Episode 6 is with Adelaide based actor, Tim Hawkins.
Tim is an Adelaide identity. Having started out young in the acting world, but then realising he needed a 'back-up' plan to pay the bills, he learned the backstage craft of lighting, sound and general entertainment facilitation.
But he was always drawn towards the front of the camera, acting, and having a solid background in the crew delivery area, and a little more 'mature' he was able to focus on himself in his later years and get back to the acting world.
Tim is now what they call a 'slashee' or 'slasher' - a developing term for someone that, for example, is an actor/sound-person/grip/editor/lighting etc. etc. ..... an all-rounder, and is very well known in the Adelaide, South Australian acting world, as someone who can deliver it all, sound, lighting, carry it all, and of course, deliver a role/character.
In this episode, we talk about it all, about working in an industry across the board, about supporting others, for their benefit, not expecting reward, or return. Tim is just an exceptional actor, and all rounder.
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David John Clark 00:00:02
My guest today is a great friend and fellow actor, having been in several independent and student films together, including Legacy, Shrapnel, 60 Seconds to Die, The First Date, as well as the awesome South Australian independent feature film Are We Heroes, directed by the awesome Aaron Giagu. He started early in the industry, partaking in an amateur Theatre group in 1979, but then he moved on to the other side of the stage and camera by learning many crew roles, including lighting, audio and he became an entertainment facilitator. This continued on through the 1990s with the establishment of his own production company, but his love of acting has brought him full circle and in 2013 he completed a screen acting course at the Adelaide College of the Arts, which led him to numerous lead and support roles in many South Australian productions, including those mentioned just now. He's a very well-known member of the Adelaide film community with his all-round knowledge of the game, working as an actor or crew, or quite often both. Please welcome to the podcast, Mr. Tim Hawkins.
Tim Hawkins 00:01:45
Thanks, David. It's good to be here. Thanks very much.
David John Clark 00:01:48
And this is for those watching on YouTube. It's our first in room interview, so I'm trying to work out whether I'm more nervous now in person or online.
Tim Hawkins 00:01:59
Are you nervous? You're trying to make me nervous.
David John Clark 00:02:02
Are you feeling? Yeah, you're very well adverse to having a camera in your face.
Tim Hawkins 00:02:08
Yeah. Nerves is something I don't really get much anymore. I used to get a bit of it, but no, it doesn't happen.
David John Clark 00:02:14
Well, so let's go from there then. Tell us a bit about yourself, where you've come from. I've given a bit of an intro to you, but where have you come from, acting and why and how did you end up to where you are today?
Tim Hawkins 00:02:26
Just the love of performance art has always been always been my motivation. I've always been into the arts. As you know, when I left school, I did graphic design, went and did a course in graphic design that wasn't good enough for my father. You need to get a trade behind you. So, I had to do night school to do art, and I was doing an apprenticeship during the day. That didn't eventuate into anything in fact, neither did, apart from just work like jobs, like working as a motor mechanic, because that was the trade I did. For a few years that got a bit boring and I moved interstate to Sydney chasing some work over there in the early eighties? And that was when I got involved in, well, the late Seventies, early 80s. That's when I got involved with some amateur Theatre stuff. And it took about four to six months before I realised, I can actually make money out of doing the production for this stuff more than I can actually being in it. As fun as it was, I had a young family at that time and I needed to put food on the table, of course, so that was the priority then. And that went on, as you said, like years and years of working in production after that, lighting and sound. Lighting was my main forte. I did both, but lighting became the thing I love and I still love it, but I'm not as capable of doing it anymore. And the industry has really moved forward. If you're out of it for five years, it's a lot to learn to get back into it. The equipment is just being updated and technically everything changes. Over a five-year period, I went from equipment being analogue to digital.
David John Clark 00:02:26
That's a huge change.
Tim Hawkins 00:02:26
Yeah, massive. It was completely different and I was there for that whole right through all of that. So, yeah, I don't have the time in me now to go back to learn any more skills. I got back in acting, as you said, in about 2000 and 2012, 2013, and really that's all I want to do is performance. I play in bands and stuff as well and I've always done that from about the age of 17 or 18, I was playing in bands. That was what got me involved in the Theatre over in Sydney with people I met through music over there.
David John Clark 00:05:10
What's your background music instrument?
Tim Hawkins 00:05:13
Well, I started off when I was seven. I learnt the violin for a couple of years now. Yeah. Then I moved on to woodwinds and then by the time I was 13 or 14, I picked up the guitar and started learning the guitar, mostly self-taught the guitar, because I'd already done years of training and I have had some lessons along the way, but it was one of those things that was just sort of picked it up and played.
David John Clark 00:05:13
Do you sing?
Tim Hawkins 00:05:13
Backing vocals? Yes, I do self-taught backing vocals. I can't sing and play at the same time, essentially, so that's quite difficult. Although I can do backing vocals. To be a lead singer in a band would be I'd have to put the guitar down.
David John Clark 00:05:57
Fair enough. That's a big skill for any artist, really, isn't it? You've either got it or you don't.
Tim Hawkins 00:06:05
Yes, that's one of those. Well, you can work on it when you get more comfortable with what you're playing, you find you can actually sing more when you're really comfortable with what you're playing. But it's really difficult if you want to be a good singer and hold a note for me, it's just put the guitar down.
David John Clark 00:06:23
All right, fair enough.
Tim Hawkins 00:06:24
And I don't really want to be a good singer and hold a note, I just want to play the guitar.
David John Clark 00:06:32
So, your artistic background has been since you're young, so you played instruments when you're young, so you've always had that artistic side both in music and what you've decided is acting?
Tim Hawkins 00:06:41
Yeah, I guess so. I've always been technically loved technical technology as well. So that's where the two paired in with lighting so well, was doing that course in motor mechanics. And then later on I did some courses in robotics and other things just out of interest. But I was always into the workings of things, how things work, as well as being artistic, musical and performance and art drawing, excellent sketching painting and so.
David John Clark 00:07:14
Being in the modern times. Now, I was just talking to you before about my setup and my cameras and that I've been messing with my sound, trying to make my mic sounds so much better. But then I've got that working when I'm on manual mode with my SLR, but I can't figure out how to use the camera in manual mode for filming. So, there's just so many aspects of technology that I hate. And obviously if you're not up with it, it just snowballs you, doesn't it?
