Graphic Designer Tanya Perry– OFFER

Graphic designer Tanya Perry is an experienced poster designer and has done all the above posters design for Glass Half Full Theatre. She is offering her freelance service at a discount to our readers. Pls contact her at tanyaperry1986@gmail.com

Services

Posters

Logos

Banners/Flyers

She can do a one day turn around on a Special price of £80

She can also do show programmes but this is a negotiated price depending on what you want.

Foundations Courses

I am becoming increasingly concerned about my ability to maintain a creative life, working three jobs to maintain my head above water, some days I feel excited (generally after I’ve done bit of writing or acting) and other times (generally after I’ve looked at my bank account) I get sucked into a cloud of financial doom. Currently I am suffering at the hands of a huge loan I took out for my Foundation course that I did at Drama school. The monthly repayments are killing me and I’ve had to move out my house and sofa surf between my mum, sister and boyfriend. My nomadic lifestyle doesn’t feel very arty or hip, more desperate and worried that it’ll always be this way unless I land some life changing money through winning the lottery or going all ‘Breaking Bad’. This is the life of an actor right? So I’m prepared, I’m fully prepared to do this, and I’m not afraid of hard work. I’ll make it work as there is so much more work that I have and that I want to see the light of day. But I would be financially better off if I had never done my foundation course. So was it worth???

So are Foundations courses worth it? What happens when you don’t have parents or relatives to fund you through? Are these a waste of money?

I did one and I’m not sure how valuable it is in the industry. Do professionals/agents/Cd’s even look at it as valuable? I did one as I thought maybe it would be the only training I would ever get, so  I threw myself into it. Spending time on the course I soon realized for some people it was a holiday, some kids were there as they weren’t sure what they wanted to do with their life and thought they’d would test it out. Allot of people wanted to progress but there was plenty of people clearly there not personally footing the bill, so they had no idea what it feels like to drag yourself through 10 months of stress to come out the other side with a certificate that states you attended lesson and no clear standing or mark within the professional circuit, although they do state at the end of a foundation course that you are not a professional actor, so it’s probably not the aim of the course. So it kinda leaves me wandering what is the point of them…..

I think I am feeling annoyed, annoyed that maybe I wasted my money. At the time I felt it was very valuable being in school everyday, movement and breathing and swinging my arm till it was loose in my socket that I could touch my toes. But on reflection as I eat super noodles every day, going between houses and living out of a suitcase, I think how far has it got me? Am I different now? not really. What I learnt could I learn on the job? most likely. The problem is I wanted to go to Drama school so bad and it became quite all consuming, a living breathing monster, I must get in to drama school, without it I’m nothing, who’ll will even take me seriously. I spent too much money on auditions and that was the beginning of my financial suicide, after the foundation offer I got a loan, then a credit card to support my expenses and it snowballed. Now I am in 11,000 pound debt that I barely pay off monthly. I work my arse off on fringe projects I love and that’s the thing that keeps me going , I am doing something I love, I am creating art with passionate people and it is thanks to Actor Awareness and the people I’ve met through this campaign- otherwise it would of been ten times more of a struggle to get my work made. When people tell me that Actor Awareness keeps on banging about the working class I want to shout at them and tell them it’s a f**king problem, the only kids accepting any foundation places aren’t those from working class backgrounds, no way!!! Half the people who do foundations progress to a BA, because they’ve had that experience and confident boast of being in that environment. So working class people are already on the back foot there, and I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did (getting a bank loan) as it’s a monthly debt you’re tied to that is SO hard to pay every month (whilst gathering interest!) it’s a struggle alone to afford the rest of London life -rising rent, bills, food etc. 

My opinion is if you want training and you are  determined to go to Drama school, wait for a BA place, because there is plenty of other ways to practice your craft, I think the Americans have it right with classes. There are some drama schools like Rada that do classes and they do subidise some places if you can state your financial position, these courses provide fantastic tutors and can be done at your leisure when you have saved up the money. My advice get proactive, no one gets anywhere sitting and thinking, it’s the doing that propels you. So if you didn’t get into drama school this year, maybe your too skint to get the headshots and showreels that an actor requires go away write a play, make a film on your iPhone, get involved with us here at Actor Awareness.

