Boyd Clack | Patron of Cardiff Mini Film Festival
Boyd Clack, the patron of Cardiff Mini Film Festival is best know for his acting roles in Twin Town, Baker Boys, Being Human and Satellite City. Although born in Canada, Boyd Clack hailed from the Welsh Village of Tonyrefail where he grew up. He has had a wonderful acting career, in television, film and theatre, clocking up not only acting credits but also having co-wrote Satellite City and High Hopes. He’s acted in Twin Town, High Hopes, Baker Boys, Satellite City and New Tricks, as well as a huge list of theatre shows. Every now and again he may delve into a bit of singing or writing, but he talks to Cardiff Mini Film Festival about his true love for acting. Be prepared for an entertaining insight into the acting world.
How did it all start for you with acting?
I was walking down North Road in Cardiff in 1983 when I saw a sign offering auditions for places at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. I had never done any acting at the time but since I was on the dole and living in a squat I thought what the heck and went in to ask how to apply. I filled out a form there and then, and got a letter the following day to tell me my audition was to be on the following Monday. I went to the library, wrote out two speeches from plays by hand, went home and pounded them into my head over the weekend. I went to the audition and did them in the theatre in front of the four judges and the other auditionees. It was the first acting I ever did. The others were all excellent. Two days later I was offered a place and I never looked back. I think it was my destiny to act. I feel at one with it.
What was the pinnacle of your career?
I’ve actually had the good fortune to be in a plethora of fine work in my career. It was a great honour to be in the National Theatre of Wales flagship production A Good Night Out In The Valleys. The pinnacle of my career is working with so many good friends and fine actors.
Which of your many skills do you cherish most? Singing, acting, writing abilities etc?
There is no greater feeling than acting. On stage doing a great text, one becomes part of a transcendental experience involving time travel and the manifestation of dreams. The audience, the space, the willing suspension of disbelief all go to creating a mystical experience that cannot be surpassed. It’s acting for me every time.
Do you have any regrets or anything you would change?
I regret nothing. I would change nothing.What does the future hold for you?In acting the future as the past is in the hands of others. I can just exist and be available. I can never believe that any production would choose not to have me in it. This is not arrogance, I have none of that, it’s simply a statement of fact. They must be crazy but there you go. I want to do some heavy psychological parts, bad guys.
What tips do you have for budding actors and people generally trying to get into the fame game?
Always wear a bobble cap and carry a live chicken tucked under one arm. Train, take any work offered to you, sleep with people who can get you work, try not to let your character become too disfigured too quickly, don’t kid yourself that you’ve got any dignity. Even though your reasons for wanting to act are probably the current ones i.e. to show people how wonderful, attractive and deep you are so that they will be fascinated by you and desire you, to become a celebrity and hang about with famous people at high society parties and go to award ceremonies and appear on chat shows, try just once to contemplate the idea that you and the people who have already achieved this are not so special. Try to love acting for itself not a as just a vehicle for your stupid and somewhat pathetic ambition. Act for the other actors. LISTEN to them on stage, speak TO them. Don’t judge other actors then relate to them as a person in relationship to how good an actor you think they are. A lot of fantastic actors are the dregs as people.
“Act for the other actors. LISTEN to them on stage, speak TO them”
A lot of less talented actors are lovely. If an actor you are working with has a long pivotal speech and you are onstage at the time, turn upstage to face them and start pulling ridiculous expressions so that they see but the audience doesn’t. A good one is attempting to retract your nose deep into your face. If the other actor objects afterwards tell him/her to go fuck him/herself. Never carry coins in your pocket during filming on TV work. Acting is the business of rejection. They tell you ‘It’s not you, it’s just you’re not right for this particular part.’ but this is shit. It’s always you. It’s always personal. The one thing different any actor offers is that they are themselves. It’s heartbreaking and insulting to be judged often by talentless assholes that’ll end up giving the part to someone they want to screw. This is rarely said by actors because it’s like attacking a bad crit. They will always say its sour grapes. It’s not. It’s the truth. Acting, TV and Film acting in particular is the modern day equivalent of the medieval court. People live in hope of being invited. Then when you are you’ve got to show your gratitude. You’re expected to stand in awed subservience as the Lords and Ladies swan about hoping they might give you a glance or smile of acceptance or approval. You’ll have to crawl to them while at the same time treating those who have not been summoned to court like dirt. Like I said earlier, acting is not a job for those who value dignity. Good luck … because in the end it is 100% luck.