Tim Hawkins 00:07:40
Yeah, that's one of those things. If you let it get ahead of you, then it really does get ahead of you. You have to keep up with it, but you would be able to sort that out. Have you read the manual?
David John Clark 00:07:51
No. Do men read manuals?
Tim Hawkins 00:07:54
Well, yes, you do.
David John Clark 00:07:58
And that's a big thing, too, with the modern day now is we've got YouTube. So, most of the stuff when I do figure out, I need to do something, I just jump on YouTube. And like I said, I figured out the sound. Now I got to move on and say how do I do the camera? If you mess it up, you mess it up. So, you need to find the time to do it. Not now. So, if I tried to do it now, I end up messing up our whole podcast.
Tim Hawkins 00:08:23
Yes, don't play around with it now Dave.
David John Clark 00:08:25
I did a self-tape once when I switched. This was before I was even messing with the sound. I did a self-tape saying, oh, I've got to try and use manual because then I can get the better focus and everything. I had something wrong in the settings. To bringing it to the acting then. And we'll talk about your journey over that time. You mentioned that you were doing stuff in the 80s. So, I'm trying not to allude to how old you are or am not, ... what are you? 45? Younger than me. Yeah, we'll go with that, ladies and gentlemen.
Tim Hawkins 00:09:01
David John Clark 00:09:03
Would you consider yourself a late bloomer actor then?
Tim Hawkins 00:09:06
Yeah, pretty much. I think so. By the time I got to by the time it was the year 2000, I've pretty much given up the idea of actually going back to performance art. I was working at the Adelaide Convention Centre then as one of the headlighting techs there. I was there for 13 years and it was a good job. And I kind of saw my future being that and hadn't really thought about getting back into the acting as well. I did do some in the late ninety s. I did a few TV commercials. It was really different back then. There was no Internet. If you didn't have an agent, you weren't going to get anything. Trying to find the work yourself back then was nearly impossible. You had to have an agent. Now these days with everything online, you can find acting without an agent. And quite a lot of it, as I have over the years.
David John Clark 00:09:58
Both paid and independent.
Tim Hawkins 00:10:02
Yeah, it's a lot of free stuff, as you know. You do the free stuff. And like I always say, if I had that big film every year where I was getting a good whack of money from each year, I wouldn't mind doing the free stuff forever.
David John Clark 00:10:17
Yeah, it gets a bit tiresome after. Well, tiresome is probably not the right word, I suppose, is it? It's more of my agent likes to say, oh, you're doing all the right things. You're doing all the right things. But where is that paid professional role sort of thing? Do you find that?
Tim Hawkins 00:10:32
Yeah, it's frustrating. But you look around and you go, well, there's people with agents and they're getting very little as well. And you think, well, maybe there just isn't a lot of work around and it's not one of those things. I don't stress out about it. I just play it as it goes. I don't stress out. I think it was 2015. I worked in 16 films that year and that was a big year. That was a really good year. The following year I did eight, including a couple of film clips for bands. And then the year after that I probably did three. It's just the way it goes.
David John Clark 00:11:10
And it's an industry that changes a lot. I mean, a big thing is looks as well and ages and everything like that. The year that you were doing 16, they might have needed elder gentlemen with beards. Elderly, that's the wrong word. Sorry.
Tim Hawkins 00:11:31
I was only 40, remember?
David John Clark 00:11:32
Definitely. I'm trying to work out how long have we known each other then? So, it's been a while.
Tim Hawkins 00:11:38
I think it was about 2014 when we first met.
David John Clark 00:11:42
Yeah, definitely. And I think the first film we were on was Legacy.
Tim Hawkins 00:11:49
I don't recall Legacy.
David John Clark 00:11:52
Legacy, the student film where I was playing the bad Dad.
Tim Hawkins 00:11:57
Didn't we do the one with Adam Weber?
David John Clark 00:11:57
I think, 60 Seconds to Die?
Tim Hawkins 00:11:57
Yeah, that was the first one. I played the Priest.
David John Clark 00:12:06
And I played the bad guy with the gun.
Tim Hawkins 00:12:10
Well, you played the poor bad guy with the gun. The sad fellow.
David John Clark 00:12:17
Would you consider yourself, over your career, you've had a myriad of work? Are you retired now or you just continually work?
Tim Hawkins 00:12:25
No, I'm not retired. I don't think I'll ever retire. There's always something to do.
David John Clark 00:12:28
Tim Hawkins 00:12:30
Yeah. I won't retire, Dave. It's not in me. I might have a break of doing strenuous work for a couple of years.
David John Clark 00:12:41
You're saying before how lighting change? I said, do you get to a point where you just can't climb up the ladders anymore?
Tim Hawkins 00:12:46
It's not ladders there. It's all elevated working platforms and knuckle booms and things like that. When you go on 18 meters, you're not using a ladder. But no, it's the weight of those lights. I injured a shoulder a few years ago and I still carry the injury and that's kept me out of it for quite a while.
David John Clark 00:13:05
That's a shame, isn't it?
Tim Hawkins 00:13:07
Yeah, it's heavy lifting, lots of rigging and heavy lighting, so it's not a lot of fun. That's why I like doing film lighting so much, because it's all fairly lightweight.
David John Clark 00:13:21
Especially with the independent productions on which you're on just about everything.
Tim Hawkins 00:13:25
And if it's a bigger production, then you've got younger guys that can do that.
David John Clark 00:13:30
Awesome. So, you're acting now. You're in a spot now where you can say, I've always wanted to do it. You can focus it on a bit more, which is a good thing, because you can pick and choose?
Tim Hawkins 00:13:39
Yeah, that was a lot.
David John Clark 00:13:43
What draws you to acting itself.
Tim Hawkins 00:13:46
What drew me back to acting really was just watching other actors act. And just going, this person is just amazing. It's so convincing when you see someone. Okay, maybe back with Breaking Bad, Brian Cranston and going, this guy really knows how to do it. And then going, I just want to do that again. I want to be in that place where you can forget about, you know what it's like you forget about everything that's on in your life, and the only thing that you're thinking about is that scene that you are in right now.
David John Clark 00:14:27
Making it work, bringing it to life.