Tweet #Foundationcourse @steffiegg12 and say yes or no to whether you think these courses are worth doing. let us know what you think.

The Real Cost of School Audition Fees

Annemarie-Lewis

The MTA opened in 2009 by Annemarie Lewis Thomas, running the UK’s first accelerated learning programme in triple threat training. It is also the only UK Musical Theatre college to split its acting focus between stage and screen. In 2012 it was awarded The Stage 100 Award of School of the Year, who named them “a new force in drama training.”

The academy was originally based at the Drill Hall (now the RADA Studios), before moving to 89 Holloway Road in 2011. In July 2015 the academy relocated to The Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham. Students receive a guarantee that their fees are spent on training, not on securing a profit, and consequently the academy was granted charitable status in 2012

How did you MTA come about, what motivated you to start  the academy?

I was working as a MD and also in my crap job as a teacher. I didn’t like the attitude that some new grads had, and I hated the fact that colleges were profiteering from training.

What’s your ethos at MTA and what do you look for in students?

Our ethos is simple; to train people with old style values, and to be transparent in everything that we do.  We look for our students to have a strength in two disciplines, to be able to be taught the third, and also so try to ensure that they’re nice (or at least can be helped to be nice if life hasn’t taught them that lesson yet)

   Big question alert!!!   So the audition process. How does it work at MTA? 

One! We spend an intense day with the applicants, watching them all the time (even in the breaks). I don’t want to invite people back for various rounds (and at such an expense)…so myself and the team instantly know nowadays if they’ll be trainable – #theMTAway

 Lots of schools get outside agents and casting directors to come in at a fee. You use the staff already on the payroll, which seems sensible as they’ll be the ones training the pupils! What is your view on getting schools justifying fees by getting external panel auditions?

I’m already on record as saying that I think that this is nonsense. It’s clearly attempting to ‘blind people’ with ‘wannabe’ ambitions and false hope.  I’m proud of my senior faculty – they are phenomenal.  Each and every one of them will give me their opinion of whether or not WE’LL be able to get them industry ready within 2 years. An outsider has no idea how our teaching method works etc, so why the hell would I pay them to sit on the panel for a day??


 What’s your view point on regional auditions?

Again I’m on the record for not agreeing with them. I can’t justify the expense of losing my senior faculty for the day, and I want to know that someone auditioning for us has seen us/met us, and knows what we’re about, not just drifted into a room and thought that ‘they’d give it a go’.

 So schools vary from £45-£80 – I have been given many explanations for the cost and I can understand that it’s  a process and  it takes time and staffing but surely a cap is a fair way forward to ensure equal opportunity. Can you give us a breakdown of an average cost for an audition day at MTA?

Unusually we tell applicants on the day of the audition whether or not they’ve been successful. We also give every applicant a questionnaire to anonymously fill in at the end of the day. The point of this is for me to be able to monitor whether or not the auditions are working from the point of the view of the auditionee. So we ask the scary questions like ‘did you feel like you had value for money?’ ‘were you treated as an individual?’ then the more general questions about what they like/disliked about the day, and anything that we could do to improve on their experience.  Check out Anne Marie’s insightful blog here for further information on her process –www.thereviewshub.com/blog-annemarie-lewis-thomas-the-true-price-of-auditions  

  Feedback- schools with thousands of applicants often say feedback is unable to be provided- I read MTA provides feedback, how can you manage to do this? could this be implemented throughout schools?

I think that people need to stop auditioning people in such huge numbers. For starters I don’t really see how they can see the people  when they do this (it’s different auditioning for a show which truly is a cattle call). We can give feedback because we truly run our audition days at a loss!

 

 

Spotlight

spotlight-logo-1024x1024

Here at Actor Awareness we like to fight for causes we think that can help people in the industry, to maintain in their pursuit of a profession that they have dedicated so much time and passion to.

We think it would be beneficial if Spotlight could make the yearly payment available as a monthly payment. We would love to hear your thoughts. #SpotlightAnnualFee and tell us what you think!

#WhyTheFee is still going strong and making a difference so join us in this conversation too!

#WhyTheFee

whythefee

At Actor Awareness we want to raise discussion about drama school fees. We want to hear all opinions from all sides to see how the drama school fees (which are becoming increasingly expensive and pricing people out) are justified.

