Actor Awareness are holding a workshop and networking event. The workshop will be 2 hours led by Sarah Victoria experienced actress and instructor
Workshops are costly for any Actor. Like a athlete that goes to the gym, actors must go to classes to flex their muscles. The evening will be improv and duolouges. Then the chance to mingle and have a drink at the end. A chance to meet fellow creatives and broaden your network of people
We have 40 places available
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
● 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
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
By Jayne Woodhouse
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
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
AP Wilding Photography
“Try before you Buy” Mini Sessions
July 9th 12th 19th 23rd 29th
No payment up front.
Studio Location: Hackney, London
Assistance with styling/hair/make up. Relaxed, fun session – great for ‘headshot phobics’! Contact AP Wilding for info/times or to be added to her waiting list for future availability/promos.
Max Edwards – http://www.maxedphotos.co.uk
Head shots or Portfolio Session:
2 Hours : £99 instead of £150
Outside session.Contact sheet within 24 hours
All Photos in 72 dpi (approx 150). 5 Retouched Images of your choice
You will receive retouched images in black and white and colour, Costume/Top changes if needed in a relaxed Environment.
20% off for students 21 & Under/Extra retouches £10
I am very happy to bring you a discount for the fabulous photographer Vanessa Valentine. Her normal rate is £320! But she is giving our readers a discount at £270 if you quote ‘Actor Awareness’
A headshot is the first thing that lands on a CD’s or Agents desk, so it is important to invest some money and Vanessa Valentine gives the headshot that could book you an audition.
Gavin Thorn – execheadshots.co.uk/actor-headshot-photography-surrey/
A 2-hour session with 5 hi-res digital images are just £150. If you share with a friend it works out as £75 each and they’ll add an extra image to make it 3 images each!!
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
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.
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)
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
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??
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’.
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
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!
‘Recently appeared in ‘Boy’ at the Almeida Theatre
Growing up did you always want to act, what inspired you?To be completely honest, no. I never harboured ambitions of being an actor growing up. I was never interested in school plays, nor was I even aware of the professional theatre on offer in my hometown of Bradford, Yorkshire. I’m aware that confessing such a thing is cavalier when being interviewed about a precious and burgeoning new career in acting, but please bear with me…I come from an impoverished, working-class family of four. Growing up, money was definitively tight. My parents moved to the UK from Pakistan in the 1960s with nothing to their names. They suffered through acerbic poverty and brutal discrimination – and were quite simply determined that their children never suffer the same shameful fate. So, long before “New Labour” extolled its virtues via slogans and soundbites, Dr. and Mrs. Baig were there to instill in me the paramount importance of “education, education and education” – above all else. Ergo, my nascent horizons were defined by the merits of sterling grades, university prestige and vocational ouvres in fields such as medicine, law and accounting.Acting wasn’t even near enough upon the horizon to be a joke. Of course, no-one is laughing now..!
What draws you to acting?
You came to acting slightly later than most, what made you make the definite change?I come to acting having worked as journalist for ten years: initially at a local Bradford newspaper (the Telegraph & Argus) then – following a scholarship that propelled me to London’s prestigious City University and its world-class journalism school – at Sky News, BBC News, Al Jazeera and most recently CNN, where I continue to work as a writer and producer in addition to acting. Many have asked me why a journalist would be drawn to acting. My answer is simple: at the heart of both industries is storytelling. Whether you’re playing a soldier fighting for the uncertain future of his nation, or interviewing a young girl who has risked her life and future to escape North Korea, the values of each craft is the same: to honour the voice of someone who has no other opportunity to express it. I adore journalism and am so grateful CNN has supported me as I’ve pursued my acting career, continuing to offer me work despite my taut and evolving schedule. Special credit must be given to my bosses and contemporaries there: Rob North, Sara McDonald, Alireza Hajihosseini, Vicky Bennett, Charlotte Parson, Connie Lee, Clare Hayes, Leroy Ah-Ben, Zharina Arnaldo, Melissa Mahtani, Nina dos Santos, Maggie Lake, Luke Henderson and Gayle Harrington for their patience and understanding. But proud though I am of the stories I can showcase as a journalist, acting allows me to truly get under the skin of other people’s stories. Journalism is by virtue impartial and objective: acting is wild and personal – and I relish its imperfectly real qualities.
You recently appeared in Boy at the Almeida. This play has quite a honest look at allot of peoples lives that doesn’t often get portrayed, what relevance do you feel Boy has in the current climate?
What drew you to Boy? what do you think the message audiences take away?
The play has a fab diverse cast which represents the society we live in, do you feel as a actor of ethnicity that you get the same casting opportunities as some of your counterparts?
Arts in schools is currently being taking away and reviewed by the government and their is a disparty in what children will have access to, what would be your message to keep arts as an intergal part of the curriculum
You attended DSL, what do you think about the situation of young people not being able to afford audition fees? Do you have any thoughts on the current situation of drama school audition fees?
People often say the fees are less here compared to America – but where are the scholarships and support mechanisms to match the U.S.?
Obviously having had the experience of training at a top London Drama school, what advise would you give to other actors looking to train or auditioning.
What keeps you motivated as an actor in this tough industry?
What inspires you about new writing?
I love it. We hunger for stories and voices that resonate with and validate our own inner lives. New writing does that. It’s an opportunity to see ourselves and our concerns reflected. The new writing scene is vibrant and continually growing and a fantastic opportunity for writers – new or established – to get their work seen and to engage with a community of like minded souls.
Why do you think theatre is important?
My god we need theatre! It gives space to the grey areas. It’s a container for the shitty, muddled up areas of our lives. It can ask all the questions and doesn’t need to give the answers.
What excites you about theatre as a medium?