Tim Hawkins 00:14:30
Yeah. And it's like there's nothing else going on in your head. I played a lot of sport as well. I played a lot of cricket and later on I did a lot of cricket. Umpiring, cricket, umpiring, was very similar. You're zoning in on something and that's all. You're not thinking about that bill you got to pay next week. You're not thinking, oh, I didn't get to pay my phone bill today. I hope they don't cut it off. It's like you're not thinking about anything else. And it's the same with acting. It's just like this scene right now is the only thing in the world right now for me.
David John Clark 00:15:08
Maybe that's why we've established a lot of people think the umpires on AFL are no good. Maybe they're thinking about their bills that are really too much. Yeah. They're doing their job well.
Tim Hawkins 00:15:19
They're not clearly.
David John Clark 00:15:22
So, when you first started acting way back when, before you decided you needed to go and make some money and you got into lighting, it was a stage just happened to be stage, or did you find stage was a more positive experience?
Tim Hawkins 00:15:39
No, it was just that's what was there at the time, that was the only reason it was an easy decision to make because it was there happening right there. And we needed lighting and we needed someone that knew how to use it. I taught myself basically, and then took it from there.
David John Clark 00:15:59
Beautiful. And so, you're with your training. So, you've done a bit at AC Arts?
Tim Hawkins 00:16:03
I did a lot of training later. I was working as a lighting technician for 20 years before I actually did any training. And then I went in and trained people at TAFE. I was training people at ....
David John Clark 00:16:17
On the lighting part of it?
Tim Hawkins 00:16:20
Yes. And I was awarded my certificates just through required prior learning.
David John Clark 00:16:27
Tim Hawkins 00:16:28
Through TAFE as well. So, I could teach.
David John Clark 00:16:32
And so, with your acting, did you do AC Arts as an acting course as well?
Tim Hawkins 00:16:36
David John Clark 00:16:36
Tim Hawkins 00:16:37
So, I did AC Arts acting course.
David John Clark 00:16:39
How long was that?
Tim Hawkins 00:16:40
Oh, that was the short one was a six-month course.
David John Clark 00:16:42
Okay. Would that be the most formal training you've probably done there?
Tim Hawkins 00:16:46
Yeah. And just the stack of the workshops and as we've done the weekend workshops and all the stuff, but that was it for me. I had to get out of the learning situation as quickly as I could. It's one of those things that everyone's different and everyone takes learning things a different way. I kind of feel like I learned everything I was going to learn in six months, and I've learned a lot more on the job since then. But I think if I'd have stayed in school learning it at acting school, I wouldn't have probably learnt it, how it learns it out of there. You know what I mean?
David John Clark 00:17:30
That's interesting because I had a big chat on my last episode with Andrew Hearle, who runs, he's the CEO of Stagemilk.com. So, he went to WAAPA and did the full three years. And we were discussing the ages on the course. And at that time, the oldest person on the course was about 32. And it was interesting the way we went with the discussion because he brought it to what the older actors can bring for the younger actors. So, we talked about life skills and how that enhances their acting. So, with a little bit of formal training, you've done and the courses and all the workshops that we jump on board, do you find that when you're on set that you're drawing more on your life experience, who you are and what you've done rather than some formal tool box?
Tim Hawkins 00:18:16
Absolutely. Yeah. I've never found a method in an acting course that will work for everything that I'm doing. Do you know what I mean? I really do draw on my life experiences for my acting. I'm a character actor. I love playing characters. I always managed to find a method to get to that character using a life experience of my own or something that I've seen happen around me.
David John Clark 00:18:45
How do you make a character come to life to you, then? Is it just on the day I'm in the moment, this is who I am? Or do you have some sort of way that you build up to that leading up to the filming of that movie or that scene?
Tim Hawkins 00:19:01
Just apart from all the pre homework that you do before you get there, like learning your lines and it's the backstory of the character is what I really want to get to know. I really want to get to know that character, who he was before this happened. And if there isn't a backstory, I'll develop one. And to make that work, to make that work for the character also, you need to be discussing this stuff with your director. Of course. I like to be on the same page as a director. It's nothing worse than having a director that doesn't direct you. I like being directed. Yeah. I very much like being directed. I want to be in tune with that director, knowing exactly what he wants from this character. I know that when I deliver that character the way that I feel, it needs to be delivered because that's what he wants. I'm confident that that is what he wants. There's nothing worse than doing something and sitting at the back of your head going, I wonder if he's happy. I wonder if that's what he wants. So, I do like being directed. And you mentioned Aaron earlier with what was it called? Are We Heroes. And now Warpath Chronicle, that will be released later this year, Warpath Chronicle.
David John Clark 00:20:29
Everyone is hanging out to see that. Such a big production.
Tim Hawkins 00:20:33
Yeah. Massive. And hundreds of people involved as well. Just so many people throughout Adelaide were involved in that at some stage. But he is a very very good director, that guy. He is really really good. He gives you the time to hone that character really well. He discusses with you what that character is all about really well. And yeah, I would be in anything that Aaron is directing absolutely straight away, if he asked me again.
David John Clark 00:21:05
I've just done my first scene on Blood Brother. Blood City! So, we just did my first scene with them last week.
Tim Hawkins 00:21:14
Yeah. Well, I was supposed to be there.
David John Clark 00:21:16
Yes. Mr. The Flu Man.
Tim Hawkins 00:21:16
Yeah, I had the flu!
David John Clark 00:21:16
The joys. And that's the thing, especially with independent production, is you're at the whim of anything like the flu or people not being available. And that's what I love about, especially the Adelaide environment. Everyone works together as a team and they take it on board. So, they found something. Hey, Tim, don't worry about it, man. We've got your back and they'll be ready for you next week. Yeah, but bring him back to Aaron. Yeah, he's open to you. You deliver your scene and then he'll say, hey, can we do it this way? I don't take offence, if we change it and it's good or most times it's okay. Love it. Next, let's go to the next scene.
Tim Hawkins 00:21:58
I've usually found with Aaron. That is, if he does correct something, that when I look at it later and I can see why he corrected it and it's really good having a director that is smart enough to see that while it's happening and then not having to go away and then calling you back days later saying, we need to do that again.
