McCuskery News

Well, a WHOLE year has passed since I posted something on this news page, “What’s been going on? You move to Hollywood and we don’t hear a peep from you. Your mum is worried sick!”, I hear you cry.

Sorry Mum (Mom), I meant to call, but I was busy trying to figure out how not to become another actor/writer statistic in Hollywood. One such way was to get off my backside (butt) and get one of my scripts made. The ever changing landscape of onscreen entertainment means that now we, the artists, have the power to make our own work and showcase it to potential audiences and industry bods (peeps), which is really inspiring. So I put together a team, worked out a tiny budget and started filming my first own comedy pilot.

Losing My Accent is written by myself and also stars the wonderful co-star talents of David Fynn and Sims Holland and is directed by the super funny woman Ella Smith. (Yes to more female directors please, Hollywood)

More details to follow soon! Here’s a cheeky still to whet your whistle:


In other news, the BBC online drama The Last Hours of Laura K got nominated for BAFTA Craft award! I had a little part in it playing IT tech guy Graham Young. From what I’ve read in the press, my performance was basically the backbone of the whole piece and without me they probably would never even got it off the ground…JOKES…. I did bugger all, but the team were ACE. Just look at them:



Spring Reels

It’s spring! Flowers emerge from their wintery cocoon, birds sing atop their new nests and showreels get spring-cleaned and set free like a giddy lamb across an emerald pasture….well, something like that. So without further ado, here is my new showreel. Try and watch the whole thing if you can, it’s pretty good.

Thanks to editor Emma Rasmussen in London. Give her a call if you want really good job doing on yours.

‘The Last Hours of Laura K’

Launched at midnight 30th March ‘The Last Hours of Laura K’ is a new project from the BBC Writersroom. This online immersive murder mystery allows you to view all the CCTV of the last 24hrs of victim’s life, collate clues and figure out ‘whodunnit’ via the principle character’s social media and video footage. I play the part of SaturnEye developer Graham…. who knows, maybe I dunnit??

View the trailer here –

Morel details from the BBC Writersroom:

Here’s an article from the Independent Newspaper:


Gardening Tips for Actors

Hello 2015! Bit late to say “HNY” but I’ve been a wee bit busy and all of sudden there’s been a rush on. Work was abundant and then I’ve had to pop over to Los Angeles to check-in with my girlfriend and the tomatoes we planted in her garden back in October.

Before we get to the harvest news, I tell you about that sideline I do in acting. Just before Christmas I shot the Christmas commercial for Swisscom (see below post) over in stunning Zurich then it was back to Blighty for tea and biscuits… well, doughnuts really. I landed a part in a new BBC drama and was playing an IT Zuckerberg-type genius who had a penchant for all things glazed and doughnut shaped. Starring and written by Rachel Delahay and directed by the multi-talented Gabriel Bisset-Smith, this exciting project was all shot in real-time (ooh, fancy!) and is due for release in March 2015. Keep your eyes peeled for more news.

I also had to record some new VO for Nicorette and you can currently hear me helping you quit those nasty cigarettes again:

And if you’re wondering about those winter tomatoes, well they came out just great! These beauties are organic and grown just off Vine Street, so you could say they’re…wait for it….vines from Vine!  *cymbal crash*



Girl Power!

A very quick post…

The short film that I star in just won IMDb New Filmmakers Award at The Bath Film Festival. Huzzah!  The great team behind Cancer Hair, (pictured below) Gail Hackston, Helga Ernudottir, Isabelle Sieb are giving female film makers a real voice in a male dominated industry. Go GIRLS!



I’m dreaming of a Swiss Christmas

It’s been a quiet year outside of trips to the US and luckily things started to pick up by October. I was beginning to think I wouldn’t ever get a job again. Prior to the good news I went a bit mad – I discovered that my year-long slog trying to raise funds for my children’s theatre piece Captain Pancake had to be postponed due to lack of funding and now it seemed all doors were (for the moment at least) closed. That plus a lack of paid work and I found myself pacing my apartment with a big beard, dwindling funds and dwindling self-confidence.

So rejoice! I got a job and flew to Zurich to put my bearded self to good use in a series of ads for Swisscom. First up was learning 3 language scripts, as they shoot all ads in French, Swiss-German and Italian (who knew?!) and I found myself in a room with a language coach and my co-star, sporting exquisite facial hair. There was something very familiar about this guy, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.


