Russell Shaw

Russell has featured in TV, Radio, Theatre, Films, Commercials and is a regular contributor to TBC Audio’s drama podcast channel ‘The Other 1%’,  having played as Corp 2nd Staffs Officer in Award Winning ‘Boleyn Brothers’, Dave in ‘Road to Nowhere’, Darren in ‘Protect & Survive – Day zero plus 7′, and the pivotal role of Dan in the 6-part series-‘The UFO Diaries’ 

Russell played Simpson in the hit comedy family film ‘Adventure Boyz’ & The Lockdown Hauntings, directed by Howard Ford to be released in 2021. He is also currently the voice of the 8-part paranormal TV series ‘Unexplained Caught on Camera’ on UKTV & the ‘Really Channel’. 

TO1%:   When did you know you first wanted to be actor? 
RS:  I didn’t to be honest- i suppose I had an inkling nothing more. I knew that I enjoyed acting when I was at primary school and the whole creative aspect-I was working as a welder at the time in engineering and decided I wasn’t happy in my life and ended up doing a lot of soul searching, having counselling etc.. and it really wasn’t easy at all, after a time though- I decided to attend college and train in Performing Arts- it was only when I performed the role of Shylock in Merchant of Venice in front of an audience and received glowing feedback, it was only then, I realised I was quite good at it. I found that this creative medium was an outlet for me to express myself.  

TO1%:   What was your first professional gig? 
RS: Performing in Manchester at Royal Exchange Theatre in ‘the round’- an epic musical called ‘Madforit’ directed by Marianne Williamson (Warhorse) & Gregory Hersov

TO1%:   Some people practice in front of a mirror some people think that’s really artificial?  What’s your take? 
RS:  I have never practiced in front of a mirror and it’s never crossed my mind- I believe in filming myself on self-tape – it’s surprising the amount of minute little habits, nuances in your facial expressions you can see on camera-  but, whatever works for the individual.  

TO1%:   How did you get involved with The Other 1%? 
RS:  I met the producer Simon Moorhead at a workshop, nothing to do with audio or voice-over-He told me at the time he was wanting to get a pool of actors together, we kept in touch, I worked on various productions up until the casting process for the other 1%-  our relationship kind of carried on from there…  

TO1%:   If you could play any film, tv, stage or literary character, who would it be and why? 
RS:  Can I pick 3? …Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky film, Sean Bean in When Saturday Comes or Reece Dinsdale in ID- (nice guy, nasty guy)- Playing the underdog, gritty, powerful roles, depth, layers- I also love football and the last two films are football related

TO1%:    Do you practice your craft when you are ‘resting’ and how? 
RS:  I do self-tapes when requested by my agent- I also read and watch a lot of films.  I also attend workshops and acting courses where possible- you never stop learning  

TO1%:   How much of your acting would you say is craft and how much instinct? 
RS:  I have been told I am a very instinctive actor in theatre and in film- I would say 80% instinct/ 20% craft.  

TO1%:   In the States Method Acting is often seen as the Holy Grail, how do you feel about that? 
RS:  It does not work for me. I don’t really use any methods, I find a connection with the character and the rest is instinct- I prefer to just tell the truth, be real and feel whatever I’m feeling at the time and not to hold back. I did use a Stanislavsky technique called ‘Emotion Memory’ for the role of Borys the rotweiller on Sky Arts- but it was only the once I haven’t used any kind of method acting since.  

TO1%:   Do you ever find you start to become the characters you play when you’re off stage or off set? 
RS: The recent role of Linden Robbins (The Locksmith) in The Lockdown Hauntings was a challenge- I had to dig deep emotionally- it affected me for a least a few days.  

TO1%:   Has anyone ever noticed? 
RS:  The director noticed! He said he didn’t recognise me at times on set.  

TO1%:  It’s a hard one, but if you had to choose and could only do pre-recorded OR live performance for the rest of your life, which would it be and why? 
RS:  Live performance every time- there’s magic in live performance- it’s not the same without an audience- you feed off each other off the audience’s energy and playing with the silences.  The audience is your conduit

TO1%:   What is your trick for learning lines? 
RS:  Read the first 3 lines- go back to the first line, repeat- move to next 3 lines- repeat, go back to last 3 lines and so on- REPETITION  

TO1%:   Do you read your reviews and at what stage in a run of a play? 
RS:  Yes, I love getting feedback- that is where I learn. No, I would not read a review in the middle of a run- too distracting- focus is everything.  

TO1%:  Do you have any superstitions other than not whistling in the stage wings and calling that Shakespeare play The Scottish Play? 
RS:  None  

TO1%:   If you could have a masterclass from one director and one actor who would they be? 
RS:  Shane Meadows and Christopher Walken  

TO1%:   If you become a superstar, will you demand specific bottled water and go on a paleo diet? 
RS:  I prefer to always be humble. I’m happy with tap water. 

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