The aliveness of it; its ability to transport you; the utter passion, dedication and commitment of those involved; the idea of an audience coming together to find something new. It can also be very frustrating. Lack of good roles for women, lack of female playwrights on the main stages, the ‘exclusivity’ in terms of lack of access to job opportunities and bloody West End ticket prices!
How did Little Pieces of Gold start?
LPOG started in 2010. As a writer myself I wanted to collaborate with other theatre makers and make theatre instead of waiting around for something to happen.
What is your aim with Little Pieces of Gold?
Our overall aim is to give a platform to as many new writers as possible and to act as a catalyst for their writing and theatre making careers. As we’ve grown LPOG has also become a launching pad for directors and another outlet for actors to do what they’re brilliant at. Through LPOG I’ve been able to meet and produce the work of some very brave and thought provoking playwrights. For example, last year we produced Sarah Hehir’s first full length play, Child Z about the Rochdale child grooming scandal. And for 2017 we are aiming to produce a new play by award winning Jaki McCarrick. It’s the true story of Eleanor Marx’s relationship with the trade unionist Will Thorne whom she taught to read. Jaki has called it a feminist ‘King’s Speech’ since Will Thorne had dyslexia and it was Eleanor who helped him to negotiate that in order to read and rise through the ranks of the trade unions. What’s so exciting is that this full-length production evolves out of the short that we commissioned Jaki to write for our recent ‘Class Ceiling’ production. Going forward LPOG aims to do more of the same but funding is always an issue and much good work just doesn’t get made.
Tell us how Little Pieces of Gold works?
We produce regular new writing nights throughout the year and we normally run an open submission which is advertised on BBC Writersroom and social media. Sometimes we run themed submissions or I might ‘commission’ a collection of plays from playwrights with whom I’ve worked with previously. We generally receive around 300-400 plays which are all read and then shortlisted. The shortlist is then read by our team of directors who decide which play they wish to take forward. Casting, rehearsals etc is then down to the individual director. Our shows have a great reputation for the high quality of the writing, directing and acting. Like all other new writing nights we all work for free. No-one makes any money from these productions. But it’s a much needed showcase for creatives to hone their skills, network and build up their CVs. We’ve worked at various venues including Park Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre 503 and the Bread & Roses.
What advice do you give writers submitting to LPG?
Read as many plays and short plays as you can. Attend new writing nights. See for yourselves what makes a good short play.
What do you look for in writing, what makes you keep reading?
The twenty-four million dollar question! You know it when you see it. But … a strong writer’s voice that comes through on the very first page; un-cliched writing; a unique take on something;
How do directors get involved in LPG?
Check out our website and send in your CV. I will then arrange to meet with a new director to see if can go forward. The directing team for each showcase generally changes so we’re always looking to meet new directors.
Actor Awareness is a campaign fighting for diversity in actors from working class backgrounds or low income backgrounds, how do you feel the industry stands at present?
This industry is no different from any other. Access to opportunities is hugely unequal. It is not class envy to say that the dice is loaded. It’s never been any different and it’s getting worse. Getting into a London drama school and paying London rents is one thing. But then afterwards it comes down to having to juggle day-jobs to pay the bills with acting jobs and auditions. To do this requires an inordinate amount of energy, hope and faith. And a photographic memory when an audition comes through for the very next day with the expectation that the actor needs to memorise a whole chunk of text. There is no need for this when audition schedules and spaces are booked in advance. It’s disrespectful towards actors and it perpetuates a situation whereby only actors with the time and resources can give their best. I love what actors do. Working class or low income backgrounds or gender and ethnicity should not exclude actors – or writers and directors – from pursuing their chosen career paths.
I have been a part of the Industry since I was 7 years old, starting out as a child actor on stage. I think for me it’s the fact that no day is the same… Whether that is a new Script coming in, or a last minute casting request from a Director! There really is no way to predict how the week will go and for me that beats any 9-5 office job!
I started out Casting my own short films using mostly friends to fill the parts before (by chance I should add) I attended a networking event and met with a representative of a large company and after much persuading on my part, I landed my first commercial casting job! Thankfully the rise of Social Media has given actors, writers and people like myself a platform to connect with Indie (and established) directors, producers and other professionals. Thanks to Social Media, networking nights, screenings and other such events, I have connected with some really talented story tellers and creatives.
The advice is to send me a nice headshot (or 2) and a CV, plus details of any shows/performances you are taking part in… I always try my best to attend but if I can’t then I do send along my Assistant.
Personally, my favourite people are the ones who (despite the rubbish train journey or traffic) come in with a smile on their face, cheerful, have learned their lines and are ready! I can’t stand it when an Actor says ‘I haven’t learned the lines as I only got the Script yesterday’. If you was on a soap, you would be learning 10x more dialogue in 24 hours on a daily basis. Not acceptable.
I think some do… However for me, I don’t think an Actors ability is necessarily determined by Drama School, some of the best actors had no formal training. Drama school is great to learn and practice but ultimately, if you fit my brief then I am going to call you in… With or without drama school training.
We believe that Actors should be treated fairly like all other freelance workers and should receive fair pay! To often we see casting calls for actors that offer no pay, no expenses and more, unfortunately the more eager actors out there will go for these parts and see it as training or experience… Whilst I appreciate their passion, it’s still wrong.
As Casting Directors we do not cast for no pay jobs or expenses only as we do not agree with the idea of working 10-12 hour days with no pay.
I think it’s a very sad situation… Coming from a working class background myself, I know only to well how expensive Drama school is and the stigma that seems to be attached to working class actors! Some of the best talent lays hidden amongst working class actors. I believe and we are doing everything we can to change this through our own street castings in deprived areas of London and other places.
I urge Agents to open their eyes and look further afield to these sorts of places, your next big star could be sitting there undiscovered!