FABIO TASSONE: I grew up in a small town on the southern coast of Spain. We had a 350-seat Theatre there run by British ex-pats with very successful theatre seasons every year, and all my friends from school had already taken part in a production of the musical OLIVER! there. They all seemed to have a blast, and I remember feeling like I was missing out on something fun. My parents however were never too keen to let me get involved with the theatre company, so I waited until they both went on holiday one summer (I believe I must have been about 15 at the time), and I went along to audition for the Christmas production of THE WIZARD OF OZ without telling them. I ended up getting cast as the TIN MAN, loved every minute of the experience and the snowball began its long journey!
My grandad was the person that inspired me to act. He wasn't an actor himself, but he was a real character with a very artistic personality. When I was a kid he would constantly play with me and we would host imaginary television and radio shows (that we would actually record on tape) and make up little scenes together, which as you can imagine gave me the most amazing creative outlet at that age. I always knew I wanted to act, and he definitely played a big part in that.
FT: So there I was having just left my home country and my parents, moving to a new exciting country and living on my own for the first time ever! It was the most exciting time of my life for sure. I was like a kid in a toy store, and I never really stopped acting throughout my entire degree.
The time I spent at Kent just cemented my love for acting even more, and the City of Canterbury was bustling with acting opportunities that I like to think I took full advantage of.
FT: Training at Bristol was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
I think the most important lesson I learned from the Bristol Old Vic is definitely to have discipline in everything you do. To be respectful of others and to respect yourself in your work and in everything it encompasses.
SL: You acted as the Duke of Nájera on the wildly popular series, THE TUDORS, starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as King Henry VIII. What was it like working there? Are there any favorite memories you would like to share with us?
FT: It was a real privilege to be involved in that show. It was my first ever television job, so I was reeling with both fear and excitement. I remember landing in Dublin at 9am and being picked up by a really friendly production driver who informed me the shooting schedule had completely changed, and that we were shooting my first scene that same day. All I did during most of the drive is look over the script I had already memorized a countless number of times. Once we got to Ardmore Studios I was taken to the costume department which absolutely took my breath away. Let me put it this way: they definitely deserved all the Emmys they had won. I tried on about 4 beautiful outfits before being taken down to hair and make-up. The walk over to the set was interminable, and I distinctly recall going through some doors into a really dark space which suddenly became the interior of Hampton Court Palace in front of my very eyes. I instantly found myself in the middle of the throne chamber surrounded by actors who were introducing themselves to me one after the other. I of course would forget the name as soon as I heard it. Jonathan came up to me to introduce himself, and showed me around the set before we started rehearsal. I went from being very intimidated to feeling completely welcome and part of a team. Working with Joely Richardson was an absolute highlight for me. We spent a lot of time together as we were partnered in a big choreographed period dance piece (which took nearly 12 hours to film) and we laughed the whole day.
FT: I fell into the voice over world completely by accident, and it was thanks to my languages. My mum is half French half Spanish, and my dad is Italian. As I was growing up, they decided I should go to an English school, which means I could speak 4 languages fluently by the time I was six.
When I moved to London after drama school, I randomly met a Spanish actress at a casting who started speaking to me about the voice work she did on the side to supplement her income. I really felt that might be something I'd enjoy doing, so I recorded a voice demo in all 4 languages and sent it to various voice agents. In the UK voice world you can be represented by more than one agency, and that's exactly what happened to me. I got signed by 4 agents who primarily dealt with foreign voice work. I quickly found a niche in the market and ended up voicing many adverts and characters in top video games.
With a strong voice demo, anyone who is interested in getting into voice-overs will be able to get interest from a good voice agent. The key is to lose all inhibitions in front of the mike and to fully commit to the character you are playing. I have an absolute blast with every job I take on.
SJ: In your opinion, what are the differences between working as an actor in Europe versus America?
FT: It's very different. In the UK there are less jobs, and therefore less auditions. But your chances of getting the job once you are in the audition room are much greater.
I have never auditioned as much as I have since I’ve been here in the US. Sometimes getting up to 4 theatrical auditions in a week, which in the UK is unheard of. Because of the sheer volume of auditions and sides you have to learn, you have to be so focused and disciplined to get the preparation done.
SL: What's next for Fabio Tassone?