Callum Treanor on stage in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
13 year old Callum Treanor took audiences and judges on an emotional journey with his performance of the monologue Eli's Scarf in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod Actor's Championship (12 - 14 Years). After winning Second Prize for this fabulous performance, he spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod about how is passion for acting began and who inspires him to be the best actor he can be.
Why do you love acting?
I love acting for many reasons: firstly, as it is a great way to express your true persona. Secondly, because it is a unique, and interesting activity. Thirdly, it is a brilliant way of building self-confidence. And finally you are able to portray, and become, a completely different character to yourself.
Who inspired you to start acting?
This is kind of an odd answer, because the person who inspired me to start acting, isn’t actually an actor; but a singer. It is Robbie Williams. The reason why is because he comes onto the stage with such booming confidence, and with incredible charisma.
You chose to perform Eli’s Scarf in the Sydney Eisteddfod Actors Championship, tell us a little bit about this piece.
Eli’s Scarf is about a boy called Jamie whose mother died when he was born. Jamie’s dad blames Jamie for the death. Jamie has a tough upbringing, but his brother Eli keeps Jamie happy by taking him out hunting and teaching him how to shoot. One day Jamie goes to meet Eli, and finds him dead on the floor. He runs home to his father, and finds out that the father killed Eli. Jamie at that moment, runs from the home as far away as possible. It is called Eli’s Scarf because the only prized possession Jamie has, is a scarf the Eli gave him. It is a highly emotional piece which allows me as an actor, who often does comedy, to take on a tragic role.
Which other performers do you most like to watch, and why?
Apart from Robbie Williams, other performers I like to watch are:
- James Corden – because of his incredible sense of humour
- John Oliver – because he delivers important information in a brilliant fashion
- Sam Pang and Ed Kavalee – because of their on the spot wittiness
- Chris Martin and Coldplay – because of their sheer talent
- The cast of Fawlty Towers – because this series was the funniest comedy ever in my opinion
What do you do to prepare for your performances?
I prepare for performances by taking a minute to get into the character before performing, constantly repeating the lines, and also by trying and experimenting new things to do with the piece.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
The best piece of advice I have heard is from my sensational Drama Teacher, Mary Vasey – she told me that “when you are on the stage, imagine there is an invisible wall between you and the audience.” This allows you to, if you bomb a line, or stutter; you can just keep going. If you don’t imagine the wall, if you do bomb a line – you will get distracted, and start stressing out.
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
The major thing I have learnt from my personal Sydney Eisteddfod experience is that, if you don’t win or get placed, you can’t give up. You have to keep going, and competing at these wonderful events. I hadn’t been placed once at Sydney Eisteddfods in 2017, up until the championships, (I had last year though). So I came into NIDA with a little concern, and well I guess on the day; it was my day.