As actors, I don’t believe we just tell stories. I believe we get the opportunity to live them. For me, this is the fundamental difference between storytelling and acting. I get to tell a story through the eyes of someone who lived and experienced things we can only dream of. The character of ‘John’ in Wireless Operator, is the story of not just one man, but he is a vessel of remembrance for a generation of selfless airmen who volunteered to risk their lives for freedom.
I feel a great responsibility in tackling this project and striving to truthfully represent the extent of their internal and physical struggles. Yet this responsibility is miniscule in comparison to the responsibility thrust into the arms of these very young men. Their average age being 22.
Stories such as these must not be forgotten! This is why the opportunity of appearing in Wireless Operator is a dream come true. I have dedicated most of my life to learning about people from past generations and how their yesterday created our today. I will enjoy using everything I have learnt in tackling this difficult and sensitive subject matter. I only pray I can do their story Justice!
As we start rehearsals on this project I cannot express the excitement I have in working with this incredible team of people, all willing to give so much to a project that I believe will capture the hearts of many. One of my first dreams in life was to be a fighter pilot. As a young boy, the thrill and excitement of it all really appealed to me. Watching classic films like ‘Battle of Britain’ really ignited my imagination.
In fact as a mere 10 year old I found myself trying out the night-time flight simulator at an air base in Norfolk. Let’s just agree I am probably more suited to the Wireless Operator role, than the pilot anyway. To think over 12 years ago, my imagination began a journey and now I get to complete it, flying alongside my beloved crew of the majestic Lancaster Bomber!
While visiting the air base at East Kirkby, it became clear in my mind that had I been in their position between 1939 and 1945, I would most likely have volunteered and joined the RAF. Now within the safety of the world they helped create for us, I can begin to explore what it must have really been like.
By Thomas Dennis