My guest today is a great friend of mine having started out on the late bloomer acting journey with me in 2013 where we met on day 1 of a 12 month acting course in Adelaide. We like to refer to each other as onscreen husband and wife after we performed our first stage experience together for a scene from the play ‘Speaking In Tongues’ by Andrew Bovell. In 2015 she was fortunate to partake in a full-time year long acting program with Melbourne’s ‘Film & Television Studio International’. She continues to participate regularly in acting masterclasses and workshops including the wonderful Anthony Brandon Wong in Sydney as well as having spent almost 2 years in the US exploring the craft. In 2017, now having moved to Sydney Australia, she again stepped on stage for a stand out role in the play Calendar Girls, based on the movie of the same name, a true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar in 1999 to raise money for leukemia, where she played Celia (described as the show pony of the girls in the story.) This role was described by Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph as “the role she was born to play”. More recently, she has performed a guest role on the long running series ‘Deadly Women’. She heralds from England but moved to Australia with her husband and has two wonderful, now grown children. She is also a singer in her own right regularly performing at local gigs.
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On Screen Wife with Jacqui Darbyshire
[00:00:00] David John Clark: My guest today is a great friend of mine. Having started out on the same late bloomer acting journey with me in 2013, where we met on day one of a 12 month acting course in Adelaide. We like to refer to each other as our on-screen husband and wife, after we performed our first stage experience together for a scene from the play, Speaking In Tongues by Andrew Bovell. In 2015, she was fortunate to partake in a full year long acting program with Melbourne film and television studio international, she continues to participate regularly in acting master classes and workshops, including the wonderful Anthony Brandon Wong in Sydney, as well as having spent almost two years in the U S exploring the craft. In 2017 now having moved to Sydney, Australia, she again stepped on stage for standout role in the play Calendar Girls, based on the movie of the same name, a true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar in 1999 to raise money for leukemia.
Where she played Celia described as the show pony of the girls in the story, this role was described by Sydney's the Daily Telegraph as the role she was born to play. More recently, she has performed the guest role in a long running series, Deadly Women, she heralds from England, but moved to Australia with her husband and their two wonderful children now grown. She's also a singer in her own right, regularly performing at local gigs. Please welcome to the podcast, the wonderful Jacqui Darbyshire.
[00:01:27] Jacqui Darbyshire: Hi David. Thank you for that lovely intro.
[00:01:30] David John Clark: I didn't get anything wrong. Did I?
[00:01:32] Jacqui Darbyshire: No, no you didn't. Are you stalking me?
[00:01:34] David John Clark: I am. I am. I know all about you.
[00:01:37] Jacqui Darbyshire: Okay. Hubby number two.
[00:01:41] David John Clark: And it's all authorized by hubby number one.
[00:01:43] Jacqui Darbyshire: Certainly is. Yeah. Yeah. He's just actually, he's just set me up with all the techno bits because I'm a technophobe, so God bless him. Thank you.
[00:01:50] David John Clark: And everything seems to be working.
[00:01:52] Jacqui Darbyshire: It does. Yeah. Good. That that's that's to him, not me.
[00:01:57] David John Clark: And that's the thing with us late bloomers is, is some some are better at the technological side than others.
[00:02:02] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yes, I think you're probably push all the boundaries on that. I think you're a bit of a guru on the technical side. I always phone a friend you and say, help me. I don't know what I'm doing
[00:02:13] David John Clark: Now, your background. I know a lot about you, your, your your UK roots having seen pictures of your old home and that sort of stuff, but and our little bit about your family, but can you just give us a little bit more info about yourself before you come to Australia?
So w where you grew up. What you did for living was there anything in your acting? History.
[00:02:33] Jacqui Darbyshire: Okay. Wow. Okay. I dig back here. So when I was five years old I used to go every week. My parents didn't have a lot of money. But I used to go, sorry, every year away with my grandparents to a caravan park in Clapton.
Because I'm from Essex and that was our holidays. That's all we could afford or my parents could afford. And one year I went and luckily my parents actually came. They could afford to not only send us with my grandparents, but also come themselves for a week. And at five years old, I got up on stage and sang a Shirley Temple song.
And it was the Good Ship Lollipop. And I actually won the competition and you know, the, I think the bit that won it, my parents said was the bit where she goes, I've got a cute, cute face, a monkey guitar, and I've got the legs, you know, sort of thing. And so I won the competition, but sadly my parents never did anything about it because they came from an era where You know, acting wasn't a real job or, you know, you need to, you know, you need to get money in, you know, you need to do you know, th th th the old fashioned way, I would say of doing stuff.
[00:03:49] David John Clark: A real job.
[00:03:49] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yeah. You know, that sort of thing. So I didn't do anything with anything. So I didn't sing, I didn't play any musical instruments. I did certainly didn't act. And then I had my own children. I wanted them to have the opportunities. So they both did acting, they both played three instruments. I went and did plays with them.
My daughter was in le mis all this, that, and the other. They don't do any of that now, but they had the opportunity and That's really, to be honest with you. When I got very sick later on, I decided to well, it was actually, I was in New York with my daughter and we decided my husband decided that I should do stuff by myself.