It turns out that this man ACTUALLY spends his whole life as St. Nicholas and when not being the big man himself, he teaches other men to be the ruddy-faced gent. Ironically this ‘Method Santa’ was from Los Angeles – one of the sunniest places on the planet. I found myself wondering at what point does a Californian sun-kissed man make that decision to embrace Babbo Natale? Do you have a particular long period without work, grow a beard and then have a unfortunate accident with some bleach? Or is it more of a calling, like a festive Moses, where instead of burning bush there was a frozen dinner that spoke to him? “The beard maketh the man!” it whistled, as it defrosted in the microwave. Whatever it was, I stared at him reciting lines in a medley of languages clearly riddled with beard envy.

The work hasn’t stopped there and more things to announce shortly, including the purchase of some new razor blades. I’m going back to a clean look before I get sucked into a beard-off.

Hob Nobs

So after a few weeks under the blue canopy of LA life, meeting various industry people of and eating lots of breakfast tacos (the future by the way), I’m back to the grey skies and wintery embrace of London and it’s pre-Christmas excitements.

This time whilst out in LA I had my headshots done by the excellent David Muller in his East Hollywood studio. He’s the kind of man with a 3 month waiting list, so I felt lucky to snag a last-minute session after a cancelation, so I jumped at the chance to work with him. As you can see, we had an effortless session:


Another exciting meet-up was with my future agent. Arriving outside of the Wilshire Blvd skyscraper, I gazed up at this intimidating monolith of success and nervously stumbled into reception trying to keep composure. I signed in and a suited lady showed me into the elevator, swiped a magic card and pressed a button. “The button of destiny” I thought, “The floor of dreams, the office of…” PING! The elevator door opened almost as quickly as I got in. No time to get composed, I quickly checked my refection in the mirrored doors and bumbled into their office, trying not to be too British (I have a tendency to over play myself, like a kind of bad impression of Prince George from Blackadder) “Hello, erm, hi, and hello. I am, erm, David. David McCusker, I have an 11.30 appointment.” Two little eyes appeared from behind a decorative pumpkin on a desk and I was told to sit and wait.

Plonking myself on a giant sofa I helped myself to the bowl of Halloween candy, picking out a plastic-tasting chocolate ghoul. I glanced out to the view of the Hollywood hills in the distance and tried to look comfortable on the enormous seat. This was my second meeting with this agency and was surprisingly more nervous the second time around. Perhaps it was because I was kept waiting that led to that creeping self-doubt to appear in my head. We all have it, don’t we? The thought that any second now we’re going to get ‘found out’. Maybe they’d see I’m just a fraud too? A total charlatan winging his way through life. My talents were nought! Who was I kidding? WHAT AM I DOING HERE? my mind screamed at me like a Munch painting. “Sorry, David?” The eyes behind the pumpkin said, suspending my inner diatribe. “Yes?” I replied nervously, still with candy in my gums, “They’re ready to see you now.” and before I had time to continue my inner monologue of self-loathing I was being hugged by my new agent. “Welcome back! Great to see you!” and the self-doubt melted away like the weird chocolate stuck in my mouth.

With a successful meeting in the bag and my neurotic moment behind me, I found myself in the sunshine eating a bag of freshly chopped mangoes (a $5 bargain) from one of the food carts parked outside the offices. Popping a slippery slice in my chops, I smiled to myself thinking about my future life, knowing I had a great team supporting me when I finally make the big push West. Now there’s something I never expected to happen – actually having a US agent. It all felt very surreal. Now I just need to get this visa secured… aye, there’s the rub!

My lovely girlfriend pulled up and we drove over to Valley sharing the fruit and the good news. We were on our way to meet some English chums who made the move to LA the previous year. English biscuit gifts had been located by her’s truly and so it was afternoon tea by the pool. Another surreal moment checked off – dunking Hob-Nobs in my PG with palm trees on my peripheral. For a moment I feared I would become one of those ex-pats having a fry-up in the midday sun, harping on in my new strange transatlantic accent about the old country, “England? Oh, don’t miss it. Not one bit.” whilst shovelling black pudding in my gob. I looked down admiring that English chocolate melts very quickly on a biscuit in America. Maybe this wouldn’t be regular pastime after all.


