Famous Scout - Shane Jacobson
The star of the movie Kenny
Shane Jacobson is a former Scout and the lead actor in the famous Australian comedy movie Kenny. The character of Kenny runs a porta-loo business and is described as “A lovable guy in a not so lovable job”.
Shane was a Scout for 18 years with 15th Essendon, 1st Keilor and Bundoora in Victoria. He was a Cub, Scout, Venturer and Rover.
He got involved in Scouting through his family who had all been involved. His older brother Clayton had been a Sea Scout and Shane wanted to follow in his footsteps like younger brothers do.
Shane enjoyed the friendships, camping, being challenged, and Scouting’s opportunities in the performing arts. “Melbourne Gang Show was a highlight for me as it gave me my thirst for performing”. He started in Gang Show at age 8.
“I feel that my business career benefited enormously through my Scouting experience. Sitting in large boardroom meetings was never a concern for me in business as I had done it so often at meetings for World Moots, Gang Show and area meetings”.
Shane visited his brother at the 7th Australian Pan-Pacific Jamboree in Dandenong Victoria in the late 60’s. He then attended the 13th Australian Jamboree in Ipswich Queensland in 1982-83 and performed at the 1985-86 Jamboree at Cataract Park in Sydney and the 1991-92 Jamboree in Ballarat Victoria.
Kenny was a family affair in many ways. It was co-written by Shane and his brother Clayton who also directed the movie. Shane also co-produced it, showing his versatile skills that were honed in Gang Show. Their father Ronald played Kenny’s father and Clayton’s son Jesse playing Kenny’s son. Ronald is a boxing coach and the boxing scenes in Kenny were supervised by him and filmed at his boxing gym in Melbourne.
The genesis of Kenny and Shane and Clayton’s performing comes from their family history. Their father Ronald came from a large carnival family. Much of his early years were spent travelling around the country entertaining and trying to make a dollar. Their shortfall was always made up by bartering - offering their services to farmers along the way to mend fences and do odd jobs. Sadly their grandfather died when their father was only eight. As a result, the carnival was sold and their father, along with his mother, sister and four brothers, lived in a small carnival tent until their Dad was 23. It was Melbourne’s west in the 1940s and times were very tough. Often the target of mean-spirited locals, the Jacobson family (or tent people as they were branded) used comedy, wit and resourcefulness to weather the constant condescension and aggression of others – a major theme in Kenny. Much of the film’s humour comes directly from sayings and conversations Shane and Clayton overheard between their uncles, father and grandmother at family gatherings.
Shane has varied experience in his arts/entertainment career. He was worked in a theatre restaurant; as stand-up comedian; MC at functions; characterisations for corporate functions impersonating business icons and luminaries; music videos; short films; TV commercials; audience warm-ups for all the major free-to-air TV networks; Half Time Entertainer for the Victorian Titans basketball team; and radio host with Melbourne's Gold FM radio station with a regular segment called The 60 Minute Challenge whilst performing the character voice of Sergio The Hairdresser.
Whilst doing all this, Shane has had a successful business career as national general manager of an entertainment lighting and production company as well as lighting designer and production manager for the music industry, corporate world and special events. A skill base which was invaluable in achieving some of Kenny’s larger set piece scenes.
Shane sees Scouting as building young people’s confidence and giving them the opportunity to meet new friends. “I was very fortunate to have traveled a lot with the Scouting Movement both interstate and overseas on many occasions.”
Shane’s final words on Scouting holds potency for the Movement’s place in Australian society: “Scouting provided me with memories, skills and friendships that will last my lifetime. I was shown great leadership and as a result, I believe I became a good team player in the game of life.”