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Celebrity Spotlight: David Reyne
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 4, No. 4 - July/August 2012

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What has been your most rewarding career experience?

One of my most rewarding career experiences was, like so many people I guess, my first. I was 22 years old, had just left Uni where I had studied film making, and was hell bent on a career as either an actor, musician or film director.

Since being offered films to direct was unlikely to happen overnight, I joined a band as a drummer while auditioning for acting roles. One of the first that came along was for the ABC series, Sweet and Sour about a fictional band known as the Takeaways. I auditioned for the role of the drummer... and succeeded in getting the part of the guitarist. Go figure. I was thrown in the deep end and had to learn very quickly, right there on the job. It was an absolutely enjoyable and inspiring experience. I loved every minute. The fact it was particularly well received certainly made it all the more terrific.

What was your favourite destination while working on Getaway?

This is the question I've been asked a gazillion times and I've never prepared an answer. When I was working on Getaway, I was happy to travel anywhere. Still am. I could tell you of places that were among my least favourites... a little hotel in Ukraine, for example, where I discovered there is something worse than having no hot water. This joint had only hot water, set at a blistering thousand degrees! Couldn't do a thing with it.

One place I often think of very fondly though, is Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. It is a remarkably delightful city. Very clean, modern and stylish. There's something about those 'cold' cities. Everybody rugs up in beautiful clothes and makes sure they're constantly surrounded by things that bring them comfort, such as great design, reliable public transport and great, if not slightly weird, food. There's Herrings everywhere. If you get the chance, check out Copenhagen and remember to take lots of money. It's expensive.

Who/what inspired you to pursue a career in the media?

I did my last two years of secondary education at a fabulous school where they'd set aside a couple of hours every day for 'activities'. We got to nominate which interests we'd like to pursue and then spend a six week block getting hands on experience. I did a video activity... remember video?... grabbed a camera and just started shooting. Seems I had a bit of a flair I didn't realise I possessed. One thing led to another and I found myself being accepted into the Film and Television course at Swinburne College in Melbourne. I've got that fabulous school to thank for giving me the inspiration.

What advice would you give to someone seeking a career in media?

Firstly, make sure you're utterly committed to the business. If you've only a bit of an interest, forget about it, it's too tough. However, if a career in some aspect of the media is all you've ever wanted to do, you'll find a way. Be doggedly determined. Apply for everything you hear about or see advertised. I believe it's probably easier these days because there are so many outlets for one's creativity. Blog. Post interviews you've done with mates or scenes you've performed, online.

Send letters to the opinion columns of the newspapers. Just keep practising your skills. If it's acting you wish to pursue, do classes, hound agents, never give up. It only takes one break... followed by about a hundred more, but hell, that's the
nature of that part of the business. Just keep at it. You'll get there.

Who is the most inspiring celebrity you have interviewed or worked with?

What's with all the tough questions?

I had to interview Dame Edna Everage. I obviously knew of her wicked reputation for chewing interviewers up, making minced meat of their less than stellar attempts to ask a half decent question, ridiculing them mercilessly, and then spitting them back out, so I was a little nervous, to say the least.

I did my homework and allowed her the space to be her amazingly funny self. It was fabulous. I was completely spellbound by her brilliance. I was in the presence of a master, oops, I mean mistress. Every time she returned to Australia after that first visit to our TV show, she'd happily come on again and prove each time to be equally acidic, energetic and riotously amusing.

What embarrassing on air moments have you had?

Too many to count I'm afraid. When you're doing live television, you have to develop a very thick skin, jump in where angels fear to tread and pretty much throw all caution to the wind. I often found myself conducting interviews about remarkable medical breakthroughs with the leading exponents in the field. Being somebody who's just as likely to reach for a toe to check my pulse, I'd often get very confused with medical terms and jargon while becoming totally absorbed in the fascinating story.

I remember talking to a burns victim and her specialist about her treatment that involved the insertion of a bladder beneath the skin to help, I think, with encouraging the elasticity of the skin. I heard the word bladder and, well, you can guess the rest.

As an actor I spent some time in the television series, The Flying Doctors where I played a Doctor. I remember doing 22 takes of one scene because I simply couldn't spit out the word, 'metastases'... not even sure how to spell it. Every time I'd try again, I'd just start giggling. It was very embarrassing!

What are your most memorable media interviews?

Dame Edna Everage. The great writer, author and thinker, Clive James. Film and media mogul, Jeffrey Katzenberg. Author and provocateur, Germaine Greer. The actor Viggo Mortensen. There are hundreds really.

How do you enjoy spending your spare time?

I don't have any spare time; I'm too busy filling out questionnaires! Either that or I'm mowing my damn lawn. I live in the country and the property next door came up for sale so I bought it. Great idea! Now all I do is mow.

Please tell us about your family.

I've been married for about 300 years to my beautiful wife, Karina who clearly wears the pants in the family. We have two children; a sixteen year old aspiring musician and actor, Hunter, and a thirteen year old aspiring musician, Eva. I've tried to encourage them to think about banking or international diplomacy as careers but, hey, what can I do? They're hell bent on the business and are prodigiously talented.

What is your most unforgettable personal experience?

Anybody that has children will tell you the same thing... no experience comes close to the arrival of a child. However, once the arrival has occurred, batten down the hatches, there are many sleepless moments you wish you could forget.

What are your five tips for someone seeking a career in the media?

See question 4, and again, let me reiterate... never give up.


David Reyne has had a successful career in the media spanning more than thirty years and has held a variety of roles including; host, reporter, actor, writer, producer and musician.

From 2006-2009 David was the co-host of '9am with David & Kim' on Network Ten, where he impressed audiences with his entertaining and thought provoking interviews.

David spent 14 years working on Australia's longest running television travel program, 'Getaway'. It was here that he earned himself a reputation as Australia's most informative travel reporter; David also wrote and produced for the show.

During his time at 'Getaway' he wrote a regular column, 'Reyne's World', which appeared in The Melbourne Herald Sun.

David's screen and stage involvements include 'The Man from Snowy River', 'The Flying Doctors' and 'Sweet and Sour'.

David is a former host of the 'Midday Show' and has presented at the AFI Awards, The Logies and The People's Choice Awards.

As a musician, David was the drummer with the multi platinum selling, Chantoozies. He was also the original drummer with Australian Crawl.

Currently, David can be heard on smoothfm hosting the Wind Down week nights from 8pm to midnight.

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David Reyne - Get Ahead Kids

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Get Ahead Kids® Jul/Aug 2012

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