Joanna Funk

music, gardening and my dog

Sen Shao, model & actor

Sen Shao was born in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, famous for its terracotta warrior historical site. His parents moved to Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, a burgeoning technology hub of nearly 13 million residents, considered to be China’s equivalent of Silicon Valley, before he came to Australia in 2010. When Sen arrived in Brisbane he could barely understand anyone because his English language skills were basic. He said he made a concerted effort to mix with Australians all the time, rather than hang out with Chinese speakers, because he wanted to learn English.

Agency888 photographer Bruno Domingues recently organised a Natural Light Portrait Photowalk in Brisbane. The feature photo above was taken by Pierre Barras, who aptly described Sen as “the epitome of coolness”. 🙂

, Sen Shao, model & actor
photo courtesy of Sen Shao

With his smouldering looks, Sen was a model on the Gold Coast for five years before he joined the books of Agency 888, and they encouraged him to consider acting as a career. “When I joined 888, I received a call from Jaiden within the first week. He wanted to put me into the tv series Reef Break​ as a stand-in and as a double. While they continued shooting I had work on and off, at least once a week. It was pretty consistent.” After Reef Break, Sen was cast in the blockbuster Godzilla vs. Kong, and also in Australian horror comedy, Bloody Hell.

“I also work at a creative agency in Brisbane, planning marketing strategies for start-up businesses. They are flexible, so when I have a film coming up, I can tell them I need to be away, and that’s pretty helpful.”

Sen with Amanda Kaye, Director and Producer of short film “Norm”

At the Australian Independent Film Festival 2019, here he is with Amanda Kaye, writer, producer and director of one of the featured shorts, “Norm”, winner of the People’s Choice Award.

Sen likes the outdoors: rock-climbing, hiking and sports, basketball in particular. Even his 888 acting courses are like a mental work-out.

“I’m taking both Level 1 and Level 2 acting classes, which are really different from what I expected. There is a lot of physical movement. I work full-time and take classes three times a week. It helps release my stress, empty my mind and discover myself. I learn acting skills and network with new people. Jane (Level 1) and Crystal (Level 2) are great teachers. The vibe is good for the whole class, how we interact with each other. It feels like a big family and I really appreciate this kind of opportunity.”

With his warm personality, Sen’s going to be welcomed into many different kind of families, on his Australian adventure. Exciting days ahead.

( I met Sen a few weeks ago in Brisbane at a gathering of Asian creatives. Earlier this year I had interviewed him on the phone for Agency888, so it was great to meet him in person. I was proud to see our photo on his Instagram tagged #mypeople.)


  • Sen Shao @mrsenshao
  • Agency888 @agency888aus
  • Pierre Barras @pierre.barras
  • Bruno Domingues

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About Joanna

Joanna is British Australian. Her early career was in financial news in London. That ended in 2008. Joanna moved to Sabah, her parents’ birthplace, where she wrote a blog about musicians, which became a book. Joanna came to Australia in 2012 and started this blog — her second. These days, she writes mostly about music, her garden, and trips to Sabah. Oh, and Wookie the Havanese.

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