What Ollie wanted from Dahl Photography
Ollie Harrison Hall knew what he wanted when he arrived at Dahl Photography. “I have a versatile face” said the nineteen year old. The aim was to leave with a set of headshots for his acting portfolio. He had also planned to present two opposing character ideas for the shoot; one “romantic”, the other “darker and a bit unhinged”.
How Ollie was discovered
Ollie was getting noticed at an early age. When he was four he was doing voiceovers for television. In a primary school performance of Bugsy Malone, an agent spotted him and asked him to be the child voice of the disney channel. As he got into his teenage years, his voice changed and he stopped doing the voiceover work. His interest in the performing arts, however, hasn't dwindled. His spare time is spent writing scripts and dramatic monologues, sometimes performing them to camera in the creation of theatrical films.
Five star review in "Broadway Baby"
Recently Ollie took the lead role in the 50's spoof musical Zombie Prom for Edinburgh's fringe festival. The show was given a five -star review in Broadway Baby, reviewer Dave Coates dubbed Ollie as “Bieber-esque” amongst other praise. Ollie admits that his look often lends itself to 'romantic' roles but also says that he is much more intrigued by the less traditional roles, “the ones that will allow me to leave my comfort zone”.
The importance of having the right look
Along with finishing A levels and planning for University, he regularly attends castings for TV and film. In todays image obsessed world, Ollie says, it is even more important for actors to have not only the 'right' look for a part, but a rich range of looks. Ultimately though, he reflects “If you don't look right, you won't get the part”.
Working with Vibeke
What came out of the session with Vibeke was more than the evocation of the 'dark' and 'light'. “You can pose in a particular way but you can't stop and think” says Ollie of Vibeke's technique, 'Every nuance is being pursued'. And whether it was Vibeke's speed or Ollie's deliberate attempt at creating a spectrum of moods, there was certainly another process at work which was organic, magical and in the moment, producing results that couldn't be constructed.
Dropping the fasade
Some of what emerged in the headshots, was unexpected. Ollie did not anticipate seeing his own vulnerability in the images. He compares this with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe taken by Richard Avedon. This image of Monroe was taken by Avedon after he had spent all day photographing her. At the end of the shoot and in a fleeting moment, Marilyn dropped her facade and Avedon was able to capture and immortalise a glimpse of the 'real' Marilyn Monroe.
Why Ollie is interested in acting and music :
Ollie's interest in acting is not only vocational, he also likes to see it in intellectual terms; an avenue for “exploring” human nature. He explains; “When you perform you are exposed to different lives and minds, you can't just be tourist and watch passively, you have to take it on”. Inhabiting lives by playing a role is when he says he can “release a part of me that I would normally like to suppress”.
In acting and writing scripts Ollie is able to express some of the idiosyncrasies of human beings. His other creative outlet is music production. Hear his Shy Mountain sounds right here: https://soundcloud.com/shymountain
© 2014 MARTHA MCALPINE