We are passionate (as most people in the arts industry are) about creating a fairer, culturally diverse and true representation of society on stage and screen.  We strive to create opportunities for those who haven’t been able to reach certain platforms due to financial constraints. #WhyTheFee is a question posed to open conversation and get people talking.  Recognition of a deficit is always good and helps create an awareness, hopefully, leading to a stepping stone to some form of change.

At Actor Awareness our first port of call is to question the ‘Fee’.

People in every walk of life don’t have to pay for job interviews but it is standard as an actor to pay from the very beginning of your career. People say this helps sort out the weak from the strong, the committed to the not very committed, it prevents auditions becoming like the x factor. Whatever your opinion there is an inconsistency with drama school fees and an inconstancy in what they provide and offer. With schools dropping out of Drama UK, fees and rules can change as they please. Now as a business, (as that’s what they are) they need to make money, but surely not at the expense of people’s aspirations.

Why Pay?

  • Drama schools need to pay outside professionals to cast the year ensemble
  • Drama schools have lack of government funding
  • They have thousands upon thousands of applicants, so it means only those who really want it apply?
  • It takes weeks/months to audition and some schools have 4 stages. This takes time, time equals money
  • The money goes back into the school to provide services

Why It should be free or affordable

So people from all backgrounds can apply–equal opportunity! More diverse ensembles at drama school will filter through and reflect in the professional industry, it will set standards and a by product will be a change in who we see on stage and screen.

So when applying for more than one school you don’t break the bank

Schools should have a vested interest in the talent applying, therefore should be aware that having high prices and limited audition venues  eliminates worthy candidates .

Auditionees get value for money

In other careers , no one pays for job interviews

It’s the school’s responsibility to find talent nationwide and high fees exclude large groups of people. But this just makes us sound naive and idealistic, doesn’t it? We at Actor Awareness, are not that and we know how the world works and how the industry sits with lack of funding and arts cuts in schools, but surely we can’t just throw down our hands and say “oh well”. I hate the adage “money makes the world go round”, especially when it comes to education and training. By just admitting defeat, we’re settling down to watching the same old TV; Downton Abbey redone a million different times, regurgitating the same circles of actors and taking from an exclusive pool of people. There is amazing talent just waiting to be discovered. You could say, “well Alan Rickman and Judi Dench were working class”, and yes they were, but both have stated that they would never make it today, in this climate. So in 5 years’ time, 10 years’ time, the working class actor might just be a myth, a little whisper of a memory that, yes once, theatre and film was for all. But now it’s merely, ‘Oh well, they can’t afford it.’

I spoke to Emmanuel De Lango of Equity who informed me there is an upcoming motion regarding Drama school fees. So keep an ear out here and I’ll let you know the details when it comes out.

The main thing is the staggering differences in fee costs. £40-£90. Now if you get recalled you can say, ‘well my money per audition is less,’ but surely if they like you they want you regardless. Surely if the audition process is so costly why do they stage so many rounds?!! There are schools including Bristol that only do 2 rounds. Be ruthless, that’s the industry right? Seems much more affordable to do one long day workshop, places like Rada have 4 rounds. The first two rounds you do your monologues but in front of slightly more people the 2nd time, surely they can cut that stage out and just make a more decisive first round choice. 

Condensing the rounds and limiting the number of stages would make it better for schools and auditioness. Then it cuts down on travel costs for applicants and school cost on staff.

The late fees like the ones at Rada are unacceptable, making people pay £80 because you applied after a set date in December, is this justifiable? Ucas doesn’t close till January.  Some justification of admin fees might make this cost more reasonable.

Guildhall is now £63! Surely, schools such as Guildhall with many other possible creative ventures to make money and large volume of applicants don’t need it to be so steep! Upping the fees on ‘they keep coming so we keep putting up the price, its supply and demand’ is not fair. Most applicants to Drama school make 5 entries minimum and the cost on a low income family is a big financial strain to just apply!

