Dan Walker (2006 – 2010)

Alumnus, Dan Walker

Dan Walker attended The Denes High School from 2006 to 2010.

Born in Leytonstone, East London, Dan moved to Lowestoft when he was 14. He studied at the Sixth Form consortium when it was part of The Denes and went straight to East 15 Acting School which is a drama school in Loughton, Essex. Dan left there with a First Class Honours Degree in acting. Preceding this Dan was involved with the Seagull Theatre, and worked with Yakety Yak Young Actors Company in Little Women when he played Laurie. He also played Wilson in Joe Orton’s Ruffian on the Stair which was directed by Lee Johnson. Dan described The Seagull theatre as his “home from home.”

Dan told us: “It was a pretty big culture shock for me, at 14, to move from East London to Lowestoft. All you really care about it going out with mates and chatting to girls.

“The Drama Department at The Denes which was then run by Mrs Dores really pushed me to focus on my acting, and affirmed in me the view that with hard work and a little bit of luck, a career in the arts was actually possible. It was an environment where you weren’t afraid to fail, because failure always gives you something to learn from. It’s something I carried with me through my four years at Drama School, and still use today. Fail, fail again, fail better.

“I owe a lot to Mrs Dores, the drama department, and to The Denes in general. I will always remember my time spent there as a time of excitement, a time of passion for learning, and a time of immense determination.”

Dan (now know professionally as Jimmy Walker) recently landed his first major role in BBC TV’s period drama series Call the Midwife. The episode he first to appeared in aired in February 2015. Of his part in the drama, Dan said: “A lot of young actors auditioned. It’s always a tough process because you have to be agreed on by not only the director, but the casting department and the producers most of all. You have to impress all three.”

We spoke to Mrs Catchpole, Head of Drama, who told us: “Dan was always extremely passionate about performing and determined to prove his ability. He always demonstrated very strong team work skills not only in lessons, but also when he worked with other sixth form students and Mrs Dores to direct our school production of The Wizard of Oz. Whilst at the Denes, Dan had the complete ability to embody any character he took on and explored the role fully. He would consider every detail such as his voice, reactions and mannerisms. This was because of the commitment he gave to his work; not allowing any detail to be missed. Dan has clearly continued this positive work ethic, and dedication to his studies as he has, and does, continue to learn, and we are one very proud drama department to be associated with such success.”

We send our best wishes to Dan and look forward to seeing more of him on TV.

See also

Dan (Jimmy) Walker on IMDB

December 2014

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