And that started my acting career. So up from five years old until being a late bloomer which I'm not going to tell you what my age is, but anyway, the late bloomer. I decided that that's when it started for me. And honestly, I can honestly tell you, I felt like, I felt like I'd come home that first time with you in Actors Ink.
And we did that week and then we carried on doing, I just thought, this is, this is my purpose. This is my calling. Oh my God, I've got a voice. So From really from five years old up until that stage, I hadn't done anything at all. But I I'd got so much glee and, and happiness and joy from watching my children do it all.
I just didn't think about myself until it came to a point where I, I knew that it was the right time to do it. So that's sort of what I did. Job-wise to be honest with you, you know, I, I became a police officer when I was 18. I was in the police force for only three years and I had my son I then B I then became a homeopathic kinesiologist cause my daughter's immune system failed.
So again, very changed a tact because I needed to. So I'm very much driven by whatever things are presented to me. In those circumstances, I will do my utmost best to be the best version of myself and help whether it's others or help the family or do whatever. And I, I guess with acting, it's the same sort of thing.
It's that family of acting cause you're always, you know, helping the other actor. Cause that's the whole thing about it. It's not about you. It's about them.
[00:06:13] David John Clark: So the other person.
[00:06:14] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yeah. So, so for me personally actings' it's it feels like I come, I've done full circle and come home. That makes sense. Yeah.
[00:06:24] David John Clark: Beautiful. And prior to your acting journey, which started here in Adelaide, so what brought you to Australia?
[00:06:31] Jacqui Darbyshire: Okay. When the children were two and four years old Ian had been doing a job for a New Zealand company, bring in P.E.T into England and the New Zealand company said we can either pay your consultancy fee or we can buy tickets for you to fly around the world.
So me and Ian being adventurous as we are and the children were my daughter was two in Florida, actually. We just said, let's take off three months. The job is still there when you get back. Cause he'd done all this hard work and we literally packed our bags and hopped around the world with the kids.
And he, he went to an interview in Florida and also New Zealand and we came to Sydney and I kid you not, we fell in love with Sydney. Okay. We loved it. We loved Australia and it was a guy called. Brady Truman. Who's a famous cricketer in the UK. When we got back, he asked me to come and look at Adelaide because he said it was the best pitch to play cricket on in the world.
[00:07:37] David John Clark: It is, still is.
[00:07:39] Jacqui Darbyshire: It is. It's amazing. It's, it's beautiful. I mean, the way they've done it now is beautiful as well, but so
[00:07:44] David John Clark: Yeah, well just to clarify for our American listeners, cricket is a slower form of baseball.
[00:07:52] Jacqui Darbyshire: If you say so. Probably. So yeah, so that's why we came to Adelaide because Fred said, please go and look at Adelaide.
And I kid you not. We, we came to Australia, we applied for visas and we went through all the hoops of getting Visa's. Everyone knows. And we came out and we traveled around, had a look, we fell in love with Adelaide. We got back home to Yorkshire. Where the Calendar Girls is from you're absolutely spot on with that.
We got back home to Yorkshire and it was freezing cold. It was February early February and it'd been cold for two months and we sat and said, okay guys, and bare in mind, our kids were quite grown up then, you know, they were teenagers. And we said, okay, what are we doing? Are we putting this to bed? Or are we going for it?
And we all said, we're going to go for it. And I said, okay, in a hat, you write the name of where he wants to live in Australia. But put it in the hat. We've got our Yorkshire cups of tea and we had to write where it was. And so I sat there and I put my hand in the hat, open one and it said, Adelaide, next one, Adelaide third, one Adelaide.
So I looked at my son, I went, you've said, Sydney, haven't you. And anyway, I pulled it out Adelaide. It was unreal. Four Adelaide's. So that's how we ended up in Adelaide.
[00:09:15] David John Clark: Arguably the best city in the Australia, right?
[00:09:17] Jacqui Darbyshire: It's the hidden gem. It's the hidden gem, it's a beautiful place.
[00:09:20] David John Clark: That's beautiful. So how long were you in Adelaide before we met?
[00:09:25] Jacqui Darbyshire: Probably, probably three years. Cause I worked for the first. Maybe even four. I worked for the first two years in helping a company out that was losing a lot of money. So I helped swing them around and grow their business. And then I worked in tourism for awhile and I actually my daughter had been, gained, offered a scholarship to go to New York with her architecture and she didn't want to go on her own.
And she, she said to me, Mum, I don't want to go on my own to New York. Would you, would you come with me? And I sort of went, Hmm, hell yeah. So I said, yeah, so I packed my bags and went with her. And while she worked hard, I explored New York and looked at acting bits and pieces because I was interested.
I looked at Lee Strausberg and bits and pieces, but it was while I was away. That's when I was very, very sick. And then. Ian said to me, you've done everything for everybody, all your life. I want you to do something for yourself. So I've actually booked you on to Actors Ink. And that's when you and I met.
So probably yeah, probably about three and a half, four years.
[00:10:37] David John Clark: Wow, that's cool because I never knew. What got you into Actors Ink. So that was your husband saying time for you, Jacqui to do yourself. ,
[00:10:47] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yeah, because he knew that I had always wanted to act and sing for a long time, but I wanted to make sure everybody else was doing their stuff.
