A Canadian's Inspiring UK Acting Career

Last night I saw a superb production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night at the Apollo Theatre in London. Two of the cast are American, one is Canadian and one is English.

Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill
Trevor White, Laurie Metcalf, David Suchet, Kyle Soller

Living the dream
The Canadian, Trevor White, is a friend of mine with an inspiring UK acting career and a great attitude. Since I met him in 2005 on the shoot for Alive: Swimming with Sharks he has gone from success to success. He has the sort of career actors dream about. He goes from job to job and and has worked with some of finest theatre companies, directors and actors in the UK. (See the full list here.)

I'm not exactly sure how he does it. He is talented, smart, hardworking and a complete joy to be around and his hit ratio of auditions to jobs is insane. He should set up a mentoring scheme. I'd sign up.

Be positive and proactive
Aside from the aforementioned qualities, I think Trevor's success has a lot to do with positivity and being proactive. He was doing well when we met in 2005 but his UK career was still getting going. Right after the Alive shoot he put on a one-man show at the Finborough Theatre called House by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor. It was a bold choice. He showed off his North American roots, his acting chops and his courage all at once.

Anyone who saw it must have thought, like I did, he's talented and he's someone who makes things happen. Soon after House Trevor's career skyrocketed. He went on to do Coriolanus at the RSC, a bunch of TV, film and VO jobs, Enron, Downton Abbey and now one of the great American plays on the West End. (book here to catch Journey before it closes on 18th August)

Work hard, play the long game
We'll never know for sure but I've often thought House got the ball rolling. Was it the acclaim he earned that caught people's attention? Or the confidence that came with self-producing a one-man show? I don't think it was luck. And it wasn't overnight. It's taken many years to hone his skills, build his reputation and make the connections he now has.

We could all take a page from Trevor's book - work hard, believe in yourself, foster good relationships and make things happen.

Do you have a success story? I'd love to hear it. Send it as a comment and I'll post it here.


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