Q&A with Lucas: Actor, drama teacher, yoga instructor & model from Brazil

Having arrived 3 years ago with the goal to improve his English and open his mind to new experiences, Lucas Nadin found he has a lot to offer in Australia. Being one of the culture capitals of the world, his home city of São Paulo, was where his creative spark grew from an early age in music, acting and many other types of performing arts. He now brings his passions and talents to Sydney where he and many others know the city could benefit.

Firstly, congratulations – you’ve just got an acting role after your recent audition, that’s great news, how exciting! Thanks, I’m really happy too! I play a Brazilian character in a STAN series called The Other Guy.

So you’re from Brazil…whereabouts? I’m from São Paulo, it’s a big city, in the state we have 44 million so we are almost twice the whole population of Australia and in the city we are almost 12 million so it’s a huge city, lots of noise, the traffic is a bit crazy there but it’s a nice city for culture, for cinema, for theatre – we have one of the biggest theatre companies in Brazil, a lot of great companies from France, from Portugal, from all over the world. When I was in São Paulo I was going to the theatre twice a week, lets say, and I watched so many great things in Brazil, alternative theatre, not just musicals. It’s a great city for that – and 24 hours per day – it never ends. If you want a party at 5am you can find it; or if you want a great pizza at 5am when you leave a party, you can get the best pizza, good food, everything’s open – which is good but that’s also why we have lots of problems. And when I went to Brazil after two years of living in Australia, I didn’t feel safe anymore, it’s a bit dangerous; there are so many people living on the street which is terrible, the minimum salary is low and it’s a bit disorganised. But it’s a lovely city, I was really enjoying it when I was in Brazil, so many things to learn, so many museums to visit.

What brought you to Australia and how long have you been here now? I was working – teaching drama for two years on my own project. I was getting lots of students and I was happy, but it wasn’t easy to work as an actor in Brazil but I didn’t have a hard life. But then I met my girlfriend and she was coming to Australia to study architecture here and I always wanted to travel overseas and learn a different language and live in a different country. I thought it would be good so I started thinking about it. Originally I was thinking about going to Ireland or Canada but my girlfriend wanted to come here and I thought – it’s far away but why not? I think now I understand the Australian accent more than American or British because before I couldn’t speak English very well so I didn’t know another accent before.

What have you been up to so far in that time? I studied General English at Australian Pacific College/English Unlimited for 6 months then when I came here and I had to find a job to pay my bills but I couldn’t speak English – but in 3 weeks I found a job in Opera Kitchen at the Sydney Opera House and I worked there for almost one year and a half. So almost my whole studies I was at the college until 3pm, and then would go to the Opera Kitchen then home, sleeping, waking up – the same routine. When I finished my course I got my resume and I thought of maybe doing drama classes for students at the college (I was still at Opera Kitchen but I was trying to get a better job) and I worked in hospitality for a while. After 3 months the college offered me a job. I was also working at another restaurant in Drummoyne at the same time. My English had started to get better – and because I’m an actor I started to apply for acting jobs and I started to do auditions and castings and I also started modelling a bit making contacts so that’s how I started growing my career here.

What recent auditions have you had? I saw an audition for Junkyard Beats so thought why not? It’s for me! It combines music, body percussion and I did the audition and got into the group! Since then I’ve been rehearsing every week with them learning lots of things – they have gigs in lots of different places – Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Sydney, Cairns, corporate events and schools. They also work with recyclables – they make instruments with buckets and other rubbish which is so inspiring. They have been here for four years in Australia. It’s very professional. There are twelve of us and all different nationalities. Just to be with them – rehearsing and learning is the best experience and So now I’m doing Junkyard Beats, working at the college, modelling and auditions for TV series.

Junkyard Beats of which Lucas is now a member.

What’s your other job at the college like? My job is not a boring job – I love it! I don’t have to sit behind a computer, I’m organising events, organising all the parties, excursions, where to take the students, like museums. I know places to take them, what places are relevant and important. It’s a great job – I’ve been skydiving, I’ve been to Port Stephens, Palm Beach, lots of places – and I get paid. I have so many things to do, responsibilities, I have to look after them, see if students are happy or not and try to solve their problems. It’s not like a hard job with so many problems. Hollywood hasn’t found me yet! So until then, I cannot quit cos I have to pay my bills!