You know Megan was off flying in architecture. My son was then living in Sydney, doing his stuff here. And Ian was, you know entrenched in Rundle mall all the refurb of that and everything. So. Everybody was happy doing their stuff. And then that's when, yeah. That's when I became my journey started and it's been an amazing month still is.
[00:11:20] David John Clark: And that, you know, that's how we met. I think we we clicked on day one didn't we? Now, obviously neither of us knew our history or background, but there was just something there that way we. Took the classes on together and and approached every scene. And I think we both had that that nervousness about what the hell am I doing here?
I remember, I, I mean, I still have it today, but I think we've discussed it before that we both struggled through the process and saying, what are we doing? Is this? And we were, the whole class was full of young people.
[00:11:54] Jacqui Darbyshire: It was, I mean, the, the one thing I can say to you is that. Because I remember writing that we had to write a monologue.
I still remember it to this day. And that monologue was about loving two people at once. And we, sorry, we had to do a monologue and I couldn't find a monologue that I liked. So I wrote my own and I know I pushed the boundaries because you weren't supposed to read your own monologue out, but I decided to do it after weeks of, of actually, you know, doing the course.
But the one thing I. I guess the nervousness, which I, again, I'm like you, I still get as well. I think it's cause I really want to do a great job, you know? But the one thing that I think it was, I think we were both hungry, hungry for our passion and I'm still hungry to this day that hunger never goes of doing the next or, or, or recreating something here or do it no matter what you will be with youngsters or late bloomers or, you know, people who are late, late bloomers whatever, it's that passion and it's that hunger and that drive that over seems to eventually over or steady the nerves, I should say.
That sort of thing. So but yeah, I mean, I don't think you're ever too, too old to do anything in life, really? Even if you're 94 and you decided to go and join acting classes, if that's really what you, you know, it's your calling or your knowing or your passion, you should just do it. Like just do it. And the youngsters are great anyway, you know, even sometimes it's good to be Mum or Dad or whatever, sometimes.
[00:13:37] David John Clark: Yeah. And I think I think we brought a lot to the class because of that. If you compare, because most of the class were those young people, so us, oldies per se, we brought a different perspective to their learning journey. So it'd be interesting to know whether they actually look back today, wherever they're acting careers and say, you know, I really got a lot out of working with some older actors in my early days, so to speak.
[00:13:59] Jacqui Darbyshire: I it's really interesting. You should say that I actually got a text from Rachel the other day and she still calls me MJ, which is mama J. And so, you know, you still that connection, when you, the one thing I love about acting and going to either acting classes, acting school master classes hanging out with coaches It's like a family, extended family and there's, there's a a desire and a want to help others.
That's what I love about it. I, I, I've just been doing. Stuck with AMAW here in Sydney and it's like a big family. It's, it's, it's pretty amazing in that respect. So yeah, you do make connections, whether it be young old, or, you know, whatever. I think it's probably the acting world is not judgemental.
[00:14:47] David John Clark: No, definitely not, definitely not. So on the just a bit further on our course, I think the biggest moment for me and probably for both of us was that term three, our first stage experience. It was so much to learn. I mean, we, we didn't do a whole stage show, but we did a one scene from Andrew Bovell's play.
And it was nerve wracking it from what I remember, wasn't it just the thought of knowing all those lines and the blocking and then being able to get up on stage and do it. I think it was a good 20 minutes scene of constant talking wasn't it?
[00:15:22] Jacqui Darbyshire: It was, and it was, it was trying also, it was cause I I'm dyslexic. And so I had this big worry that I would get a brain freeze. And you know, I couldn't remember my lines or I was going to stop up lines for you. And then I'd put you off. And so it was always that, oh, I was constantly that battle of, of fighting and that sort of thing. But at the same time, I just know I needed to do it.
So that say that fear, you almost see it overrides you, you know, you. It's a bizarre sort of thing to say, but once your, like, once you and I are on stage, I mean, what I know now, like having done it now for a few years, what I understand now is that actually it's, it's like putting on an old pair of slippers back on, you know, they can't fit, you know, that sort of thing.
So I understand even more now from what I've learned, but that first initial thing was, it was just you and me on that stage. I had no idea the audience was there because I was more concerned about you and I and us and what we were doing to the extent where obviously I knew the audience was there, but I was there for you.
And it, and that seemed to, for me, that seemed to be the right way to go. It was. It was just us. So and I just remember,
[00:16:47] David John Clark: yeah, it changed on, it changed on stage doing it that night. It became, it wasn't acting anymore. I remember feeling it. It felt like we were, we were there, we were the characters and yes, you knew the audience was there and you would still thinking lines and no ones, but it was almost like it was real. And you weren't an actor anymore.
I, I still remember your absolutely right. I still remember. You know the bit about the shoe in the backyard. So why did, why did they throw the shoe in the backyard? I remember those lines. I still remember those lines and that scene to this day. I think it's, maybe it's like your first love you do your first bit and you go, ah, I remember that forever sort of thing.
So, certainly doing better than me. I don't remember any my lines, but I do remember the scene. I remember the story. I just remember how we worked off each other and you know, your nature, your characters, nature that was on stage and my incredulous behavior going , what are you doing? What are you doing outside?
