How it Started
I was 18 when I left my small town in the middle of the UK and moved to London to train as a performer at Arts Ed London. I trained for three years graduating in 2006 with a 2.1 Degree, an agent & a role in a UK Tour.
I had an incredible time working as a performer around the world, meeting wonderful and talented people along the way. I performed in shows such as Mamma Mia, Titus Andronicus & A Clockwork Orange.
I also worked in TV & Film ( The Young Victoria with Emily Blunt).
But after a few years… I got itchy feet. I got curious about directing. I wanted to be the person who collaborated with talented creatives, helped actors achieve brilliant performances, whilst also being responsible for the overall vision.
I jumped into directing (head first!).
I assisted many experienced Directors, and my breakthrough of really understanding actors was when I studied Stanislavski & Meisner techniques with Elen Bowman of Living Pictures.
This process of helping actors to get into the body of the character changed everything for me, I learnt how to really help performers transform their performances!
I was born in the city of Derby, in the middle of the UK. My mum is a British NHS worker and my dad was an Irish immigrant who worked with horses.
As a child I was obsessed with telling stories and creating shows in my bedroom, all that has changed is that I now do this in rooms with progressional actors.
I’ve lived in London my whole adult life, but I’m a nomad at heart & work in the USA and Europe, I adore travelling & working around the world & meeting incredible creatives.
As an acting and performance coach, and an artist, I’m led by curiosity and adventure!
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Acting and Performance Coach
In 2015 the National Theatre saw a show of mine, The Dogs of War, & invited me to train on their directors course at the NT Studio.
The next few years I worked in the West End & all over the UK.
My career has seen me working with Cameron Mackintosh on Miss Saigon, collaborating with incredible artists worldwide, directing shows that won awards at The Edinburgh Festival and toured all over Europe and transferred Off-Broadway!
When the world changed forever in 2020 I reinvigorated my way of working again, coaching performers online, writing & directing online content.
This led me to work with stars such as Raven Symoné & Sir Derek Jacobi.
“This new way of working has opened the world up to me & expanded opportunities to work with people all over the globe from wherever I am.”
“Tom makes you better as an actor – his precision on text, his insight into the character you’re playing, his clarity on what an audience needs from you at this point in the play – he works to get the best from you just by always asking the right question. Such a thorough way to produce genuinely creative, collaborative work. Somehow he manages to make it all enjoyable and effortless…he makes you surprise yourself.”
Melanie McHugh – Actor (London, UK)
The Irregulars (Netflix), Holby City (BBC), The Spanish Trilogy (Royals Shakespeare Company), The Playboy of the western world (National Theatre)
Tom O’Brien Acting and Performance Coach
“Tom O’Brien’s production is pacy and beautifully acted. An insightful and not disquieting look at mental illness… impressive and compassionate.”
“The stakes are high and the tension is wound up to number eleven in Tom O’Brien’s superbly cast and punctiliously executed production. A creative team perfectly met to imagine this 21st anniversary production with an ensemble of actors fated to realise it. Funny. Foul. Fabulous.”
“Tom’s session kind of changed my life. He really tailors the sessions around you and what you need. He’s really interested in your process, and how we can complement that process, how we can make it better, how we can find, how you can both find the joy in it again.”
François Pandolfo, Cardiff, Wales
Quintas, Dr Who (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Eastenders (BBC)
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Vicky Vox, Detox, Meatball, Mayhem Miller
The Vicky Vox Project
During Lockdown 2020 Tom O’Brien Produced, Directed & Co-wrote The Vicky Vox Project.
LA-based drag performer Vicky Vox is keeping busy live-streaming her all new Doing Great Diaries. With no warning, the quarantined peace she has created is disrupted by an unexpected delivery crashing at her door.
This heightened reality web-series, featuring a company of actual real-life creatives & hollywood Drag Queens & Television Stars, is inspired by a love of live performance, a passion for drag and queer culture and the dilemma we all find ourselves in. Filmed in isolation between LA & the UK.
Raven Symoné on playing a part on The Vicky Vox Project:
“The production company, the director – everyone was so perfect, especially during such a tumultuous situation.”