Art, whose honesty must work through artifice, cannot avoid cheating truth.
So who is Nigel? Good question.
First things first: I work as Nigel Patterson in the USA (AEA / SAG-AFTRA), but my professional name in UK Equity is Nigel Dunbar.
When I was a child and was nervous before an important event, well-intentioned grown-ups would tell me “Don’t worry – just be yourself.” And despite their reassurance, I always found this advice unsatisfactory because I didn’t know who that was.
But over time, I started to pretend to be me. And it’s become something of a habit.
For many years I taught languages in England and maintained – only half-jokingly – that I used to give eight shows a day.
I’m always telling stories – usually to myself. Whether in the rehearsal room, in the sound booth, or at my computer, I look for imaginative ways to give form to chaos – and in doing so, to find a voice that expresses the true meaning of a message, the life behind the words.
I was born in London, but live in Chicago (don’t ask, long story …) I’m British to the core – but will be eternally grateful to the USA for showing me the limitless possibilities of self-reinvention.
Oh – and I can’t abide beetroot, liver, or whistling.