So such a great story, great play.
[00:17:54] Jacqui Darbyshire: It was an amazing scene to do proper scene. And the lady that helped us choose that, I think she, she had chosen. She had chosen for both you and I, I think they were perfect characters for both you and I, you know, your inquiring mind, you know, being a, being an actor is like being like a detective, you know, you've got to pick all the bits and pieces out.
So, and then my character, she was, you know, Not knowing what she was doing in life. And then, you know, and it was a very interesting scene to choose. And I, I think no matter what, in everything you do, there's always a little, at that particular time, there may be a little something in your persona that you, it pulls out something because basically it's.
Even though you've got the character, but it's still you like it was David and Jacqui on that stage, even though we were, we were the characters it was, it's still us. And I think that's, I think that's part of acting. I think if you can flavor it with you you get the honesty there and that's what we had on that. We had that on that stage that night.
[00:19:07] David John Clark: And I think and I think this, this name and teacher's going to come out and every podcast of mine he's already coming out my first one, but cause we've done Jeff Seymour together.
[00:19:15] Jacqui Darbyshire: We have.
[00:19:16] David John Clark: AKA the Real Life Actor and I think that's what he espouses. Doesn't it.
Yeah, the very nature of his book is the real life actor. It's about being real to a scene. And I think we, I mean, we had that before we even met him. And I remember when I first saw a YouTube video of him which caused me to actually reach out and bring him to Australia, which is when we met him. It just resonated so much because I hadn't had any background training and all the you know, the established training regimes, but I'd heard about the method and using colors and what animal, what animal am I playing? As soon as I read Jeff, it just made sense. So what would I do if I'm a father? And I'm just about to tell my wife that my son or daughter had died, you know, I don't need to think of a color or an animal that has been, what would you do if that was you just go and do it.
[00:20:06] Jacqui Darbyshire: And that's, and that's the whole thing, cause I know you were the, you were the person that talked to me about Jeff and then I was, I was very, very, very blessed to get to LA and I did some sessions with Jeff over obviously like we are before I got there.
But then I got to actually work with him in studio and, oh my gosh. I remember doing a scene a scene from Closer with another guy there. And it was like, oh, it was breathtaking because I was actually doing, like you're saying, I was just working with this other guy who was called Jeff. I was working with him and it was like, we were husband and wife having this major you know, argument about sleeping with somebody and being with somebody else. And it was like, what would I be like if, and that's what Jeff Seymour taught me. He said, what would you do, Jacqui? Don't don't give me any of this. Just be yourself. And so I worked with him while I was in LA and God bless him.
He moved house and went to his house warming party and stuff, which was lovely too. And so in a way, I have you to thank for that. And then obviously I was very blessed to work with him and still, hopefully when I get back to LA, I still will be doing that as well when I go back next time. So I do think, I do think if you can just be your natural self you don't have to try part, you know, like we're talking now naturally to each other.
We're not, we're not trying. Be anything more than we are. And I think in acting, if you can, if you can do that, it becomes effortless. And if you're with the other person, even the words and the lines, like they somehow, you know, drop in and I never thought I'd say that, but they do. And you don't have to be perfect.
You do not have to be perfect with everything. I think that's the other thing I've learned is to stop being Penelope Perfect all the time because ...
[00:22:17] David John Clark: People aren't perfect.
[00:22:19] Jacqui Darbyshire: And, you know, on stage, you know, we can, we can like when you're on in theater, it's different. I know. So you learn the lines, you get the cues for the other actor, you work with the other actor, you become like one with the other actor, but you know, what, if the other actor drops his lines, you know, the story well enough and you know them to steer it back on course, you don't have to panic about it.
And in obviously TV and film, you can get chances you can, you know, do take some, although time is money and everything, but you know, if you can, if you get sometimes. Even when you do stuff up those stuff up moments can be the best moments that they go, "that's it." So I have learnt so much from my journey and have done so much and have been blessed to have worked with so many different people since I started and going to LA going to New York obviously going down to Melbourne with 16th Street, Adelaide.
Here in Sydney, Anthony Ben Matthews now been working with Ben for the last 18 months. Amazing guy. I worked with him years ago. Amazing person to work with getting up on stage, doing that going on film. And I've been doing this probably since obviously, you know, lockdowns and everything. I think I said to you earlier on, you know, acting and.
Before we locked down was brilliant. Even doing zoom class is, oh, it's brilliant. It's just like kept me personal. It's kept my sanity going in the hard times, the actors and, you know, artists, musicians people like any artists, whatever. We've it's been tough. God bless zoom classes. I say, even though I know people hate them, sometimes I personally don't, but.
[00:24:08] David John Clark: Well that's been a positive probably for artists out of COVID isn't it it's because yes. All the sets were shut down so they weren't getting money, but a lot of the creative teachers and instructors out there they've come forward with opportunities. Both paid and unpaid. And a lot of them have said, you know, pay us what you can, if you can't, that's fine. But it's actually opened up the training regime to the whole world, because if you're based in Adelaide or Perth, you were really restricted with your training, but now you can do a zoom call with ACA, from Sydney or TAFTA in Melbourne. It's brilliant.
