Actor Awareness Events

LAUNCH

The Actor Awareness Launch went off with a bang. After 2 years in the coming it was finally a proud night for Tom to be able to officially launch his campaign. I am a proud part of the campaign and the launch just showed the talent was off the chart. We had amazing poetry , comedy, singers and plays that showed a diverse range of talent. We unfortunately didn’t have a photographer to show pictures, so next time just make sure you’re there!!!

Hosted by Helen Scott

ACTS

● The cast of Tolkien- A New Musical
● Scooter by Paula Connolly
● Joe Bo- working class poetry
● The Monologues of a Tired Nurse by Stephanie Silver
● Johanna O’Brien – Singer
● Alice Marshall- Comedian

● Love And All That Crap by Oliver Retter
● Birth of a Nation by David House
● Ionica Adriana – Singer
● Netflix and Chill with Bae by Tom Stocks
● MDs Comedy Revue by UCL Hospital Medical Students

class night

The Class night was @GuildfordFringe on June 30th.

The Plays that have been chosen were staged:

Auf Achse (On the road) 
By Joe Staton & Patrick Renton

THE ROBBING CLASS 
By Michelle Payne

Fresh With Promise 
By Felicity Huxley-Miners

CLASSIFIED
By Jayne Woodhouse

n16

Our Health night was a raging success and each show from the night has been giving a evening slot in August to produce a 40-60 minute show of their original scratch piece!!!! So remember to keep following and grab your tickets when you can. Being part of our scratch nights is about progressing and improving and a big thanks to Jamie Eastlake for given everyone this opportunity. The shows in include

The Endo Me by Ed Keates

In The Dollhouse by Spark Assembly 

The Staffroom by Michelle Payne

The Mds Comedy Revue Sketch Show 

The Birth of a Nation by David House

We also having amazing news regarding two big projects!! So please please follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Or your miss out @actorawareness

Advertisements

Spark Assembly- In The Dollhouse

SPARK ASSEMBLY

sprak

Spark Assembly are a female led company, they performed their play in development ‘In The Dollhouse’ at the Health Scratch night. Here they give us some info in this interview about who they are and their vision.

How did Spark Assembly come to creation ?
Kate: Spark Assembly is Ursula Campbell, Katherine Reilly and myself, Kate O’Rourke. Back in December 2015 I was invited to be part of a reading of ‘In the Dollhouse’, by the actor Katherine Reilly. It turned out that a friend of mine, Ursula, couldn’t make it and had recommended me. Once I read the script, I knew it was undiscovered gold: The relationships between the characters felt real and believable, the dialogue flowed and the story of these five women really resonated with me. AND it passed The Bechdel Test – fist punch! #BechdelTest So I talked to Katherine about moving forward with the play, and actually ended up recommending Ursula to her again as a Director. Over the early months of 2016, our conversations turned into plans which became actions, and we three became Spark Assembly.
What is your ethos ?
Kate: We believe in Creation through Collaboration.
Our mission statement is:

“We are committed to producing compelling, relevant and diverse work for stage and screen with a particular emphasis on creation through collaboration. A team of actors, writers and directors we empower artists to embrace truth and playfulness by exploring and developing pieces with an inclusive narrative.

We are currently in development with a female led piece, but after this we will endeavour our work to be 50/50 in terms of gender and diversity.

