Sometimes your initial inspiration can come from the smallest and unlikeliest of sources. In the case of 23-year old local performer John Molden, it may have begun as a child with re-enacting parts of the movie “Stuart Little”, starring Michael J Fox as a computer-generated mouse with Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie (incidentally in one of his own first Hollywood roles) as the rodent’s adoptive parents. Actually, John still remembers the lines from the film and, in this writer’s opinion, still does a cracking Michael J Fox impression to this day!
John found at a very young age that he loved performing these movie roles for family and friends, “I would do all the parts and all the voices” and so from the age of ten, began appearing in local and school theatre productions. The first large musical he appeared in was “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in 2006 at the Latrobe Theatre. He has since performed in various groups all over Gippsland from Drouin to Maffra and everywhere in between. To name a few troupes/ venues John has performed with: Class Act Productions, Leongatha Lyric Theatre, Warragul Theatre Company, COG Theatre Company, Maffra Dramatic Society, Court in the Act Theatre, Sale Theatre Company, Latrobe Theatre Company, Moartz Theatre, Break a Leg Theatre, National Playwrights festival, HT&E Theatre Company, Gippsland Youth Theatre Group, FCCC and MPS Dramaworks for Kids.
In terms of the over 60 productions that John has appeared in: Into the Woods, Hairspray, Annie, Hello Dolly, Footloose, Beauty and the Beast, Oliver, Grease and many, many more. Several of the productions John has appeared in have received accolades from the Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards and the Victorian Music Theatre Guild and John himself has received nominations and commendations for his solo and eisteddfod performances.
On screen, John has appeared in 2 music videos, over 10 short films, the web based series “People People” and has filmed two pilots for television; a supporting role in “Enlightenment” and a principal role in “Juan Fantastic” which are currently being prepared for full production schedules if they are picked up by a television network. To say John has many irons in the fire would be an understatement.
Never seeming to rest on his laurels, John also sings, plays guitar, drums and bass, is proficient in shooting, archery and fencing and to top all of that off has over 10-years dance experience under his belt, Rock ‘n’ Roll dancing being a personal favourite. Phew!
John studied at Craig McMahon’s well regarded Film and Television School International, under the tutelage of such names as Simone Buchanan, Diana Glenn and Pia Miranda. The school has some other amazing mentors and lecturers including International star Vince Colosimo and local screen legends John Wood, Peter Phelps and Martin Sacks, just to name a few and is considered one of the finest acting schools in Australia.
At one stage, his goal was becoming a paid actor, which he has since achieved, so next has sights set on a loftier goal; not having to audition for parts. John explains” I think for any actor, having parts written for you or being in someone’s mind for a part without going through the audition process is the greatest position to be in”.
In terms of advice for fellow Gippsland performers or those considering the performing arts as a hobby/ career John says not to procrastinate, just get yourself out there and do it. “Find a class, find a theatre group, make a short film, just get involved and get started.” Though he does stress “You have to really want this, it’s not as easy or glamorous as it can appear from the outside, though, as one of my acting coaches once advised me ‘You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take, for 0% success”.
To see John Molden performing this year, maybe just keep an eye on your TV screens or you can catch him live in Class Act Productions upcoming performances of “Into the Woods”.