[00:24:43] Jacqui Darbyshire: Absolutely. You can certainly do whatever. You know, there's an array of options here in Australia. For acting you know, there's, there's never a dull moment here. Let's face it. You can find something you really want to do something. You can find something in Australia. And that's the amazing thing about it.
[00:25:02] David John Clark: So, we're coming up on 10 years since we started together. So it was 2013. So next year is our 10 year anniversary of starting on this journey now just through default and where we are, we're both sort of taken different paths. You've moved to Sydney. You've done that all your time in in the states, which is great. And you have a role in training regimes.
You've, you've done a lot of different courses because you, you obviously get a lot from it. Me, I haven't purely because I still work 50 hours a week and you know, cost is a factor for me. So I do what I can and then try to get my experience on set, whether it's with the student or indie films. So from from all the training, all the different courses, what have you, what are you taking away from that constant training, so to speak how is that changing you? Where is that sending you as an actor?
[00:25:53] Jacqui Darbyshire: I am picking up more and more toolbox that tools, my toolbox. Okay. So the different people I work with offer different bits and pieces, but by doing more and more different things, my competence has grown. So if I'm not getting it one way, I can try a different way. And so I now have an array of Ways to approach stuff.
So and and that means also working with different actors as well, because everybody's different. Everybody has their little quirks and their ways, and you know, some actors liked some people just like to be left alone, quiet while they're doing stuff. Yeah, which is fine, or some people want to talk or whatever.
So now, because I've got so many tools in my toolbox, it doesn't matter who I get gets thrown at me. It's almost like you can cut your cloth according to what's going on in that situation. So a lot of stuff doesn't throw me now. It used to, because I was so nervous. But now it doesn't throw me. And I just really enjoy, I guess the thing about acting is you're always learning and you will learn until the day you die.
And I love that because you don't get bored with anything. You might get frustrated sometimes because you want things to happen faster, or, you know, you go to that audition and you don't get it and you really want it. But then you also. Also understand that you know, you and I, you and I could rock up for an audition and you get the audition because I wasn't quite the right fit.
And it's nothing to do with me personally. It's just that I wasn't the right fit, but it means that you've got the audition which I would be ecstatic jumping up and down, you know, for game sort of thing. But there will be something else out there and there is always something else. That's the thing that I have learned is that there is definitely always something else.
Acting, acting to sort of thing is that you, you give up on acting, acting, doesn't give up on you because there's always something.
[00:27:54] David John Clark: Exactly. Exactly. And you signed with all your toolboxes that now when you get the different moments, are you finding that the need to use a different tool is now starting to come subconsciously rather than, oh, I need to, I need to take that tool out.
So you're in the scene and then all of a sudden at the end of the scene, you go, oh my God, I've I've did something completely unexpected?
[00:28:12] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yes.. And that's what I mean, that's having the array of tools, gives you the confidence and the really solid foundation. Just stand on knowing full well that you don't have to think about it.
It just comes naturally. So it becomes a very natural thing to do. So I don't really worry about I used to worry so much about lines and everything, and that's the one thing working with Ben Matthews. I don't have to worry about the lines. And I did the full length place. I don't know why I was worrying about the lines, but it took me a little while to unravel and then doing the Deadly Women TV series.
That was so much fun, like so much fun. So, and I had all the tools in the toolbox and I remember the director saying to me, wow, we haven't had too many takes with you at all. You're very easy. And so I sort of knew because I'd had all of that All of that, all of those tools and all of the knowing and stuff like that, it was just easy to go in.
Do my job, come back out again. Still have the connection with everybody, but it was really fun to do so.
[00:29:24] David John Clark: So now that you're in Sydney and you've you know, this journey from the Actors Ink here in Adelaide to the U S and Sydney. Now you're based in Sydney. What's the acting environment like in Sydney? Are you finding it easy? Are you finding it hard? I think you've got an agent and stuff now. Where are we at on the working side of things?
[00:29:43] Jacqui Darbyshire: I had a, an audition a couple of weeks ago. I would say, it's just start, what's been starting to open up a bit more because it's obviously been, it was shut down for awhile.
Yes. I think at this point in time, maybe I'm not quite sure whether they're looking for I think they're looking for more diversity at the moment. So there's probably not. Yeah, I think there's maybe not so, so much around for me per se, cause I'm in a niche market being a late bloomer, which I'm happy about.
I don't mind.
[00:30:17] David John Clark: And you have it because your accent is it's clearly English, isn't it? You can't, you can't go in and pull off in Australia accent.
[00:30:24] Jacqui Darbyshire: Well, the funny thing was I had to do with deadly women. I had to do any Italian accent. So I had to learn an Italian accent, which was amazing. I did it in a week.
Actually. I got the boys around boys round from the boat yard, who are purely Italian. They recorded all my lines for me, set, spoke them. And I walked around with headphones. Say my husband is dead, you know, sort of thing and whole, and when I got on set, the the director said to me, could you possibly become a little bit more American Italian?
And I was like, sure. You know, so I sort of mix the two and, and, you know, did the best thing. So it was good, but yeah, I do try I'm. I wouldn't say I've been trying with the American accent a little bit more cause they're spending time. So I probably have a little bit more of a softer approach. The Australian accent, I still, I'm still a little bit like Kath and Kim.
