Actor Awareness workshop

actor

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

BOOK HERE: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/actor-awareness-workshop-tickets-27579401733

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

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.

Escape from The Planet of The Day that Time Forgot

escape

Gavin Robertson, Katherine Hurst and Simon Nader previously collaborated on the critically acclaimed drama “The Other Side” which wowed audiences at The Edinburgh Festival 2009 and again on a UK wide tour in 2010. Now  Gavin Robertson and Scene Productions are co-producing “Escape From the Planet of the Day That Time Forgot” and the performance has been entirely devised by the company.

THE PLAY 

There’s a Professor with a rocket in the cellar, his physics-savvy female
ward who screams quite often, and his eager but impoverished lab assistant and together they find themselves on a distant planet before escaping to. where exactly!?
Think a hotch-potch of silliness drawing from ‘The 39 Steps’ and
‘Quatermass’ via ‘Journey to the Centre of The Earth’, and ‘The Land that
Time Forgot’… time travel, dinosaurs and whole pile of pluck along with
an invisible dog and several sets of ‘jolly hockey sticks’.
These award-winning performers combine fast storytelling with bold imagery
and jokes a-plenty as they transport you from stately English home to the
steaming jungle and back again in a frantic, outrageous adventure!

The show is playing at The Assembly in Edinburgh so go and book your tickets now!!

                                                                            Simon Nader    simon

 

An accomplished actor, director and teacher Simon is not only bringing lots of laughter with his role in the above, but he is also directing ‘The Monologues of a Tired Nurse’ showing at The Space, Uk , Edinburgh 22-27th August 8.05pm.

 The play is a look at the lives of 2 NHS nurses in the current climate. It documents their stories through memories of experiences till one day that changes both their lives forever. It is showing the stress, the pressure and the humanity that runs deep in the healthcare profession.

‘He has brought a wonderful energy to our play, with brilliant theatrical storytelling ideas, with truth and beauty that make the piece current, engaging and something more than I ever envisioned when writing’    Writer/Actor – Stephanie Silver

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

 

Headshots

ap wilding

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.

apwildingphotography@gmail.com

Max Edwards – http://www.maxedphotos.co.uk

max edwards photo

OFFER

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

VANESSA VALENTINE

 van offer

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.

http://www.vanessavalentinephotography.com/

Gavin  Thorn – execheadshots.co.uk/actor-headshot-photography-surrey/

actor-headshot-guildford-1029

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 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!

 

 

Osman Baig

osman baig
‘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?
 People. The quotation “be kind – everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” is attributed to Plato, but it has lingered with me for much of my adult life.
I often felt like an outsider growing up. As a poor, Asian child reeling in the wake of Thatcher’s Britain, there were intrinsic barriers to everyday life: materialistic sacrifice was a norm; racism was unavoidable and evergreen; personal sensitivity was a luxury. I grew up feeling like an outsider looking in. And painful though it was to come to terms with my own identity, the process taught me the immeasurable value of being an “observer”. Yet by comparing and judging myself against others, I came to the conclusion that we are more alike than we are different – a realisation which was affirmingly human.
Acting allows me to draw on that endless well of human community on my own terms. By channeling my own doubts and demons into characters I can showcase on a stage, I both expiate my own wrangling insecurities while championing the vital and communal values of the wider human struggle. In essence, the personal becomes the universal. We all face the same challenges, deep down, whatever our circumstances – acting is just honest about it.
 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?
Boy has given a voice to the voiceless. Through the story of Liam, playwright Leo Butler and director Sacha Wares have penned something new: a ballad of the unknown metropolitan soldier. He moves through our world, silent but solitary, unknown and undemanding, fierce yet fragile. He is a part of us all, yet a part we don’t always want to acknowledge. He is, as Oscar Wilde said, “Caliban in the mirror” – the reflection of a society we will one day be ashamed to have harboured.
 What drew you to Boy? what do you think the message audiences take away?
 It’s truly an honour to be part of this story. This spectacle heralds a brave new era in theatre: one defined not by narrative harmony or aesthetic mores, but by truth: a truth that can be ugly, accountable, unapologetic and political. It’s exactly what drew me into theatre in the first place – to lay bare the plight of the unsung warriors – the unsuspecting walking wounded – who stagger among us all.
 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?
 Growing up, seeing an Asian actor on mainstream television was so rare that, when it happened, it would be accompanied by a confused flurry of excitement as the entire family gathered around the television to witness such a vague breakthrough. Things changed in the 90s with shows such as Goodness Gracious Me and the introduction of Asian actors on soaps like Eastenders. But ultimately, those roles were defined by ethnicity. Even now, some of my friends – educated and internationally-minded people though they are – assume that I am certain to default to “terrorist” roles in terms of casting.
 I would have believed them too if it wasn’t for Sacha, who cast me in five roles in Boy – none of which were defined by skin colour. And enormous credit too to the show’s brilliant casting director, Amy Ball, for doing something I would once never have imagined possible: casting a diverse and unique company of actors in a play that does not centre on race. Together, I believe they have broken new ground – and if nothing else, they have inspired me to believe that I can be worth more as a performer than the myopic limits of casual precedent. Hopefully this can signal a new and more inclusive era in casting.
 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
 My message is simple. For all those who may doubt the merits of the arts – who may indeed denounce creative endeavour itself as futile in an increasingly competitive world driven by technology and finance – please remember that imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge polices the present, but imagination liberates the future. Imagination is the first step towards human betterment. New realities begin with new dreams. And the arts do something no other field can possibly do: they support those dreams. The arts are the scaffolding of the dreaming mind, the closest thing mankind has to peering into his future and determining his place therein.
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?
 It’s unacceptable. Rising and exorbitant fees are an intergenerational crime. Is there no other way? The only way I was able to pay for training at Drama Studio London was because I had saved perniciously over a decade and was willing to sacrifice a mortgage for the chance to pursue a wily but unrelenting new dream. I supported myself, to the last penny – but I had to wait ten years to achieve that. I don’t come from the kind of background which would have invested thousands in acting training – let alone continuing that support as I looked for work after graduation.
People often say the fees are less here compared to America – but where are the scholarships and support mechanisms to match the U.S.?
 We need more respect for arts training at a governmental level to truly support underprivileged new artists.
 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.
 Training is not always essential, and it certainly won’t make you a more talented actor, but it can help hone technical skills. Training is respected in the industry – but if it’s too expensive or prohibitive, there are alternatives – such as joining Casting Call Pro and working on student films to build up a showreel to approach agents with. But ultimately, we need a culture that doesn’t idolise full-time training – that can offer more respected, part-time alternatives to talented students.
 What keeps you motivated as an actor in this tough industry?
There is no plan B. And I am not just doing this for me – but for people who may one day look up to me and say, “well, he did it – so can I!”

