David Breeds (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Christopher), begins our interview by explaining how he always playing football growing up, and had initially envisioned taking a career within football. Eventually falling out of love with it, he chose to look at other avenues of that he would enjoy. Subsequently finding him upstate New York teaching rock climbing in the Catskills, which led to came working in a factory producing car engine rods. Having tried to join the marines, he finally got accepted into Worcester University to study Sports Therapy.
On living in New York, he explains how he met actors, who were studying at a college. Being around them made him realise that he really should be pursuing acting.
“With no background in it I didn’t really know where to start. I ended up contacting an acting tutor in London, emailed and said I think I should be an actor. I went for an acting lesson, which turned into a singing lesson, and two weeks later I found myself auditioning for a college in Romford where I got a full scholarship”.
Choosing to drop everything and focus completely on his acting career. With no social life. Just work, work, work. He very quickly realized this was what he was born to do.
David highlights that his first introduction to theatre was through viewing a performance of Les Misérables when he was in Year 10. He admits that he only went so he could get half the day off school.
“I didn’t have a clue what it was. As soon as the music started I was instantly hooked, and I listened to the album constantly. I wished that I could sing like that or do something like that. I’d never done drama at school. It wasn’t something that I thought you could do as a job”.
He recalls how his audition for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time came from his agent through filming a self-tape. Going onto highlight that a month later he had a recall where he was sent more material. At this point he had already learnt everything they had sent over. This led to a meeting with David Monteith and Kate Kordel. Finding out he got the job whilst enjoying a katsu curry in Wagamamas.
He does however, point to the rigours that accompany pursuing such a rewarding career. From being able to grow a thick skin, through to a passion for what you are doing. To not take anything personally. “It’s all about the work and making it the best it could possibly be. To be very, very hard working. You can have all the talent in the world, if someone is willing to work harder than you, they’ll eventually be better”. His advice to work hard, to be the best you can possibly be. That is there is something else you could do as a career, that you could see yourself happy doing, to pursue it relentlessly. Highlighting that you will find yourself having a much easier life, less stress, and less hassle in doing so.
For his role as Christopher, David highlights that his character has not impacted his personality in any way. Whilst he brings a lot of his personal experiences to the character, for David, it is the art of storytelling at the end of the day. That when he steps off stage, he is back to being David. Although he admits to quoting the show in his day to day life, which he notes is very annoying.
As for rituals, he points to being very quiet before a performance. Choosing not to talk 15 minutes before lights up. “I just get my head into a place, think about where Christopher has been, what’s going on, so when I walk onto the stage I’m already there, and then the play just does its thing”.
He feels that in general being an actor is a tough career to pursue. There’s a lot of discipline needed he explains, missing out on certain things, not having much of a social life as you don’t want to miss any potential opportunities that might come up short notice. This being said, he would not change it for the world. The reason is his love for the work. “I get enjoyment out of the work more than I would get from going to the pub. But that’s just me and my process. There’s no right or wrong, just what’s best for me. I also think not knowing what’s around the corner or where the next job will come from is scary but also very exciting”. That he has to keep working hard, stay sharp and take the opportunities when they come and enjoy the process.
He highlights how he never gets fatigue from the production. In his mind, the audience watching has never seen the show before. Something he makes a point of always remembering. “Every time I’m on stage it’s the first time I’m hearing those words. I get to do an absolutely incredible role in an incredible play”. For David, to be in the position he is in is incredible. For the actor, it still does not seem real. A point he makes to never take for granted. To never view it as a chore, as for the actor, he gets to do what he loves.#watchthisspace