David John Clark 00:22:21
They have the bigger picture too, because they know the whole story context, probably filmed a lot more that you haven't been involved in, especially for something like Warpath. Going back to you, you're talking about characters. It's not like we're delivering a drama with a husband and wife or break up marriage or we're talking a different genre and time and a completely fantasy story, isn't it? So, to be able to take that, I think when I filmed my first thing, which unfortunately won't be used because we weren't able to finish it, that's a whole another story itself. But I found the hardest thing was trying to develop a voice of the accent of a fantasy character because it wasn't set in any place or time, so to speak. But it's an Australian production, but you can't have an Aussie delivering this fantasy. So, how'd you go with that with developing that.
Tim Hawkins 00:23:14
I used an English accent all the way through Warpath Chronicle, and it wasn't your London or your Cockney type of accent. It was more of your probably more of a Michael Caine kind.
David John Clark 00:23:32
Dark and deep?
Tim Hawkins 00:23:34
Yeah. And because I could be consistent with that, I knew I could get all in my mood with that, using that accent, so I could be angry, I could be sad, I could be happy using that same accent. And it not faltering. Picking an accent, that's the one thing you've got to make sure that you can actually hold that accent right through every emotion that the characters got to play in the series. That's kind of difficult. And I found with that accent that I could do it. I found my Cockney accent is I'm a little bit up there, too high voice and I thought I didn't want to be that. I'll bring it down, slow it down, talk a bit more like an educated man, a little bit more.
David John Clark 00:24:24
It's a well-spoken English in that sort of fantasy environment.
Tim Hawkins 00:24:27
Yeah, nearly well spoken. Still drops his 'h's and more like, I guess it's like a Birmingham accent, maybe, but I'm not really sure on that, but I made it up and it worked, but that was fun. And I do love using. I love working with accents. I always think the accent just takes me that one step further away from Tim Hawkins and being that actual character. You don't want your character to feel too much like David Clark. You want that character to be this character.
David John Clark 00:24:27
Tim Hawkins 00:24:27
So, if someone else was to play that character, there are idiosyncrasies of little pieces of that character that another actor could do and do that character. Well, look at all of the Doctor Who's that have been throughout the years, and yet they've all got these similar little traits. That is typically Doctor Who, even though they're all these different actors. It's good if you can do that. But the other thing beautiful thing about working on productions like Warpath Chronicle is that no one's ever done that character before. It's yours.
David John Clark 00:25:47
And always will be.
Tim Hawkins 00:25:50
And it always will be. Yeah. And other people might come along and try and do it, but there'll always be people who go, yes, but you'll never do it as well as David Clark did it.
David John Clark 00:26:00
Tim Hawkins 00:26:02
And that may well be true, because it was your character you designed, that you gave birth to that character.
David John Clark 00:26:10
Especially for a show like Warpath, a little bit different when you talk stage production. So, Shakespeare Hamlet to Hamlet and one actor will deliver a Hamlet and then another actor, it's still the same character, but other people deliver it different. And you were saying how you love the idea of bringing a character and making it real. But do you feel that there's always a bit of you in there? I mean, through a lot of my training, I've done with Greg Apps, we talked. There's not a lot of character actors in the world as in who become completely different. Johnny Depp is classic character actor. He can play so many different people and you recognise them as the character he's playing, not Johnny Depp, but Tom Cruise, Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise.
Tim Hawkins 00:27:00
Yeah. That guy's just incredible. I mean, I watch films with Johnny Depp and it takes me 20 minutes to realise it's Johnny Depp. Seriously. And when that happens to me, for me, that is really good character acting.
David John Clark 00:27:16
Tim Hawkins 00:27:17
And that really does it for me when that happens. There was another one that was a series that came out a couple of years ago called Godless, and the main guy in it, it took me 15 minutes to work out. It was Jeff Daniels.
David John Clark 00:27:32
Tim Hawkins 00:27:32
Yeah. And he was just outstanding. But it was like, I've never seen him before.
David John Clark 00:27:37
I have to look that one up because I like Jeff Daniels.
Tim Hawkins 00:27:40
It was incredible. It took me seriously. It took me 15 minutes and I was sitting there going, who is this guy? I know this guy. And then it just I went, oh, Jeff Daniels. But yeah, what a character.
David John Clark 00:27:53
I get a lot of my scenes that I'll deliver, do myself tapes, and there's too much of David in that. There's too much of you. And your niceness is coming through. And I go, well, nice of people say I'm a nice guy, but if it's coming through on a tape, especially if it's not meant to be a nice guy, then ....
Tim Hawkins 00:27:53
... yeah, that's not right.
David John Clark 00:27:53
That's where the acting ability comes in.
Tim Hawkins 00:28:18
If you're not playing a nice guy and you can't be a nice guy, there's no nasty way to be a nice guy and there's no nice way to be a nasty guy.
David John Clark 00:28:31
But you can bring attributes to it. Some people play a bad guy and they're just always bad. But why are they bad? Why are they evil or are they psychopathic? But they still got something in.
Tim Hawkins 00:28:43
Are they always bad or is there something that triggers them to be bad?
David John Clark 00:28:47
So you can draw on that as well. If you know that a lot of your niceness comes out, then you got to find a way to have that work with the characters. And that's where all your acting skills come from, whether you do three years at WAAPA or Whopper. I keep saying Wapper. I did that in the last podcast. I kept saying Wapper. But unless you've done that formal training or you just learn, it's about changing your mindset when you're on scene. And we were just talking about before, before we started, how you saw after I did the 26 self-tapes for May, how different it was at the end. And if better is the better word.
Tim Hawkins 00:29:25
Yeah, for want of a better word, better. But what I was getting at is and what I said was after that, imagine if you were acting every day like you noticed after what was it, 26 days?
David John Clark 00:29:38
Was it 26 days over a month?
Tim Hawkins 00:29:42
I noticed that other people would have noticed that after 26 days. Imagine if you had been acting every day for 260 days. You have to get better, wouldn't you? You would have to be improving. Everyone would have to be improved.
David John Clark 00:29:59
And you see that a lot in especially TV series. My son loves Supernatural and I've watched the whole series. But if you go back and watch the first couple of episodes, the difference in the boy's characters, Jensen Ackles and his brother, compared to the end, they're different. Obviously, their characters develop over that time, but also your acting skill set and just how you bring that character change, because.
Tim Hawkins 00:30:27
That's a bit of a shame when that happens in a series. And if it's not part of the story arc and you can notice the person getting better all the way through it, it's great that they're getting better. But I'll tell you, Walking Dead, Darryl, what's his name? The guy that plays Darryl ....