So let’s:

  • cut down stages
  • make a reasonable fixed price
  • offer feedback for people who make the final stage

I may have been a bit controversial there when I said provide feedback, considering you don’t get much of that in the “real world,” but these people are wanting to train. Surely a new actor could do with some feedback on simple things like choice of speech, presentation, physical choices. I don’t think the auditionees are asking for a novel, just some justification for the money they spent, I assume when you’re auditioning and they say they will be making notes they aren’t just pretending. Surely this can be filed away and, if the actor requests it,  be sent to them. Yes it’s more more admin, but it would provide better value for money as, at the end of the day, auditionees have paid for something. Lots of schools have many good aspects to their auditions but currently lots of people are finding that the rising costs aren’t always reflecting what they are paying for and the rising costs at some schools means they aren’t applying, 

Fee/ Regional Stages/Feedback Fee waiver
Rada £40

 

No regional auditions

Preliminary audition –

Recall audition –

Short workshop (three hour session)

Workshop day later in process

No Feedback

No fee waiver

 

£80 after first deadline

Guildhall £63 

No regional auditions

4 stages- initial, recall, then if successful two further rounds including workshop day.

No feedback

Fee waiver brought in this year, 63 fee waiver places, first come first served. Plan to increase 2017/2018
Bristol £50

No Regional auditions

2 Stages

No Feedback

Some available on request

 

probably one of the shortest auditions for a school that is quite far away. They are super friendly but it feels very quick, at least they don’t have 4 stages, so some money saved on a return trips there.

Lamda £45

Has regional auditions

3/4 stages

A very quick in and out of monologues at the first stage with a interview post pieces with staff and ex students

No Feedback

Fee waivers available, there are a certain amount available.

 

You can apply more than once each year, which seems odd to me.

Royal Welsh £47

UCAS fee also

Some Regional auditions

2 Stages

You do your monologues in front of a group of other applicants, Recall workshop.

No Feedback

? Fee waivers

 

I know someone who was told (at 23 by the panel) he was too old and that it’s good to get in the game when you’re young

Royal Scottish £45 + Ucas Fee

International locations but no regional. Can send a recording as a audition.

2 Stages

If you get recalled to the afternoon you do some improv and redo your speeches with direction. Recall workshop.

No Feedback

No fee waiver

 

BA and MA auditions require two separate fees.

Drama Centre £45 + Ucas fee

No regional auditions

3 Stages

No Feedback

I auditioned and the panel chatted to the applicants before the recall list was put up, they were lovely but said no feedback represents ‘the industry’

No fee waiver
Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts £45 + Ucas fee

Regional auditions available

1/2 stages (workshop day)

No Feedback

No fee waiver

 

Arts ED £45

Outreach groups

2 stages

Workshop day

No feedback

Some free auditions available and outreach groups to encourage under represented people to apply.

They are career development loan provider

 

course fees are 12,500 yearly

Mountview £45

Some regional auditions

2 Stages

Workshop day

No feedback

No fee waiver

 

Drama Studio £45

No regional auditions

2 Stages

Workshop Day

Feedback given, they are very constructive and  having auditioned here I feel like many drama schools could take this approach.

No fee wiaver

 

Drama studio provide a level of feedback face to face in a very constructive and positive manner on the initial and recall stage.

They are a career loan development provider

East 15 £55 + Ucas fee

No regional auditions

2 Stages

Workshop day

Feedback on speeches during workshop

No fee waiver

 

Oxford school of Drama £45

No regional auditions

Feedback on request

Workshop day and they fit it into 1 day to cut down on travel.

They also provide a bus from that station to help students get to the school.

No fee waiver

career development loan applicable

 

66% of students had a scholarship in 2015

GSA

Ucas fee + £45

Regional auditions available

Workshop

No feedback

 Fee waiver available
Central School of Speech and Drama

Ucas fee + £50

No regional just international

 3 Stages

No feedback

 

 

Fee waiver available on request

They have several outreach programmes:

http://www.cssd.ac.uk/sixth-forms-and-colleges

 

Rose Bruford College

Ucas + £50

No regional auditions

 1-3 stages

Don’t expect much for 1st stage, and plan for trouble on the train, south western trains are notoriously bad.

No feedback

.

Fee waiver available on request

 

The Rose Bruford Jubliee fund helps graduates who want to progress by giving to graduate groups.

http://www.bruford.ac.uk/study/what-are-our-tution-fee-spent-on

1st stage of audition is very very quick, in and out and often some people don’t get chance to do two pieces! 

The chart is a guideline of what the stages are and the cost. International fees and auditions haven’t been included but by general rule of thumb is just double the cost!

