Sven Swenson’s Tiptoe – a chat with actor and producer, Casey Woods


Before Sven Swenson’s Tiptoe opens this week at Brisbane Powerhouse, we chat with Casey Woods, actor and producer at Pentimento Productions.






What do you love about being an actor?

(If I do my job right) I love being able to impress upon people’s emotions and responses. To create something that people can take away and love or hate (in a good way), discuss and remember. I’ll be cliche and say I love studying and embodying a character and getting to be someone different for a day!

What was the best thing you learned during acting training? What are you learning on the job during this show? What do you wish you’d learned earlier?

During my formal training with Southbank Institute of Technology and with my experience in the four years since, I think the best thing I’ve learnt is tenacity. I’ve been fortuntate enough to surround myself with passionate, working artists who constantly push the boundaries. I’m always doing a million things at once, expanding my craft and I don’t think I could do it any other way!



As a producer on Tiptoe, I guess I’m learning the less ‘glitz and glam’ side of it and rather the sweat and tears. As an actor, I was slightly ignorant to just how much work is involved behind stage with the creatives and what it takes to mount a show and ensure it is successful.



What sort of training do you believe to be most beneficial to aspiring actors in Brisbane?

I’d be controversial and say no training, only because I’ve seen some of the best start out with no training at all, that way they are not encumbered and weighed down by preoccupations that training sometimes give us. However I use the word ‘training’ in a very formal sense. It is not to say that it isn’t a good thing as I myself had ‘training’, but rather sometimes people benefit from ‘just doing’. Training can sometimes ‘shape’ and ‘mould’ – not for the better. Not any one thing will work for all actors. I believe the most important thing is to just constantly immerse yourself in it all (classes, write your own things, produce your own works – get up on your feet). For a lot of budding actors however, they do not have the means to do this without the platform of training. Whichever way one starts, repetition is key and always surrounding yourself with like-minded (and brilliant) people.






We saw you in Swenson’s Angel Gear at La Boite last year, for which you won the Bille Brown Award for Best Emerging Artist and received a nomination for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Matilda Awards). How important is it to be recognised for your work in the Industry? What do you think is the value of awards for artists? 



I only ever want to be recognised for great work and for the sole purpose of getting more great work. I am so thankful for starting off on the right foot!



How do you prepare for a role? Do you have a favourite acting approach or technique to help you find and develop, and then to get into character?

I am a massive over-thinker (sometimes to my own detriment I’ll admit). So I literally try to explain to myself every aspect of the character’s life – What makes them say that? Where have they just come from? I also love getting into the costume of the character as early as possible, particularly the shoes! That way I can embody not only the script and the character’s mind but their physicality at the same time.



Tell us about Tiptoe.

Tiptoe tells two stories simultaneously, with a six week timeframe (New Years Eve 1918 and Valentines Day), after the return of two soldiers from World War One. It tells a classic tale of love and not everything being as it seems, all with the sad tune of how one can so desperately cling to their version of a perfect life and will do anything to attain and maintain this perception. Most importantly, Tiptoe gives voice to the gay men and women who fought in World War One, for freedom. Yet upon return, despite their valiant efforts, are not free to be in love.






Tell us about working with Pentimento Productions. 

Pentimento and in particular, Sven Swenson, was my first leg up into the industry. It exists to, of course realise Sven’s works, but the best thing is that it gives budding and established artists the chance to expand and develop their skill set, whether that be acting, directing, lighting, stage design, etc.



What does down time look like for you?

That’s a laugh! I don’t get much down time as I really do thrive off being busy. I work in real estate, have my own photography business (CG Photography Brisbane), am always writing films and plays and of course whatever main project I’m working on whether that be acting, directing or producing. If I do get a moment to myself, I love to cook, read, watch movies and anything else social – catching up with friends and family as much as possible!






What’s your favourite spot in the city? And where do you tend to escape to?

My favourite spot would have to be the Mt Coot-tha trek, especially after it’s been raining and the creeks are flowing! I’ve got a slightly country background so I love nature and open spaces.

What are you listening to?

I am always listening to different things however my go to is always Ed Sheeran – if you’ve ever seen him perform live, you’ll know what I mean! One of the most humble artists I’ve ever seen.

What’s next for you?

Once Tiptoe is done, I start rehearsals for a new work in November. Currently embargoed but should be able to tell you shortly! I’ll also begin re-working a short play I wrote for QTC with which I won the Young Playwright’s Award, Limerence, and also writing my first short film. Hopefully we can throw some directing in there somewhere! I’d also like to start getting into some more film acting.


Tiptoe opens on Wednesday.


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