Getting to Know You...
Each month we will "Get to Know" one of our fantastic clients a little better by plonking them in our interview chair, (think a comfy chaise lounge rather than the famous Mastermind chair) and asking them to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences with us by taking our not too serious questionnaire. This month we "Get to Know"...
NAME: Simon Rhys-Jones
Years with Stage Centre: 1yr 5mths
If you were marooned on a desert island what would be your one luxury item you'd bring with you and why?
It would be Nivea Sensitive Protect Antiperspirant Deodorant spray. I have used it for years and love the smell. My partner hates it if I’m a bit pongy...But if I’m marooned on a Desert Island, she would be there so it wouldn’t matter really...I might not wear it just to smell a bit and annoy her.
On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being absolutely not and 10 being definitely, how do you feel about pineapple on pizza?
I don’t mind it...One of your 5-a day so I would say 8.
First Acting Job – Last Acting Job?
My 1st pro acting job was for an English language learning programme called “That’s English” for Spanish television. I was in a series of sketches. I remember being over the moon when told I had a part in the production. That was back in 2011…
My last is my current, or so to speak. I am working alongside Rah-Rah Theatre Company taking a song and dance variety show into Community Centres and Care Homes via the Zoom portal. It’s a vary different way of bringing live performance to people who would not be able to enjoy theatre in any form during this terrible pandemic.
What would your Super Power be?
The power of patience..It’s is something I find myself having less & less of as I get older...If you don’t class that as a super power then it would be flight like Superman...No wait..Web shooting, like Spider-Man...No wait...Super strength like Hulk...No wait...
How do you relax?
I enjoy a walk while listening to podcasts, it’s my me time… I subscribe to several. Some of my faves are: SunSets podcast by Chicane, Film Stories with Simon Brew, Fighting Talk with Colin Murray and being a Watford Fc fan, the From The Rookery End podcast.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Easy...George Clooney...We are practically twins :)
( 🥺Oh dear - Ed)
You are up on stage to collect your best Actor Oscar...You’ve thanked the usual ie Family, Agent, Film crew etc….Who else do you thank?
My old Drama Teacher Miss Donovan. She saw me through GCSE Drama & A LEVEL Theatre Studies and cast me in my first ever lead role, Dracula in “The Dracula Spectacular Show” ...she was very supportive at a time when I wasn’t finding school life particularly enjoyable..So she’d get a shout-out defiantly.
Where were you trained?
I didn’t go to Drama School so didn't train as such. I studied to HND level at University of Suffolk (or Good ol Suffolk College as it was then). I then went to work as a Bluecoat @ Pontin’s Camber Sands & Pakefield. Following in the footsteps of performers like Shane Ritchie & Lee Mack...I learnt most of my performance skills there.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Family, of course...But if we are talking materialistic I would say and my CD collection. I am a big fan of physically owning music rather than “borrowing it” online. I also have a letter written to me by Watford legend Graham Taylor. I wrote to GT way back in 1999 banging on about Watford abysmal Premier league form and he took the time to personally write back. How many top flight managers would do that in today's game...Not many I bet.
What one piece of advice would you give your younger Acting/Performing self?
Get into it sooner...I’ve always felt that I should have gone straight to Pontins after A Levels, because although Uni was a great experience with some lovely people, I don’t feel I really learnt anything that I could say stood me in good stead for a career in Performing..that’s more a dig at me personally than the College course itself...Oh and WORK...ALWAYS WORK. Don’t think you will ever be in the position to pick and choose your projects...so take them when the come along.
Please tell us of a career highlight?
Working alongside Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman in the movie version of Les Miserable was a great experience...I was a bit of a thing on line a few years ago when a “Dad Dancing” video I recorded for a Thorpe Park ad campaign went viral. It featured on “This Morning”, “The Last Leg” in the UK, and “Conan” & various news reports in the USA…And getting my name on a movie poster...I played DET ETHAN CAMPBELL in feature film BOUYANCY (2020 Dir Roel Leijten)
Performance role model?
There are so many fantastic Performers to aspire to...From an Acting perspective, I love the performances of Richard Dreyfuss (Mr Holland's Opus) he is superb, as is Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie), and John Hurt, especially his performance as John Merrick in The Elephant Man is just phenomenal...Should have won an Oscar in 81...From an Entertainment POV I love Bradley Walsh. If he ever left The Chase my CV would be emailed to production straight away.
Do you have a favorite genre of the Performing Arts? Why?
To watch I would say Cinema/Film...I love a trip to the flicks although, I feel it is getting too expensive...To perform? I would say Pantomime...It is a great thing to be involved in. But hard work!!! You have to realise that for some it is their fist experience of the theatre and you are a part of that. Panto was my first live performance experience (Dick Whittington. London Palladium 1980), and I can still recall it to this day.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing...Anything you would do differently, career-wise?
I would self promote & network more. I am not great at either but I do feel they are both a must do in the industry today. Especially networking...getting yourself out there and meeting others in the profession, be it other actors or CD’s or whoever...Any or all of these meetings could open doors for you, so it’s uber important...Wow I really should listen to my own advice (*starts flicking through latest edition of Spotlight’s Contacts)
Thanks to Simon for his time.
Next up, it's time to "Get to Know" our award winning member Gemskii