Star of stage and screen, David Morrissey, visited Birkenhead Sixth Form College today to answer students’ questions and give an inspirational insight into a career in acting.
Originally hailing from Liverpool, David’s work has encompassed major roles in Hollywood films and hit international TV series, perhaps most notably of late as ‘The Governor’ in the global phenomenon ‘The Walking Dead’.
After students watched a showreel that our Class of 2016's Patrick Sheard compiled and edited of highlights from David’s rich and varied acting CV, the star of acclaimed BBC drama, ‘The Missing’, took some time to explain his own background and upbringing, which culminated in his deciding to become an actor at around the same age as our A Level students.
David in action in 'The Walking Dead'
Drama classes were not on offer in his Liverpool secondary school, so, as he candidly admitted that he didn’t engage in academia as much as his three older siblings, he joined the Everyman theatre group and began down a career path that has defined his life through creativity; cutting his acting teeth at the renowned RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art).
"Drama school was essential for me so studying Drama or Film Studies or Media Studies here at A Level can stand the students in good stead. Being inquisitive is really important."
David did describe, however, how his experience with the theatre group at the age of 15 then gave him a new-found confidence in his school life, discovering an ability to express himself and be open to learning where he had previously been too shy or indifferent to challenge himself and others around him.
David then opened the floor for questions, and answered some tough interrogation from our students with extremely honest and enlightening responses about method acting, working relationships, juggling jobs with home life and more.
He also spoke passionately about nerves and nervousness, which may be a topic close to the hearts of some students as it approaches exam season. David explained how he viewed nerves as a positive thing, and how they taught him to address situations both head on and with a deal of practicality; thrive on the excitement of nervousness but take each situation in ‘bitesize’ pieces and step by step.
After the Q&A, David said of studying the arts subjects: “Drama school was essential for me so studying Drama or Film Studies or Media Studies here at A Level can stand the students in good stead. Being inquisitive is really important.”
He continued: “Any way you can find to get yourself to where you want to be is great, and it’s up to you. It’s not essential to go to study film or acting at university. It’s brilliant if you can, but I know great actors and great directors who never went to drama school. Even if you try and don’t get in, or if you don’t take that path, it doesn’t mean that it’s closed to you; you can always find another way.”
The actor, who has also directed, produced and written productions, rounded proceedings off by inviting the substantial number of attending students (and some very keen staff!) to get some photos with him.