On the Couch with Nelson Gardner

Nelson Gardner oncWho is Nelson Gardner?
A country boy from a big family with a passion for performing. I’m about to appear as Ned Kelly in the new Australian musical, Ned at Bendigo’s new Ulumbarra Theatre.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
It’s what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I’m far too stubborn to have a ‘backup’, so there’s really no alternative. I probably enjoyed labouring the most, if I had to pick a previous job.

Who inspires you and why?
Daniel Day-Lewis and Tom Hardy for their work ethic and general coolness.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
As soon as anybody does anything, there is an immediate difference in the world, otherwise they wouldn’t have done anything. So technically speaking, I am making a difference in the world every time I sleep in, roll out of bed and eat bacon. I would, however, like to prevent the destruction of natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef and phase out the consumption of fossil fuels.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Vegas. No explanation needed.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
That’s not something that I do with friends normally. In Bendigo, I’ve taken plenty of people to The Rifle Brigade Hotel on View St. Great pub!

What are you currently reading?
The script for Ned. Really! I can’t lie – it’s all I have time for right now! I’m sorry I don’t have a more interesting answer but I refuse to give the impression that I’m hanging out on a deck chair, sipping cocktails and brushing up on the latest Dan Brown, when (A) I don’t own a deck chair and (B) Dan Brown is awful.

What are you currently listening to?
The music for Ned! Although I have been listening to a fair bit of Irish folk music in my downtime to break things up a bit when learning lines. Silly Wizard are a pretty common go-to for me right now.

Happiness is?
A general concept based on an emotion that we invented to describe a chemical reaction in the brain that motivates us to live, socialise, mate and explore.

What does the future hold for you?
Many grand things. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been set on this actor thing, so I will continue to practise, learn, create and suffer for the ultimate goal of being a successful, regularly employed performer. I will live off the work I want to do and help create similar opportunities for others. Art is our voice to the future and we must never forget that.

Nelson Gardner grew up in Bendigo and worked as a labourer before moving to Melbourne to become a graduate of VCA’s inaugural Bachelor Of Music Theatre course (2011). He has been performing professionally since.

He played Algernon in Citizen Theatre’s sold out season of The Importance Of Being Earnest (2015) and he is most well known for his portrayal of Gaston in Adam Lowe Group’s production of Beauty And The Beast (2014). His debut was with The Production Company as featured ensemble in The Producers (2012) and he went on to be a vocalist in Chess (2012).

Other credits include Graham in Company Eleven’s season of Third World Blues (2014), King Of Hearts in Australian Shakespeare Company’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2012, 2013 & 2014) and Feste in Carving Theatre Company’s production of Twelfth Night (2013). Nelson has studied voice for over 10 years and currently teaches singing from home.

Nelson will be appearing as Ned Kelly in the new Australian Musical, Ned at Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre from 22 May 2015. For more information, visit: www.nedmusical.com.au or www.ulumbarratheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Nelson Gardner