We’ve seen him on television and he’s no stranger to our area, with a local family connection to Taree … Nick Cain will be visiting the Manning-Great Lakes to MC the Insurance Advisernet MidCoast Business Awards on May 4 – the second time he’s performed this role. Nick’s very much looking forward to seeing how the Manning-Great Lakes has grown and evolved since his last visit …
Hi Nick. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Certainly. I’m a performing artist and creative professional who has plied my wares for well over a decade.
What does all that professional garble actually mean? I’m primarily an actor and voiceover artist in film and television. When opportunities arise, l’m also a presenterand Master of Ceremonies.
Like every good Australian performer though, l have another skillset that helps to pay the bills. That involves me providing freelance content and creative services for large conferences and events for clients domestically and internationally. It all boils down to … if you have a story – I’ll help you tell it.
How did you get started in the creative industry?
I started as a pretty terrible bass player in a punk band. Slowly, as the depressive nature of adolescence kicked into full throttle, that band turned into a pretty hardcore metal band called Masokist (the purposeful mis-spelling l still can’t forgive myself for).
Our live show was so “theatrical”, that my drama teacher suggested l audition for the high school play. I somehow pushed past my reservations that it wasn’t “rock star” enough and ended up scoring the lead role. I loved it and never looked back. I’ve hardly picked up a guitar since. Needless to say, l was never cool enough to be a rock star anyway.
With that ridiculously embarrassing story aside, another key catalyst in my youth was a small, government run program in primary school called “Machismo”. It aimed to get boys into the arts and ease the stigma that it wasn’t considered “macho” to be in the arts, by getting hands on with the skills. Being from a small country town of about 600 on the Murray River, the course was sensational. Having access to filmmakers, equipment, artists and generally amazing individuals blew my mind and sealed my fate.
Between acting, presenting and producing, which is your favourite and why?
Acting all the way. When l was young, it was never something l really saw myself doing. Although l must admit, it came quite naturally. This is where you cue jokes about me loving to be the centre of attention … and sure – do that. But in all honesty, all that stuff is not what l enjoy. Selfishly, it’s all the other joys acting provides you.
There’s a pretty cathartic, energising and soulful nature to performance and embodying a character that isn’t like much else in this world when it’s zinging like it should. Performers speak about the “natural high” of being in the moment. Having that shared experience with a community of like-minded souls is about as good as it gets.
Presenting, on the other hand, allows me to interact and improvise with people l may never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. It’s also a wonderful buzz knowing success is moment to moment and never assured.
Producing gives me the control that’s lacking in the other two disciplines!
Tell us about some of the most recent jobs you’ve worked on …
I’ve had the pleasure recently of doing what l like to refer to as “The Aussie Soapy Quinella”- both Neighbours and Home and Away. If Heartbreak High was still around, l’d probably be cast in that too, for the trifecta. My role on Neighbours as Alistair Hall was particularly worth mentioning, as it involved tackling a taboo topic around a bloke wrestling with his sexuality, which is often not represented on such shows.
I’ve also had guest roles on Utopia – Season 2 on ABC, as well as a lead role in an Aussie independent film called After The End, due for release in Australia shortly.
I’ve also been partial to a bit of levity, teaming up with the witty chaps at Sportsbet for some great online content such as Gogglebox: Origin Edition and Sh*t you can do at the cricket, but not at the office. Quality viewing.
You will be the MC at this year’s MidCoast Business awards, which you have done once before. What are you looking forward to the most?
I’m looking forward to seeing how the awards have grown since l last hosted a few years ago. All reports have been that it’s grown and the diversity of the local businesses is growing continuously too. It’s quite exciting to be a part of that growth in some form.
After l hosted last time, l was mistaken for famous children’s entertainer Jimmy Giggle by an attendee …even after l’d introduced myself pretty clearly at the start of evening. So in fact, I’m probably most looking forward to signing a few autographs as Jimmy Giggle and improving/degrading his standing as a quality entertainer in the region, depending on how l go.
Why do you believe an awards night like this one is so important?
It’s nights like this that are really valuable to local and regional businesses. Those businesses are the lifeblood of towns in the MidCoast, and they are the catalysts that shape the personality of the region. It gives those businesses an opportunity to shine in the spotlight and be proud of their achievements.
My experience at the awards last time meant l experienced the sheer pride businesses exude in being recognised for delivering exceptional service. I was so in awe of the blood, sweat and tears the recognised businesses showcased in making their business successful, and that deserves adequate recognition.
I consider myself very lucky to be able to be a part of such a wonderful night celebrating excellence.
Now, we won’t drop any names, but your mother in-law does live in this area – so
I’m sure you get up here a bit. What do you love most about this area?
Yes, l’m not one to drop names either. But my mother-in-law Jenny Ashton lives up near Taree, and l regularity visit her on her property up that way with my wife, Rachelle.
It’s always the beauty of the area that gets me. I know that’s the cliché – but it’s true. There’s a touch of everything. The dramatic terrain, mixed with all that greenery and water is still breathtaking for a bloke who grew up in a place with lots of flat ground and heat.
My home area is beautiful in its own right, but having access to world class beaches and waterways is magnificent. I proposed to my wife in Forster, so that holds a pretty special place in my heart too – the generosity of the businesses in helping me execute my elaborate proposal plan will never be forgotten either.
Career-wise, what have you got coming up?
My major project for the year is a film l’m producing and performing in for submission to Sundance Film Festival. It’s called Before l Go, and it focuses on male depression and suicide in rural Australia through three generations. Unfortunately, men aren’t good at finding ways to talk about their emotions, and it means over 70% of suicide related deaths in Australia are male, and men in rural areas are twice as likely to meet a premature end. The topic is one close to my heart, and its inspiration lies in a diary entry written by a dear friend about the suicide of her father when she was young.
Whilst tackling some pretty heavy topics, it’s a film filled with hope. It’s a story l can’t wait to tell. It’s in pre-production currently, and if you’re interested in helping in anyway, whether it be through funding, offering a service or just staying up to date with the journey of the film, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – l’d love to hear from you.
Apologies for the shameless plug to finish!