Question time

This section is for any questions that you guys might have a burning desire to ask…

Charlie and I will endeavour to get them answered for you or help you to find out what you want/need to know…

John Byrne is a performing careers advisor, for the last 20 years he has coached over 1000 performers in varied fields from musical theatre, acting to comedy. He is offering you discount on one to one sessions. Sessions normally cost £50, in person or via Sypke, if you quote Actor Awareness he is offering a session for £20. http://ow.ly/NRxOH

Finally I thought I’d leave you with a quote that really inspires me…

‘To see the world in a grand of sand, and to see heaven in a flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in a hour,’

This particular quote always reminds me that as an artist, or an actor, that one has to see THAT something that others don’t and try to transform it into something beautiful, entertaining and inspiring; allowing you to transform  the ordinary to the extraordinary.

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Match not Found

match

Web shows are becoming increasingly popular as they are something that we can view easily and, as actors, it’s another medium to which we can immerse ourselves. Web shows can also be produced at a lower cost than a short film or a play.

I met Connor Mills at a workshop where he kindly ran my lines with me and vice versa. He massively impressed me with his reading; I nabbed his card and asked him to give me the low down on his recent web series and life as an actor.

What is Match Not Found? Give us the down low…

Match not Found follows the ups, downs and dilemma’s faced by Kat who is recently single. She has two best friend’s named Doug & Janna who she calls on a regular basis over Skype, initially to help her get over her lost love “Johnny”, but then it turns into sort of group therapy situation. Doug is a bit of a geek who has been good friends with Kat for a long time( there may or may not be some love interest between the two as the show goes on!) as has Janna but both Doug and Janna are polar opposites and between them they manage to give some great advice but also some bloody terrible advice! Also, bear in mind that when some of the stories may seem a bit weird – they are all based on actual real life stories – seriously! All of them!

What drew you to your character? Tell us a bit about him…

Doug was a character that when I read I had an image of him in my head, the writing by Alex Oates & Katie Sheridan was great and you really got a strong sense of character straight off the page so it was lovely to be given the opportunity to  bring him off the page. Also he’s quite a break from my usual casting so that was also a big draw.

Top acting tips for working actors out there…

If they’re working I need tips from them! Haha! I’m still in the mix so don’t feel I’m in a position to offer advice without sounding patronising. It’s a long game, a Marathon not a sprint. Choose projects you feel passionate about.

How do you keep focused as an actor? 

Not sure really, it’s the thing I love most in the world, from the moment I wake up I’m thinking of new shows, films scripts, plays, all day, there is literally not a moment in the day up until when I’m lying in bed that I don’t think about characters or character traits or scenes or ways to play a certain script or poem!

What do you struggle as most as an actor?

Playing characters close to me, I’d much rather play a character in different accent, different physicality etc but when you get out of drama school you realise that people will only cast you on your natural accent and look to begin with.

What challenges do you face in the Industry ?

Patience and not becoming bitter.

Who’s your favourite actor and why ?

Christopher Walken or Gary Oldman. Walken does things with a character you couldn’t think of and I think that’s important as an actor, to make bold choices outside of the box. Try it! find a Walken film you haven’t seen, find the script online, read it, then watch his performance after!

What inspires you ?

I remember sitting down as a kid and listening to my dad and his mates telling their stories to each other, animated, you were glued, aspirational, they created a world for you and you were there with them in the story! I want to be able to make people feel how I felt when I was listening to those stories.

GO SEE…

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People always say how London is expensive and that the theatre is costly. Both are true, but if you are not seeing west end musicals or Nicole Kidman on stage there is plenty to watch at pocket friendly prices. Each month we aim to highlight shows and theatre productions that you can go to for less than the price of a cocktail in a swanky London bar!

Cuckoo Bang

Cuckoo Bang is a dynamic theatre company that produces provocative, insightful plays. The company look for emerging artists to platform work. They hold monthly meetings ‘Deli Meets’ @ Theatre Delicatessen , next meeting is November 16th, book your place at the meeting via

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/deli-meets-networking-for-emerging-artists-tickets-17807612047

IN MY HEAD is their current production and it is a bold, loud, funny, angry, touching and honest portrayal of mental health in the modern world. It is a part verbatim, part fictional exploration of those who struggle, those who help and those who fail to notice.

Cast includes:
Holly Mallett, Paul Huntley-Thomas, Elin Doyle, Dan Burman and Louise Trigg

Written and directed by Chris Mayo
Produced by Cuckoo Bang
Age guidance 14+
Running time 75 mins approx
Dates 9th – 14th November
Time 8pm

The Company are offering our readers 50% off ticket price. GO to http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/in-my-head-tickets-17636111083?ref=ebtn to book tickets and code is CUCKOO50

Theatre N16

Theatre N16 is a creative hub based in Balham. This wonderful theatre is an advocate of new writing and promoting arts of all backgrounds. They are not only offering 241 on their next theatre show, but they are also offering rehearsal space free off charge to our readers.

