Allan over feeling all at sea
The Sea Patrol rookie admits she was very nervous when she joined the cast, writes Darren Devlyn
KIRSTY Lee Allan is feeling every bit the rookie. Not only is she playing Sea Patrol’s raw recruit — chef Rebecca ‘‘Bomber’’ Brown — but she’s also feeling pressure after being plucked from obscurity for a high-profile TV drama debut.
‘‘I’ve grown up watching (co-star) Lisa McCune and the other wellknown names in the cast, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t incredibly nervous coming in,’’ Allan says of her role.
‘‘You just want them (producers) to know they made the right choice in giving you the job.’’
Dubbo-raised Allan has long had ambitions to act, but her teens were devoted largely to her passions for music and dance.
She left Dubbo at 16 and studied for a Diploma of Performing Arts at South Melbourne’s Dance World Studios, scoring jobs as a back-up dancer for R&B duo Shakaya and working in the theatre productions Aladdin, Flamenco Rocks and Little Aussie Battleaxe.
The winner of a year’s scholarship at the US dance school LA Danceforce, Allan also performed, Coyote Ugly- style, in a pub in Spain, where she served drinks and danced on the bar.
A working trip to India was not nearly so successful.
‘‘I was there six months and it felt like three years,’’ Allan says. ‘‘I was 18 and in a Third World country and had a contract that turned out to be not what it seemed.
‘‘There were six of us, kept in a house. We got caught leaving the house at one point and the bosses tried to sue us and took our passports off us. Two months later we were still stuck there, trying to escape. The last month was just terrible.’’
Allan speaks from a Sea Patrol location near the Gold Coast. She’s taking shelter under a canvas awning on a morning punctuated by an occasional torrential downpour.
IT’S oppressively humid, but Allan is not complaining. She learnt early on that dealing with extreme conditions on land and water comes with the territory on a show such as Sea Patrol.
‘‘Every day I come to work feeling nervous,’’ Allan confesses. ‘‘There’s so much pressure to prove you can do the job. The good thing is I’m becoming good friends with the other members of the cast. At the start, if I had a problem I used to be a bit anxious about asking them for help, but they’re just great.’’
Cast and crew promise that Sea Patrol has undergone something of a transformation since the end of the first season.
Series two is touted as ‘‘bigger, sexier and more action-packed’’ than the first and features a new patrol boat and a heavy-duty guest character, a mining entrepreneur played by Ugly Betty star Alan Dale.
The crew will be aboard a hi-tech Armidale-class patrol boat. Story arcs will include a jewel robbery at sea, drug and reptile smuggling, a stolen arms racket and a hostage drama.
Allan key: Kirsty Lee Allan, with Sea Patrol crewmate Jay Ryan, had a horror trip to