Mindsurfing with DANIEL FOX
DANIEL FOX is an actor and singer from Cape Town. He began his career in the mid 2000s, appearing in the Emmy Award-winning HBO series Generation Kill which ignited his career. He is now working on various projects including the short film ‘Brothers’ an official selection at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award Competition.
Daniel was invited to go Mindsurfing by Contributing Editor Daniel Scheffler
WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
This is debatable. There were two defining, inspiring events when I was a child. My older sister danced when she was a child. She would dance in competitions that were held in a big theatre where I grew up. It was my first experience of audiences in the dark and velvet curtains. I would go backstage and marvel at the mechanics of performance and where it started and ended. I almost certainly had my first taste of being emotionally moved by a live performance during this time. I’m still a huge fan of dance because of those days.
The second possible source of my inspiration was being sat in front of the TV and made to watch Star Wars. It stretched my imagination in impossible and wonderful ways. It also certainly solidified a deep love of cinema in me.
WHICH OF YOUR 5 SENSES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
If pushed for an answer I would have to say sight. It’s not that simple because I can’t do what I do without at least my sight, hearing and sense of feeling and touch. But most of what we take in about other people comes through what we see in their behavior. That’s hugely important to me.
HOW DO YOU ACCESS YOUR CREATIVITY?
I wish I had a definite answer and a definite method. It would make my life so much easier. For me, there’s no doubt that the beginning of a role, the first step in finding a character, always comes off the page. Especially in theatre, the playwright is king. But recognizing the character and understanding it are two different things. Understanding it in your head has nothing to do with understanding it in your bones, which is where it needs to be. It can be like a maze that you have to circle for a while to find a way in. Sometimes it’s research on the part, a piece of music, a particular line or a piece of clothing that unlocks that puzzle and allows you to dive in. The beginning can feel like a grind but once that certain thing gives way, I fire off like a bullet from a gun. There’s usually a lot of coffee and talking to myself involved.
WHAT IS THE FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS IMAGE?
Hybrid. It looks like a combination of some floppy-eared dog and what’s left of a woolly mammoth.
Published: May 8th, 2012