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Actor's struggles subject of web series

HANNAH MCKEE
Last updated 05:00 08/01/2014
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CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ

DOUBLE ACT: Aspiring actor and Wellington taxi driver Logan Pithyou stopped waiting for roles to come to him and set up the The Next Big Nothing, a comedy web series detailing his acting career.

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Sick of searching for work, an aspiring Wellington actor has taken matters into his own hands.

Assyrian Logan Pithyou says it is tough being an aspiring actor in Wellington, so he has decided to create his own opportunity with a new comedy web series The Next Big Nothing.

Actor by day, taxi driver by night, Pithyou's interest in acting, particularly comedy, began early.

"It developed at school, I was the class clown I guess you could say and started off imitating teachers and it grew from there," Pithyou, who has a degree in theatre from Victoria University, says.

When Pithyou thinks back, he describes his budding acting career as a bit of a "comedy of errors", such as when his speaking role in Avatar ended up in the deleted scenes.

As well as a run of bad luck, Pithyou says his looks have served for and against his career, landing him many roles but often typecasting him as a Middle Eastern terrorist or taxi driver.

The Kilbirnie resident and aspiring Wellington film-makers Josh Galuszka, Arthur Chan and Andy Burt decided to take Pithyou's experiences and turn them into art in The Next Big Nothing, a story about a struggling actor.

"I was pretty much just trying to take a step back and having a look at my acting career retrospectively. Peter Jackson and James Cameron were making films just around the corner, everything was always so close but yet so far," Pithyou says.

Each episode follows Logan as he goes through auditions, casting calls and clumsy attempts to capture the attention of Wellington's film-maker elite.

The Next Big Nothing writer Andy Burt says that although comedy is at the essence of the series, it is also a story with heart as it is based on Pithyou's real-life experiences.

Pithyou has been driving taxis for two and a half years. He enjoys it because he meets interesting people and it is flexible with his acting commitments, he says.

"Acting in Wellington isn't easy and not just for me [ ... ] a big production only comes by every couple of years so I think you have to do your own projects here."

Pithyou says he and his team have filmed six episodes so far and he hopes the series will be competitive in the online environment so they can make more.

The first episode of The Next Big Nothing follows Pithyou to an audition which goes horribly wrong.

Episode two, to be released shortly, covers Pithyou trying to drop off a show reel at Sir Peter Jackson's house.

The web series can be viewed at www.facebook.com/TheNextBigNothing. Warning, it contains coarse language.

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- The Dominion Post

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