My interest for theatre dates back to primary school where we were learning to make puppets, and performing in our own puppet theatre. Later, I attended classical theatre acting classes at high school (Athenaeum). During these years, I was also regularly visiting Lodewijk Geloen, a cousin who played for several years in various Flemish theatres in Brussels. He actually was my first drama teacher and mentor.
At the end of high school, I auditioned at the national theatre of Belgium (TNB) in Brussels and got the chance of being a chorus singer in Zigger-Zagger from Peter Terson directed by Michael Croft at the Festival of Spa in August 1969, and on the programme of the TNB in Brussels during season 1969-70. Hence, I attended intensive training in chorus singing, acting, dancing and stage fighting; among other with acting classes by Henri Chanal, singing lessons with Marc Haulot & David McNeil, and stage training by Arturo Corso.
Also in 1969, I started to work as licensed sports instructor for AEP and then for the Group IFAC, an organisation offering activities to young people, very often with personality problems or with a handicap. Next to sports pedagogy, our training also involved applied psychology and physical expression. Activities such as rock-and-roll dancing or physical expression (much in the sense of Andris Blekte, Jerzy Grotowski or Pina Bausch) proved a successful way to positively channel the energy of young delinquents. I have worked for more than 15 years with the Group. Next to coaching several sports, I was more specifically leading physical expression activities and directing theatre and video performances.
Yet, I eventually graduated as Land & Water Engineer/Physical Oceanographer - one has got to have a real job, my mother used to say - and I started an international career in development and environmental management. This brought me to work and live in more than 45 countries, as well as to face the most fascinating (e.g. spending 3 years in the middle of the Sahara) and awkward (e.g. surviving wars in Africa or a plane crash in the Amazon) situations. Throughout all these years, I continuously stayed in touch with theatre and visual performances, completed my training in for example comedy repertoire theatre in the US (1985) or traditional theatre and puppeteering in Italy (1987-1989). My overseas career as international consultant actually still involved acting, with among other a long experience as training actor in fields such as Multiple Stakeholders Processes, Multi-Objectives Decision-Making and Conflict Management, or in short: participation, communication and negotiation.
In 2010, I decided to return to full-time stage acting, and I am currently available as stage actor or puppeteer, but also for voice-over, background singing or for film and TV. And, I also resumed teaching master classes for young professional actors as well as for specialised institutions (e.g. 5D Theaterwerkplaats).