Patrick Constantinou.

In 1999 I worked at a pub in Frankston, Victoria. There was another guy there working behind the bar who became a good mate. We both stopped working there at The Grand Hotel in late 1999. We then changed addresses, moving a fair way apart and not long after lost contact.

In 2008, chance meeting with that guy’s twin brother meant we were back in contact and organised a catch up. We discovered that in those years apart, I had pursued my acting and stand up comedy, he had pursued film making and had written and directed a few short films. On the day we were catching up he got word that his short film had just won the Margaret River Film Festival award for Best Short Film. So our catch up turned into a party at a bar in Chapel St Melbourne.

At that gathering was one of the lead actors in the film. A guy named Pat. Someone I hit it off with straight away as we chatted about the pros and cons of being and actor. I was whinging about being out of shape at a time where it felt like everyone successful had a six-pack. Even homeless people in film would take off their shirt an you could see that even while begging on the side of the road they had time and money to put 2-3 hours a day in at the gym. Pat said that fit wasn’t all it was cracked up to be either as that very week, he had been rejected for a role because his arms were too big.

I heard that Pat was organising different workshops for actors. Getting in different people to come and talk and train and inform. One day I had a few spare dollars and so I got Pat’s phone number from my friend to see what he had coming up. He just so happened to have Paul Weber from MGM in Melbourne. They were going to do 2 by one day workshops. So November 2009 I did the Sunday workshop. That day I also got to meet Peter Flaherty. A man who has become one of my closest personal friends for life.

Pat’s workshops and courses were getting more and more popular and so the Melbourne Acting Academy – MAA was started. I mean no offence to anyone else involved with creating any of this if there was anyone, I was only aware of the Pat part.

Then one day, Pat read a book by Howard Fine an amazing acting coach from L.A. Pat thought the book was so amazing that he brought Howard over to Australia to do a 4 day Masterclass. Everyone then learnt how amazing Howard Fine is and the Howard Fine Acting Studio found out how amazing Pat is and before you know it there was a Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia.

I am so happy to say that I got to audit that first Masterclass. There were things learnt that will never be forgotten. I got to audit a few others too. Then in 2017 I finally got to participate in one. You can read about that experience in my blog Everyone I Have Ever Met Is Amazing. My Howard Fine Masterclass Experience.

It’s weird. Pat and I were never that close, in that, we were never hanging out as such or visiting each other. But if we were ever at the same event or in the same room, I always felt like we were the best of mates. You would have to search pretty hard to find anyone as lovely and sweet as his partner Claire. I was so happy when I heard that they had got engaged and so heartbroken when I found out in 2015 that they had both been diagnosed with different types of cancer only 5 months apart. Claire was busy dealing with the crap that was thrown her way when Pat was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I wanted to reach out but also respect their space.

Over the next few years I did manage to catch up with these two incredible people a few times. They (as they do) organised a special screening to support an Australian independent film called Cut Snake. I invited them along to a special screening of another Aussie made independent film called The Heckler. An awesome night with Pat, Claire, Peter Flaherty and myself at the Comic’s Lounge for some stand up comedy followed by the last public screening for the film.

Then, 21st of May, 2018, Patrick lost his long and painful battle with the dreaded thing called cancer.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to write something about Patrick Constantinou. I tried a few times but could not find one photo with both of us in it. Several of Pat and/or Claire at events I was at and some of me at events they were at but none together. Poor excuse but a real one. There was a memorial service for Pat as well that I couldn’t get to. This was my first and still my biggest regret about moving interstate. I wanted to be there out of respect, love and to say goodbye to my friend, I wanted to be there to let Claire know that she was in my thoughts and in my heart at this time and very selfishly, I wanted to be there to be amongst the incredible people that Pat and Claire would have attracted there. That is the kind of people they are and as a result they bring together other amazing people.

R.I.P. Patrick Constantinou

2/8/1980 – 21/5/2018

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Love to all, chat soon

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