristan and I are putting together the whole story.  It’ll be all the stuff that was AWESOME but couldn’t make a 3min trailer and tells more of the story of MOViE ON.  With some luck a rich(er than us) network will give us some $ to make more of it and we’ll see how that goes.  Stay tuned for updates on MOViE ON.

I’m going to leave you with a gallery of the amazing cast (and crew as practically everyone doubled in classic Sam Raimi style).

A Divorce

No nothing to call Jerry Springer about. It’s an animated film that I narrated for Beini Huang a while ago. I did some talking and she did everything else. Well not surprisingly it won “Best Film at the Toronto Student Film Festival (2011)” which is definitely something to write home (and blog) about. Check out for more of her amazing stuff. Really proud to be a part of such a great project.


Welcome to


I’ve been an actor for more than 17 years now. I trained at the esteemed University of Western Sydney Nepean where I received my BA in performance. I’ve also studied a wide range of acting styles and techniques, and have skills raging through voice acting, physical and stand-up comedy and stage fighting making me a versatile actor with an eclectic career.

Sydney based actor I have performed on TV, film and theatre around the country. For more info check out the about me page above. For examples of my work have a look through the video and photo pages. For a bio and to get in touch see my contacts page.

Thanks for stopping by and stay classy. Hope to work with you soon.

The new diggs!

Hi all,  Looks like I might be starting (or restarting) a website and blog.  The idea is to link all the parts of my work life into one big happy website where employers, collaborators and appreciators can view and peruse.  a hair raising experience

Let me know what you think and where you’d like this to go.  It’s 2 days old at the moment so expect more growth soon.

You go Glenn Coco!