 
Tell us about ‘In The Dollhouse
 Katherine: ‘In the Dollhouse’ started life as a short 10 minute 2-hander play ‘Stir Crazy’, which I performed in as part of a showcase of new writing. We worked closely with the writer Deborah and this collaboration inspired her to develop it into a full length play. We had a reading of the first draft of it which everyone was excited by, however everyone involved went on to other projects and it didn’t progress any further at that time. Around a year ago I picked it up again and was struck by how strongly the characters and relationships were and with such a lack of female led drama how relevant the piece felt. I gathered a group of actors together and all of them felt it was piece that really resonated and could go somewhere. With the founding of Spark Assembly, with Ursula and Kate’s passion and energy, we’ve been working on developing it further as Spark Assembly’s debut project.
Your new play ‘In The Dollhouse’ was performed recently at Actor Awareness scratch and at the Dioroma Arts Studios with a rehearsed reading, what has your feedback done to move forward with your piece.
Katherine: The Actors Awareness scratch night was an amazing opportunity to focus on the intensity of the strong relationships in the piece. The compressed nature of choosing short segments from the longer piece heightened these relationships. One of our goals and much of the feedback we received was that people wanted to know more about the characters and see more of their story! Which was a great starting point.
Getting to share longer excerpts in a different way at our reading at Diorama Arts studios allowed us to continue to develop the relationships but also highlighted which elements of the story and relationships we need to focus on in research and development.
The feedback from both performances has been incredibly helpful. Some has chimed with our own thoughts and instincts on moving the piece forward but has also thrown up bigger questions on structure and story which we are really excited to explore more as we continue to develop it
How do you think women are represented in theatre?
Kate: Hmmm tricky, as I feel things are changing at the moment, but not as quickly or widely as I’d love to see happen. We’re still too often ‘The Wife’, ‘The Whore’ etc, used as tools to move the play along or for the protagonist to aim for. Too seldom are women the driving force or given a decent proportion of lines and character development. Plays like ‘People, Places and Things’ are a rarity in theatre, but in fairness to the industry, I do think it’s slowly evolving as audiences demand more. As an Irish actor I’ve watched the #wakingthefeminists movement in Ireland with admiration and tried to support and promote it as best I can. It came about because The Abbey theatre, Ireland’s National theatre, launched it’s 1916 centenary programme where one out of the ten plays was written by a woman – three out of the ten directed by women. In the days that followed, a discussion exploded on Facebook and Twitter, initiated and led by Lian Bell, under a hashtag coined by director Maeve Stone. In the following weeks, there was an outpouring of testimonies from both women and men working in Irish theatre, highlighting the disenfranchisement and chronic under-representation of the work of women artists – not just at the Abbey but throughout the Irish theatre sector. And this is not the only movement out there about Equality in Theatre. There are plenty of young, old and ‘in the middle’ theatremakers like us out there trying to right the balance in terms of gender, class and race inequality in the industry. Hopefully we can build upon the work of women like Lian Bell, Vicky Featherstone, Sonia Friedman, Paulette Randall, Lyndsey Turner, Caroline Byrne, Indhu Rubasingham and Emma Rice who are making such strides ahead right now. The times they are a-changin.
You have been following Actor Awareness, firstly thanks and secondly how do you think our cause stands in the industry at present?
Kate: I’ve been following Actor Awareness since it started really. Tom Stocks was talking about things on Twitter and Facebook that really resonated with me. I’m a working class actor. I could barely afford to audition for Drama Schools, and if I got in I wouldn’t have been able to afford the fees at all. Because acting is seen as a glamorous profession, the general public aren’t always aware of what goes on the industry- the large amounts of money you’re expected to pay before you even make a penny yourself i.e Headshots, Showreels, Workshops, Agents Fees, subscriptions etc. So there is a real need for more ‘awareness’ about what goes on.
What are Spark Assembly’s future plans?
Kate: We are continuing to develop the script of In the Dollhouse, working with the writer Deborah Espect and hoping to workshop and R&D with a group of actors soon. We’ve just had a highly successful reading for an invited Industry audience this month which has given us a lot of food for thought, we are researching funding opportunities, and meeting with Producers, theatre-makers and writers about future projects in the coming two years. Autumn is looking to be an exciting and eventful time for us. Fingers crossed!
What do you like about new writing and scratch nights?
Kate: Excitement, fresh talent and new opportunities. New writing in 2016 is an incredibly exciting thing to witness- it’s culturally aware- gender, class and race representation is becoming more proportionate and this is especially evident in Fringe theatre. Scratch nights provide such an important purpose- getting up and presenting your work to your peers and receiving much needed feedback. We were so fortunate to be chosen for your Health night scratch, and we got so much encouragement and support, which makes all the difference to a young company.
Actor Awareness have been campaigning on drama school fees, what is your opinion on drama school audition fees?
Kate: I believe no actor should have to pay to audition for anything, drama school or otherwise. I understand the schools’ justification of their fees and how they came about, but they are still too expensive and vary from institution to institution. #whythefee is a very timely campaign as it becomes more and more evident how disadvantaged working class actors are in the industry.
Follow Spark Assembly’s journey on Twitter and Facebook.

Rehearsal Space

So Ed Fringe and Camden fringe are upon us and some of you might have shows that you want to unleash on the world. So I have listed some cheap Rehearsal spaces that give great value for money.

Arch 468

arch 468

Arch 468 in Brixton have fab rates

How Much?   The standard day slot is from 8.30 am to 5.30pm at £65 a day (that’s just £6 an hour). The evening slot is 6.00pm to 10.00pm at £45 a session. http://www.arch468.com/#rehearsal-space/cf5y

Theatre N16 

n16

Theatre N16 do fab rates on rehearsal space- 10am-6pm £45 for the day!!!!