It is obvious from researching that the schools are just like us wanting and and fighting for the same vision and culture in the arts, some schools seem more open but it is nice to see that the fee waivers are starting to become more prevalent and most schools have only implented these fee waivers in 2016, so it shows making a noise counts.

Access for All- is it just a dream

Churchill

So it’s that time of year where hundreds of people, young and old, are auditioning for drama courses. Auditioning can be a very nerve racking and soul destroying experience. In the working world of acting I can walk into an audition room with composure; I can read well, hold myself and give off an air of professionalism. However, throw me into a room where people scrutinise and decide if you are worth 3 years of their time, I tend to crack a little. Last year I managed to secure myself a place on the Foundation course at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and the training is invaluable. Time is flying past so quickly due to the very active, full on nature of the course, proving to be a very worthwhile experience..

The only problem?…MONEY.

First off, the majority of foundation courses aren’t under student finance, so you have to muster up around £8500-£9000 for the course; and that’s excluding the living expenses whilst on the course itself. If you were doing a foundation course in something else at university you would get funded…but this is the arts. By most, arts courses are seen as frivolous and a waste of time. I personally don’t see my future career in the arts as frivolous, but the government seems to disagree. In my opinion, all Education should be free…but of course that’s being idealistic. The current government want to slowly take art from our schools. They don’t seem to realise how important design, art and the performing arts are to our society and socio-economic growth.

As a mature student I am ineligible for most grants and funding. Therefore, by the time I’ve finished my foundation course I’ll have racked up a massive loan, and if I even get onto a BA I’ll be working solid all summer to pay it off before I have to start the process of finding money out of thin air all over again!! How is anyone from an underprivileged background, be it a single parent or low income/working class family, meant to afford to get through or even apply to drama school when audition time arrives, knowing they will be overcome with debt! I am lucky in that I trained as a nurse first, meaning I have some source of income for the duration of my course; even if my income is low, I get by.

Recent data shows that within drama schools today, there are a lot of students from state schools and low income backgrounds. If I think of the students at my school, this is fairly accurate; not all of the pupils are well off. I think the main problem starts at school level arts education. The arts are not valued; they are under appreciated and pushed to the side as a less important part of the curriculum. I come from a state school and my passion for theatre does not derive from their input. I couldn’t sing, so I was rarely chosen to perform in school productions. My passion comes entirely from the need to tells stories and the inspiration I got from theatre; the escapism and humanity I felt from the shows I saw growing up as a young adult in London; they have made me who I am today and shaped my love of the arts. I have worked in schools and seen the huge disparity in the opportunities, and hopefully one day Actor awareness can start reaching out to these schools and help in some way to keep the arts a vital element of school life and child development.

The majority of drama schools in England are in London, and the rising costs of living in London pushes newly graduated actors from lower income backgrounds to find work to pay the rent, meaning they can miss auditions and opportunities due to work commitments. The price of headshots and showreels is forever rising, and casting website subscriptions can be a struggle to maintain. A working actor has a lot of work to do and a lot to pay for before they can even secure a job, network in the right circles or even get an agent; that’s why people from lower income backgrounds have a lesser chance of making it in the acting world, as these factors are all easier if you are from a more affluent background. Now this is reality, and I’m not saying if you have more money that’s ‘unfair’ on the rest of us. Talent hopefully prevails in this industry, but there needs to be a conscious effort from people in the industry to source a diverse range of actors; from casting directors, agents, producers etc. The people at the top need to make changes, and the government needs to notice that the arts are an intrinsic part of society.

Tanya Perry a teacher in London was a Graphic designer for years before turning to secondary education. Here is what she says about the government and it’s attack on the arts.

‘Well I think that it’s already on its way to being demolished. I don’t think they can ever truly get rid of it, hopefully. I think by demolishing it will lead to a shortage in the jobs that makes London the creative hub it is. Without arts there is very little culture. Without design and art our towns would be hollow, no cinemas, no theatre, no exhibitions, no galleries, little museums; our homes and our countries would be economically depressed. In design there are people thinking up new products, new ways to use technology, new ways to implement technology in products. There’s essentially nothing without art and design that has substance or character and we can’t compete with countries on a global scale, with whom treat the arts as integral to forward thinking and a intelligent society’

There needs to be more funding available to people of all ages in the arts industry, to help pay the raising costs of accommodation and the extra costs of drama school, such as books and materials.