David John Clark 00:30:27
You gonna put me on the spot....
Tim Hawkins 00:30:49
Norman Reedus. Now when he first started that show, I thought his acting was okay. It was okay. Now all these years later, it's superb. And he has become a really good actor during that time. And I know he's done other things in that time as well.
David John Clark 00:31:09
And he's been around a little bit before that.
Tim Hawkins 00:31:10
Yeah, he's been around and done other things before that. In fact, I think I remember seeing something with him on one of Andy McPhee's show reel pieces, Andy was in something with Norman Reedus years ago as well. And that would have been probably well before The Walking Dead.
David John Clark 00:31:30
Yeah, definitely. Do you think that his acting got better or did he just grow into the character?
Tim Hawkins 00:31:39
Yeah, I don't really know because I don't know him personally, but I do know that it's noticeable. I think he's developed the character better over that time. I think he's really become that character more in that time.
David John Clark 00:31:57
I think I felt it a lot in Antaries, independent production. So, I wasn't filming as regular as a normal movie would, but by the time we'd finished filming the movie, I could walk on set and felt so much more comfortable. So, whether that's a bit of both of just being more comfortable on set or having that character build over time, from scene to scene, every scene, you become the character a lot more. So, it's a very interesting ....
Tim Hawkins 00:31:57
Was it a confident character?
David John Clark 00:32:23
The security officer, so yeah, it was confident role.
Tim Hawkins 00:32:23
You played a security officer?
David John Clark 00:32:23
Tim Hawkins 00:32:23
How unusual. Have you ever played a security officer before?
David John Clark 00:32:36
No, not a security officer. Always a police officer. That's another story itself.
Tim Hawkins 00:32:36
That's like me being a barman.
David John Clark 00:32:46
How many Barman’s have you played?
Tim Hawkins 00:32:47
Well, yes. The guys from Blood City asked me if I can come in and do a spot in that for them as an actor as well as working with crew. And I said, oh, yeah. And they said, do you mind being a barman? And I thought, no, not again. Arithios was the innkeeper in Warpath Chronicle. I did a film with Simon Tate a few years ago where I played a barman that was with Eva as well. And I did a film that same year with Vincent Donato, where I played John the barman. And then the following year I worked with Fury Fingers guys on Love Guns and Level Ups and played a barman.
David John Clark 00:33:28
I remember I watched that series. That was good. But that being said that if you could get acting work all the time, especially paid, how many times would you play barman if you got paid?
Tim Hawkins 00:33:40
I've never been a barman, but I've never actually been a barman!
David John Clark 00:33:40
In your life?
Tim Hawkins 00:33:40
David John Clark 00:33:47
That's acting for you, isn't it? You can do things just within reason.
Tim Hawkins 00:33:54
We all know how the barman works.
David John Clark 00:33:57
You just get a tea towel in one hand and the glass in the other. I did. I think I was on the first date.
Tim Hawkins 00:34:05
Yeah, I remember that.
David John Clark 00:34:06
And it was a tea towel in the left hand and a cup in the other.
Tim Hawkins 00:34:09
And you finish, throw the tea towel over your shoulder and we know how to be the barman. And the barman is the guy that everyone loves to chat with the barman. They tell the barman all their woes and troubles.
David John Clark 00:34:25
It's one of those pivotal roles in so many shows. I suppose they can be that one scene role or they can be in every scene of the movie. So, I wouldn't knock any role.
Tim Hawkins 00:34:36
No. There's nothing wrong with being a barman in a TV show for sure.
David John Clark 00:34:43
Can you remember what your first lead role would have been in anything? You've had a few now independent productions and everything across the board.
Tim Hawkins 00:34:52
Yeah. It's funny. When you put me on the spot, I can barely remember a single movie.
David John Clark 00:34:59
Amazing. The memory, how it works. I love how people say, oh, when you say I'm an actor, what have I seen you in? Then all of a sudden, you're ... I'm ....
Tim Hawkins 00:34:59
I think it was when I did the domestic violence film, It Tastes Like. I think it was called It Tastes Like that was a student film. I think it was about 2015/2014, late 2014. And I played an abusive father of the main girl in the film. We were basically the two well, there was three main characters in this film, short film, and that was a fun role to play. And he was very violent and very abusive guy. The film is one of these films. They put trigger warnings up at the beginning and everything like that because it was a film, a study on domestic violence, basically. And it was interesting because after that we got asked by the White Ribbon Society, which is the domestic violence fight against domestic violence people, if we could perform some of these little scenes for prisoners at Yalata Jail, prerelease prisoners that were in there for acts of violence. And we went in and played out these domestic scenes in front of these guys and then they'd have to answer questions about what was going on there was that was he being violent? Was he being manipulative? Was he being a bully? And that was quite good doing that. It was interesting getting in there and doing that. And pretty rewarding, too. The guys loved it. They really loved it. And they came up to us at the end and said, you two were fantastic. When I watched you doing that, I could see just what an animal I've been in my life. And watching you, I hated you. And that was just really well done.
David John Clark 00:37:12
It's fantastic to have that as actors. You're providing something on stage as an entertainer. But to see that sort of reaction on another scale, someone is taking, you're acting in a fictional way, they're taking something away from themselves. It must have been a big moment.
Tim Hawkins 00:37:31
Yeah. It was actually quite rewarding. That was a good feeling. That was one of those warm, fuzzy feelings that you get.
David John Clark 00:37:38
And talking about characters because I did a similar role with Cameron Jordan for a student film where I had to be the abusive husband to her Mum and then I had to push her around a bit and it was the first time I'd walked a lot away from a scene where I felt bad. Bad, is probably not the right word, but I had a stress reaction to it and I realised, we talk about actors that get involved in their characters and we've lost some actors who have got so deep into the Joker, Heath Ledger, for example, he got so deep into that character. Did you find that as well, with such a heavy character that you had to find ways to deal with it or we just turn it off?
Tim Hawkins 00:38:18
Yeah, I pretty much just switch it on and off. I don't dwell on that sort of thing. If you're angry about something, there's probably a good reason. And it's not real anger, it's just acting and it's convincing. But inside, that's not really how I'm feeling. Inside I'm acting like I'm acting, but acting is whatever you do, don't act.