Word from Tom

tom

I cant believe how each month the campaign just keeps going from strength to strength. Another incredible jam packed month full of meetings, projects and scratch nights. This month I met agents Marcus and McCrimmon who want the help of Actor Awareness to build a drama school which is accessible to people of all backgrounds. Also preperations for the Actor Awareness launch party are in full swing with the night filled with a range of acts. The official Actor Awareness launch party, is for us to finally burst our selves into the arts world and put this incredible campaign on the map. The phenomenal work Actor Awareness has been achieving will be showcased in this 1 night, with some of our top scratch night pieces, mixed in with singers, comedians, raffles and speeches explaining the campaign. Its a night not to be missed and a perfect opportunity to learn how to get involved with our work and network with industry professionals. The line up is as follows:

Hosted by Helen Scott

● The cast of Tolkien a new musical- Alexa Terry

● Monologues Of A Tired Nurse – Stephanie Perry and Emelia Marshall Lovsey

● Birth of a Nation- Dave House

● Alice Marshall – Comedian

● Interval where we announce the winner of the CCP competition and do the raffle where there is industry prizes to be won

● Love And All That Crap – Oliver Nip Retter

● Route – Marie Myrie

● Ionica Adriana- Singing

● Sketches by MD’S Comedy Review

● Netflix and Chill with Bae- by Tom Stocks

The for the raffle are looking incredible

● 2 tickets to News Review at The Canal Cafe Theatre

● A 3 hour 1 to 1 workshop with award winning director Adam Morley on either acting or directing

● 10 tickets to the Actor Awareness workshop “how to create a comedy character and sketch writing”

●  A bottle of champagne

● A £50 voucher on Alishia Love headshots

● A Signed programme from ShowBoat

● A 1 to 1 with award winning John byrne

● A Signed Autobiography from John Challis A.K.A Boycie from Only Fools and Horses

● A 12 month free Actors Centre membership

● Wine from Corney and Barrow

● A 50% discount voucher for a meal for 2 at Caminos Spanish tapas bar

● 10 tickets to a workshop by Cosme and Scott casting directors

● An Actor Awareness t- shirt

● 2 tickets to hit West End musical Guys and Dolls

● Signed programme from Guys and Dolls

●  To film an entire showreel from scratch by Artistan Showreels

36 prizes to be won! Please come on down and buy a ticket you don’t want to miss this. Buy tickets here they are selling quick http://www.theatren16.co.uk/#!actors-awareness/qku6z

Submissions for our Class Night are now closed we gave 4 incredible shows, which everyone involved are getting paid, the first ever scratch night to do so. The 4 shows are

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

The 4 shows all explore the theme of social class which is such a topical subject considering the current economical and social climate.

Little Pieces of Gold

suzette

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.