You know, sort of it's maybe a little bit more less polished. But I try but I've been talking to people about that. And, there's more and more accents coming in. So if you look at the UK and you look at America in, in roles, there's more and more accents coming into the, the, the films and stuff like that.
So, and even in, in play's. So I think, you know, maybe that'll open a door up, you know, in other words, this is probably becoming a little bit more relaxed about accents.
[00:31:54] David John Clark: Especially with modern stories. Obviously, if you're making a historical story, you have to stick to the time and the frame, but more modern stories, now are character based.
And I think casting directors are open to different people, different backgrounds regardless. So they might say we're looking for this type of person. A lot of the, you know, zoom calls I've been on with casting directors have said, well, we'll bring in some outsiders just to say, Hey, let's consider this.
So I think that's a good thing. Yeah, I completely believe in the need for diversity. I think it's been a big thing in America and changing on screen now. A lot of people saying Australia's still far behind, I think we're catching up very quickly. If you watch shows at the moment.
[00:32:36] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yeah, I think I mean, it's, as I said, I spoke to one of the casting directors here a couple of years ago on the, on the accent thing.
And he said, watch this space it's happening. And I, I agree with you, David. It, it definitely is has been coming more and more in, and I think it will, will, will come, you know even faster, probably in the next year or two. So.
[00:32:58] David John Clark: So in your acting journey, so far, what have been your best and worst moments if, if any, or one or the other?
[00:33:10] Jacqui Darbyshire: I absolutely loved doing the Calendar Girls play because it was, I actually, it's true story. I lived in Yorkshire and that the house where I lived, which I actually still have It was up the road to the original, real calendar girls whose husband died of cancer. So she was my pilates teacher, believe it or not.
And it was just amazing to be offered the role. I tell you when I was offered the role, I burst into tears because I felt that I was actually reliving the story of what, you know, because I was in the fundraising. I should have been in the movie as an extra, but I was on holiday. Would you believe? And it would have been so amazing because I got offered to be an extra in the actual original movie.
But I couldn't do it. So then when I got offered this role, honestly, it was like it was just meant to be, it was one of those moments where you just knew it. And I absolutely loved playing Celia because she was the one that. She was the one that had to take her clothes off be on you know, stand there in onstage nude basically, which I'd never done in my life.
And that was probably inside I was dying a death, but then it was just like, it was just like it was totally unreal sort of thing. So so I just, just basically loved that role because of the connections I have and still have with the people in Yorkshire. And it was like, I was doing a service to them saying, you know, what sort of time they went through when they were doing this whole, you know, sort of brainstorming crazy.
Cause they were the first people that did the nude calendars and then everybody jumps on the back. So I would say that's probably a. Because it's a personal thing. I would say that's probably one of the best things I've done. And I've still got made so many friends still to this day. One of my very, very good friends Todd, he would always be there when I was stripping off back in back stage.
And he won't mind me saying this, but I was stripping off backstage to be there, just stripping off and he he'd always turn his head that way. And I'd always say to him, oh, Todd, you know have I have I turned you straight yet? And he'd go, no, you never will. So we've had this laugh about it, but yeah, he was, he's a very close buddy.
You do make friends actually.
[00:35:30] David John Clark: And I remember talking to you about, I think we spoke just before you started the show itself and I think you've come out of it, a better person and a better actor. Would you, would you agree?
[00:35:42] Jacqui Darbyshire: Do you mean starting starting with acting?
[00:35:45] David John Clark: No, with doing the play?
[00:35:47] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yes for sure.
That's when I realized people, you know, people are not perfect. People did make mistakes on stage, but when you know, it's so well, like know it back to front, it doesn't matter if somebody makes a mistake because you just go, oh, and then you just add something into there, everybody back on track again, and that.
A really thoughtful actor does, you know, it's not to make the other person feel like, oh, they've made a mistake when it's like, oh, well it just happens. And then you get them back on track or they get you back on track and it all goes swimmingly. And sometimes it works out, even funnier. It makes the joke more funnier or without even trying, you know, sort of thing with the comedy side of it.
So. Or it could be that you become even more authentic if you're doing a monologue and, you know, you might turn around and say something that's not quite a hundred percent, you know? If you know what I mean, and then it becomes even more authentic because you've actually said it from your heart. So, yeah, I definitely for me I was first, first time I guess I I don't, praise is a bit of a hard thing for me, but but I was very proud of myself for doing calendar girls and, you know, doing the five shows a week for seven weeks.
And it was, it was that long. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. And they wanted us to do even more shows, but the director decided we'd done enough. And I think I could have carried on going because I was just. It was just such a beautiful story. My, my character was wonderful. The crowd that, you know, the, the people that came to watch us, they were wonderful.
And also, you know, the crew and the other actors, it was just one of those things. And I'm not saying we didn't have our moments cause there's always teething issues and you know, people get tired and stuff like that. But no matter what we're professional. Every single night we did the utmost. The best of what we could.
And we had funny enough, I had somebody come back three times to watch the play.
