S5 Ep 12: Control what you can control and manage the variables – a formula for success.

Dan MacPherson

This week Bram Connolly talks to actor, ironman triathlete and all-round good bloke Daniel Macpherson.

Fresh from starring as Sergeant Samuel Wyatt in the acclaimed international HBO/SKY action series Strike Back, Dan describes the stress of living far away from home, out of a suitcase, and fully immersed in demanding roles months at a time. If you’ve ever served in the Defence Force this would not sound that unfamiliar to you. In fact, the similarities don’t stop there; Dan gives us an understanding of how actors become exhausted in their trade.

Dan describes how triathlon was a source of strength and grounding. When all the other events in his life would be uncertain, he had the weekly grind of run, swim or bike training to fall back on. Then, in the middle of the marathon of the Roth Ironman, he had the realisation that he had to finally choose between giving himself completely to the sport he loves or to the career he wanted. We then get an amazing insight from one of Australia’s most highly regarded leading actors. “Nail everything that’s in your control, because by controlling the controllable and managing the variables you have the best chance of success.”

With this as the backdrop, we discuss intelligence, hard work and commitment and the relationship between these and the distinct benefits of rounding out all three. We talk about leadership in the world of television and the arts and Dan shares the discovery that an actor’s expectations of themselves and others can often suppress the magic of creativity. I think you’ll agree with me that this one is so good.

Images – Courtesy of Cinemax/Sky

Intro Music – thanks to Sam James @imsamjames


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