At School

Jack Finsterer, 34

At School


School Ambition

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I didn’t have any firm idea but I enjoyed drama at school more than any other classes but I didn’t intend to be an actor.”  


“I’m an actor with experience in television, theatre and film. I have a sister who was an actor at that time and I liked the people she was hanging around with. At age 20, I was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts and was one of the youngest students. That was fairly daunting because a lot had been to uni for five to six years studying drama extensively. I didn’t have that knowledge but I trusted my instincts and worked on specific skills.”

Job Description

“I was lucky and got instant work after graduating. I got a role on Neighbours playing Melissa Bell’s boyfriend. I then got work in a play but did not gain acting work for the rest of the year. That was the pattern. You start the year working two or three months solid then nothing.

“In one three-year period, I worked non-stop including a small regular role on Janusand many appearances in Law of the Land and other plays. I’ve had acting work in TV programs like Stingers, Love Is A Four Letter WordandBlue Heelers.I’ve also worked in a number of Australian films and plays.

“In 2002 I finished filming on Farscape,the highest rating sci-fi show in the US. That was a bit of fun. I played an alien. In one week I earned as much as I would have earned for seven weeks in the theatre.”

Best Bit

“I love the variety and trying new characters.”

Worst Bit

“It’s really hard to break into. Out of our year of 20 to 25 people, there are only four of us working as actors. You also have to get used to the unpredictable earning power of this industry.”

The Future

“Up until this year, I wouldn’t have wanted a full time TV job but now we have a baby I would like a permanent spot. Up until the last year or two I really concentrated on theatre but I’ve come to realise to have longevity in this business you have to be well known. I now realise I have to focus more on TV.” 

The Past

“I gave up acting once and started a business selling beauty products including moisturisers which became quite successful. We exported it but I got sick of it – it just wasn’t me.

“I also worked in corporate hospitality at the Sydney Cricket Ground. I would show clients around the SCG as well as a small amount of organising events. I enjoyed the secure income but in the end, acting kept calling me back.” 


“I finished high school but was battling shoulder and other problems caused by football injuries. I started to seriously think about it after I attended an open day at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA).”

The Details

  • Daramalan College, Canberra. Finished year 12.

  • Victorian College of the Arts.


Jack’s Success Tips

Greater focus than the greatest athlete.

Thicker skin than that of an elephant.

Burning desire to act (do what you want to do).

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