Reference > Erinsborough News > Idol Dan Hits Neighbours
Singer Dan O’Connor turns to acting on Neighbours
When Australian Idol contestant Dan O’Connor wooed viewers with his sex appeal and singing talent last year he didn’t expect it to propel him into primetime. But this week, Dan joins Neighbours as Ned Parker, a younger brother to Big Brother star Blair McDonough’s Stuart.
And while it has been a great experience, Dan, 26, admits starring on the popular soap was terrifying. “I hadn’t even considered acting before this,” says Dan, who’s moved from country NSW to inner city Melbourne. “I my first scene I only say about four lines, but I was freaking out! That day was so overwhelming I even had to ask the extras where to stand. I kept thinking: ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ But while it’s been a steep learning curve it has been the best way for me to learn.”
“I was asleep when they rang me with the news and I said: ‘Can I call you back?’ because I couldn’t believe it. I was in total disbelief,” he says. “I rang an hour later and they told me again. It’s an incredible opportunity and I’d be stupid if I hadn’t taken it up.”
Making the move to Victoria has been life changing in more ways than one for the committed Christian. As well as a new home Dan also had to cope with troubles in his love-life.
“We are on a break right now,” he says of his girlfriend, without giving too much away. “It’s hard when you are in different cities and pursuing different things.”
Dan’s romance worries weren’t the only cause for concern. His furniture got temporarily lost en route to Melbourne. “It was a nightmare,” he says. “Here I was on a Friday, starting Neighbours on the Monday, and they said they couldn’t deliver it over the weekend like they’d promised. I am not the type of person to get angry, but I had to get off the phone!”
But Dan won’t be watching his first time on screen, “I’m not excited about it going to air at all. I can’t watch myself for some reason. I had the same experience through Idol. I didn’t watch one episode of Idol until the grand final, and even then, when I came on I went to the bathroom! But, like any professional, it’s something I’ve to do because you’ve to learn to critique your performance and make it better.”
Yet the sky is the limit for the talented singer, who won’t forget his roots. “Down the track I would still love to pursue music,” Dan says, smiling. “Who knows, maybe one day a song of mine will be used on Neighbours.”
This article originally appeared in New Idea magazine dated June 2005 and was written by Erin McWhirter