Martin Delaney, actor

 22 July 2013

Actor Martin Delaney's career began in theatre in the West End. Since then, he has appeared in TV shows like 'The Promise' and in films like 'Amar, Akbar and Tony'. He shares how he got started.

"You can reach someone though an inspirational performance and it could potentially change their lives." Image: AAT, Media Moghuls

What is your home town?

I live in Orpington in Kent, which is where I grew up. I spent most of my adult life living in West London.

How did you get interested in acting?

My father was a huge movie fan and that's where I first fell in love with acting.

"Your job as an actor is to serve the piece, as it is written."

I was always interested in stories. I liked being read to as a child, and when I was old enough, I read a lot.

I explored drama at school, where we performed everything – from musicals to Shakespeare – and I enjoyed it all. 

Which qualifications or courses have you done?

I did some exams at LAMDA as a teenager, took some classes at The Actors Centre and also trained in institutions during my time in Los Angeles.

I never formally trained at degree level but I was acting from a young age. Experience is important too so I'm lucky that I built up experience early.

What do you do when you’re acting?

For me, everything you need is in the script. That's my bible when I'm at work. You have to honour that as an actor.

I often look into and research the types of roles I play to help find the character.

"'All roads lead to Rome'. The trick is to know what 'Rome' is."

For example, when I played a Victoria Cross hero, I had to do a lot of research.When you play intense roles, you need to get into the headspace of the part.

Ultimately, your job as an actor is to serve the piece, as it is written. 

What's the best part about being an actor?

The best part for me is performing and carrying out the role. It's exciting and interesting to do.

I really enjoy being able to tell people stories – about real people or creating believable, interesting characters from my imagination.

What's the worst part?

The hours can be long so your social life might suffer. Luckily, I love the process so it's enjoyable.

How do I get into theatre?

1) Know what you want in your career

There is a saying I believe in: "all roads lead to Rome". The trick is to know what 'Rome' is. That will help shape your career.

Some paths may take longer. Some paths might offer you a shortcut. but ultimately as people, we always go after what we want.

2) Research what type of actor you want to be

"As an actor, you must keep a clear head, learn from experiences and plough through."

There are so many routes you can go down as an actor – using methods like Meisner, Laban or Stanislavski – so researching is important.

This will determine exactly what drama school to go to, or what course to work on. It will help you to make informed choices in your career.

3) Set realistic goals and push yourself past them

Set goals that reflect yourself and career objectively as you need to know your limits, in order to reach them.

But it's also crucial to continuously test these boundaries and stretch yourself all the time as an actor.

4) Be ready for hard work

Make sure that you are willing to put everything into it, even if you struggle at times or have to make sacrifices.

An actor becomes an expert in their field. You must want the career enough to keep working hard – your career deserves that input from you.

5) Keep going, even if you get rejected

You will get knocked back many times. As an actor, you must keep a clear head, learn from experiences and plough through.

If you're not willing to do that, this career is not for you.

Why is acting an important career?

Acting is important as people will always want to be entertained. It serves a purpose.

You can reach someone though an inspirational performance and it could potentially change their lives.


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