Harrison Tipping’s Galvanising Drive

Harrison Tipping is the living emission of radioactive focus, and I am caught in its radius.  His energy permeates my phone’s screen ionising atoms along the way and transforming all matter into believers. It takes an immense amount of courage to pursue a career most have failed in, to know that you are one of the millions but still believe that you are one in a million. His courage is undergirded by a mother who saw his luminous talent early on and a father who’s grown to appreciate his light.

The rolling hills of Wales nurture tufts of grazing sheep and hug the buds of growing hope. It is here that a young Harri formed the tenants of hard work and sacrifice. Where his orienting arrow was set towards home and family. Here where his people became his reason, his ‘why’. Where their pride and happiness now anchor his journey across the Atlantic.

When we speak, the budding actor is in New York, a former student of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. In his short film ‘Stand To’, he writes about and portrays a young soldier returning from war. He says ‘I wanted to investigate the subject matter of PTSD. I wanted to portray the effects of trauma on veterans and their loved ones with whom they must navigate a new life.’ Harrison’s commitment to the character is potent. We pan across a soldier’s shaven head and mustache developed for the role and close up into his melancholy. We see the soldier’s tragedy but also the love that tethers him to life. The film holds up a mirror to those who suffer without words but also a window for those seeking to understand. ‘I was overwhelmed by the response from viewers, particularly from veterans who felt the film was a realistic portrayal of their lives. I was grateful to have been able to create something that resonated with their community.’

‘I act because I have been fortunate to have a passion and to be in a position to pursue it. I am curious about what it feels like to be someone else.’ Being well acquainted with survival jobs between bookings he says, ‘Even though it can be challenging, I try to not get tied up in the impossibilities.’

Often the peak of one conquered mountain is the base of the next big mountain. He recalls his experience of recently acting in a feature film in Texas among some of the best performers of our time. It would’ve been easy and even understandable to shrink and do as the director dictates but his greatest lessons were that ‘I am in charge of my character’s narrative as much as anybody else on set. The best art is about collaboration and I had the chance to bring interesting character choices to the role. I was grateful for the autonomy I was afforded on set.’

Gratitude tunes his heart and accents our conversation. One of his bucket list items is to give back to the family, friends, and strangers who have helped him along the journey. He recalls a survival job in a garden center with an elderly woman whose wisdom and influence he still holds deeply. Of course, he would also like to travel more and take on new adventures working ‘..on projects that touch and resonate with people who don’t have the voice or platform to tell their stories’.

I am curious about the slower moments in his life. He takes me through a memorable food experience of Caribbean jerk chicken and rice stuffed into a carved-out pineapple. As he describes the market scene and food, his pupils widen, and there, just beneath the surface, is a pure moment of joy. A joy that he nurtures through exercise, the occasional bath bomb, and gifting others.

Harrison’s hunger, passion, and talent are galvanising. From his modified method approach to character to his profound awareness of community, you can’t help but be caught in his radiance. His energy permeates my phone’s screen ionising atoms along the way and transforming me into a believer.

What dreams burn you in your sleep, stir you up in the morning, and chase you through the day?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s