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The Black Veil

From Nottingham to Hollywood: Oliver Silver on His Acting Career

28 May 17 interview: LeftLion

We speak to the actor and former Nottingham resident Oliver Silver about his acting journey so far and his potential career move to Los Angeles...

Music video still: James Hersey - Coming Over

How did you get into acting?
I’d always done theatre, and loved performing from a young age; I spent my school years writing and performing one-man plays, sketch shows, and playing lead roles. Then I was accepted to Nottingham University, where I spent most of my time in The New Theatre and performed lead roles in Closer and A Clockwork Orange. The level was higher, and the quality of the productions was so much higher, so I started to consider it properly as a career. I loved languages, and I was good at them, but I remember thinking, “What do I really enjoy doing? What do I want to do with my life?” It was always performing, and it started on stage.

What did you do when you finished uni?
The first few months were enormously tough. Psychologically adjusting to having all this time on my hands, being self-employed, and the pressure to try and get an agent, book jobs, and pay rent was massive. I wanted to work on camera after leaving Nottingham. I always loved theatre, but I wanted to test myself in a new medium, to watch myself back and see if I believed myself. It was a completely new experience, but I loved it, right from the beginning.

I think the more you experience in life, and the more time in front of the camera that you get, the more you improve as an actor. You become more aware of the different technical demands of film acting as opposed to on the stage. They are vastly different in many ways. I feel you always learn from every character you play. They all store in your mind somewhere… the behaviors, the mannerisms. They do become part of who you are.

You’ve done some adverts too…
I think the way the world is evolving, and the way we are becoming increasingly engrossed by content, means that commercials and advertising are becoming even more important. The global scope and influence that they have is massive. There is a responsibility in that also, which we need to be aware of.

You’ve travelled loads, but you returned to Notts late last year for a project with BBC Director James Walker…
It was strange, coming back to Nottingham. We were driving through Lenton, and past Balfour Road where I used to live. All the memories started coming back, rushing to rehearsals, going over lines in the park with other Actors, going to the Nottingham Playhouse. It’s a beautiful city. It’s crazy how fast life is moving. It was nice to get to go back. I look back on it with fondness, as I feel my time there has lead me to where I am now.

You’ve been signed to the management company Gotham Group in LA...
There are so many hugely talented, creative people in the UK industry, who are making fantastic projects. However, I look at the quality of work that is being produced in America and the size of the market over there, and I am increasingly drawn to that. I think sometimes, all you have in this career is your instinct, and sometimes you have to have faith, and follow that instinct.

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