Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An interview with Gary Wilmot

I'm just off the phone with Gary Wilmot, seasoned actor in theatre and TV, and star of Half-A-Sixpence which is reaching the end of its UK tour this month.

Is theatre your passion?

It hasn’t always been my passion but it has been since Me and My Girl. I just loved it and wanted to do more.

Are you enjoying Half-A-Sixpence ?

Yeah, it’s great. It’s a brand new show and the script has been re-written, with permission, and it’s a lot of fun to do.

How do you cope with the gruelling schedule and repetitive performances?

Well, it’s not always the case but in Half-A-Sixpence it has been that way. I get two days off but as we are travelling a lot with the tour it can be hard work.

How do you keep your performance sharp?

That’s the art. That’s what all actors should be striving for. I tend to ensure I get lots of sleep and drink lots of water. You have to treat yourself like a Formula 1 race car which needs careful handling.

Does all your work come from your agent?

Work comes from everywhere. It could be someone in the audience who likes your show and they want you to be in something, or a chance meeting in a restaurant. My agent is always very busy on my behalf and doesn’t just go for quantity, it’s always best to focus on the quality of work.

Any TV or Film work in the pipeline?

Yeah, I’ve got two scripts in consideration at the moment. One of which I’ve co-written, so I won’t be acting in that one. I’m not interested in being in the middle of a jungle or sitting in a house with strangers for months and that seems to be what is being produced most often at the moment.

Is there a chance of Showstoppers returning ?

Showstoppers was a great show and I’d love to do it again. Sadly there is too much focus on low cost productions with audiences calling a number. I’m not bitter, it’s just the reality of today’s broadcasting.

What’s the best advice to someone making it in show business ?

Don’t get a mortgage
It ties you down to one place and when you’re not working you worry more about paying the mortgage than developing as an actor.
Work where you can
Do anything, for anyone in any place. It’ll soon settle down and you’ll get into your niche.
Avoid disappointment
You either get a part because it’s right for you or you don’t because it’s wrong. It’s not because you’re not good enough, so avoid being disappointed.

Gary Wilmot is playing the lead role of Arthur Kipps in Half-A-Sixpence which is showing in the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford until 10th November (box office: 01274 432 000) and then at Stoke on Trent until the 17th November (box office: 01782 213 800)

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