Book: http://www.theatren16.co.uk/ with Code: ACTORAWARENESS

Theatre 503

Theatre 503 is a fantastic venue. They have a new play running, ‘Rotterdam’, from 27th October-21st November 7.45pm and Sundays @ 5pm. Costs range from £12-£15 and on Sundays you ‘pay what you can” so you can end up paying as little as  £3. The play is set in New Year in Rotterdam. Alice has finally plucked up the courage to email her parents and tell them she’s gay, But before she can hit send, her girlfriend reveals that he has always identified as a man and now wants to start living as one.

The play is a bitter-sweet comedy about gender, sexuality and being a long way from home. Jon Britain is a playwright, comedy writer and director. He co-created Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, was one of the Theatre 503 Five, has written on shows for Cartoon Network and directed both of John Kearns’ Fosters Award winning comedy shows.

https://theatre503.com/whats-on/

The Pleasance

To get your Shakespeare fix, ‘The Pleasance”, a fringe theatre in Islington is housing performances of:

The Winters Tale – 25th November-3rd December @ 2pm and 7pm

Macbeth- 26th November to 3rd December @ 2pm and 7.30pm

At £6-£10 that is cheap as chips (almost as good as The Globe)!

http://www.pleasance.co.uk

Canal Cafe

Canal Cafe in Little Venice is a fantastic venue for a cheap but thoroughly entertaining night. ‘NewsRevue’ is a renowned sketch show, which will leave you smiling and not out-of-pocket.

‘NewsRevue’ is a  live comedy show that runs at the Canal Café Theatre every Thursday – Saturday at 9.30pm and Sundays at 9pm. A fast-moving mix of sketches and songs, ‘NewsRevue’ propels you through the news and current events at breakneck pace – all-kicking, idol-burning comedy, updated every week by a crack team of writers.

Book tickets : http://www.canalcafetheatre.com (Quote Actor Awareness for discount)

Canal cafe is also the venue for our first scratch night so a big thank you to Adam Morley

Also worth a mention is that Royal Court Theatre has opened it’s season for 2016 and the amazing playwright Anna Jordan’s ‘Yen’ (Bruntwood award-winning) will be there. After a celebrated run in Manchester ‘Yen’, directed by Ned Bennett, transfers to the Jerwood Theatre (Upstairs) from Friday 22nd January – Saturday 13th February 2016. A Royal Court Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre Production.

 

Arts Funding

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Everyone appreciates art, whether it be: theatre, film, television, exhibitions, music, poetry, graphics, digital media or other arts. Regardless, it engages and inspires us as people. The arts can be a force of stimulation for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

“Arts washes away from the soul, everyday life…”

Equity have compiled 10 points on how the arts are important for social, economical and psychological growth.

The government keeps making cuts and taking away investment, please go onto Equity’s website and sign the petition for Save the BBC.

Go to Equity’s link here for Stop Arts cuts, 10 facts:

http://www.equity.org.uk/documents/stop-arts-cuts-ten-facts
Arts cuts mean there are more set backs and barriers to getting work. There are so many incredible stories and ideas out there, stories of the working class that are not being told. On top of this, working class actors are unable to get work and represent. Actors such as Ian McKellen, Judi Dench and Julie Walters have all voiced their concerns that the industry is becoming very ‘middle class’ without a wide spectrum of different backgrounds; stifling the arts and not reflecting a true society. Arts should emulate societal issues, which is becoming increasingly difficult with grants being taken away, maintenance loans being reduced and insufficient funding for people, that come from underprivileged backgrounds, to get through drama school .
Many of you may have gone to a school where drama involved preventing the boy with ADHD from lighting your hair on fire and waiting for the teacher to finish smoking a fag. Before I pursued acting I was a nurse in a private school and was amazed by the level of opportunity that was made available for them due to their upbringing; the class divide was really quite glaring. Kids played several instruments, had singing lessons and  performed plays in a massive theatre; even taking some to the Edinburgh fringe.

The quality and quantity of resources made available to these students was something I had never realised even existed.

Here at Actor Awareness we what to highlight this unfair discrepancy of disadvantage and make plans to restore the imbalance.

Monthly meetings are being held for anyone who wishes to attend. We’re particularly looking for anyone with community or regional ideas. We would love to hear from both companies and individuals.
There will be regular scratch nights for new writing, which provides a platform for actors to work with fresh writers and budding directors.
There are also secret film nights for people wanting to present their films. Films made using your smartphone, DSLR camera,  or any device you can get your hands on.
Hopefully a writers event will be set up for people to collectively get together and give/receive advise and tips on their material.
Myself and Charlie will be working continuously to source out theatre companies and individuals that show interest in community and regional projects.

If you are a theatre company looking to collaborate please feel free to email actorawareness@gmail.com

 

Headshots

Actors need a wide range of tools and essentials in order to get started and be a working actor. One of the most important things an actor needs is a good headshot, it is what casting directors, agents and employers see first, it is their first impression of you. It needs to be professional, truthful and something that demonstrates you as a person.