The Cockpit Theatre

cockpit

  • To hire a studio, call 020 7258 2925 (12-6pm, Monday-Saturday) – we take payment at the time of booking so please have your card ready.
  • You can also email your enquiry to studios@thecockpit.org.uk
  • Also Check out their Vanguard Scheme! You have to be 18-26 but if you check this link out http://www.cockpit.org.uk/vanguard The opportunities and rehearsal space prices are fab.

 

 

Love and All That Crap

oliver

Love and All That Cr@p

written & performed by OLIVER RETTER
10 & 11 July 2016
7.45pm
£15/£12
Sun/Mon only

Oliver Retter presents his originally funny and moving story of coming out. He has performed his piece at our LGBT Scratch Night and Actor awareness Launch to massive praise for his cute, quirky, funny and original story including flowers, glitter and allot of tongue in cheek.

“And they all lived Happily Ever After”… Bullsh*t!

Love And All That Cr@p is a light-hearted ‘coming of age’ story about finding love in our modern day society. Follow a young man as he makes his discovery in awkward, amusing and arousing ways such as discovering your sexuality through porn; the naivety of your ‘first time’, a blind date gone terribly wrong and the all too true horrors of a one night stand as well as other stories and experience a cabaret of song, poetry and hilarity in this embarrassingly true story about love and all its unsaid difficulties.

OCD Theatre (Original, Contemporary, Dynamic) emerged from East 15 Acting School’s Contemporary Theatre course and has continued to produce intriguing new work which were praised for their daring and eye-opening subjects

With special thanks to Adam Weeks and Lottie Finklaire for their dramaturgical support.

Love And All That Cr@p contains strong language and a ridiculous amount of glitter.

★★★★ “Excellent piece of writing and performing
Terry Eastham, London Theatre 1

★★★★ Portrays love in a fun and relatable way”
Korien Brown, Cockpit Theatre

Box Office opens at 7.00pm for cash sales and collection of pre-booked tickets. The performance lasts 1 hour without interval. Over 18s only.

love and all that cr@p

Theatre4Thought

logo

 

Theatre4thought are a new collaboration from actors Stephanie Silver (me, I write this letter, cheeky plug) & Emelia Marshall Lovsey.

The Play

It tells the story of two nurses working for the NHS: Emily, an optimistic newly qualified nurse and Sally an exhausted nurse in charge, both at polar opposites in their careers. The story follows Sally and Emily’s memories of nursing up until one fateful day that changes both their lives forever. Set in the present day, at a time when the NHS is short staffed, forced to make cuts and constantly under scrutiny. Where nurses are penalised, criticised and told by the government that they’re not doing enough after another long day. When you’re getting paid £11 an hour to do someone’s last offices, when you’re telling a mum their baby’s passed away or when you’re the newly qualified nurse on her first day, with little support and no time for error- how is anybody supposed to cope?

The Show’s EDFRINGE2016 Poster is below with all the details

Book your tickets here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/monologues-of-a-tired-nurse

poster proper

If you are not going to Edinburgh catch it August 3-4th, 7pm, at TheatreN16, Balham, London.
BOOK VIA WWW.THEATREN16.CO.UK

SEE YOU THERE!

Angel Theatre Company

Eavesdropping

Angel Theatre Company will present a new and unique piece of theatre titled Eavesdropping at Barons Court Theatre, 5th – 16th July 2016.

Angel Theatre Company is an organisation dedicated to providing recent graduates with the opportunity to perform professionally within their first year of leaving drama school. They aim to produce challenging, character driven plays, selected specifically to showcase actors’ individual talents. Cast members work under the guidance of experienced industry professionals and are given a rewarding first taste of a career in the theatre.

The Company’s first production, Can’t Stand up for Falling Down, played at the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre in July 2015 to great critical acclaim, achieving 4 star reviews. Top industry professionals attended the performances and each cast member found the experience the perfect opportunity to make the transition from training to working!

Their latest production, Eavesdropping, is a new and original piece of theatre. It consists of a variety of scenes, each varying in length. Unlike most plays which are either scripted or devised, Eavesdropping is unique in that it is neither! The piece is created by a company of actors who spend several weeks covertly recording real people engaged in genuine conversations. These recordings are then scripted, explored and reinterpreted through rehearsal to find their dramatic potential. Each vignette is a miniature work of art in itself and offers the audience a great insight into the world around us. A more honest, poignant, funny and genuine reflection of society than most conventionally written plays could hope to be! In working on the pieces (which have no link other than they are all real dialogue) the creative team follow certain rules, including:

  • The people recorded must be complete strangers to the company and unaware they are being recorded.
  • Any names must be changed to ensure the anonymity of those who were recorded.
  • The actual recorded words are not to be altered in any way.
  • In shaping the scenes, the creative team may change the location of action, characters, relationships, add pauses/silences etc to enhance the theatricality of the scene.