I believe that drama school audition fees need to be regulated. The accredited schools should have a system where people from lower income families should be able to receive a discount or a free audition place. Each Drama school should be allocated free audition slots for lower income students. I’m not saying abolish fees, but why not make them reasonable. Most aspiring actors will audition for around 6 schools, and at £50 an audition, it isn’t cheap.

Some schools even make applicants who are applying for the BA and the MA pay for 2 separate auditions, even thought it only takes one audition; they decide which course you are appropriate for and recall you based on that.

One good thing that the majority of schools do is have their auditions held in different places across the country, meaning if you don’t live in London you don’t have to rule out applying there because you can’t travel all that way. However, it is expensive getting yourself all over the country to the auditions, and some schools, such as RADA, require you to travel for every stage…that could be up to 4 journeys!

If the government keeps making cuts and slashing away at the curriculum and funding, how long will it be till what we see in our theatres, in our films and on TV is not a good representation at all of the society we live in.

Actor Awareness Message

actor

 

What was your inspiration behind the film?

Well it all came from Tom posting on Facebook looking for a writer, what for I had no idea at the time but I said I was up for a challenge. Then he explained that he was (at the time I think) looking for a play to illustrate the point of the then unnamed Actor Awareness campaign. I suggested a film as it is easy to share and that was that! As for the content it all comes from personal experience. Though I’ve never lived with a Simon I have certainly met them; people who have just been able to go to Drama School because their parents just paid, and they have no idea a lot of the time that there are people like us out there. That’s not a criticism of such people, why would they be aware? But in that last scene, John I think is very much mouth piece to my own frustrations as an actor; so that piece was very personal to me, and I agonised over it, treading the line between making the point pissing people off. It just had to be clear from the word go that this was not a demonising film, and I think by-and-large we achieved that.

What was the biggest struggle?

Oh so many. We were funded very generously by our supporters on Indiegogo, but still the budget was tight. We had expenses all over the place and people coming from all over the country, so trying to make a no-expense-spared film with so-many-expenses-spared was up there. But biggest of all we had some pretty catastrophic technical issues in Post and lost a huge amount of footage. Thankfully James (Hayman) of Flawless Films in a genius in the edit suite and was a genius on set so he managed to create the film anyway, but it set the release date back about a month or so.

What message do you think this film sends to the industry?

I think the message has to be that art, in all its forms but in this case acting, should not and cannot be dictated by money and finance. We find ourselves in a situation now where casting directors are writing articles titled, ‘Where have all the working class actors gone,’ and national treasures like Julie Walters are coming out very publicly and saying she would not have made it if she started out in today’s climate. Can you imagine an acting world without Julie Walters? And how many Julie Walters are there out there right now thinking, “I’d love to be an actor but I can’t afford it,” And because of finances, the next generation is robbed of great and wonderful talent of that Julie-Walters-in-the-making. I think that has to be the message of the film; change or we all end up poorer for it. To quote the film, “It’s in their own best f***ing interest.”

Tell us more about Type40Films and future projects.

Type40Films has grown out of ‘The Industry’, and so it has at it’s heart that will to make films for good, rather than making them for the sake of making films, not that there’s anything wrong with that! I want it to have an intrinsic conscience to it, and I can’t give much away at the moment, but our next big project well and truly follows that. It is in conjunction with a charity supporting a very very worthy cause and that will be what the film is about. It’s going to be quite an arty film I think, different tone to ‘The Industry’. It will be longer so we’re looking to push a few more boundaries!  Keep tuned in to our Twitter and Facebook feeds because there will be some news coming very soon about how you actors might be able to get involved.

Having said all that there is some talk of shooting a tiny little horror film, just for fun! So again, watch this space!

Finally, if you could change one thing in the industry right now, what would it be?

I think it would be extend the student loan system to Drama Schools. So those fees don’t go away, the same as Uni, but it becomes available to wider variety of people. I can’t see why it would be an issue really; they still get their money, student finance of various areas still do business, in fact more. So what’s the issue?

And stop charging people to audition. I mean, seriously? Very strange thing to do.

Here is link to the film, please go and watch

http://t.co/M9cWvDiVf4