[00:37:47] David John Clark: That's nice. So did you come, are you looking at your direction now, a lot different after doing that wonderful show, like do you feel like I'm a hundred percent committed now or, I mean, I know you were before, but do you.
What I'm trying to say is I know I have those ups and downs where I get to those troughs. So if something happens or I'm just having a bad week and I'm going, why am I doing this? Am I good enough for this? Are you able to draw on that positive energy now and say, now I'm going.
[00:38:17] Jacqui Darbyshire: It's really funny. I, I, I don't actually, I don't get many of those moments anymore because I think downs, because I think I.
I feel very grateful to be doing what I'm doing and whatever comes at me, I'll do. I had I had a little moment probably about six months ago where I just thought there's nothing happening, you know? Maybe this is it or my times over or whatever. And then all of a sudden something came. And you go or you do something and you go, it's really funny.
You know what, when it's under your skin and in your blood, you know, no matter what, even if you have, it's a bit like a relationship, you get a bit annoyed sometimes with each other and everything, but you still love that person, but it's a bit like that, you know, sort of thing. So for me, if I'm feeling in any way like that, I I just take a step back.
And, you know, no matter what I always go back it's, it's, there's a drive in me, David, that I, I can't explain it. Like I said, it's under my skin. If I don't sing, I'm miserable. I tell you if I don't sing daily, I'm the most miserable person on this earth. I have to get up and sing. I did my first gig last Thursday.
And I got told my energy was infectious and, you know, people were smitten and whatever, and it's just that I'm singing from my heart. So I just love it. And the same with acting, if I don't do it, or if I don't go to my to grow my craft or to grow me as a person or as an actor, if I don't do it, I, I, it it's like, I dunno, it's a bit like not being able to brush your teeth or something.
It's that sort of thing for me now. So those down, those down moments are, I would say are less.
[00:40:13] David John Clark: Beautiful. Beautiful. And so do you think everything you've learnt on that journey then what would you say to other actors? Whether they're oldies like us just starting out or, or newbies just starting out, what, one piece of advice would you give a new actor?
[00:40:31] Jacqui Darbyshire: I would say you're never too old. You're never too young to do anything in life. And if you really, really want to do it and you have the will to do it, it will happen. You just, you know, my, my, my maiden name is Armstrong. Okay. And if you get the coat of arms out, it's it basically says, never been conquered.
That's Armstrong. And my married name, Darbyshire is in love and faith. So I have those two. I will never be conquered, but I'm always coming from love and faith. So if you can hold onto that, just go for your life and do it. Now, the only person stopping you is you. It's beautiful. That's it? The only person nobody else is stopping you.
It's just you stopping you. It's either. Fear of not being good enough or nerves or that's not quite right for me, or I'm never going to get it or whatever, it's you stopping you. Nobody else is stopping you. I would be encouraging you to do, I would be saying to the casting directors want you to win, they do, they want you to be the person that walks in, as they say, you're the one sort of thing that they're out there.
So I would say, don't stop yourself. You know, just, just have love and faith and you, it will happen.
[00:41:54] David John Clark: Beautiful. Alright. And the last question, before we go into the fast round and we'll wind this up, so you can get back to everything. And this is a very cliched question I think, across, and it's asked a lot, but in your acting journey, do you think you're making it yet?
Or what would you consider making it to be on your journey?
[00:42:12] Jacqui Darbyshire: Do I think I'm making it yet? My, my honest answer is are we ever gonna make it in the respect of, do you think we're ever gonna make it because we are making it? We are actually we're in the making of it. So therefore I don't think I ever want this to stop.
So have I made it yet? I'm not quite sure. If in other words, I'll still be doing this. Probably 95 years old and still be doing this, you know, and getting in roles and everything. So yeah, I would say that's but do I want more? Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. So whatever I, whatever comes my way I, I feel blessed and I'm grateful, so
[00:42:55] David John Clark: I love it.
To wind this all up. One. This is what I call the fast round four questions that vary from a podcast to podcast. But with two questions, one and four are the same for everyone. So, question a one. If you can think of it off hand, what is your t-shirt quote, what would your t-shirt quote be?
[00:43:13] Jacqui Darbyshire: H H, H and H. Okay. Which stands for healthy, happy, harmonious with hope. I think I've learned that. In this last few years and be true to self, that was, that's what I probably have on my t-shirt blue, blue. I love blue.
[00:43:32] David John Clark: My favorite color too. What's your favorite old time TV show or movie? Not saying that we're old.
[00:43:39] Jacqui Darbyshire: It's gotta be for me. It's gotta be Pretty Woman. I love Pretty Woman. I love Pretty Woman.
[00:43:45] David John Clark: Yeah. Oh, that's a great, and if I just listening to a podcast the other day, and they were talking about the scene when he's got the jewelry in the case, and she goes to look at it with a finger and he snaps it closed. That was all ad libbed.
The camera was still filming the scene wasn't actually on. And she was just having a look. And Richard Gere just snapped it shut and then she's done her laugh. And that made the movie. So that brings it back to what we were talking about before that there's moments that can just make it work for you.
[00:44:13] Jacqui Darbyshire: And I think that's what I'm meaning with be true to self, be your true self, because if you are, you'll get those moments on camera, you don't even have to try, they're golden moments.
