We recently sat down with one of the UK’s most finest and talented actors David Castleford. He was happy to share his experiences in the world of acting as well as who he would most like to work alongside. Here is what David had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?
My name is David Parkin professional name – David Castleford . I come from a great city , Sheffield, in the UK, famous for it’s steel. I am proud of my Yorkshire heritage. Where I live there are a number of towns and cities that end in ford and quite a few references to castles hence Castleford -which is also a town.
What inspired you to get into this industry?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t performing. I lost a tooth as a child and needed elocution lessons which developed into poetry recital and acting. I remember resenting them as I felt embarrassed as a child. Now I would do anything to meet some of my old teachers again, who were wonderful eccentric old ladies who trained at the most prestigious schools and trod the boards when British theatre was in its heyday. Despite introducing me to the theatre, my parents didn’t encourage me to pursue it as a career and I found myself school teaching for a living. I’m a terrible speller, terrible and after making a spelling mistake on a set of school books one evening I realized I was in the wrong job. So I began the journey that lead to me turning professional as an actor.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
As I outlined earlier, training is something that has evolved for me over the years from being young. I suppose the training the industry would recognize was my time at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the London Centre For Theatre Studies -and yes they were both valuable in instilling the professional mind set. However, the most wonderful and fulfilling time was my studies at the West Yorkshire Playhouse with a brilliant man who became a close friend Michael Birch. Michael had directed people like Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellen and along with fabulous exercises he would share his stories and experiences. It was amazing to wonder around the corridors of this enormous purpose built theatre and train in professional studios.
What has been your favorite role to play so far and why?
To be honest, I feel there is nothing quite like the theatre. It is live, intense, tolerates and doesn’t tolerate mistakes, mind you neither do the directors. I liken it to an extreme sport. My most demanding yet rewarding role was playing Lucky Eric in John Godber’s Bouncers. The play was in two halves as you would expect but once on stage you were on for the entire half, no exits. It was fast moving, we had numerous roles to play and I had four soliloquies.
What has been one of your biggest achievements in your career so far?
A hard one to answer! Each one is a bench mark that you think you will never reach and then you do, only to strive for the next. I suppose the one I think back to the most is getting a place at the Bristol Old Vic – that stays with me as it reinforced my self belief.
What projects do you have coming up?
As we speak, I am waiting to hear about the start of a shoot for a feature I booked called ‘Free to Be.’ It’s about the extraordinary life of a man called Christopher Powers, so I’m excited about that. Then there is another project ‘Consciousness ‘ we are starting next year.
Who would you most like to work with?
There are so many great actors out there it is hard to say. I suppose I admire Edward Norton. His films seem to explore the human condition in a very earthy way without any attempt to glamorize the struggle.
What are your plans for the future?
To do more of the same. I’m enjoying meeting some wonderful people and the journey has so many exciting twists and turns it’s almost like an X box game!
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Be busy. We all need money to live! I understand that, but at the start of your journey unless you land those top agents and roles then you are going to have to prove yourself in ‘ the arena.’ It has been from my experience, that once people trust you they want to use you again and as they move up the ladder the principle still applies. The stakes are still high and the budget is relative. Oh and most importantly, to be patient!