Hopefully my own Act 7 won't necessarily be the last, because there are still a few parts I'd like to play!
I think it was being cast by my London primary school teacher in the lead role of a foppish nobleman, "Sir Peter Pomposity", in an end-of-term school play at the tender age of 10 which aroused my interest in theatre, little knowing that it would be almost another five such "acts" before I got the chance to tread the boards myself as well as watching others perform.
Following that inauspicious debut, going through my 'teens listening by means of the latest hi-tech 45rpm records to American country, rock and roll and the British groups exploding onto the music scene, it was no surprise to anyone when I saved up enough money to buy my first electric guitar and eventually joined a couple of "groups" - as bands were then known - with moderate local success while trying at the same time to earn a living in a series of "proper jobs".
The proper jobs turned out OK anyway, and after travelling the world working in the UK independent airline industry and travel journalism, I finally settled in Australia in 1976. At various times during the next 20 years I was busy in the music retailing and leisure industries and even the vocational training field, whilst also fronting a couple of country music bands and singing in a large community choir.
After retiring from full-time work I was able to start trying to fulfil my childhood dream by working backstage and doing uncredited walk-on parts in community theatre. Out of the blue, in 1999 I was offered the lead role in an original musical play, "Bless 'Em All", for Brisbane's ShowBriz Theatre Company, which in turn took me on to playing principal and supporting roles in a diverse range of community and professional productions on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane, including drama, comedy, musicals, pantomime, dinner theatre, an arena spectacular, short film lead roles and as an extra in feature films and tv commercials.
Returning for a while to my musical roots, in 2011, under the inspired pseudonym, "Mike Thomas", I formed and fronted Gold Coast rock 'n' roll band, "Rockit" for four years before relocating to the Sunshine Coast and temporarily taking a break from performance, apart from joining the Opera Queensland chorus for a short but thoroughly enjoyable Brisbane season of Puccini's "La Boheme", the occasional solo gig, filling-in on ad-hoc band gigs and a spell playing rhythm guitar with a national touring tribute act.
Not content to spend much more time waiting for that elusive musical or acting "big break" to materialise, I keep myself busy designing and managing websites, primarily for actors, producers, entertainers and community theatre companies, and am currently taking flying lessons.