Hello my lovelies! It’s a first for FoX Friday as I welcome actor/producer Scott Kyle.
Scott has a string of stage, film and TV credits to his name, and is best known to most of us as Ross on the Starz series, Outlander. It sounds very glamorous, doesn’t it? He’s picked up by a driver and taken to the film location, escorted into his trailer where he is served breakfast, and anything he needs is brought to him. Costume and make-up staff come to prepare him, and he’s escorted onto the set.
“But it’s not glamorous,” he explains, “actually you’re just a cog in a wheel – you’re picked up and waited on hand and foot so that the producers know exactly where you are at all times and you’ll be ready when you’re needed on set.” And he is conscious that if he messes up there is a long queue of actors behind him who fit the bill and he could simply be replaced. Such is the precariousness of earning a living as an actor.
Scott is also the Artistic Director and Manager of the Bathgate Regal Community Theatre in Scotland. He spent years touring with his own theatre company. Wary of the high unemployment rates of actors, he is passionate about improving prospects for young actors and getting people into theatres. I invited him to stop by today and he was gracious enough to accept!
Scott, tell us a bit about how you got started as an actor. Was it something you dreamed of as a child?
I’ve always enjoyed telling stories and love listening to others tell a great story. I don’t know if I dreamed of becoming an actor as a child, I think a footballer (soccer player, for the Americans) was more where I wanted to be.
I’ve met many a lad with that same dream. 🙂 Where did you study acting? I studied for three years at The City Of Glasgow College.
I was just in Glasgow this spring. Lovely city! What was the first role you had where you thought “I’ve made it. I’m a working actor”? Still waiting on it ha ha.
LOL! As an actor the most important job is always the next one as they are so hard to come by.
Very true. Which do you prefer, performing on stage in front of a live audience, or performing in front of a camera? Used to be 100% stage performing, but in recent years the TV and film stuff has become more and more enjoyable, and probably overtaken the theatre work.
Tell us about your role as the Artistic Director of the Bathgate Regal Theatre? How did that come about? The theatre was closing down four years ago and the Chairman invited me along to a public meeting to discuss a rescue plan. I was invited to speak at the meeting and people seemed to like what I said, and here we are four years later with the business showing 100% growth.
Wow, that’s fantastic! And it must be incredibly satisfying for you. I understand there’s a campaign to raise funds for the theatre. Please share more about that. We are looking to raise funds to secure the future of the theatre and to try and develop the look and feel of the old theatre (which is 78 years old). We are currently raising money for a new dance studio, Radio Studio, Café Bar refurbishment and the restoration of the theatre’s iconic balcony. You can find more info at http://www.bathgateregal.org/fundraising.php
Awesome. And I’ll post that information again below.
Okay, let’s talk Outlander. You were part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival when you got the audition call, right? How did that go? I was performing in a theatre show at the Edinburgh Festival when I got the call from my agent to go and audition for the part of Ross. The audition was very short and I felt that it went really well, so when the call came in with an offer for 6 episodes of season two I was over the moon.
I imagine so! That must have been so thrilling. Were you aware of what a phenomenon the show was before you auditioned? No, to be honest. I did watch season one before the audition, and both my wife and I were hooked right away.
It’s such an addictive narrative, for sure. I’m guessing you hadn’t read the books. Have you peeked at them since getting cast as Ross? When I got cast, I listened to the audiobook for Dragonfly in Amber, as I knew that’s what season two was to be based on. Haven’t listened any further, but if I am fortunate enough to be invited back for season three, I will of course be doing my homework.
Many fans consider book three, Voyager, the best in the series (after book one, of course), so keep listening! 🙂 I understand you’ve received some pretty cool gifts from Outlander fans. Did that surprise you? What sort of things have you received? Yeah the fans have been great, and the biggest surprise was the support for the Bathgate Regal Community Theatre where I work.
Outlander fans are an incredibly generous bunch, it’s true. Other gifts that have arrived have included pictures, trinkets, letters and raffle prizes for our fundraiser.
That’s so sweet! If I can donate anything to the raffle, please let me know. So, what was the most satisfying thing for you, working with the Outlander crew? It’s a long old slog on set, with the long hours and bad weather, but the biggest reward was seeing the footage from season two as I was totally surprised by how much of my stuff made the final cut.
I can’t even imagine what a thrill that must have been. Many viewers don’t realize how much of what is shot that never makes it to the screen, or even to the DVDs, lol. Now that you have a global fan base, what’s next for you? Just keep plugging away at the theatre and hopefully get myself a few more auditions.
Well, you know these fans will follow you everywhere. Here’s a classic question: If you could work with any actor or director, past or present, who would it be and why? I would like to do something with Clint Eastwood past or present, as an actor or director. I grew up watching his stuff and would love to work with him.
Good choice. 🙂 Well, thanks for joining me, Scott, it’s been great having you. Best wishes with everything you do!
The Regal Community Theatre is a charity organisation run by a board of volunteers. They are currently trying to raise funds to support the development of the theatre.
If you would like to support this amazing charity you can do so in a number of ways:
If you happen to be in the Edinburgh area, the theatre is holding a charity fundraiser on 23rd September 2016 to raise funds, you can purchase a ticket or go along to any of their live events.