Originally I wanted to become a drummer.
I was born the same year The Beatles played my hometown Munich, Bavaria, October 1966.
So I imbibed the Beat with my mother ́s milk and Ringo Starr was my hero. But
since my father died when I was 13 years old life for my mother, my sister, brother and me changed drastically.
At the age of 14 I found my first job as a gofer in a bakery before I went to school. This was the only way for me to buy my first drumset – but it didn ́t buy my school degree.
Therefore it wasn ́t too hard for my mother to enthuse me to become a hairdresser by the age of 18. The job provided me with enough money and time to increase my drumming skills. It was around 1986 when I started my first band with 2 buddies of mine called : The legendary Black Pumuckels.
After 3 years of apprenticeship as a hairdresser I have had several jobs and worn many hats like, construction worker, factory worker, dishwasher and I also started to make some dough with my music. Until this fateful day a friend of mine told me about this acting workshop of John Costopoulus from Actors Studio New York. So I went to join the classes for 3 weeks and the spark was ignited.
In 89 I spent my summervacation in New York and took the chance to apply at the Lee Strassberg Institute and since the entrance examination consisted of a conversation about Sauerkraut I had no problem to be accepted. Due to the lack of money I never joined the Institute.
Back in Germany I applied at the Ruth von Zerboni Acting School near Munich and was accepted in 1990.
It would become the toughest time in my life !
To pay the monthly course fees I had to sell my drumset and my beautiful BSA Scrambler motorbike and also found various jobs like Pizza delivery service, puppetier, T – shirt printer, janitor, construction worker, extra, volunteer for medical testing, etc. Working 3 jobs a day 7 days a week for 3 years.
But my passion for music gave way to a passion for drama. I participated in plays like Shakespeares ` Midsummer night dreams ́ as Demetrius, `Angel on Board ́ and Sartres `No Exit ́. And I also was able to accumulate experience at TV sets, such as the program `Marienhof ́ – the role was a pizza deliverer ! I played minor parts in TV series like `SOKO 5113 ́ , `Wildbach ́, Unsere Schule ist die Beste ́ and the movie ` Regina auf den Stufen ́.
After graduating at the Zerboni Acting School in 1994 I went on a 3 month Theatre Tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The play was : The Little Teahouse.
It was about the same year that I started my 3 year education in voice training and singing with Elaine Baker from Oakland .
Since living in Munich was alsways expensive, I kept on working as puppetier for Sigfried Böhmke and his TV show `Vampy ́, and also other plays like `A Chrismas Carol ́. And I did part time labor for my brothers marquees comp and changed from washing dishes to serving cocktails.
It was in 1996 when my band and I ( I never gave up on playing drums) had a background appearence in a commercial where I made contacts to be casted for my first leading role: The Wagenfelds.
Working for this daily soap opera for one and a half years I learned the essentials of the job and eventhough this format is ridiculed by many it enabled me to leave the trailer I was living in for the last 2 years and to move on to Berlin.
After finishing with `The Wagenfelds ́ I played a couple of supporting roles for different german TV Series, such as `Für alle Fälle Stefanie ́, `Komissar Rex ́, `SOS Barracuda ́, `Helicops ́ and `SOKO Kitzbühel ́.
The year 1997 saw me playing the leading role of a Helicopter paramedic Ralf Staller in an action program called `Medicopter 117 ́. After 3 years of enjoying the beauty of Austrias mountain peaks from my copilot seat I had to go back to Berlin due to personal reasons. And luck was on my side when I was casted right away for my next leading role as Detective Alex Bonhoff in the german spin off of `Law & Order ́- Im Namen des Gesetztes.
I was aware of the risk that goes with being unavailable for other jobs once I committed myself to the programm for 7 years, but that ́s professional risk.
`Im Namen des Gesetzes ́was cancelled in 2007 and I realized how exhausting it can be to constantly play the leading role in various TV programs for years. So I decided to take my time out and went to California to spend 6 months with friends of mine. It was at a carshow in LA when I happend to meet Faith Granger who offered me the chance to play a german aviator in her Low budget film `Deuces of Spades ́.
Back from the states I went to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, to increase my portuguese skills in a 2 week workshop and to drop my resume at the local TV staion REDE GLOBO.
Back in Germany the `Cops of Rosenheim ́ were already waiting for me, where I played the bad guy – for the very first time.
OK – they got me. But after doing my time I was ready to face a eventful year 2009.
In spring 2009 I decided to leave my old agency which was quite a painful decision after 14 years of fruitful colaboration. But I felt ready for a fresh start and had some expectations from my new agent. Right away I dug deep into sending out my resumes and DVDs and got prepared for auditions to come.
And in fact, there has been a couple of interesting & challenging offers – but in the end they all turned out to be hot air. Nonetheless – the request of an old buddy of mine, Frank Glencairn, to play the main role in his surealistic army drama eventually made my year.
Beside all this actors routine of finding a job, I had plenty of time to travel to California to take care of my 1937 Cadillac La Salle coupe, I purchased the year before. After hitting some custom car shows in the states ( like the Fresno Autorama ) I shipped the car over to Germany to cruise Brandenburg in 2011. Since the La Salle isn´t build as a racer – like my old Chevy was – I probably have to take it easier on her……but I am not 20 anymore either.
After a – jobwise – dry year 2009 passed on the prospective for 2010 seemed to be a lot better, but I had to learn that my `new´agent decided to go out of buisness due to her weak health conditions. So I was send back to start again.
But all my networking and sending out C/Vs finally paid out and I was booked to play a real mean character on the `SOKO Wien´ programm for ZDF / ORF.
I also had the pleasure – playing a tax consultant – to tell the leading man to quit his job on `Unsere wunderbare Familie´ for ZDF.
On this rocky road to fame & fortune I also revived an old passion of mine: Puppetry.
When the Berlin based `Hans Wurst Nachfahren´puppet theatre felt short of one of their professionel players I gladly picked up long forgotten skills and had a great time playing `Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten´ and some other kids plays like `The Gruffelo´ and `Lotte, Paul & Anton´.
We also did some evening shows for adults such as Edgar Wallace.
Since my son was born early October 2010, and I was lucky to sign a contract with Barbara Neuffer as my new agent and one or two job offers are already in the line – so I will kick back quite confident enjoying the snowchaos and xmas(chaos) with my family and wait to see what next year will have in mind for me.