Welcome to The Clearing: Scottish Actor - with the lovely Scottish dulcet tones to match - Cal MacAninch!
Cal is a much respected TV, Theatre & Film Actor. Best known on TV for portraying the character DI John Keenan in BBC's "Holby City" but has been in much much more besides in a long-spanning and impressive career.
Including Downton Abbey, Banished, Mr Selfridge - and even playing the title role back in the day of "Hamlet" at The Glasgow Citizens Theatre, directed by Philip Prowse.
Cal is a warm, wise and wonderful man indeed who I'm very proud to call my friend!
A rich and multi-textured conversation indeed with a recurring theme (I noticed) of Cal as "The Novice" - able to be truly present and able to LISTEN with an acute ability to "watch and learn" as he adventures along in response to the Gifts that "life has to present" for him to unwrap...
Cal and I met way back when - near the very beginning of our careers - doing one of our first ever Film jobs together, appearing in a Tennent's Lager Commercial called "The Wedding"
Cal subsequently read Shakespearean Sonnet Number 116 at my Wedding over 30 years ago!
Cal also agreed be back in my Zoom Hole (!) to re-record the self-same Sonnet 31 years on!
"Your Life & Times With Me Chris Grimes!"
Cal grew up in a household where the conventional wisdom was that children should be seen and not heard. His father had been a bomber pilot during World War 2 and had lost his own twin brother in that conflict. After the end of the war, his father dreamed of being a pilot in the King’s flight until his agoraphobic wife knocked that idea on the head, relegating her husband to an unsatisfactory life as a salesman. His mother had also lost a child. No grief counselling was ever available to either parent. What Cal took out of all this was the importance of following your individual dreams. When professional football was no longer an option, the idea of Drama appealed to him. Being on stage meant he would be both seen and heard. Cal taught himself to say “Yes!” rather than No. Because he discovered that Yes leads to adventure…. It ensures that Lifel is not unlived - it is lived to the full! Cal’s first role on stage was as an extra, with no lines to deliver, at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. When not on stage, Cal stood in the wings, in awe, watching his heroes perform. He asked for more challenging parts. In due course, he was invited back to play Hamlet! In parallel Cal was still playing amateur football, still running regularly, still learning to climb, still learning to box, still learning to row as a Novice. He was also falling in love with Shauna, getting married, co-creating a family. His multi-talented actress wife, Shauna MacDonald, remains an inspiration to Cal. But births were not easy. Shauna was in labour for 4 days with their first child! The second was born in a birthing pool during an electric storm in South Africa; the third while Cal was appearing on stage - or rather when he wasn’t, giving his understudy a welcome break. Cal was present at every birth and will always remember them as profound spiritual experiences. Now Cal is planning to row the Atlantic, with a hand-picked crew, to raise money for a Charity called Body & Soul whose primary purpose is to help children deal with childhood trauma that might otherwise either shorten or ruin their lives. Body & Soul has been doing this for 25 years in the belief that “It is never too late to heal.”
Cal once said No to Mel Gibson for a part in Braveheart, a slight regret perhaps - but is comforted by the advice he received from award-winning actress
Barbara Hershey: “Take your own time. Make your own moment.” Cal likes to surprise people by exceeding their expectations. He certainly achieves that in this conversation.
Editor, Health Triangle Magazine