The concept for the production comes from experienced actor and director, John Patterson, Artistic Director of Angel Theatre Company. He said, “In piloting the idea over the past few weeks, we have been fascinated at our findings. The pieces we have so far explored range from the deeply moving to the hilarious! These raw, revealing observations of real life are more genuinely reflective of the world around us than much conventionally scripted drama! Each vignette is a miniature work of art in itself, but when presented as part of a sequence, the piece promises to take its audience on a unique, entertaining, emotional and amusing journey.”

Ron Phillips, Artistic Director of Barons Court Theatre added, “This is one of the most original concepts for a theatrical piece we have ever heard of and it promises to be a fascinating production.”

For their latest venture, the company has grown from three actors to ten and includes recent graduates from Arts Ed, Italia Conti, ALRA and Drama Studio. Including Stephanie Manton who has just graduated from Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts., below she gives us a quote.

“Working with Angel Theatre Company has been a fantastic experience! The project is so interesting and has been a real creative challenge to bring the pieces alive without any prior knowledge of who the characters are or what they are talking about. The company ethos is what initially attracted me to working on the piece and I urge everyone to come see the show and support a group of talented young actors!” Stephanie Manton

Today, Life, the Universe & the Little Blue Bowl

Today, Life, the Universe & the Little Blue Bowl

elaine

So Elaine you graduated from Guildhall, that is an amazing school to go to, how did you feel when you graduated?
I felt very proud! There were points I thought I would never make it to the end! It was also overwhelmingly odd and sad to leave the place I had spent so much time in for the past 3 years. I’d learnt things about myself there I never knew existed, I was challenged and encouraged every day and I’d made friends I believe I’ll still love when I’m 100 years old and totally mad. I thought I would be scared to leave but actually I felt excited and ready to see what was next.

