From Author to Actor
Many actors and others who work in the movie industry know early on that is what they want to do, but some find themselves drawn to the art of filmmaking later, having done other things. I am fascinated and intrigued when I come across someone that started out doing one thing and then wound up doing something completely different and unrelated. This is the case with actor Shane Senior. Shane’s background and experience were intriguing, so I had to hear more about his story and who he is.
You have a fascinating background. Before becoming an actor, you served in the Royal Marines, and you were a security professional, inspirational speaker, and author. How did you end up being an actor?
I learned skills from speaking on stage, and I thought to myself one day, you know, it might be good to act. Many of the skills you use speaking from a stage are very similar to what you use on-screen, you know, improvising, memorizing dialogue line scripts, and all that sort of funky jazz. So I thought, why not just give it a go, did a couple of short films, and here we are a few years later.
You have quite a few credits and have seen some success. How long have you been acting now?
I’ve been doing it properly for about three years. I would say successfully but not where I want to be right now. I’m still having some good roles come through plenty in the pipeline. And I’m sure yeah, there’ll be some more big stuff in the near future.
What’s been the most significant part you have had so far?
It depends. The best part of the most fun? Of course, when you’re doing things like special action and stunts, you’re not that visible, so it’s not the best for screen time, but it’s the best in terms of fun to actually produce that type of stuff. I would say the best one to date is probably a program called viewpoint starring Noel Clark. Unfortunately, it was pulled because of a scandal involving sexual harassment allegations.
Shane played the character of Vic in the five-part drama about a tense police surveillance investigation into a Manchester community following the disappearance of primary school teacher Gemma Hillman
Is there anyone that you want to work with, actor, director, producer?
Possibly Guy Ritchie, because I like his style of films, Joaquin Phoenix. And that’s just because of the whole movement he does on veganism, and I’m passionate about vegan myself. They’re probably the only two I could name off the top of my head. Some people look up to certain people like stars, but that’s not my thing.
How did your family and friends react to your becoming an Actor?
It’s just more of a shock, because like you said, it’s something different. And if anything, it just gets people more interested. How did you get into that, how did you start that, or why?
Let’s talk about your book. What was the inspiration or catalyst for you to do that?
It was one of those things that came out of the transformation that I made. When I finally found spirituality in my life, it taught me all about the law of attraction. I had acquired a vast amount of wealth within my law enforcement career, And then I lost it based on the principle from all the negative energy I surrounded myself with every day.
When you’re in a profession like that, you’re upsetting people every day; you’re taking money and possessions from people’s properties; you’re ultimately destroying people’s lives. So that negative energy I used to bring home, which eventually became my reality when everything went wrong for me, I realized I’ve got to get out of this profession.
So it was the principle of the law of attraction, what we think about, we attract. When we’re very focused on things that are not going well, we’re attracting more of that kind of energy.
Many people, I think, don’t understand science and how it all works, so I wrote it in a way that somebody that’s never understood it can. It’s straight to the point, nothing over complicated. Some of these books you can get written by doctors and scientists can be too confusing for the average person and average consumer. So I’ve just written in a way that the average consumer that’s looking for a transformation in their life can pick it up and understand. Whether they believe it or not, up to their own opinion. Spirituality is like religion; whether you believe it or not, that’s your choice.
You have a very, I think, distinct look as an actor. Do you find that you are getting it all typecast into things?
I think I just get cast more like the criminal or the crime boss. I’d say the bad guy generally more than anything. But before I had the beard, I was clean-shaven. And when you have shorter hair, you’re more versatile in terms of what you can apply for because you have many more options. You can be a good guy, a bad guy. But yeah, with the long hair and tattoos, you generally get typecast into the bad guy category, which doesn’t bother me because as long as I’ve got a niche to become a public name within the industry. I can then change things, you know, as time progresses, I can easily go back to taking the beard off; it’s not a problem.
My agent already knows that. If a decent role comes along, and they want me enough, I’ll take it off, but it’s got to be a good enough roll. It has to be something that will change my career or put a nice dent in my wallet, one or the other. It’s, you know, I wouldn’t change my appearance for just a tiny little part because, you know, it takes a long time to get that back.
Is there any part that you wouldn’t do? You know, we think of the action of the dramatic parts you mentioned, the bad guy role. Anything that you say, ah, probably not for me, you know, comedy, or are you versatile in that you would try anything in your career.
I think I probably struggle more with comedy. Just because I find it’s easier to be naturally funny than acting funny. I don’t know why it’s just when the act is funny; it comes across as a bit fake instead of just being a witty comment and funny stuff. So I think that’s probably the hardest one to act. You know, the tough guy or the bad guy is easy to do.
Besides acting, Is there something else that you’re pretty passionate about,
There’s a lot of things I want to do. I am passionate about the environment and, as I said, the veganism movements. I think many more people need to wake up as I did. Global warming is not some made-up shit. It’s a serious topic if we don’t do something over the next 50 years, we are doomed. Also, agriculture has got to change. You know, I’m not saying veganism is the only way; there’s a lot of other ways.
I think when I retire, the one thing I’ve always wanted to do is help out with something like modern-day human trafficking. I can’t wrap my head around why there is still such a thing. I still can’t understand how somebody can have that in their head and think that it’s acceptable that’s got to be changed. I want to put my footprints on that.
I would also add changing the way SA’s (Supporting Artists) get paid. From my previous experience when I first started in the industry SAs are paid every 2/3 months which is way too long and it needs to be changed to be treated Farley in line with the actors. As everyone has bills to pay and everyone in the industry needs to be treated with respect.
Shane is a British actor who started his acting career as a motivational public speaker, who by chance happened to fall in love with the art of character building. He has experience on the set of a vast range of productions and he specializes in action acting, he is stage combat trained and an ex-serviceman with martial arts experience.