Welcome to another edition of “8 Questions with…..”,my ongoing interview series here on my blog. I have really been so very lucky to chat with some outstanding and talented people in this series and its been a total gas to introduce my readers here in the United States to some amazing artists from the United Kingdom.
Like KC Flanagan. I met KC right after I posted my last interview with Nadia Chloe Rose
and extended my usual invite to anyone who wished to be interviewed. Of course that doesn’t mean that I didn’t reach out to some folks who caught my eye as well like KC,who I reached out and asked if he would like to chat here on the blog. When I read his Spotlight page,I knew we had to chat because his story is a very interesting one as you’ll soon discover for yourself.
KC is a artist who drawn from many critical and adventuresome life experiences and one knows when he channels these into any character he may play,its going to be powerful and dynamic performance. I have a lot of professional respect for KC and I am very happy he decided to answer 8 Questions…….
Please introduce yourself and tell a little bit about you.
I was born and raised in Colwyn Bay in North Wales and now live in Buckinghamshire with my wife, 9 year-old son, two dogs (a boxer and a jug) and a horse. I also have a daughter who works in London for an iconic British fashion brand.
What was it like growing up in your home? Did your parents support your inner artist? If so, how and if not….why not?
My parents divorced when I was three years’ old and my older brother and I were sent to live with our Grandparents where we both stayed until we were old enough to leave home. None of our family were ever creative or had any connections to the industry. So, I guess I was the first to ever demonstrate any artistic ‘bent’ as it were. I was in a very amateur punk band when I was in school that no one ever took seriously. I wrote all of our songs so I guess I’ve always had a bit of a creative side, although it was restricted due to lack of support and encouragement. I think my family just thought I was a bit of an idiot – which in fairness was probably an accurate description.
Looking at your Spotlight, it appears you have discovered acting a little later than most, what motivated you to start acting now?
It all started as a happy accident really. I’d always had a story in me and got to a point whereby the story was all I could think about. I’d write notes to myself about a character that was loosely based on me at that time; a frustrated freelance corporate trainer that never really knew what he wanted to do with his life and plodded from job to job hoping that one day he’d find his purpose. Not that I was particularly unhappy, it was more to do with a nagging itch that I could feel but no amount of scratching it ever brought about relief or comfort. I attended a sitcom writer’s class run by Chris Head in London and eventually started writing about this guy called Keith and the scenarios he’d find himself in. I showed it to a friend of mine, Jim Alexander, who had been an established TV actor and he suggested that if I ever got it made, that I should play the lead role. It was something I’d thought about but had never admitted to myself. That was the catalyst for me to gain credibility as an actor so that a production company or studio would take me seriously if and when I pitched it.
What branch of the military did you serve and what did you do in it?
I left school and went straight into the Air Force as a Medic at the age of 16. I was forced to join the RAF by my estranged father as I had started getting into a few skirmishes and running into trouble with the police. He just wanted me out of my Grandmother’s hair as I was becoming troublesome. I had wanted to join the Royal Marines but he refused to sign the paperwork as I was under 18, insisting that the RAF was a better career choice. In my mind, it was only ever meant to be a temporary thing but ended up lasting almost 28 years! I got to travel, often to places most people wouldn’t want to go to and hang out of the back of helicopters on a winch. It shaped me to understand the importance of team work, resilience, hard work and discipline; all of which are important life-skills in acting.
I’m sure there was a moment where you woke up and said “I’m chasing my dream!!” What do you remember the most about that moment?
Yeah, that was this morning! I’m still chasing my dream but I guess now is the first time in my life that I’m completely sure about how I want to spend the rest of my days. Like all actors I have ambition. I’d just love to be regarded as being a good actor by the people whose opinions really matter. I’d love to get a good role in a great production and have the opportunity to work with those that I look up to. I think that one of the benefits of getting older is that you take more chances and care less about the risks. Probably because you’ve been bitten by failure before and that it doesn’t mean it all has to end; and also because you perhaps care that little bit less about what everyone else thinks about you – as you realise that the opinions of those you care about are the only ones that really matter.
What was going through your mind during your first audition and then booking your first acting job?
