Dylan Mack; Writer, Actor, Director

Dylan Mack, who are you?
Who I am is someone that has found a purpose in my work, sometimes we do things only for our self and I found that with my art I can help others. Trust me, I’m not perfect and every lesson I learn I take to heart. I come from beautiful Beaufort West and have been living in CPT for about 6-7 years, learning my art and performing and teaching what I have learnt.

You’re a writer, actor and director. How do you manage all these roles?
I find it hard at time because of the work load but I feel in doing all I understand the other side as well. Because I am an actor it helps me to understand the needs of an actor as a director and the other way around. Me as an actor will know what my director would want from me. My writing however is where I get to tell stories, create emotions, characters and maybe change someone’s perspective on life. I see art as more than one thing. It is a compilation of skills that helps you to convey emotions. At times it gets hard but if you love what you do then it becomes a joy.

Tell us about your method of acting?
My method for acting is pretty simple. The text is my guide and from that I will get to know my character: where he/she’s from, what makes them happy, what makes them sad, how did the character become the person that he/she is today. Because as they say, your past can either make you or break you. After all of that I learn my lines in character as it help me to remember the lines much faster that way. I also vocalize each line as if it is truly happening to me at that moment. Seeing what the character sees, feeling what the character feels, but the key to it all is focus, focus, focus. This will allow you to stay in the character and block out everything that is not part of that moment.

How has your writing changed over time?
My writing does not really change. I must admit that it all depends on my emotions I feel during that time but I always try to write something that is not related to an era or trends but more of the human emotions. You can read a poem I wrote 5 years ago and it will still mean something to you today. Because I want my writing to inspire people to find love and in finding true love you will find your passion and in finding your passion you will find your purpose.

What inspires you?
What inspires me, the things I have seen in life the, people that I have met. I have spoken to the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, and what inspire my work is showing people that it’s not about where you are in life but the person inside. My inspiration comes from the people I have met in this journey we call life and it’s just me trying to help and uplift with my works. I never dreamt of being a star. I always say people can forget my name as long as they remember my work.

What superpower would you have and why?
I never actually wanted any superpowers, but if have to choose I would say being able to read minds to know what someone is truly feeling. Because you can only help someone if you know the truth behind the pain.

When writing, is there any music you like to listen to?
If I write with music it has to be music without words, and something with a jazz type of feel to it or a soft Hip-Hop beat. Other than that, silence is golden to writer.
Just me alone somewhere.

What was the last movie you saw?
Captain Underpants

Do you think there are enough venues and events to portray your art?
I believe there is when it comes to poetry but not when it comes to theatre. I found that in theatre they choose according to name and not always according to talent or text. It is sad and think this is one of reasons why our theatre industry is struggling to grow and to connect with our youth and the way the world is today and also movies are killing theatre because of every mall has a cinema and theatre’s aren’t easy to get to, but there is always hope as I see the youth changing and bring new ideas of bring theatre to the people.

What work do you most enjoy doing?
It’s hard to say which work I enjoy most but if I have to choose, my love for performing will always win. When I’m on stage I feel free, whether I’m doing poetry, MC or playing a character. When I go on stage I am free, but love to teach art as well.

What do you dislike about the art world?
What I don’t like about the arts world is the fact that we always in competition with other artist and that most of the time people use artists to make money and not pay them. This thing about performing for exposure drives me insane. It’s like me asking an accountant to do my books and telling them you doing it for exposure. This is our profession and I studied to become the artist and I paid for my studies as other would for their profession.

What are your views on art funding in Cape Town?
Honestly there is funding for art but you have to have body of work to apply for funding, but also there is not a lot of funding for arts seeing as it has the smallest budget, it is best to raise your own funds or seek funding from investors outside of the government.

Where is your favourite, most inspirational place?
I don’t have one place where I am inspired, like I said I get my inspiration from people and thing around me so whether I’m walking to the train station or I’m walking into a veld in Beaufort, it’s the life I see around me that give me inspiration, even the pastors of Metrorail. Please don’t steal the name, it’s a play I’m working on, “Ministers of Metrorail”.

Do you prefer late nights or early mornings?
Me, I’m an early morning person. I enjoy the night as well, I just work better in the morning with a fresh mind.

What do you think of pineapple on pizza? Yes or hell no?
I think its fine. I’m more of a chicken and mushroom person myself.

I know we’re already half way through, but what would you like to achieve before the end of 2017?
Well, one of my dreams are coming true as I wanted my new play to be staged this year in a theatre. It is happening at the end of September, the name is “Karoo Moordenaars” it’s a one man play but it’s not for the faint-hearted. That’s all I can say about it for now, but I hope people will enjoy it and hopefully more will come.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?
90% hard work 10% talent because talent means nothing without hard work.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Damn, there are so many. I don’t know which one to choose, but if have to say: It was me showing off trying to do a handstand on a thin little pole and as soon as I got strait my hand slipped off and I scorpion in the pole. The great friends that had help me by laughing as hard as they could.

Describe your dream project.
My dream is one day have my own arts school. I say arts schools because it will house all forms of art. This school is also for those who don’t have the money to study as I want half of my students to study for free. As you know there are no arts bursaries in CPT for the major universities. This needs to change because I know people with amazing talent and drive but no one takes them to heart because of a piece of paper.

What kind of research do you do?
Mostly teaching methods and writing. I learn from the people I meet and do the thing that I one day want to do.

What advice would you give a young artist?
If you don’t love what you do and when I say love I’m talking about being broke and still doing it for the love of art and not to be a star then this is for you. I see so many young people waste their time thinking that what we do is easy and think that they will get a permanent job as an actor, which is not true. As an actor you will never have a permanent job.

Facebook: Dylan Mack | Grey Poet Productions

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