Sounds easy right? Wrong. I have had mine done several times over and each time people tell me it doesn’t look like me or I don’t look my age. It is an expensive, yet completely fundamental, task to keep searching and hoping that the next photographer will capture the real you without it being a waste of time.

Therefore, this section will be a monthly aid to point you in the right direction of a professional headshot photographer but at a reasonable price.

If you have an agent, get them to recommend what type of shots they think you should have done. It’s recommended that your headshot be either in colour (unedited) or black and white, as they are the most neutral and natural settings that won’t drastically change how you look; which some filters do. Most agents/photographers would also recommend that you show up with lots of different clothing options so that the photographer can give you different variations.

Alishia Love
Alishia Love Headshots
http://www.alishialoveheadshots.com

Alicia Love is a competent and professional headshot photographer offering our readers a discount. £125  for:

– 7 retouched images (5 of your choice + 2 of mine)

– Unlimited changes/looks

– Colour & B&W versions of each retouched shot received.

Quote ‘actor awareness’ when booking. 1st November-1st December

Jason Mitchell

Jason Mitchell is a London based photographer with years of experience and a fantastic website ( I have added the link below for you to check out his credentials).

His standard package is £100, and it gives you great quality images for a price that won’t break the bank. Headshots are usually up in the £250 price bracket, and I think Jason’s service for a 1.5hr shoot and 6 final retouched images is brilliant; and the final product is that of someone who charges more than double. He is super friendly and makes you feel super relaxed on set… he’s also a little bit cheeky.

http://www.jasonstuartmitchell.co.uk/#!blog/cgx2

 

Meisner

 

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As actors, we all strive to become better through training that advances our skills whilst simultaneously giving us access to new ones. We will do the utmost to flex our artistic muscles and learn new things in a creative environment.

Training in acting can be very expensive and time consuming. Any aspiring actors, or even working actors, reading this are aware that you need courses, workshops and training that can fit around work/commitments and are also cost effective.

This section will bring you information on courses, workshops, training…pretty much anything we can find that will be within your reach to attend and afford.

Meisner Courses

I attended a Meisner course back in August run by Alex Vendittelli at The Cockpit Theatre (a fantastic fringe theatre that does events from as little as £1).

He is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and amenable person that engaged us all whilst giving us a good basic knowledge of the Meisner approach. At £100 for 5 weeks, this is a way cheaper alternative than most Meisner courses out there. Meisner is not for everyone – I personally find it to be an amazing approach. It’s such an expressive technique that really helps actors to connect and act on impulse; very organic things grow from Meisner.

Alex is offering readers a chance to attend the drop in sessions for FREE which normally cost £12! In the drop in sessions you don’t participate, but you watch other actors rep; it is a great thing to watch and see the technique in action from an outsiders perspective.

If you fancy a go, pop down for a session. The classes are run weekends and evenings, this link will give you more information: thecockpit.org.uk/class/meisner_technique_drop-ins

Another great Meisner drop in class is the salon:collective’s classes in the technique. They are headed up by Dominic Kelly, who is the artistic director of the salon:collective and has taught the technique for over eight years.

“Meisner Technique emphasizes “moment-to-moment” spontaneity with your acting partner. The goal is to generate behaviour that is emotionally and impulsively truthful within imagined circumstances.”

Drop-in classes:

Completing the introduction course (In order to join the drop-in sessions, beginners must complete the Introduction course first) gives you membership to Dominic’s classes and allows you to practice and develop your Meisner skills in these sessions. We also encourage you to bring scene work, monologues, audition prep and other resources to continue your growth as actors. Before booking please note, the drop-ins are designed as a resource for actors to develop the skills learnt as part of the full Meisner Training, as such you will only be able to work on elements of the Technique you have been trained in as part of the Meisner Technique Stages.

Drop-ins are a great opportunity to be part of the salon:collective’s thriving community of actors and artists.

“Acting is fun. Don’t let that get around.” – Sanford Meisner

Scratch Night

Actor Awareness is all about finding talent that hasn’t had the chance or opportunity of finding its way to a stage or screen to show the world their story.

Several plans are in action to get people’s stories heard, scratch nights are something that is awesome for new writers and actors to be part of so they can grow their ideas, have a platform and get feedback.

The first scratch night is being held at The Canal café, this alone is awesome. Here at Actor Awareness we are fortunate to have the theatre interested in giving us space so the first night can forge forward. So if you are a budding writer with material that you feel you want to get feedback on, send your submissions into tomstocks0805@gmail.com or actorawareness@gmail,com. Submissions for December’s scratch night are till 7th November, the theme is working class.

The night will be 15 minutes slot for each act and at the end there will be chance for feedback from the audience, you can stick around after for a drink at the bar for more questions or praise ! In your submissions send your script, any props or stage set up that you would require, the more basic the better, but if you have something you think can work don’t be put off, but do look online at the space so you know what you’re working with.

http://www.canalcafetheatre.com

Get submitting!!!!