Lucas on travel in Australia…

You don’t sit still much…! I’m guessing you would have travelled already quite a bit? A lot! I have my checklist, I have a few things that I want to tick off but I have been to so many places – that’s my advice – travel here in Australia, visit places, you’re already here and most places you don’t have to pay – Palm Beach, Jervis Bay, Port Stephens, Hunter Valley, Kiama – so many places. I haven’t been to Brisbane, I want to go for a whole week, Gold Coast, Byron Bay up to Cairns. I’ve been to Melbourne already, it’s an amazing place! I’ve done the Great Ocean Road. But a few things I want to do near here, like I want to go to Canberra, I want to go to Uluru, the pink lakes close to Perth. But I still have time. I want to go to Tasmania. There are still places I’ve got to visit.

Kiama, South Coast, NSW; a destination on Lucas’s must-see list.

What are your travel tips and must-see destinations? You must go to Jervis Bay! Port Stephens; even the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, simple things like that but it’s such a nice place there. My favourite beach so far in Australia is near Melbourne, Lock Ard Gorge, it’s after the 12 Apostles. So many places to stop when you are seeing the Great Ocean Road. Then when you get to the 12 Apostles you just go further, not even 10 minutes and you get to this beach and it’s unbelievable – it’s like this private beach and its huge rock – it’s a beautiful beach…Just go!

“It’s a great lifestyle, you can enjoy nature more… you have more time for yourself.”

Observations of Australia…

Tell us your thoughts on life in Australia… It’s a great lifestyle, you can enjoy nature more, it’s good. In Brazil, people work till late – here it’s earlier, like 5pm, so you have more time for yourself.

What has surprised you the most? In Brazil in 25 years of my life I only saw 1 or 2 immigrants, in Brazil, it’s just Brazilians but here, there are so many people from all over the world which is amazing, I didn’t expect that at all. People are so polite here, inside lifts even, people say hi, it seems like people are happy. It works here, time passes faster here, the lifestyle is better, more quality of life. So many good things. Everything is completely different.

“…There are so many people from all over the world which is amazing, I didn’t expect that at all. People are so polite here, inside lifts even, people say hi, it seems like people are happy… the lifestyle is better, more quality of life. So many good things. Everything is completely different.”

Loch Ard Gorge, 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Lucas’s tips on study, work & weekends in Sydney…

What are your top tips for others who want to come and study and work here? My first advice is if you are planning to come here and want to change your life, focus on your English from the beginning – try to really learn the language and enjoy it because if you have better English, I’m sure in six months, one year’s time you are going to get a better opportunity, you can do something you like, otherwise you are going to do something you don’t want to do and get frustrated and end up complaining – so just focus on your English! You don’t need to work as a labourer or waiter if you don’t want to, you can get the opportunity you want if you focus on getting it. You will get a job or an opportunity.

Describe your ideal weekend in Sydney…I love being close to nature, a beach or a track, go for a walk, sit down by the cliff and enjoy the view. Get together with friends and play the guitar, talk. I like different things, I like cinema, theatre but I would say, if the weather is good, I prefer to go outside.

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. Photo: Sydney Coast Walks

“Sydney just needs more of what Melbourne has, then it would be amazing.”

And lastly, apart from family and friends, what do you miss most in Brazil? Music, food, and more culture. Music in Brazil is unbelievable, there are so many styles, so many rhythms, so I miss the music for sure. But I’m trying to bring to Australia what I think is missing, Bossa Nova, Samba, or even jazz… whatever. The food – I miss it, we have so many flavours so I miss them. And maybe the nightlife – I think they are trying to improve it here. Because what is missing here is music, theatre, cinema, more nightlife. Melbourne has it but Sydney has the outdoors, Sydney just needs more of what Melbourne has, then it would be amazing.