Sunday, 3 March 2013

Greg Bepper's Biography - Artistic Director/Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Tutor

Greg Bepper Artistic Director of Greg Bepper's Thunderbolt Theatre & Film Productions ans Drama School
Artistic Director - Greg Bepper
Greg Bepper

THE EARLY YEARS

At the age of seven my career path was clear to me. After playing the lead in the school Christmas play, a fir tree that becomes the Christmas tree, an actor was what I was going to be and I never waned from that decision.

At fourteen I began the first step of my training, Saturday morning classes with the ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) held on the NIDA (National Theatre of Dramatic Art) campus at the University of NSW, Australia. 
 

I was tutored by teachers that became icons of this profession. These included Richard Wherrett AM who at the time was the Artistic Director of the school. NIDA students Chris Haywood, Shane Porteous (AKA John Hanlon), Christopher Pate, Ronnie Arnold and Lawrence (Larry) Eastwood who all later forged lasting careers in the Australian and overseas entertainment industry.

Every Saturday I trekked from Carlingford to Kensington (2 trains & a bus) to attend my classes at the ATYP and never missed one day! The ATYP was fantastic training for a young actor. I still to this day include many of the training methods and philosophies of my tutors within my own teaching.

The early years - 1973 - 1976


BEGINNING A PROFESSIONAL CAREER

In 1973 at the age of sixteen after leaving school six months prior, I entered the industry as a professional. Winning the role as host of my own television show 'Cartoon Corner with Greg' on Channel 9 Sydney. This, my first introduction to working in live television was a huge and fast learning curve. Coupled with the fact that I had enormous shoes to fill left by James (Skeeter) Kemsley OAM who had hosted the show 'Cartoon Corner' for many years before venturing to the United Kingdom to further his career.

In later years I had the pleasure working with James as the Prince in his kids musical 'Land of FOL', which he wrote and directed for the Independent Theatre, North Sydney.

The Cartoon Corner experience also introduced me to a new world 'The shopping centre (mall) performance' I quickly picked up a whole new set of skills, in particular working with suited characters which over time has included such greats as Humphrey B Bear, Marty & Emu Road Runner, Wyle E Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn and the Streets Paddle Pop Lion.

My mentor for this period was the legendary Australian Children's Television Producer, Jim Badger OAM. Lessons that I have passed on to all the kids and adults I have taught over the years and still do today.

Greg Bepper Artistic Director Greg Bepper's Thunderbolt Theatre & Film Productions and Drama School
Arcade (1980) - When good ghouls go bad (2002) - Late night Review (1978)


 FILM & TELEVISION

Although during my career, which has now spanned over forty years, where theatre has always been my first love. It has been television and to a lesser extent film where I have worked the majority of this time professionally

My first role in television drama commenced in 1974 as the long running character, Dean Howard in television game show producer, Reg Grundy AC OBE first step into television drama 'Class of '74'.

I continued playing this role through the next incarnation, 'Class of 75'. As a young actor of now only nineteen years old, these two years were a vital period to learn the art of television acting. A period that I had the privilege of working with veteran actors such as, Leonard Teale, Beryl Cheers, Gordon Glenwright, Phillip Ross, James Condon, John Hamblin and the great Willie Fennell just to name a handful. They were all very generous to a young actor with their advice and performances. The Grundy Organisation became a very important in my television career. It provided me with many years of long running roles and guest appearances.

Children's Television has also been a large slice of my television work. Working to entertain or teach kids started in 1972 has continued up to this day.

Some of my TV & Film work is listed here in my FILMOGRAPHY on IMDb

 

COMMERCIALS

Although I don't remember all the television commercials I have appeared, there have been many. I do remember my first was for JVC when I was eighteen and there have been a few since then that have been very successful campaigns for the advertiser and memorable for me. These include Continental Cup-a-soup with the wonderful veteran British actress, Wendy Craig, Pea Beu and a series for NSW Lotteries.

The highlight though, would be this New Zealand commercial for BASF Cassette Tapes (below) with one of life's gentlemen, Gus Mercurio. This won many a national and international award including 'The Worlds Best Commercial of the Century'... I'm pretty proud of that!


THEATRE

My love of this genre has never waned. Beginning with the ATYP performances and spanning years of productions as an Actor, Director, Writer and Producer. This includes productions in the Drama Theatre of the Sydney Opera House to performing at schools in the outback touring New South Wales for the Arts Council to guesting at regional theatres and my own productions. My theatre career has also included many Theatre Companies, either my own or as a member of a Co-Op.

My professional directorial debut was in 1976 at the age of twenty: the pantomime, Cinderella in a season at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle NSW. I had the privilege of directing Andy Gibb in his first acting role. The play also starred John Paul Young.

Since then my credits as a theatre director and playwright have been numerous. None more so than recently from 2009 to the present. As Artistic Director of the PCYC Performing Arts Centre, Waitara till 2012 many of my plays were produced by the Theatre Co and the Teenage Theatre Co. in fact seven in the three years period. This includes my full length play 'Under The Bridge'. Two seasons were produced in 2011 - 2012. Under the Bridge will continue in 2013 at various theatres within Australia & New Zealand.

Greg Bepper Artistic Director Greg Bepper's Thunderbolt Theatre & Film Productions and Drama Schoo
Many faces of Greg Bepper


DRAMA TEACHING

You may have seen by now kids productions have played a major part of my career. Just like my mentors passed their knowledge on to me I have in turn passed this and my experience onto the future of this industry; our kids.

Over the years I have tutored at many of the respected performing arts schools of their time such Johnny Young Talent School and The Keene Kids Studio.

Through the years I have developed many specific programs for kids, teens and adults. As Artistic Director of the PCYC Performing Arts Centre (2009 - 2012) these programs, in which I was also the prime tutor, became the core of the Performing Arts Centre during this time. Programs included: Drama classes for kids, teens & adults, school holiday theatre, film/television and theatrical clowning workshops, two theatre companies (teen & adult) and musical theatre for kids classes.

All of these successful programs are provided through Greg Bepper's Thunderbolt Theatre & Film Productions Drama School. Many more specialised classes and workshops are added throughout the year as they are devised.

 
COMMUNITY WORK

I am a great believer in giving back to your community. As a resident of Hornsby Shire for fifteen years I had the privilege in being able to contribute my time and expertise to many a worthwhile projects in partnership with Hornsby Shire Council, Hornsby PCYC, Rotary Club of Waitara, Lions Club of Hornsby (both of which I am an Honourary Member) and the Hornsby & District Chamber of Commerce, to which I stood as President for six years.

I'm very proud and humbled by the Community Service Awards I have received through these years which include:
NSW Government Community Service Award.
Hornsby Shire Council 2007 Citizen of the Year.
Rotary Waitara Community Service Award.


Cheers,
Greg Bepper Artistic Director Greg Bepper's Thunderbolt Theatre & Film Productions and Drama Schoo
Artistic Director/Tutor



No comments:

Post a Comment