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  • Writer's pictureAugust Sorenson

The Academy Abroad: A Conversation With Connor Delves

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

Recent grad Connor Delves has spent the last five years working on stages across the globe. His success is the product of an immense focus and professionalism—qualities that come across even when speaking to him for a matter of minutes. Being a man of the theatre, Connor has advice for actors that is, unsurprisingly, wonderfully practical. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Let’s start from the beginning. Tell me a bit about you, your story, where you come from, and what made you choose The Academy.

I grew up in Australia, and knew that when I studied drama, I wanted it to be in either the US or UK. I chose to go to The Academy when I was 18, and I ended up having a great run there. We had a great Company year, and really felt that the faculty and students really helped propel me forward.

Can I hear a bit more about that time?

It’s funny, I think when I was at The Academy, I already had one eye fixed on what was next—my producer brain was already ticking. During my final months, I was already prepping for what was next, what I was going to do next when I was done at The Academy. I miss it at times, but I was really ready to work.

And you’ve been quite busy, working a lot.

I was very lucky that right after I graduated I got an Off-Broadway musical. It wasn’t about connections or anything, but the role just really fit me. That year, I produced some of my own work too, and came out of the blocks really quickly. Both through hard work, luck, and also really focusing on the business side of things—some of the best advice I ever got is that this is a business.

One of the things I miss about drama school is the attention to the craft. Working in London on Starcrossed, actor’s are expected to be trained and be at that level, while in America, they’re a lot better at accepting different backgrounds: bringing new people into the arts, and “discovering” someone.

When you're not working, which is rare, what do you do? How do you deal with the blessing, and burden, of downtime?

I think it’s really important that we learn to adapt to the times we’re in. I’ve changed the way I’ve worked multiple times. Downtime is one of the things we focus on as actor’s that is different for everyone. I find myself still wanting to live as an actor, even with downtime.

Say more about that, about living as an actor.

It’s being in the community. Seeing everything. I see everything, Broadway, Off-Broadway, what's playing in Brooklyn—everything. There are ways to make it cheaper than a night out, and by the way, most of the people who say it’s not affordable are still having those nights out. If you know where to look then you can make it work.

I also do three things a day that contribute to my career as an actor, and that can be anything that benefits you, that fuels you, that helps you as an actor. And to round it all off, I live with the mentality that I am an actor—you have to live like an actor. You have to fully believe it.

As an actor, how do you select material?

I’m really interested in new work. I’m not particularly interested in being a robot… I'm interested in characters that are not resolved as people, that they have flaws and are complex. The challenge with this Mercutio in Starcrossed, was that he was fluid sexually in a world that doesn’t allow for that.

After coming off Starcossed, what’s next for you?

This particular closing of Starcrossed is not the end, that’s something I can say on the record. There will be more of that show. We had such a beautiful run in London—the reviews, the audience, everything—that the demand for the show to continue is very, very real. I’m headed back to the US to do a few jobs, some films that I’m a part of, and then maybe back in London during the latter half of the year.

Get in touch with Connor Delves here.

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