David John Clark 00:38:51
Yeah. So, a lot of actors, some actors can be in character the whole time, so you're able to be on set. I've worked with you on set, so I know when you're Tim and I know when you're a character. So, have you worked with actors that are always switched on?
Tim Hawkins 00:39:09
Yeah, I've worked with actors that stay in that zone of that person for days on end.
David John Clark 00:39:16
And how do you find that?
Tim Hawkins 00:39:17
It's difficult. Yeah. I did a film years ago with a short film years ago in Queensland with Jason Simmons, who was an Australian from Tasmania, moved to Los Angeles in the 90's. He was on Baywatch for three seasons. He was one of the characters in Baywatch for three seasons and then he did Sharknado and played Bass Hogan in Sharknado.
David John Clark 00:39:46
One of those movies that everyone thought, what is this crap? And then it becomes a blockbuster.
Tim Hawkins 00:39:50
A cult films. And then he did that. What was it, the two headed Shark after that, there's another Shark? Yeah, but he's one of those guys. We played cops in this film that I was in with him called Patch. It was a short film. It was a proof of concept that is still in development now. They're still talking about making the feature film, but we played cops in that and he hadn't been a cop in anything before and he loved it, but he was Mr. Policeman the whole time. And we were staying basically in this town in Queensland, accommodated in the same place. So, we were sort of sharing this place together for two weeks that we were filming. It took late at night when he became Jason again.
David John Clark 00:40:42
Might be all right if you're just playing a police officer, but imagine playing a psychopath and you're trying to go down the bar for lunch.
Tim Hawkins 00:40:49
Yeah, I don't know, mate. I mean, to be perfectly honest, it will be either that or a police officer. Both will drive me crazy.
David John Clark 00:40:58
So, in your acting journey so far, what have been your best or and your worst moments? Have you had times that you've just gone, this is why I'm doing acting? Or has there been times where I just don't want to do it anymore? Anything that comes to really stands out.
Tim Hawkins 00:41:16
When you've been on set all day and it's 4 o'clock in the morning, the following morning and you're still on set and they're saying, just a couple more scenes to go now.
David John Clark 00:41:16
Or, take number 72.
Tim Hawkins 00:41:16
That's when you're thinking, why am I doing this? I just want to be at home in bed. But then there's times when you're playing an Arithois or something like that in Warpath Chronicle, and this is just bliss. This is all I want to do. There's good and bad moments in everything and filming is the same. You can hit some lows. More or less, it's about body fatigue for me, more than anything. Other than that, I don't mind.
David John Clark 00:42:05
With your acting, it's not something like a lot of younger actors, they've decided this is what they want to do and so they need to make a living from it. But I'm in a position with my acting that as much as I want to try and make it work and become professional actor, I don't need to. And I still have my ebbs and flows where I'm going, why am I doing this? Am I'm wasting my time? I'm spending more money than I'm not, but I don't need to. You're the same with your acting? You love it so much that it doesn't matter whether you're getting the work or not getting the work. You just keep pushing it.
Tim Hawkins 00:42:35
I'll keep pushing it. When I was playing music, when I first started playing in bands back in the 70s, I was all about, this is all I want to do. And if I'm going to be a musician, then I need to be playing in a band and that's all I can do. I need to concentrate all my efforts on that. So, I was broke for years. Inevitably, I had no money and that was when I decided, this is crazy, I need to work out a way to make money out of this. And I didn't have to go far. I just picked up the lighting and sound and started working with bands, doing lighting and sound. I had to make it work with filming. When I got back into acting in 2013, I had jobs and good jobs and the mortgage was ticking along and the kids that are out of school and my kids were grown up by then and so it was easier for me to do and I didn't have to make a lot of money out of acting. I just wanted to do it. It's never been about the money.
David John Clark 00:43:48
No, that is good. I talked with Greg Apps about this a lot and he called it a plan B. It's not a replacement. It's about having a backup, having something that pays the bills while you can do it. We've had lots of discussions with StageMilk as well about actors. If you want to be an actor, you've got to be an actor 100%. Well, yes and no, because you need to eat. And we all know the old actor story in LA where every waiter or waitress is an actor, but you need to pay the bills at the end of the day.
Tim Hawkins 00:44:21
Andy McPhee says the same thing. Have you ever done any courses with him?
David John Clark 00:44:25
No, I haven't. I've seen a lot of stuff with him and I just haven't had the opportunity.
Tim Hawkins 00:44:30
I've done some stuff with Andy, but he's good like that and he understands and he says you've got to have that thing you do. The job that you do and quite often that job will be something that you really love because it gives you the freedom to do your acting and still pay your bills.
David John Clark 00:44:47
If you can find that balance, with my shift work, it works really well. I very rarely have clashes where I can't make an acting job work.
Tim Hawkins 00:44:55
Yeah, that's right.
David John Clark 00:44:57
And I've got my son, Connor at the moment he wants to he's leaning towards the acting journey.
Tim Hawkins 00:45:02
Are you trying to talk him out of it?
David John Clark 00:45:04
Maybe I should, but I wanted to talk him into it so much because he's a little Robbie Williams and he never wanted to do it. And then something happened that he said, Dad, I want to give it a go. But we're at that point now where he's in year eleven and we're sort of saying, well, we need to find your backup plan, not your replacement plan, not saying you don't do acting, but we need to find something that you can do concurrently. So, he's going to do next year as part of year twelve, he's going to do the filmmaking course, learning all the stuff like you lighting and sound and that. So at least then, hey, you can go and work on set.
Tim Hawkins 00:45:41
Yeah, that's right.
David John Clark 00:45:43
Again, it's one of those areas finding that balance, because if you're working on set, you might already have the job and then you get the acting role, then you've got to ....
Tim Hawkins 00:45:51
That's the thing. Yeah. And the other thing is it's still working in the film industry and if there's no film work going on, you're still going to be still not going to have the work.
David John Clark 00:45:58
Tim Hawkins 00:45:59
That's the thing. It is getting better in South Australia for that. We are getting a lot more productions here than we used to. We used to make a lot of our own films in South Australia. That doesn't happen as much. But now there are a lot of companies coming and making films here from overseas, which is. That's really good.
