For most people, fear can be a deterrent. For MARTY Award-winning musician, actor, and producer David O’Hearn, it’s a motivator.
“I wanted to do it because I hadn’t done anything scary in a while,” said O’Hearn of his first foray into acting in 2004. At the time, O’Hearn had made a name for himself as a multi-instrumentalist in rock, Top 40, and folk bands. On a friend’s recommendation, O’Hearn auditioned for a role in City Centre Musical Production’s version of Guys and Dolls. Despite having no acting experience, O’Hearn got the part. He loved the experience and has gone on to act in over 40 theatrical productions.
Similarly, O’Hearn had no experience composing for film when he asked his friends, director Dany Geshan and producer Morgan Muscat, if they needed someone to score the short film he was producing, 2010’s Severance. O’Hearn was hired, and since written music for five other films.
When asked what drives him, O’Hearn mentions his love for trying new things. Different aspects of his multifaceted career fulfill him in different ways. O’Hearn loves the “instant gratification” of performing in front of an audience and “feeding off the energy in the room”, but he equally enjoys the perfectionism and meticulousness of recording and composition.
O’Hearn also loves producing other people’s music. “You end up going places the songwriter never imagined,” he says. “You have more input in the process – you’re adding ideas and making suggestions. Saying things like, ‘I love this part – can we move it over here?’”
O’Hearn plays in four different bands, performing everything from R&B to classic rock. “For musicians, it helps to be versatile,” says O’Hearn. “You need to be versatile in thinking of ways to put forward your art.”