"I was born and raised in the working class north of England. It was amid the strikes and political unrest of the 1970s, and the civil unrest and ‘rise’ of Thatcher’s Britain in the ‘80s, that I went to school and university. I guess it was here I developed an interest in social cohesion, and social division, class and power, voices of the marginalised and the disenfranchised, and the power of theatre. And football, naturally.
Initially, though, I set out on a different path. An honours degree in philosophy and English literature (in Manchester, 1989) was followed by a somewhat unexpected migration to Australia, and a Masters in Human Bioethics (at Monash, 1999). These were years of engaging and challenging experiences in leadership and management roles in government and not-for-profit organisations in Sydney.
It was time, reaching 40, to take a step to the left. Finally, I attended drama school (at Sydney Theatre School, 2009). What is it about nines?
The page turned. I began a new chapter.
As a working actor and voice artist, I have developed a range of credits on stage and screen. In theatre, there have been shows at Sydney’s Seymour Centre, Old Fitz Theatre, Riverside Theatre (Parramatta) and the Bondi Pavilion. On screen, there have been appearances on television and in web series, in several independent feature films, and in over 30 short films. I also have several writing and other projects in development.
Perhaps because of my interest in moving between pathways, and finding common ground where difference seems more prominent, I enjoy collaborating with other artists deeply. I am excited by exploring how different forms of expression can engage to tell stories and captivate audiences. In 2013, I worked with cellist Rachel Scott (Bach in the Dark) on a series of performances for Cello and Spoken Word.
I am very fortunate to work regularly as an actor, voice artist, writer, and coach in organisational development and on corporate projects (e.g. culture change, strategic initiatives, and brand issues). Drawing on my experiences and skills as a leader, I try to bring a richness and realism to generate immersive learning experiences that help improve individual, team and corporate performance. And to make them fun and memorable experiences.
I often refer to the words of David Mamet in True and False (1997) when he writes:
'Acting is not a genteel profession. Actors used to be buried at a crossroads with a stake through the heart. Those people's performances so troubled the onlookers that they feared their ghosts. / Those players moved the audience...such that the audience feared for their soul. Now that seems to me something to aim for.'"
In late-2018, I moved to Melbourne to begin the next chapter..."
For more about my work, see: https://www.paulmichaelarmstrong.net/
Location: Melbourne VIC, Australia