David John Clark 00:46:18
I think it's great. And I would really like to see the government start to spend a bit more money on developing that as well. We've got the Mercury CX Cinema is almost bankrupt, apparently, because the government's not paying them out. So whereas in Melbourne and Sydney and even Perth, they're building sound stages and everything now because they recognise that if they put the money in, the money's going to come back.
Tim Hawkins 00:46:42
David John Clark 00:46:42
And that's a real shame. We look at all the development that's happened over at Glenside, around the Adelaide studio, they put up all these condos.
Tim Hawkins 00:46:51
It could have been a Fox studios
Tim Hawkins 00:46:51
David John Clark 00:46:54
That whole space could have been back lots and sound stages and water stages. It could have been the contender.
David John Clark 00:46:54
We were talking before. Just a memorization of lines. It's very interesting when we bring this up with how different actors have it. Is it easy for you?
Tim Hawkins 00:47:14
Yeah, pretty much it is.
David John Clark 00:47:16
Has it always been easy or is that something that's just developed over time that you're now good at?
Tim Hawkins 00:47:22
Yeah, it's always been fairly easy for me. I've always been the guy that can remember the song lyrics. It's like telling a joke. It's like a joke. If someone tells me a joke and I like that joke, it makes me laugh. I'll walk away and ten minutes later and half an hour later, I can tell someone that joke. Exactly as it was told to me. It's just always been like that. So, it's always for me, learning lines is just like learning a joke. Yeah.
David John Clark 00:47:55
It's just something that comes natural.
Tim Hawkins 00:47:56
Yeah, it just comes natural to me. I can't explain. A lot of people have asked me that, but I tend to learn lines very quickly. And don't get me wrong, I can get flustered and mess them up too. And all of a sudden get a blank, go blank and go, what's that line again? We all do it. But it's something I don't stress over either, is learning lines. I know I'll learn those lines if I read the script enough times and it's reading all of the lines. It's not just mine, it's the whole conversation.
David John Clark 00:48:28
Just like knowing the whole song.
Tim Hawkins 00:48:30
David John Clark 00:48:31
Not just the chorus.
Tim Hawkins 00:48:32
Yeah, that's right. And so, I will learn everyone's lines. In fact, early days, I used to have the bad habit of actually mouthing other people's lines while they was saying them on film. And directors have to say to me, Tim, can you keep your mouth shut? And I'm like, what am I doing? And they're going, you're saying the exact words.....
David John Clark 00:48:52
..... and we got you on camera.
Tim Hawkins 00:48:53
David John Clark 00:48:54
It's funny because my first episode was with Eva Grzelak, and she does the singing as well, so she talked about that. It's like the songs and that's how she learns the lines, finding the rhythm in the words.
Tim Hawkins 00:49:07
Yeah, the rhythm of the conversation and more, Eva, of course. That's how she does it. She's been singing in bands for years and years. And Eva is great. Eva and I have worked together on so many things, not just film, but we worked in production for years. We both were at the Adelaide Convention Centre for ten years together there.
David John Clark 00:49:29
Awesome. I didn't know that.
Tim Hawkins 00:49:30
Doing lighting. Yeah. And before that, for other production companies outside of the place.
David John Clark 00:49:36
I just caught up with Eva yesterday. She's in town.
Tim Hawkins 00:49:38
I see. Okay. I love to catch up with her.
David John Clark 00:49:41
All right. You're saying before, besides being a bartender, what would be your ultimate role if you had to choose? If someone said, Tim, whatever movie you want or whatever character you want, your choice. Let's go. We're going to do it. What would you like to do?
Tim Hawkins 00:49:57
Nothing, really. I'm not looking to be like. You mentioned the Tom Cruise stuff and all that big blockbuster stuff. Not me.
David John Clark 00:50:06
Not jumping out of planes or hanging onto buildings.
Tim Hawkins 00:50:10
Jumping out of planes sounds like fun. The fun. It's good fun if you can do that sort of stuff. But no, I like kind of simple dramatic roles. I've been doing a bit of comedy and I did work on that. I don't know if you saw that 48 Hours film that we made a few years ago called Clicker, and it got the audience award for that group, which is a nice little award to get. And then one of the TV or streaming channels saw that and asked, Adam Ovadia is the young fellow that directed it and wrote it, if we could work on it and make it something better. So, we've just shot a pilot episode of a series of that. When I say just, we finished shooting at late last year. So now they're in post-production at the moment of that pilot episode. And that's a comedy. And I really enjoyed working in a comedy. I love working in comedy. It's something I never pictured myself doing. Even though people think Tim Hawkins is a funny guy, he always got a joke and all the rest of it, that comedy wasn't something I'd really thought about until I did it.
David John Clark 00:51:27
As an acting perspective.
Tim Hawkins 00:51:28
Yes, as an actor. And then I did it and I really loved it. And again, having a good director. And Adam Ovadia is an excellent young director, and he knows how to compact, how to pace the comedy really well. And it was a really good, fun role to play. The guy that I was playing was nuts. He's a nutcase.
David John Clark 00:51:53
Love it, but in a funny way.
Tim Hawkins 00:51:55
In a hilarious way. He plays this guy called the TV King, and he runs a company selling TVs, but it's a front for his crime boss, but it's funny. His salesmen and his TV shop are all running around. They're called his Knights of the Round Table. And they've all got, like, knight helmets on. They're all wearing, like, mediaeval Helms and selling TVs. It's crazy. It's really crazy.
David John Clark 00:52:29
Sounds like fun.
Tim Hawkins 00:52:30
Yes. It was a lot of fun making it. And the character is absolutely nuts. In fact, all of the characters are nuts.
David John Clark 00:52:39
I got to certainly look out for that one.
Tim Hawkins 00:52:41
David John Clark 00:52:41
Tim, the end of the podcast, I've been doing this with all my guests. Now, this is my favourite one. What would be your T shirt quote? I'm wearing my T shirt quote.
Tim Hawkins 00:53:00
Does it have to be a T shirt quote or it can just be my favourite quote.
David John Clark 00:53:03
It could be your favourite.
Tim Hawkins 00:53:05
I made a quote in 2018. I don't know if you saw it. I put it up on Facebook for a few days. It said it will take us our entire lives to learn everything we will need to know to get through it.
David John Clark 00:53:20
Nice. I like that. There's your T shirt quote. You can put that on a T shirt.
