Actor Awareness Week

                        n16 actor

After the success of our Scratch nights we have teamed up with the fantastic Theatre N16 to help our writers, actors, directors develop their work. Each Play had approximately 2 months to get their 15 minute play in a form of a 40 minute piece. Quite a mean feet but they rose to the challenge and we have for you some fab shows!

This is a great example of what we here at Actor Awareness are trying to do and if you read the monthly newsletter, follow us on Twitter and Facebook we often call out for castings. So get involved and it could be you next time!

 

Actor Awareness & Theatre N16 present…

The Staffroom by Michelle Payne

the staffroom

Monday 22nd August 2016, 9pm. Tickets £10.

Performed at our health scratch ardent @actorawanreness supporter Michelle Payne brings her fabulous writing to full life.

They’re teaching our children but are they teaching the right things? Three young teachers navigate their way through adulthood and educating.

Follow us @STAFFROOMplay

Directed by: Alula White
Cast:
Alison – Hilary Murnane
Hugo – Craig Webb
Ria – Faye Derham

Tralier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrlN4JQum78#action=share

Birth of a Nation by David House

birth of a naion poster

Friday 26th august 2016, 9pm, Tickets £10

The initial piece was performed at our Sold out health scratch night, it was laugh out loud funny ! So the longer version is bound to be worth a visit.

Dave House’s satirical look at the failings of a Tory government riddled with NHS pains, Boris Johnson and Brexit.

 love and all that crap

Oliver performed at our LGBT scratch and his show has gone strength to strenght getting 5 stars for his recent run at Lost Theatre.

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

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

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

Written & performed by Oliver Retter. With special thanks to Adam Weeks and Lottie Finklaire for their dramaturgical support.

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

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

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

Book Now

http://www.theatren16.co.uk/#!actors-awareness-shows/j0ce2

Theatre4Thought

logo

 

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

The Play

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

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

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

poster proper

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

SEE YOU THERE!

A Different Class

      Kevin Lee returns to Barons Court with his new play

‘Different Class’

 

  Maria is from a lovely little town in Berkshire. Andy is from the north. They pretend they don’t get on. But really they do. They have plenty to say for themselves, and to each other. But perhaps it’s the things they can’t say which trouble them the most.

 Dates: Tuesday 19th July to Saturday 23rd July 2016 @7.30pm including a matinee on Saturday @2.30pm.£12 or £10 concessions. Running time approx 60 mins

Kevin Lee returns to Barons Court for a third time after previous successes including ‘Time for Heroes’ last year. Tickets can be booked through londontheatre@gmail.com or by calling 020 8932 4747.

Barons Court Theatre, Curtains up pub, 28a Comeragh Road West Kensington London W14 9HR. Nearest tube stations – West Kensington (District Line) or Barons Court (District or Piccadilly lines) – Both within five minutes walk of the theatre

 About the writer

kevin lee

 Kevin Lee is a playwright from Sydenham in South East London and is the author of the critically acclaimed ‘Time for Heroes’ (Barons Court Theatre), which earned rave reviews last year. His new play ‘Different Class’ will be his fourth production to appear on the London stage. Kevin Lee’s previous work includes:

‘Time for Heroes’ (Barons Court)

★★★★★ – Everything Theatre       ★★★★ – The Upcoming

Cyrano of Brixton (The Brockley Jack Theatre)

★★★★ South London Press

girl-friend (Barons Court Theatre)

★★★★ Remotegoat

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Cosme & Scott Casting

jay cosme

What draws you to the profession of working in the arts?

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!

 How did you become a casting director?
 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.
 Lots of actors are members of Spotlight but often don’t feel they get allot from the service in regards to having access to the same auditions as others, as a casting director do you feel their is a heirachy when companies/producers send out information regarding jobs?
I think that as a Casting Director you have to put your faith in the Agents, we have to trust that an Agent is fully aware of their Client’s skills and abilities and that the Agent has put their own reputation on the line by representing said client! Many Actors unfortunately do not understand contracts, buyouts, agreements etc and as a Casting Director you really do not have the time to explain these things. That’s not to say I don’t consider un-represented Actors but ultimately from a professional point of view, an Actor with an Agent tells me that this Agent has faith in the Client and that I am auditioning a professional. Unfortunately many actors without an Agent are at risk of not always being taken seriously which is a shame but something that I do understand.
 When someone sends you their details, what tips would you give?

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.


As a casting director what do you look for when an actor comes into a room?

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.

 What advise do you give for actors headshots?
For years the Industry standard has been black&white but it appears that colour ‘American’ style shots are becoming the norm. Personally I like to see colour and black&white! I also like to see a neutral expression with minimal make up, maybe 1 or 2 with a smile.

Do you think in the industry people look at actors who train at drama school and university differently?

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.

 You are an official supporter of Actor awareness, what do you feel as an casting director that you can do to improve the current playing field in the industry?
 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.

 How do you feel working class actors are represented? What do you think needs to change?

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!

Daniel Harding on being a Filmmaker

danile harding 

So what attracts you to film?
I’ve always been slightly obsessed with film, and even from a young age I would beg my mum to take me to the video store so we could rent something and I’d then watch it two or three times before we returned it the next morning. But it’s hard to pin point what exactly attracts me to film. For me, I think ‘film’ encompasses a range of different art forms I am interested in – writing and photography for example, but I also love the collaboration with the actors and compiling the footage into a coherent story. Film has everything.

