How i make it work... SCOTT MAJOR
HAVING HIS NEIGHBOURS CHARACTER WRITTEN OUT OF THE SHOW IN 2013 WAS LIKE A BREAK-UP, ADMITS THE ACTOR. NOW 41, HE USES HIS EXPERIENCE TO SUPPORT THE NEW WAVE OF PERFORMERS
When I was let go from Neighbours, it was kind of a rude shock. I wasn’t ready to leave. It was like being in a relationship with someone who you’re happy with and want to spend the rest of your life with, and then having them say, “Sorry, I don’t want you anymore.” The feeling of rejection was quite high. I put my heart and soul into my role. I worked very hard and I loved the job. I had to go through the break-up of giving my all and someone saying, “I don’t want your all; actually, I’m moving on.”
When they get rid of you, they often say it’s because they’ve run out of storylines for your character. I thought my character, Lucas [Fitzgerald], had more life in him. But you just have to accept it and move on, no matter how much more room you think the role has.
They gave me six months’ warning, which was both good and bad. It was a double-edged sword because I was able to put some money away and sort my future out, but I also felt like a dead man walking around the corridors. Everyone would ask, “Oh, how are you coping? Are you ready to leave? What’s next?” No one likes to be looked at that way.
When I filmed my last scene, I thought I could handle it, but I turned into a blubbering mess. I realised how much the job and the people I worked with meant to me. You spend more time at work than you do at home, and you make lifelong friends.
The bosses said they wanted me to come back as a director. I didn’t know whether it was actually going to happen, but they stayed true to their word and I did a six-month directing internship. I remember the first episode I directed by myself; I felt like somebody had given me the keys to the car and I was only on my L-plates! What if I crashed it? In the end, the cast put me at ease because I knew they had my back. Their support allowed me to grow as a director.
I started working on the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival [a month-long series in Melbourne] three years ago to help independent artists remain sustainable in a very difficult industry. It’s a passion project. The feeling of helping other people with Poppy Seed has really added a lot to my life. It’s not for self; it’s for a broader good and that does bring me happiness.