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Michael Hawkins | 15 | Stage and Screen Actor, Guitarist and Singer

Black and white portrait of Sydney student and actor Michael Hawkins, standing with arms crossed over chest.

Speciality time: acting for 6 years

Full time, part time or hobby: Hobby

What’s your biggest claim to fame to date?
I’ve been in Shakespeare’s at my drama school, done work for ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) and NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art).

Can you share your training journey?
I’ve been committed for years just always doing as much as possible and signing up for everything I can.

Most proud accomplishment to date?
I got drama captain at my acting school, and I’ve won small time awards for my acting and just performing for NIDA.

What’s been the most memorable moment for you?
It would either be my first time getting onstage or my first play outside of acting classes, as they are both so surreal being in front of an audience and just being able to have fun.

How has COVID-19 affected your ability to do your craft?
It hasn’t been too bad for me as my classes were all changed to online, but the most annoying thing was my drama school’s “The Crucible” was cancelled which sucked because we had been rehearsing for a while. At school drama as well we only performed once the whole year due to COVID-19.

How do you feel not being able to perform/participate because of COVID-19?
Annoyed but I had to deal with it, I’m still learning, and I think if I was more professional it would’ve been a lot worse but I’m just glad I can perform again now.

What do you think will happen to society as a whole, if the general public can’t access the arts - either to practice or to enjoy watching?
Entertainment and enjoyment go hand in hand, and without this access to the arts, I think society would be less developed and have less fun. We can work at whatever we want, but if on a daily basis we aren’t having more fun than not, then something needs to change.

What are some positives that you’ve experienced during lockdown?
Well schoolwork was a lot easier but I guess from my perspective it allowed me to train more than perform and also allowed me to tap into my weird side being alone.

If you could ask politicians to consider one thing about the future of performing arts, what would that be?
Don’t double the costs of arts for universities because that’s not doing society any good, and also allow us to have more opportunities to succeed.

If you could ask fellow Australians to do one thing about the way they support/consume performing arts, what would that be?
Do what you’re doing to be honest. There can be improvement on the content being watched but any entertainment is helping someone, and who are we to judge their taste.

What improvements would you like to see made to the arts sector?
A lot more funding would be good to the uni students or to art schools

What’s the greatest challenges facing Australian performing artists?
Isolation from Hollywood and those areas makes it harder for people to succeed. But it’s getting better and Australians are becoming more connected to culture.

Have you worked with anyone famous yet?
I’ve done workshops with Richard Roxborough and Leigh Pickford. It was great learning from them about what people look for and just how to present yourself.

If you had a magic wand, what would you do next with your speciality/discipline?
I would do some short films, and either get an agent or get into an acting uni after school.

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