Family man seeks a filmic future

Mr Deed (back row, fourth from left) was part of an invincible Kurow junior rugby team in 1998, winning all 15 games in the season. Photos: Supplied
Mr Deed (back row, fourth from left) was part of an invincible Kurow junior rugby team in 1998, winning all 15 games in the season. Photos: Supplied
From the South to ... anywhere, really. In a brief series, we track down people who were raised or educated here and are now doing something interesting overseas.

Today, we feature Michael Deed, who is putting the finishing touches on his own film in Australia.  Hayden Meikle tracks him down for a chat.

Former Kurow man Michael Deed with daughter Ava-Lee Grace Deed (12).
Former Kurow man Michael Deed with daughter Ava-Lee Grace Deed (12).
Q. Where do you live?

I live in north Brisbane, Australia. I have been here almost 14 years and I love the weather. It’s probably weird for a Kiwi to say they love hot, humid weather, but I do!

Q. What do you do for a job?

I am currently employed with Telstra, a telecommunications company, but my real passion is in the film and television industry. The appeal of my job is working with the amazing team that I have. But I’m very fortunate that it also gives me the flexibility to pursue my acting career.

Q. Career or life highlight? Events that shaped your life?

The highlight of my life was certainly the birth of my two beautiful children. Raising children when I was already so young presented a lot of challenges, as I was still growing up myself. My children’s health issues forced us to move to Brisbane, which was the only place that would cater to their needs, but in doing so, it also opened many doors for me to pursue my acting career. They are the greatest joy in my life and have given me the motivation to continue pursuing what I love.

Q. Outside work, what do you like to do?

Getting made up before a performance.
Getting made up before a performance.
I am so fortunate to be living in sunny Queensland where there are so many beautiful beaches, rainforests, bush walks and wildlife that I enjoy. I am inspired by nature, and you will often find me photographing its beauty. Aside from acting, my creativity has found another outlet. I have found that I have a talent and joy for script writing and I am currently in the process of filming one of my screenplays, Let’s Play.

Q. Where are you from originally?

I am originally from Gisborne before moving to Hakataramea at the age of 8, and then went to Kurow Area School. I then got an apprenticeship in horticulture before moving to Australia with a new family.

Q. What are your favourite memories of growing up here?

Aside from the beautiful countryside, my father was a martial arts teacher and I was privileged to have been trained by him and get my black belt at the age of 18. Martial arts is in my family, and my mother and uncle both are highly ranked in our style of martial arts. My other childhood memories were the walks around the countryside with my friends and getting up to mischief.

Q. Favourite country visited?

I have so many places that I would love to travel to, but whenever I return home to Hakataramea and the Waitaki Valley, I realise how incredibly lucky I was to be brought up in such a beautiful area of the world.

Q. Where will you be in five years?

As acting is my passion, I would love to do it full-time and have consistent paid work as an actor. I would like to be seen as a good investment to get my feature film fully funded within five years. I would also like to travel in that time and see new things and take my children back to visit my home town in New Zealand.

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