Quick post to congratulate the great team behind the short film Cancer Hair which has just done the DOUBLE! Taking ‘Best of Fest’ and ‘Best Short Fiction’ at the Isle Of Man Film Festival. Gail Hackston, writer and director, even got to meet Mark Kermode – making that a TRIPLE, no doubt!


Did I mention I was in it? Yes, I played opposite the lovely Laura Aikman and a little known secret is that I was incredibly ill throughout the shooting. So victory tastes even better to after you spent the in-between takes with your head in a bucket.

Watch the Cancer Hair trailer HERE



Year of the Horse.

Sorry blog! Sorry. I have neglected you. My urge to spill my thoughts and career experiences has been slightly smothered by the actual work that I usually waffle on about. This year has been galloping along a quite a lick and so for an update…

January saw me disappear off to Los Angeles for an extended holiday/recon mission to see if I fancied moving there. Well, guess what? my chances were fancied and upon my return in February I decided to try for move out there. First thing to do was to snag myself a decent lawyer for the 0-1 Visa application. I called around my celebrity mates for advice (that’s a lie) and found an excellent lawyer who specialises in visas for entertainment professionals. Initially, I thought I had to be ‘famous’ to be able to work out there, especially being a minority, but after my lawyer sifted through my 11 year old CV, sorry, resume´ (already learning the language, see?) it turned out that I’d been doing alright; in regular employment (rare for an actor) and had pretty good status to become, get this, an ‘Alien of outstanding ability’….. I always knew there was something strange about the spaceship my Dad hid in our barn. Superman_075Pyxurz

I had always had the impression that LA would be this weird flakey place where everyone looked like Brigette Nielsen from Beverly Hills Cop 2 or Hugh Hefner or a twisted hybrid of both. But it turns out that there are normal people there like you and me, just getting on with life and getting shit done. I’m guessing the weirdo rumour was probably started by someone who actually had a bad encounter with a Neilson-Hefner-Hybrid during a kinky pool party in the mid-80’s and then slunk back to England all cynical and went on a huge smear campaign. That rumour soon seeped into popular culture and somehow made it into my playground when I was 9.

Yes, there are the flakey industry people in LA – those types who say, “Yeah, you’re so now, you’re great…yeah, yeah, I’ll call you!” and then never return your call, but those people are in every city. There will always be a band of weird ones who float around the fringes of creative circles just talking drivel to each other to give themselves a sense of worth. But if you scratch the surface there are some wonderful folk out there in Tinsel Town and there seems to be sense of opportunity for those who want to work hard. Also the industry is THERE. It’s right in your face. I’ve lost count how many camera crews I’d see on a daily basis. A colossal amount of productions right at your finger tips, well almost…I guess that’s the great carrot being dangled that has brought so many young hopefuls there. So why wouldn’t you want to have a crack at it? Oh, they do nice sunsets too…

IMG_7380March came along and my theatre project Captain Pancake was been back in the rehearsal room at Chats Palace over in Hackney, East London. We applied for Arts Council funding to help get the theatre piece off the ground. Sadly, we didn’t receive our grant, BUT we are allowed to reapply later in the year as we have application was strong. So I’m not too disheartened – these be the perils of launching new theatre.

We have an excellent team now in place (see photo below) and amazing designer Ellan Parry is onboard to bring life our pirate vision. We are also looking at working with East London’s community schools to get underprivileged children within the development process and get a first hand experience of the theatre world. I’m also planning to make a new short film about it, so watch THIS space for previews.



This horse-themed year has also had me de-cluttering my life and I stumbled across my old Equity diary from 2003 which was my graduating year from Bristol. Interestingly, this was the page it fell open on:


This was February 2003 and during our production of King John at The Old Vic Studios. During the daytimes we had regular meetings with agents and casting directors and as you can see I met some rather sexy people, like the Royal Shakespeare Company (still waiting for that elusive audition) and these notes are from a meeting with one of those industry bods. The statistics on the note page were the most harrowing: “5 out of 30 (graduates) will be successful” I remember scoffing at the idea at the time, but to be honest it’s pretty accurate. There aren’t many of us left from that year – probably around 7 or 8 graduates who are still working…myself included…

Hold on, does that mean? Woohoo, I made it! *fist punches the air* I’m not a statistic!

So, to celebrate still being here I’m going to get a VISA and work in America. Yeehaw! Come on Horsey!