Tim Hawkins 00:53:23
It'll be small writing.
David John Clark 00:53:28
And the big thing about that question is that everyone that I've asked and I've never stipulated what sort of quote. It's always a motivational quote. So, it draws on something that they've learned. And that's what I like about the question.
David John Clark 00:53:28
What one person, dead or alive, do you like to have dinner with if you had the chance?
Tim Hawkins 00:53:49
Grandfather. My grandfather. I haven't seen him since. I think I was about 17 years old when he passed away. Maybe 18 years old.
David John Clark 00:54:04
He was young when he passed.
Tim Hawkins 00:54:06
No. He was in his mid-eighties when he passed, my mother was one of the youngest out of nine children in he was older when she was a kid.
David John Clark 00:54:18
That makes sense.
Tim Hawkins 00:54:19
Yeah. But he was probably my largest influence in my life. He was the guy that got me into music. He was a concert violinist himself. He was a pretty cool guy. He was a vegetarian in the 60s and 70s. Which was fairly progressive back then? He was into meditation and a lot of Eastern culture stuff as well.
David John Clark 00:54:19
Tim Hawkins 00:54:19
And he had a hobby farm that he worked as well that they lived on. Yes, it would be him. I'd have him back and we could probably sit down and listen to some music all night and just talk about that.
David John Clark 00:55:03
I love that. That's fantastic. Bingeing TV shows. Do you do that? What was the last show you did? Binge?
Tim Hawkins 00:55:14
Look, I binge everything.
David John Clark 00:55:17
The only way to watch it these days.
Tim Hawkins 00:55:21
I can't bear it when shows come out week to week. I'm watching Better Call Saul at the moment. I got to wait each week for that. That's the prequel to Breaking Bad.
David John Clark 00:55:29
Yes. I think the last season is on now. Yeah. I'll be able to binge it because I haven't been able to watch it week to week.
Tim Hawkins 00:55:38
But then I didn't watch anything of Shameless. You remember the show Shameless?
David John Clark 00:55:43
Yes. I'm behind on that again?
Tim Hawkins 00:55:45
Well, there was nine seasons before I ever started watching it, and I binged the whole thing over. I watched two episodes every day for about six months. William H. Macy. Now, the guy is just brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
David John Clark 00:56:04
All right. And are there any questions in this podcast that I should have asked?
Tim Hawkins 00:56:12
No, I don't think so. I think the things you left alone were well, left alone.
David John Clark 00:56:18
That's the thing. Is there anything you wish to confess to me?
Tim Hawkins 00:56:20
I'll play the priest now.
Tim Hawkins 00:56:20
No, not really. No. I've been a good boy.
David John Clark 00:56:28
And to really round it up there. Is there anything that you want to ask me?
Tim Hawkins 00:56:35
Have you got any good roles coming up?
David John Clark 00:56:37
Tim Hawkins 00:56:41
Okay. You can't give a one-word answer.
David John Clark 00:56:45
I could pretend. Well, I've got things that I can't talk about. I've done a couple of auditions at the moment that are the old auditions, and you go, have I not heard anything because I didn't get it, or have I not heard anything because I haven't made a decision yet.
Tim Hawkins 00:56:58
Yeah. It's a joy that's stuck between that.
David John Clark 00:57:03
Rock and hard place.
Tim Hawkins 00:57:04
Yeah, that's a nightmare. I don't enjoy that at all.
David John Clark 00:57:08
It'd be nice to know there's been pushes in the industry. They've just done, the Union, the MEAA has just brought out guidelines for your self-tapes that you have to have a certain amount of time to submit. And all these rules, they're not rules per se, but just more guidelines, but they were pushing for people to have those to be told. I don't think they can. I mean, when you've got 500 people auditioning for a role and you can't be expected for them to say, hey, here's your feedback and everything like that. It's just a nature of the industry, so to speak.
David John Clark 00:57:08
Well, Tim, I think that comes to the end. Now, do you have any social media that you'd like to visit? Do you have your own acting Facebook page or anything like that?
Tim Hawkins 00:57:49
Yeah, I've got my actors page on Tim Hawkins actor is on Facebook, and that's pretty much it. That's about it.
David John Clark 00:57:57
And you've got an IMDb page.
Tim Hawkins 00:57:58
I do have an IMDb page as well, which is well, it's fairly up to date.
David John Clark 00:58:04
And we've got a couple of links on IMDB, because we've worked on similar projects, so that's beautiful. Well, Tim, thank you very much for being my first in person interview as well. It wasn't as scary as I expected.
Tim Hawkins 00:58:17
Thanks for having me, Dave. I appreciate it.
David John Clark 00:58:20
I know you didn't get the chance to be on that other podcast. We'll just say that another podcast, but certainly I wanted you on this one. I only run it monthly. So, it's about juggling and getting people on board. I'm really glad that you've been on board.
Tim Hawkins 00:58:35
You've had some good people on here, mate. I was impressed with some of the people that you've got coming on.
David John Clark 00:58:42
And that's what I want to do is I want to find that knowledge base, that experience set and have a bit of diversity and people that we talk on sort of thing and I certainly want to bring it back to Adelaide and that's why I wanted you on board because you're so ingrained in the Adelaide acting community and everyone knows Tim Hawkins. It showcases how much you are involved in a heavy way, on both sides of the camera and people adore that and love it.
Tim Hawkins 00:59:11
I've been lucky mate, to be perfectly honest with you, I've just put myself out there and I've just been lucky that people have liked what I can do.
David John Clark 00:59:19
You're sharing your knowledge. That's what I like about you. Similar to me. You sort of want if someone's looking for some help with some knowledge, you're there every time to say, hey, this is what I know so I love it.
Tim Hawkins 00:59:34
Well, they say when the tide comes in all boats rise, mate. If we're all working on a film and I can help someone develop that character better or work that character better or just make that scene work a bit better I'll do it and offer sort of some assistance and they can take it or leave it. It's up to them but I'm always there to help people on set. I like working with other actors around me on set and if I'm giving my best, I like other people to be giving their best and so I try and bring the best out in people all the time as well.
David John Clark 01:00:17
Quid pro quo. I love it. Awesome. Tim, thank you very much.
Tim Hawkins 01:00:21
Thanks a lot Dave.
Tim Hawkins 01:00:21
Your pleasure. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for listening in the Tim.