A Bacchus Marsh actor who happens to be deaf is celebrating his first stint on the set of Neighbours, as the world marks International Day of People with Disability.
Nathan Borg will play Curtis Perkins – a young teacher at Erinsborough High – and an interview with the trailblazer is due to air on Channel 10 between 5-6pm tonight (Thursday).
The 24-year-old is believed to be the first television actor in Australia with a cochlear implant.
Network Ten said filming began last month and ‘Curtis’ would appear as a regular on the long-running soap on 10 Peach from January 28.
The character is an easy-going guy starting his teaching career under the watchful eye of veteran educators Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne) and Jane Harris (Annie Jones).
‘Curtis’ is described as passionate about helping young people – and far tougher than he lets on.
“Each time I film scenes with Jackie and Annie I am constantly growing as an actor,” Nathan said.
“It is such a privilege to work with such inspiring icons.
“Jackie has taught me to take direction and Annie has taught me to let loose on set which has been a great balance.”
Nathan was born six weeks premature and contracted meningitis at three months of age. He received the cochlear implant in his right ear when he was two, allowing him to hear for the first time.
At age 12, he took part in runway modelling shows for Just Jeans – and he later honed his craft via school productions and musical theatre.
He attended Darley Primary School and Bacchus Marsh College.
In 2016 Nathan appeared in the musical Hairspray, travelling two hours one-way by car to Hurstbridge for rehearsals.
He has also worked as an extra on early episodes of the Dr Blake Mysteries – which was shot in Ballarat and Melbourne.
In May 2017 he was also took out the Arts category in the Moorabool Shire Council Youth Awards.
IMDB describes Nathan as “a kind passionate man with laughter, smiles and a kind heart (and) he always makes sure he gives everyone a laugh around him.”
He has trained with the New Faces Talent Academy, SEDA Arts and Tanya Powell Modelling in Melbourne.
Neighbours Casting Director Thea McLeod and Executive Producer Jason Harbison first met the keen actor through a performing arts workshop almost a year ago.
“Nathan’s passion for acting was clearly evident when I met him,” Jason said.
“I’m delighted he is joining the cast in a recurring guest role as a young teacher fresh out of uni who isn’t defined by his hard-of-hearing status.
“He is independent and working in the community – and like everyone on Ramsay Street – we soon discover a link with one of our residents which is going to be a lot fun.”
We’ve got an exciting announcement for you! 👀 On International Day of People with Disability, Neighbours welcomes…Posted by Neighbours on Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Nathan said he was proud to be making history.
“Growing up I never saw anyone like me on television, so I knew it was time to have a hard-of-hearing actor on our Australian screens,” he said.
“I think it’s important in this industry that people with all disabilities of all ages get to tell their stories.”
** International Day of People with Disability was launched by the United Nations on 3 December 1992 and aims to create awareness and build a culture of inclusion that eliminates discrimination.
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