November 4, 2002. I asked 3 questions that were answered. Questions I asked are in this colour.
AuLive1: Hi Spencer! Welcome to AOL Live :)
Spencer McLaren: Hello guys
AuLive1: Let's get straight into the questions.
Question: Spencer, how did you get started in the industry?
Spencer McLaren: I started with my local theatre group doing amatuer shows, then I started having singing lessons when I was about 17 I think. from there I got interested in other things and I just started auditioning for things and then I was lucky enough to get a job.
Question: Is it physically taxing to perform so frequently?
Spencer McLaren: Yes. Footloose is a very physical show and we do about 8 shows a week. I think I lose about two litres of water every show. But it's fun. :-)
Question: Do you have any good luck charms?
Spencer McLaren: I have one, which I use sometimes. It's a gold ring that my Grandfather had it came to me when he passed away. I only use it for special things like concerts etc I don't wear it everyday.
Question: Which do you prefer - stage or screen?
Spencer McLaren: They are both really different. I would miss doing the stage stuff but if I had to pick I would prefer the screen.
Question: What's it like travelling between states for different jobs?
Spencer McLaren: Tiring! It's great though. I have family in Sydney and Melbourne so it gives me a chance to catch up with them both frequently
Question: If you could play any role you wanted, what would you choose?
Spencer McLaren: I would like to do a professional production of Julius Ceaser and play Brutus that would be fun. Or someone like Hannibal Lector would be great.
Question: Would you ever consider directing?
Spencer McLaren: I would. At the moment I am too busy just doing the acting side it is something that I have spoken to some of my friends about and I think a bit later on I would possible look at doing that.
Question: What's it like to work on a high quality Australian drama like Secret Life of Us?
Spencer McLaren: It's great because as an actor you get great scripts to work with and you have a real good chance to do your best work rather tahn being pressured by time and money like a lot of Australian shows are. it' is a lot of fun and it is very rewarding.
Question: Is there a down side to being famous?
Spencer McLaren: Yes, people want to know everything about you
Question: How long do you spend rehearsing each day?
Spencer McLaren: We are performing now but when we did rehearse, we were doing 8 hours a day.
Question: Did you watch the movie before you started rehearsing?
Spencer McLaren: Yes I did. I watched it just once to remind myself of what it was all about and to remind myself what was at the heart of it but then I left it alone.
Question: Do you think you have anything in common with yuor character?
Spencer McLaren: A few things actually. I was an exchange student in the states for awhile when I was 15 and I was in a small town where there were lots of cowboys so we have that in common. Dancing wasn't banned though, thankfully. That' is probably all we have in common though,
Question: What do you do when you're not performing?
Spencer McLaren: I generally just catch up with friends, go down to the beach, write. That kind of stuff.
Question: What's your favourite movie?
Spencer McLaren: Favourite movie would probably have to be Dead Poet's Society. I think it just struck a chord with me regarding wanting to do what you are passionate about and fighting for that. it was also just a really great movie with some fantastic performances.
Question: Do you have any advice for young people who want to be actors?
Spencer McLaren: My advice to anybody that wants to be an actor would be to make sure there is nothing else you want to do. If there isn't, information is your most valuable tool learn as much as you can about anyone and anything. if there is something else you really want to do, do it because chances are it will be a lot easier.
Question: What's your favourite song in the show?
Spencer McLaren: Favourite song in the show would probably be 'Let's hear it for the boy'. I like it the most because I think it is the best song in the show and in terms of the show that we do, it comes at a very fun moment.
Question: Which actor would you most like to work with?
Spencer McLaren: I think probably Al Pacino or Julia Roberts.
Question: you said you like writing - what sort of book would you write if you had the opportunity?
Spencer McLaren: Fiction. I think I would write something that I guess was a bit like The Secret Life Of Us that reflects the 20-something age group and what happens in our lives i'd like it to be a dramatic book, rather than a comic one but I have no plans to write a book
Question: What would you do if you weren't acting?
Spencer McLaren: if i wasn't acting, I'd like to be a conductor with an orchestra. i wouldn't swap what i do for anything but if I had to, I would love to conduct an orchestra. it would be great just to have so much power at your fingertips.
Question: Have you ever had any embarrassing moments on stage or while you were filming?
Spencer McLaren: I remember I was playing Beast in Beauty and The Beast on stage and I sat down and the tail came up between my legs, which was quite embarrassing
Spencer McLaren: On set there are none that spring to mind but things happen all the time you forget your lines or you say the wrong thing but it is so much fun on Secret Life
Question: How different was it to interact with comedians on stage during the triple j OB in April this year compared to interacting with actors?
Spencer McLaren: They were fine, they weren't particularly difficult. It was just an improvisation so it was all a bit of fun really. there was nothing much to it.
Question: Do you have any hidden talents?
Spencer McLaren: I am pretty good at picking up things with my toes. :-)
Question: Do many people recognise you when you're out in public?
Spencer McLaren: Yeah they do. Fortunately in Australia, people recognise you but don't attack you or anything. Not like in England or America. A lot of people come up and just say 'congratulations on the show' and stuff which is really nice.
Question: Do you plan to go into movies?
Spencer McLaren: I would like to do that for sure. At the moment I am booked until about August next year so there is nothing in the immediate future but hopefully after that, things will begin to present themselves.
Question: How old are you?
Spencer McLaren: I'm 29
Spencer McLaren: Star sign is Pisces
Question: Was there much difference appearing on rove[live] as yourself to appearing on it as Richie in the Secret Life of Us?
Spencer McLaren: Yeah it was quite different because as myself, I just answered the questions once and had a good time. But when we shot the scene of Secret Life on Rove it was all scripted. it was hard for Rove to I think because he had to do the interview about ten times to keep it fresh.
Question: Where would you like to see yourself in ten years' time?
Spencer McLaren: In ten years time I'd like to see myself happy and just steadily working as that's all I need. :-)
AuLive1: I'm afraid we're out of time for tonight. Thanks for joining us at AOL Live Spencer :)
Spencer McLaren: Thanks a lot and I hope to see you all at the show.