Did you always want to be an actor? 
Pretty much yes! When my mum first took me to stage coach I was most looking forward to the singing and dancing (I wanted to be a back up dancer for spice girls) and I thought the drama would be boring but right from the start I loved it. I also wanted to be an author when I was younger so I guess being an actor that writes is quite apt!
 What do you love about theatre?
It’s the one of the few times that a group of people come together, put away their phones and focus on something outside themselves. A good piece of theatre can make you forget all the crap you’ve been carrying around with you all day. Equally it can open up something inside you you’ve been avoiding and help you understand it better. I just love that something as traditional as telling a story is still so powerful. We have more technology than ever, more knowledge then we know what to do with and yet still someone just standing and speaking truthfully on stage is listened to and wondered at.
 How do you find juggling earning your rent and auditioning/working in London?
It was really tough at first and I still find myself in my overdraft more often than I’d like but you find a way to balance, you have to! I’m lucky I’ve found two other jobs I really enjoy that offer extremely flexible hours and good pay so if some weeks I think “I really need a couple of days to do something creative or prepare for an audition” I can take it. Dog walking and pet sitting has been a saviour because I can earn money whilst writing emails/learning lines/drafting a script. Some months it’s tough because the flexibility means you aren’t guaranteed a set amount of work or pay a week, but if you can take a step back and not panic and try to budget yourself if becomes very possible.
 You have a show at the Camden fringe? Tell us loads about this please?
When I was in my third year at Guildhall I wrote a solo piece. I had no idea why I wanted to do it, I just knew I was excited by writing a part for myself and being able to share a story I wanted to tell. The piece was called “Decibels” and was about 20 minutes in length. I had 4 performances at Guildhall and, to my surprise, received a positive and warm reception to the piece. I was then fortunate enough to be asked to perform it at The Royal Theatre in The Hague with a company called STET. Four of us went to The Netherlands to perform our pieces in September 2015 for a week and it was amazing to share work with an audience of people who didn’t know us and that had paid to come. These 2 experiences taught me a lot about writing and performing a solo piece, 20 minutes alone on stage is a long time if you don’t get their attention from the start and they can immediately tell if you’re not being truthful and won’t respond to you. When I came back I knew I wanted to have another go so I began writing a new piece. What I’ve ended up with is a new solo show derived from that first piece. It has elements and, in some places, bits of text taken from the first piece but is, in my mind at least, a totally new story with a different message. It’s called “Today, Life, the Universe and the Little Blue Bowl” and is about 40 minutes long. My mum actually gave me the title totally by accident! It’s about a young girl in her 20s who’s reached crisis point. We meet her at a “well, what now?!” moment. We’ve all had those moments where we have no idea where we are going which is why I think it’s so interesting to explore as an idea. It’s a universal feeling of “oh fuck.” It’s a comic piece (hopefully) because it fascinates me how close laughter is to crying and pain is to pleasure.
 How do you feel about audition fees at drama school, Guildhall is £63 now and they only just really brought in fee waivers for low income students?
When I auditioned for Guildhall it was £50 so I didn’t actually realise it had gone up that much! I’m torn because I know what it’s like auditioning for schools. When I was trying in 2012 I went pretty much everywhere and it was always £50/55 a time plus the train down and back home as I lived in the north of England at the time. If you get to the last round of somewhere then you feel like you at least “got your money’s worth” but if you get chucked out first round then that’s an expensive 3 minutes! I had to save for a year beforehand to be able to do it and luckily my parents also helped as well. It’s super expensive and means some people who would love to audition simply can’t and that’s so sad. However, having been to a school now, I also know how much they have to spend to fund their audition days. Guildhall is 3 rounds to get in. They hold weeks and weeks of first round auditions, a few more weeks second round and then a week of third round. They also hire alumni to steward the auditions to give actors who aren’t working at the moment a hand with income. That’s a lot of people to pay for a lot of days. I really have no experience with organising this kind of thing or budgeting large scale event, so I have no idea if it needs to be as expensive as it is now but I know the money isn’t wasted. I would love it to be able to be free so that everyone had a chance but it’s a difficult balancing act I think.
 In drama school , how were people supported who struggled financially? 
Guildhall were extremely generous. In my second year I was given a scholarship from the school to help me financially as I was far away from family and there’s no time to work while training. I was given this money every term until I left and without it I would really have struggled. I know many of my year that needed help were given as much as possible and if anyone was really stuck there was always someone to talk to and emergency funds. We were very lucky that scholarships and grants were made accessible to us and we were helped with applying for them.
 People often comment how actors shouldn’t complain about the cost of drama school, but most degrees people can maintain part time jobs as lectures are a few times a week, drama school is a full on 45 hour week with work on top. What do you think about the current situation of maintenance grants being cut, do you think it’ll be harder for more and more low income applicants to get through 3 years training? 
Yes it’s almost impossible to have a part time job while training, I know a couple of people who did it but they were exhausted and barely earned enough to to make a difference. It’s a big obstacle for a lot of people about the maintenance grants and sadly I do think it will deter some talented low income applicants even attempting to train. But what’s important to know is there is support out there! Trawl through the books of supporters of theatre, there are people out there willing and able to help and if you don’t ask you don’t get. If a school wants you they will try to help as much as they can so if you’re struggling you should talk to them as they might have a solution. I would love for there to be more financial support for drama school students from the government, especially those living in London where the rent and transport costs are high, but for now it looks like we have to find our own paths and solutions as best we can!
What do you think is the most important asset for an actor to have in todays industry?
Belief! In yourself. In your craft. In your skill set. In your career. In your path. In the text. In the play. Just believe you can and you will. Sounds so cliche but the moment you doubt yourself people will use that as an excuse to write you off. You can never guarantee anyone is going to be on your side so be your biggest fan and your biggest support and you’ll never feel alone. Yes, everyone has down days and times you think you can’t act and maybe you don’t work for a year and start to think “I should be a zoo keeper instead” but those are moments you experience and then you let go. Also be able to make a good cup of tea, just because a cup of tea always helps.
 What advise would you give to your younger self, all the way back when the idea of being an actor popped into your head? 
Remember this moment when you’re older! Younger me was confident and sure of herself, she knew what she wanted and how she was going to get it. To quote little Elaine “I’m going to go to acting school in London when I grow up, they do drama all day there!” As children we have the perfect amount of assurance without being too cocky. Its passion and determination and drive and we aren’t afraid to tell people! I wish I could go back and tell myself to hold on to that and never forget how it felt to be certain.
 Can you give us a few words on why you support Actor Awareness? 
It’s just such a good family for actors! As we have already discussed it can be a lonely place acting. Financially and emotionally it’s draining. It’s great to have a platform where actors can speak out, find support, have help with new work, get advice and not feel alone. It’s being part of a community who all want the same thing and that’s something special.
Tickets are available now at http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=678 Moors Bar Theatre in Crouch End 17th-20th August 2016 at 8pm.