Al­lan over feel­ing all at sea

The Sea Pa­trol rookie ad­mits she was very ner­vous when she joined the cast, writes Dar­ren Dev­lyn

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

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

In­dia.

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