In the casting of 54 Days we have discovered some new and great developing talent with great potential.
54 Days is a tense, sometimes dark, Psychological Thriller that needed actors with the depth of experience & craft, together with a great emotional range to reach the sometimes very difficult places within the movie.
After 4 months of gruelling rehearsals each of the great cast got into the skins of their characters, they knew every nuance, every crease, every flaw. When they came on set – they were able to give great performances.
So let’s introduce them to you:
“Anthony” – John Michael Burdon
John Michael Burdon, currently represented by Ryan Hall Management, graduated from the Actor’s College of Theatre and Television in 2000 with an Advanced Diploma in Acting. John Michael went on to professionally perform in CATS, Grease, Hot Shoe Shuffle and The Odyssey. A previous knee injury that JM sustained during the fight scene in an amateur production of Oklahoma in 1997 returned to plague him, resulting in a knee reconstruction and effectively halting his dance career in professional musical theatre. In 2009, John Michael joined the Sydney Shakespeare Festival as an ensemble actor, playing in the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons respectively in leading roles such as Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Petruchio (Taming of the Shrew) and Malvolio (Twelfth Night) He has performed in the independent and professional theatre circuit ever since, from Penrith to Sydney, and recently appeared as Mitch in CTG Inc’s A Streecar Named Desire, Reverend John Hale in Emu Heights Productions acclaimed production of The Crucible and Solomon in Duck Duck Goose’s Theatre Company’s production of Pinball for the 2014 Mardi Gras Festival while exploring his craft at Bell Shakespeare. In 2011, John Michael started to make the transition to film and television. His first foray into film was in the feature My Mind’s Own Melody directed by Josh Wakely and Silverchair’s Daniel Johns. He has appeared in CI Channel’s episodes of Deadly Women and Dark Minds as well as appearing in a number of short films for Tropfest. John’s film and television experience started to expand into independent features and web series and he recently worked on Universal Picture’s Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie. In 2014 John Michael will appear in web series Atomic Kingdom as tribe leader Breeze, web series The Sex Of Us in the supporting lead role of bi-curious cop Amos as well as independent features Wyrmwood and Awake For A Moment in supporting roles. 54 Days marks John Michael’s first leading character in film.
“Dirk” – Greg Wilken
54 Days is Greg’s first foray into feature films and using a standard American accent. Greg was also one of the original 5 actors in the short version of 54 Days which was nominated for two awards at the WD Sci Fi Movie Festival in 2013. Greg started his acting career just a few years ago and has been working tirelessly to grow his skills in the craft.
Greg began his acting training at the highly respected Darlo Drama School in Sydney, Australia where he completed all 3 levels and then a number of specialty courses such as Actors Lab, Ensemble and Studio as well as the excellent Acting for Camera intensive. Greg then became involved in Crash Test Drama a Sydney based short play competition taking out Best Actor awards three times in 2013. In 2013 as part of the International Short Play Festival ‘Short and Sweet’ Greg was one of three actors who went through to the ‘Peoples Choice Showcase’ in the production of ‘Get Me To The Stage On Time’. In 2014 Greg and his co-actor Lynda performed in ‘Short and Sweets’ Gala Finals and took out the award for Best Overall Production.
Greg has now performed across Sydney at King Street Theatre in Newtown, Sidetrack in Marrickville, Darlo Theatre in Elizabeth Bay and the huge York Theatre at the Seymour Centre. He has performed roles as diverse as ‘Brett’ in ‘The Boys’, ‘Nick’ in the comedy ‘Bedroom Farce’ and his most recent performance as the evil ‘Goundrey’ in the haunting play ‘Holy Day’ by Australian playwright Andrew Bovell.
To continually improve his skills Greg has recently audited the MasterClasses of legendary acting coaches Ivana Chubbuck and Larry Moss. In July 2014 Greg was a participant in the Anthony Brandon Wong MasterClass, one of Australia’s best acting coaches.
Greg is passionate about the arts and was one of the major sponsors of the most exciting new theatres to open in Sydney’s eastern suburbs – the simply stunning Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst. It is Greg’s desire to move into TV and film while still working on theatre productions.
“Elizabeth” – Dianna LaGrassa
Dianna is a Canadian born actress working and living in Sydney for the past three years. She has starred in several short films, television shows and commercials. Recently she has completed her first Feature Role in a Feature Film- Two Brothers and a Girl. To continuously improve on her craft she has been accepted into several NIDA Open Studio programs and has been trained by some of the best in the business. She is always looking for challenging roles and the opportunity to work with amazing talent.
“Michelle” – Michela Carrattini
The daughter of an Australian ballerina and a Panamanian-American intelligence officer, Michela grew up in Germany and then moved to New York City as soon as she possibly could! Bitten by the theatre bug early in life, she told her kindergarten teacher she wanted to be an actress and made her professional debut at the age of fourteen as a soloist in The Houston Grand Opera’s internationally televised Street Scene. At sixteen, she cut her teeth in improvised street theatre as the convict ‘Sarah’ at Old Sydney Town. She has appeared in numerous stage productions world-wide, including Cabaret (“Helga”, Off-Broadway), Angels in America (“The Angel”, NYC), Godspell (“Sonia”, NYC), Alice In Wonderland (“Alice”, US Tour), Cinderella (“Fairy Godmother/Wicked Stepmother”, US Tour), Pride & Prejudice (“Caroline Bingley”, FSTC, Sydney), Goodbye Charlie (“Charlie”, FSTC, Sydney), Hamlet (EHP, Q Theatre) and The Student Prince at the Heidelberg Castle in Germany. Compelled to improve the plight of trafficked women, Michela took several years’ break from acting to take on social work in NYC, Prague and Sydney. Returning with some incredible life experience, Michela is excited to draw upon this for her future portrayals on screen and stage. Her film credits include features The 33rd Wedding, XX/XY and shorts Sweet Disposition, Wait for a New Love and The Tape. TV credits count CU2054, It’s A Dole Life, Strangers with Candy, and Third Watch. Michela is a mum and graduate of The American Musical & Dramatic Academy (NYC), Columbia University (BAPsych), Sydney University (MCrim) and The European School, Karlsruhe (European Baccalaureate).
For more on Michela, go to www.michelacarattini.com.
“Nick” – Michael Drysdale “
Michael Drysdale is a Sydney based actor who was raised on the sandy shores of Western Australia. At six, Michael was taken by his mother to a performance of The Brothers Grimm Fairytales and would never be the same again. After graduating from the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2011, where he performed in roles such as ‘Iago’ from Othello, ‘Konstantin Levin’ from Anna Karenina, ‘Agamemnon’ from The Greeks and ‘Stalin’ from Stalin’s Orchard, Michael followed in the footsteps of many notable graduates and moved to Sydney, to ply his craft there. As an actor Michael looks up to pioneers such as Brando, DeNiro, Day-Lewis and Streep as well as many of his modern contemporaries. Beyond anything he believes acting is about truth and connecting to the humanity of a moment. He’s very excited to be a part of 54 Days and to be taking on the role of ‘Nick’.