A Quick Chat With… Paul Watson, Matt Skinner and Josh McGuane from We Will Rock You, Geelong

As part of our A Quick Chat with series we sat down with a couple of the guys from CenterStage Geelong’s production of We Will Rock You, currently playing at GPAC until August 4. Get to know Director Paul Watson and leading cast members Matt Skinner playing Buddy and Josh McGuane (brother of Thomas McGuane currently playing Bob in Jersey Boys) in the role of Khashoggi.

Director Paul Watson

What’s your name and what do you do?

Paul Watson – Director/Actor/Musician/Farmer!  Probably in that order!!!
Matt Skinner – IT Geek/Actor/Musician/Gamer
Joshua McGuane – Problem Solver/Burger Enthusiast/Gym Junkie/Actor

What’s your most underrated or unknown talent?

Paul Watson – Cooking and Ukulele! Sometimes together!
Matt Skinner – Probably gaming! I have been known to clean up in multiplayer from time to time.
Joshua McGuane – I can perfectly quote all 9 seasons of How I Met Your Mother. (Currently on my 12th rotation of watching the show whilst cooking) Oh and I’m a great cook.

What makes you laugh?

Paul Watson – My kids! Everyday!
Matt Skinner – My Son, he’s hilarious!
Joshua McGuane – My friends and family (especially my little cousins). Cat videos.

What are you reading?

Paul Watson – Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” Script… getting ready for rehearsals to start this month for our season at Chapel Off Chapel in September #plug Did I mention it stars John Wood and Don Bridges #plugplug
Matt Skinner – Mainly my script but not much else lately.
Joshua McGuane – 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey

Who is your role model?

Paul Watson – My wife. Incredible human.
Matt Skinner – My Pop, he was an amazing saint of a man.
Joshua McGuane – My family. Mum, Dad, Little Brother and Little Sister. All for the same and different reasons.

The world needs more…

Paul Watson – Ukulele
Matt Skinner – Actual Rock Bands – they are a disappearing breed!
Joshua McGuane – Selfless leaders

The world needs less…

Paul Watson – Kim and Kanye’s
Matt Skinner – Trump supporters
Joshua McGuane – Instagram ‘models’ selling garbage.

What tools do you need to be creative?

Paul Watson – Quiet, Time and My creative team who I trust to bounce ideas off.
Matt Skinner – Good creative collaborators and some time away from general life duties to try and develop stuff.
Joshua McGuane – Open space. Support. A notebook.

What’s your happy place?

Paul Watson – My dining room bay window on the farm, mid morning, cup of tea, sunshine.
Matt Skinner – Sitting in front of my PS4 with a new game
Joshua McGuane – Home sweet home. (Family Home)

Which show (other than your own) you think people should drop everything and see?

Paul Watson – She Loves Me at Hayes. Think it will be a cracker!
Matt Skinner – I haven’t been able to get to much lately, so I’m taking suggestions myself! Maybe The Dumb Waiter because Paul is directing and my wife is Stage Managing!
Joshua McGuane – Jersey Boys! Opening 6th of September in Sydney (I may be a little biased) .

What was the last piece of theatre/film/TV that really left an impression on you?

Paul Watson – Once the Musical really blew my mind on the West End as did Curious Incident. But a little National Theatre project by Tori Amos called The Light Princess I thought was wonderful. A little trimming of the script and score and I thought it was brilliant.
Matt Skinner – Definitely, Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime (and I happened to be a prime!)
Joshua McGuane – Love Simon’. This film carried a lot of themes and messages that resonated with me deeply.

There isn’t enough art about…

Paul Watson – exactly!!! There isn’t enough art about!
Matt Skinner – I don’t know… there seems to be art in/about everything these days!
Joshua McGuane – The creation of art. Whether it be canvas, oil, music, theatre, film etc. As an audience we are so often exposed to only the finished product, the ‘destination’. The creation of art, the ‘journey’ is something quite incredible to be involved in and amazing to experience.

What three things can’t you live without?

Paul Watson – Family, Directing, Tea
Matt Skinner – My Family, My TV, Hot Chips
Joshua McGuane – Family, Headphones, Burgers

Go-to shower belting song?

Paul Watson – Take On Me by A-Ha
Matt Skinner – Live Rears It’s Ugly Head, by Living Color
Joshua McGuane – Musical Theatre: ‘Bring Him Home’ Les Miserables / Non Theatre: ‘Brother’ Matt Corby

If you could change one thing about the Australian theatre industry, what would that be?

Paul Watson – more opportunities for younger directors. Encouraging mainstage producers to invest in young directors by giving them at the very least more assistant, associate or resident positions.
Matt Skinner – that it was better funded.
Joshua McGuane – Accessibility for younger audiences. There are so many young theatre enthusiasts who simply can’t afford to experience what our industry has to offer. Lower the cost! Reach out to schools and youth groups! Let everyone enjoy the greatness of Aussie Theatre!

What’s the most used app on your phone?

Paul Watson – FB and Instagram aside, probably CHORDial
Matt Skinner – Apollo (a Reddit client)
Joshua McGuane – I’ve already bashed Instagram in a previous answer so I’ll say the Health App. I’ve been aiming to track 10,000 steps a day…it’s not going well

What do you wish you had been told before starting in this industry?

Paul Watson – It is fundamentally a job first. Leave it at stage door when you can. Go home, see or talk to your friends and family and breathe. Don’t make it your whole entire world.
Matt Skinner – maybe just how all-consuming it can get. The supreme work ethic required to be successful.
Joshua McGuane – How difficult it is to remove eyeliner.

What are you addicted to?

Paul Watson – Kookaburra Cookies!
Matt Skinner – LEGO
Joshua McGuane – Coffee, and Trucker Chips from Mr Burger (with jalapenos and extra sauce)

What city do you live in and why?

Paul Watson – Geelong. Just moved down here. Bought a little Olive Grove! After years of touring and living in company accomodation in big apartment blocks in cities all over the place… it was time for some space. Loving it!
Matt Skinner – Melbourne. Moved here from Hobart 15 years ago, liked it, met my wife, so I stayed!
Joshua McGuane – I moved to Melbourne at 19 to pursue a Theatre course but ended up landing on a different side of the industry (ticketing) and I love it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Paul Watson – Exactly where I am now. Living on the farm, directing and producing theatre.
Matt Skinner – I don’t see it being too different, just maybe a better house/job and possibly doing more theatre than I am now (hopefully!)
Joshua McGuane – 5 years ago I was performing in my first production with Paul and Matt. So I guess in 5 years it’s likely we’ll probably be doing the same thing. Bring it on!
Paul Watson – We’re not doing “Bring It On” Joshy!!!!!!

We Will Rock You Geelong closes this weekend. Saturday night has sold out but a small amount of tickets are available for all other remaining shows. Tickets available at: Gpac.org.au

Matt Edwards

Matt is a past owner of AussieTheatre, working as digital director from 2011 to 2019. He is also a performer, most recently appeared in the Australian tour of Mamma Mia! and previously in the Australian/NZ tour of CATS and Enda Markey's acclaimed production of Blood Brothers. As well as performing Matt keeps himself busy in the digital side of the arts working with web design agency Emptyhead Digital

Matt Edwards

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