[00:44:24] David John Clark: Beautiful. Is there a particular actor that inspired you to get into acting or is there an actor that inspires you to keep going today? Or, that you'd like to work with?
[00:44:37] Jacqui Darbyshire: You know, loads of people you saw asked me that growing up, who's your favorite actor and stuff like that?
I never had a really favorite one. I, I, I do like I suppose I've looked at Meryl Streep's, the way she is changes everything. And growing up, I grew up with Madonna. So she was always edgy and I quite like that, cause I'm a bit edgy too. So I suppose those two were sort of the nice sort of like difference between those two, if I'm honest about it.
So, but favorite actors, I don't know. They've all got their differences. I tell you who I I, I have an, I've read just recently. Is Matthew McConaughey. I got given his book gifted his book and I love his quotes and everything in there. Nothing's impossible, you know sort of red lights go to green, just keep going, that sort of thing.
And my husband works and runs all the national parks here in Australia, and he's just launched a thing with Matthew. And it's about bringing your spirits. And it's, it's, it's, it's amazing. So I would love to meet him in person because because I just love the fact, I mean, he's his background, you know, he had a troubled childhood, I had a troubled childhood things, certain things shape you and everything.
So Yeah, I would quite like to meet him, I think.
[00:45:57] David John Clark: Quick Yell out, where is Ian? Next door is he? Get Matthew in? And finally who would you like to see on my podcast? Do you know any other fellow late bloomer actors, or it could we go down the path of six degrees of separation. I'll throw out one name, Samuel L. Jackson is a late bloomer. Do you think he could reach out to Samuel L. Jackson through six degrees of separation? Or do you have another actor in mind?
[00:46:23] Jacqui Darbyshire: There's there's actually another actor that I could reach out to it will, she would be a really good story here in Sydney. She has.
She's done amazing. She's actually Scottish lady. She's from the UK Scottish, but she's, she's done. She's done amazing things actually. So I can certainly reach out to her for you because yeah, no, no problem at all.
[00:46:47] David John Clark: And the reason why I asked that question not more to, to, to try and get guests, but I think it opens up that understanding of how many people are out there, trying to get on the same journey as us. I think it's brilliant. I just want that to, to people to know that. And it comes back to your statement just before it's excuse my refrigerator in the background, filling up. It gets back to what you were saying earlier on about. Strive to be what you want, whether it's acting or any other career, you can do it.
[00:47:20] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yeah. There's a fellow actor in Adelaide, actually, I think he's come back to Adelaide so I can certainly put you in contact with him too. There's a few, actually, to be honest with you, but she sort of meet people, but I agree with you David, like, and he's probably he's probably what I call.
You know, in the acting world, they say late bloomers. And I mean, we are late bloomers, probably James is what I call it late bloomer, but sort of the older end, rather than the, the twenties and the other. Lady's probably around my age too. So, you know that's why I say, I don't think there's any age -cap on acting.
That's the beautiful thing about it. And you, my friend, have done amazing as well. So in your, in your career of acting with running you know, your job and your family and your boys are growing and everything like that. So I mean, you I, you know, I bow down to David, you've just done amazing things.
With being a late bloomer too. And with all this stuff you've done.
[00:48:14] David John Clark: And goes through the same ups and downs as everyone else, I think so that's the hardest thing I find is just the, the, the how and the why, how am I going to do this? Or why am I doing this?
[00:48:28] Jacqui Darbyshire: Why are you doing it?
[00:48:30] David John Clark: Because I have fun doing it. And I stick to that.
I think a lot of people say when you stop having fun, stop doing it. Yeah. On that note, Jacqui, thank you very much. This has been truly a wonderful 53 minutes of awesome. It goes so quick. Does it? I was so worried that I would have moments in these podcasts where we had blank moments, nothing to talk about, or I'd be at 15 minutes.
No more questions, but it's just, it's nice and easy. So yeah.
[00:48:58] Jacqui Darbyshire: Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to do this and, but also seeing your lovely face again. So I haven't seen it for a long time.
[00:49:07] David John Clark: Covid's been terrible for everyone, isn't it?
[00:49:09] Jacqui Darbyshire: So I think the last time I saw you, how about that was in we tried to have a coffee and it was in Adelaide Airport, and I was coming back to Sydney and I actually saw you for a brief hello, quick cuddle. And then I was on the plane.
[00:49:21] David John Clark: So yes. Yeah. All with masks on, unfortunately wasn't it? Yeah. Well, hopefully I'm still looking for my first professional job and certainly got some opportunities coming up in Sydney, so it would be wonderful to be in Sydney and be on set with you or just even to be in Sydney and see you.
[00:49:39] Jacqui Darbyshire: So there's a room upstairs for you.
[00:49:43] David John Clark: Beautiful. So, pass on my best to your wonderful husband.
[00:49:47] Jacqui Darbyshire: Yes. He was setting me up with this, all this techno stuff. So bless him again.
[00:49:51] David John Clark: Thank you, Jacqui. You look after yourself.
[00:49:53] Jacqui Darbyshire: And you look after yourself, and love to your family too.
[00:49:55] David John Clark: Will do, thank you very much. Bye.