"Life is made of Spectacular Moments .... Treasure every Facet"
His father Ryszard had a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, and was a Scholar and intellectual. His mother Halina is a renowned teacher of English and Polish. Tommie is the eldest of three children. He has a brother, Christopher and sister, Joasia.
During his time growing up, Tommie was raised bi-lingual, learning both English and Polish at home. He attended Chiswick and Bedford Park Preparatory School, and on Saturdays attended Swiętego Mikołaja Reja Polish School. During his time at Polish school he was selected for lead roles in Polish plays, mostly because of his outstanding diction and attention to detail.
(from left to
right) Robert Walak, Basia Dereszewska, Tommie Grabiec, Yola Barnard
At age twelve Tommie began his six years at The London Oratory School in Fulham, London. During the first semester the sixth formers put on a performance of The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. Tommie immediately recognised a great kinship with the Actors on stage and knew in that moment he wanted to pursue this magnificent Art.
A few weeks later, the drama club was inviting new performers and Tommie, eager, with a heart filled with promise made his way through the hall to sign up. However his fear of not measuring up to his father got the better of him and he instead buried his desires of Acting deep into his psyche.
He was instead steered to focus on more standard subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Computing. The rest of his time at The Oratory was very trying; he simply preferred to be alone. These were the years when he found himself, which would become crucial later in his life. It was during this period that he became involved with The Cadets, which taught him great discipline.
After graduating, he pursued an HND in Computing at The West London Institute of Higher Education, after which he began a dis-interested career as a Computer Support Engineer. His love and passion of wanting to become a Professional Actor would surface many times over the years, however he was quick to bury those feelings as he felt "only cool people become actors".
After the millennium, he became even more disillusioned with his Computing career. Tommie gradually allowed his desires of Acting to surface. This culminated on the 7th November 2002 during a 'moment of clarity' when he finally made the decision to pursue a career as a Professional Actor.
search for is the one that sees" - Saint Francis of Assisi
Nearing the end of 2002 Tommie began the Lamda Medallion Foundation course at The Academy Drama School under the superb tutelage of Tim and Judith Reynolds. During his time at the Academy Tommie was still working as a Computer Support Engineer. Because of complications in his life at the time, he did not complete his final term of study.
Between 2003 and 2004 he attended courses at The Drill Hall and The London Academy of Radio, Film and Television. It was here he met tutor Simon Cathcart who was instrumental in inspiring Tommie with confidence to move forward along his chosen path. Over the next few years Tommie immersed himself as much as possible in his Acting career while still attempting to sustain his career in Computing. Of note he played the role of Slavomir Rawicz in the BBC Radio production of The Long Walk.
In 2006, Tommie began his self-development in the technique of Stanislavski’s System. Over the years he has refined his own technique to include many other disciplines including Method, Meisner and Spolin, taking a note out of Bruce Lee’s philosophy ‘have form, yet be formless’.
Tommie also nurtured his love for the spiritual and esoteric, particularly Tarot. His passions for mythology, psychology and philosophy also grew. Because of these interests he began to write regular articles on pyreaus.com.
Between the years 2007 to 2009 Tommie applied to many well-known drama schools including Guildhall, Lamda and Central, however was not accepted.
Jesienny Deszcz at The Syrena Theatre in P.O.S.K. (2004)
Towards the end of Summer 2011, Tommie applied to Actor Works Drama School located in Wapping, which was the continuation of The Academy Drama School, now headed by his once former tutor from the Academy, Daniel Brennan. After auditioning Tommie was accepted into the intensive Post Graduate course. He marks this as one of the best days of his life, as finally he had come full circle, and was able to complete his foundation training which had begun years previously. His time at Actor Works was extremely enjoyable and he excelled in his studies. He graduated in 2012 with a Diploma in Acting.
The next year was particularly trying as he went through a painful relationship which ended badly. By April 2013 Tommie made the decision to push forward in his career with all the passion and dedication he had inside. During 2014 and 2015 he took part in over sixty productions in each of those years. This included short films, theatre productions and voiceover projects. It marked an important time for him and together with his dear friend Paul Dewdney, “going through the trenches” would build character, stamina and perseverance.
One of his most accomplished achievements was playing the role of Titus Andronicus in the Summer of 2015 for the prestigious Oxford Shakespeare Festival. It was during this time that he first met his partner, now wife, Cindy Higginson, another magnificent event in his life.
In the fall of 2015 Tommie was cast as a regular in the successful BBC One series, bringing an awareness to Autism 'The a Word'.
Tommie’s drive and dedication to “the most excellent Art of Acting” continues to thrive, in part to honour his Father and dear friend Tony Giles who have both passed into Spirit; ‘Extending the Edge’ beyond new frontiers, boundaries and challenges.