Hudson Musty on stage at the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Hudson Musty, winner of the Sydney Eisteddfod Actors Championship (15 - 18 Years), spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod about what inspired his passion for acting and what he hopes to achieve next. He also discussed why he chose to perform Gwen Harwood's poem The Speed of Light, Peter Shaffer's Equus and Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2.
What inspired your passion for acting?
I saw an application in our local newspaper for auditions for Sport for Jove’s ‘Exit Pursued By A Bear’ which was to be their curtain opener at their Shakespeare in the Park festival. As I had a strong interest in Shakespeare, I auditioned and was given a part in the production. This fuelled my passion for acting.
You previously won the Sydney Eisteddfod Actor’s Championship (12 - 15 years) in 2015, what was it like to win again but in the older age group?
Both championships have been goals of mine since I first entered Sydney Eisteddfod sections in 2012. When I won the 12-15 years Championship, as it was my first Championship, I didn’t really expect to win, even though I put so much into it. To then top it off with winning the Senior Actor’s Championship has been amazing. In the Senior Group, there is more competition, everyone has a much higher skillset and all of us have the same goal. I feel that I grew between the two Championships as an actor (but then so did everyone else) so, to win the Senior Championships, I knew that I had to come up with a fully realised theatrical performance.
Tell Us about the pieces that you performed in the 2017 actor's championship and why they appealed to you.
The three pieces I performed were ‘Equus’ by Peter Shaffer, ‘The Speed of Light’ by Gwen Harwood’ and Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his first soliloquy.
Playing the boy in Equus and Hamlet when he was young appealed to me as both pieces were close to my age, so both I and the audience could relate to the pieces. The boy in Equus is the same age as me – 17 years old, and Hamlet, early on in the play, is young, anywhere between 18 and 22. To me, it is important to play age appropriate roles, where I can draw on my own experience and relate to them. Between these, I contrasted with a beautiful lyrical Gwen Harwood poem. She was an amazing Australian poet who had the ability to capture the essence and heart of our country’s landscape in all its beauty.
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
I have been performing in Sydney Eisteddfod’s Speech & Drama sections for 5 years. Over this five years, Sydney Eisteddfod has been held in a number of different venues, so it has taught me how to adapt quickly to each venue – with my voice, pitch, projection and movement. As an actor, it is imperative to be able to walk into an unknown space and use it well – Sydney Eisteddfod has taught me this.
What would you say to a young actor that was thinking about entering Sydney Eisteddfod?
Absolutely go for it. Differentiate yourself from the competition by choosing characters that you can relate to. Choose pieces that are different, you are able to perform well, stuff you can relate to, work hard, use different spaces, and be prepared to adapt yourself on the day if the hall isn’t what you expected. Enter a variety of sections, even though they may not all interest you, the training and experience is still good.
Do plenty of workshops at drama schools to develop yourself as an actor.
Just be you.
What do you hope to achieve next?
Hopefully I will be successful in gaining entry into a drama school for next year (This isn’t necessarily achievement, it’s more the road to achievement).