Over mezelf - About myself
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 a cousin who played for several years in various Flemish theatres in and around Brussels. He actually was my first mentor.
At the end of high school, I auditioned for the national theatre of Belgium (TNB) in Brussels and was accepted to attend their intensive training in chorus singing, acting, dancing and stage fighting; among other with acting classes by Henri Chanal and stage training by Arturo Corso. Hence, I got the chance to be a chorus singer in Zigger-Zagger from Peter Terson under the direction of Michael Croft at the Festival of Spa in August 1969, and on the programme of the TNB in Brussels during season 1969-70.
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 leading physical expression training and directing theatre and video performances.
Yet, I eventually graduated as Land & Water Engineer / Physical Oceanographer, and I started with 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 situations (e.g. surviving various wars in Africa or a plane crash in the Amazon). 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). I also remained in close contact with cultural organisations such as the Alliance Francaise or the Goethe Institut worldwide.
My overseas career as international consultant actually still involved acting, with a long experience as training actor in fields such as Multiple Stakeholders Processes, Multi-Objectives Decision-Making and Conflict Management, for which I among other taught and directed Role-playing and a great variety of other techniques in participation, communication and negotiation, important fields of intervention that unfortunately are still largely ignored by most theatre schools. Therefore, I decided to compile my notes in a handbook for training actors.
In 2010, I decided to return to full-time stage acting, and I am currently available as 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.