I was cast in my first role without a traditional audition which was probably a good thing! I remember feeling very pleased with myself and sitting in the green room with other cast members, all of whom were professionally trained actors. All was going well until the conversation got round to one them asking me what things I’d been in before. Unfortunately, some were quite negative in their attitudes towards me. I’d had no training, I’d not auditioned and I was older than all of them. I was quite surprised at their reactions and luckily I’ve never experienced it since. But I did make me question myself for a moment. However, at the wrap, the Director said he was very pleased with my work and also commented about my attitude as I’d helped carry equipment and had made tea in between my scenes and just generally made myself useful. Most of all, I’d loved being in front of the camera and wanted to do it again, immediately.
What has been the 3 biggest discoveries for you when it comes to filming a movie/TV show?
Initially, I’d say it was the huge amount of behind the scene work that goes in to making a product. The amount of preparation, crew, lighting, equipment and time it all takes just to shoot one scene surprised me.
I’d also add that how little money there is in the bottom three quarters of the industry. The huge amounts of personal cash spent by film makers in trying to create a passion project is both humbling and saddening. I really think that more should be done to finance the British Film Industry which is known worldwide for its amazing contributions in terms of its creativity and talent. It’s a shame that more investment isn’t forthcoming.
Lastly, I could say the amount of time spent waiting on or off-set but I actually quite enjoy that! What I will say is that there is a clear disparity between the sexes in the Industry. There’s a big noise going on right now about how amazing the Wonder Woman product is because it highlights the progression of women in film and on-screen. It’s sad that it’s remarkable in the first place – I’m not taking anything away from the talent involved. The very fact that it’s a topic in its own right demonstrates that there is and has been an issue for a long time.
London has been rocked with several incidents of violence recently; can the UK film industry play a role in lessening tensions by reducing violence seen on TV/theaters?
Well, I think that everyone has a responsibility to behave with respect and empathy towards others. Our industry has a huge platform upon which it can and should do only good. I don’t believe that we should ever try to hide the truth and I’m personally not convinced that film and television is directly attributable to someone else’s actions. I think a lot of that motivation comes from within communities of like-minded people or is born in those that feel disenfranchised. The media should certainly be accountable for what they report. Film and TV have some artistic license to add drama for effect but that must be spelled out clearly from the outset.
What do you like to do when you’re not acting? Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy? What have been the last 3 movies you have seen at the theater and did you enjoy/dislike them?
I’m pretty boring these days. Most, but not all of my hey-days are behind me! I stay in a lot and spend as much time with my family as I can having spent so much time away from them when I was in the Military. I play computer games with my boy (and lose!) and watch a lot of films and box-sets with my wife whilst surrounded by snacks and alcohol. Sadly, I don’t get to go to the theatre often but we’ll occasionally go to the cinema. The last movie I saw there was the latest ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ which I thoroughly enjoyed and thought was hilarious. We’re currently re-watching the entire back catalogue of Game of Thrones in preparation for the final season and I’m mad about Peaky Blinders which I can’t wait to start watching again. Getting a long-standing role in either of those projects would be utopia for me.
What 3 pieces of advice would you tell anyone who is thinking of acting?
First, that anything is possible. I set out with the intention of getting Spotlight registered within my first three years so that I might be considered credible by industry peers. I managed to do it in twelve months with hard work, perseverance, research and by pushing myself.
Second, know what you want and never lose sight of it. There will be hurdle after hurdle; some are accidental, some are circumstantial and others are put there purposely by people that want you to fail due to their own insecurities. Don’t give up.
Third, listen. Listen and consider the advice from everyone that’s gone before you. Learn how the industry works, make the right contacts and get the right Agent. I’m now with Elaine at Eaglestone Management. Elaine works like a career partner and is more than your average agent.
To learn more about KC Flanagan,please take a look at his Spotlight page here.
To see KC’s latest show reel,please click here
Once again,my deepest thanks to KC for chatting with us here. We wish him the very best in his life and his career. Thank you for reading and supporting these interviews. Feel free to drop a comment below and if you wish to be interviewed,send me a email which you can find on my Contact page.
We’ll be talking with director Lisa Ovies in the next installment of “8 Questions with…..”