Photos of Conan in Movies

Spartacus Season 02 To Feature Conan Stevens

Sunday, 31 July 2011

I can now formally announce that I have signed with the Starz TV series SPARTACUS. As such I am now again in New Zealand preparing for my role during The Hobbit hiatus.

As a bonus today I recieved the six episodes of the prequel season of Spartacus - Gods Of The Arena to watch as background information. Not being a big watcher of TV personally, and not having access to the program at home in Asia this is the first I have seen of the series. (Season 02 was delayed and a prequel made in it's stead. So even though this is Season 02 it is the 3rd season of the series that has been made).

And I must say that I am impressed. I have watched episodes 01 to 04 straight with only breaks to cook food, and by the looks of it I will watch the entire season in one sitting - a very rare occurance, even for professional reasons.

Spartacus itself is another "jewel in the crown" of my credit list so to speak, in the last year now that is "Game Of Thrones", "The Hobbit" and now "Spartacus" - all pretty reputable Western credits that add considerable weight to my existing list....

Spartacus, the Roman period Action Drama TV series caught my attention mainly for the reasons (1) it is action/gladiator centered and (2) it is almost 'fantasy' based. Basically my niche, the area I have built my skill set to match.

How did I get onto Spartacus?

Same as I have done for pretty much everything else, I looked for an opportunity that isn't highly visible. Again there were no wide open doors, there was no invitation, there was no red carpet rolled out and I was not "lucky". I created an opportunity.

Basically when I was at The Hobbit studios I asked the casting people there (Wellington, NZ) if they knew the casting people for Spartacus (Auckland, NZ) being only afew hours away and a fairly small film community I guessed that I could get an introduction, which any salesperson will tell you is 10 times better than a cold call - you are much more likely to be received and much more likely to "make the sale". The casting people at "The Hobbit" called the "Spartacus" people and introduced my indirectly and said to expect an email from me.

So I emailed the Spartacus casting people directly with a brief explaination of whom I got their email address from and that I was currently in New Zealand working on The Hobbit - thus establishing that I was making a serious request. For this I had to wait until Peter Jackson officially announced I was on The Hobbit, so I was in fact sitting on my tail waiting for the announcement so I could pounce on Spartacus.

As it happened I was able to get into a audition very quickly.

Now I cannot say what I did exactly yet but I can say there was a special request and I went out of my way to meet this request in a manner that most people would not think of. But I did my very best to meet this special request, I was told it was not essential due to the time restrictions, but I did it. If you are an actor learn from this, deliver as much as you can and then some. The effort is noticed.
(UPDATE: The special request was to speak one paragraph with a German accent. So I pounced on this opportunity by trying to get a Skype session with a German friend, failing this I then headed down to the nearest backpackerrs where the staff thought I was some sort of nut asking to hire a German speaker for a lesson - they were busy laughing behind their hands until I plonked a $50 note down on the counter and said I'm serious.
This got their attention and a German student came dow n to talk to me, we agreed on what I needed and he then coached me to do the entire break down in an authentic German accent and that one paragraph in German.
This got the producers thinking I actually spoke German and I was offered the Guest Star role, Sedullus, leader of the Germanic slaves in that episode.)

Next I did a short screen test. I took my shirt off and my physique is highly suitable to the series and I reckon I did alright on my vocubulary and acting, alright enough that we went into negotiations soon afterward.

Money was not a major issue in this role for me the role itself and its ability to propel my career forward and the credit in another well regarded sword fighting fictional drama were far more important. To solidify my reputation in my niche and to work with another top notch group of stuntmen.

So here I am in New Zealand again filming in another great (especially for me) production.

As my good friend and valuable mentor Big Mike in Hong Kong says "Work the plan, plan the work."

My plans are going full steam ahead - IF I can pull off the next attempted plan it will shock everyone, except for those very few who believe in me (actually probably them too).

To those people who know me and understand and really believe in me I thank you, you have been so very few.

And thanks for the Spartacus team for taking a chance on me too.

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