What filmmakers inspire you?
Recently it’s been the more independent filmmakers who have inspired me most – perhaps because as I get older I am looking at ways to get my work seen, and they are closer to my level. So filmmakers like Jeff Nichols, Jeremy Saulnier and Ben Wheatley are ones to take an interest in.

When did you decide to start making your own short films?
When I was 23.5 years old. I had just left uni and I didn’t fancy joining a production company and ‘working my way up.’ I had saved up enough money whilst I was uni to buy all my own equipment.

What is the toughest part of the filmmaking process ?
It’s a fifty-fifty between funding and casting. It is hard to juggle two jobs in order for one to pay for the other, and then casting is just a stressful and anxious process as you want to get the right people, and it often requires a lot of staring at a screen watching showreels – it does help me to realise ‘who’ the characters are though.

What advise do you give to new filmmaker?
The more you do the better and learn to let go – you will get hung up on ‘mistakes’, but learn from them and move on to the next project.

Tell us your best and worst time filmmaking?
Best time was shooting The Missing Hand, as I was giggling the whole way through, and the worst is either shooting Loop (when it was a very cold) or Killer Bird (a production too big for me to handle by myself).

What would you never scrimp on when putting a budget together for a short film?
Paying people! If you pay, it gives your the control and freedom to get the right people. You are a professional production and it will get treated as such. And also, leave budget for music.

Tell us about your current project?
So I’ve got numerous projects in various stages of production. The next one I am shooting at the end of June is called Man In A Suit and it’s short drama about a new government initiative set up to reduce unemployment. I’ve just released Toast online, which is a ‘one minute, one shot, existential comedy about bread’, and I am just about to start editing a new one called Two Pound Forty Pence which is a nightmarish-thriller about a guy who is pursued by a beggar.

What is your next plans
Figuring out a way to produce a feature film.

At Actors Awareness we encourage diversity in film, how do you apply this when casting your shorts?
I think we should all be more aware about diversity and it’s importance. I have to admit that I don’t consciously choose to be ‘diverse’ when casting, but I also don’t restrict my castings either. I don’t look at class, ethnicity or physical characteristics when casting. But for me it all comes down to the character on the page and who is the best choice to bring that to life.

Where do you look to get crew and cast for film projects?
Either through networking or casting sites like Casting Call Pro.

Check out Toast on Vimeo

Events

Scratch Night

The LGBT scratch was a great success. A review was written up by @Londontheatre1 here http://www.londontheatre1.com/news/133679/actor-awareness-lgbt-scratch-night/

Big thanks to everyone in the LGBT for making it a success to all the writers, directors, actors, tech team and theatre involved. Time to make it happen again, this time at fab fringe venue in Balham, under the theme of health.

HEALTH NIGHT! Jeremy Hunt, George Osborne and David Cameron are casting a huge shadow on our health system, with ludicrous cuts the NHS, the junior doctors walkout and of course the recent disability cuts in the budget. In light of this, the next Actor Awareness scratch night theme is Health Night. The interpretation of the theme is down to you and an interesting subject to explore, all shows must be no more than 15 mins and the submission deadline is 30th of April.

This will take place at Theatre N16 on the 30th of May. All shows selected for the scratch night will then have the opportunity to develop the show into a full length piece and have a 2 night slot in Theatre N16 in August! So if your an actor, director or writer come get involved and send all submissions to Steph at tanheartssteph@gmail.com please read the rules and regulations before submitting here http://www.actorawareness.co.uk/p/scratch-nights.html

nhs

ACTOR AWARENESS LAUNCH PARTY

LAUNCH

AUDITIONS! So Actor Awareness will be holding the official launch party/ fundraiser and we are looking for a variety of acts to perform in the night. Singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, sketch peices, any sort of act to take part in what promises to be an incredible night. Auditions will be held at The Canal Cafe on May 1st, if you would like to audition and be involved email tomstocks0805@gmail.com

We also have a great competition coming up with CCP so keep your eyes peeled.

Writer’s Nights

These will continue monthly. To be added to the mailing list for notification of time and place please email tanheartssteph@gmail.com. An informal sharing of ideas, plays (stage,film, tv , sketch or radio). Hosted by a guest writer each month. £8 for a session which runs 7-9.30pm. April TBC. Please follow @steffieegg12 for updates or join Actor Awareness group on Facebook.

Interview with Simon Nader

 

simon nader face

So you are a actor/director, when did you realise acting was something you wanted to do? How did you come to direct?

“Well… I was on stage as a little fat kid aged 10 or 11 and hammed the hell out of my role in Rumble wats it name as The King. Thank Christ is was comedy, I learned how much fun it could be hearing other people have fun and that was it! Actor. Job. Done. As for directing, I had trained at drama school in my twenties, done quite a bit of theatre and film work and assisted a few friends before I was offered the chance to direct a play called My Boy Jack by David Haig. As I had studied scenography as part of my degree pre-drama school, I felt it was a good chance to put my skill set  to the test and basically got the gig by being seen on stage as Timon of Athens by the producers. They liked my characterisation so thought “hmm, give him a go as a director!” So I did, and I loved it!


What do you love about theatre?

Well, if you mean creating it, I love the storytelling element, cliched as that maybe! Not necessarily just through the words either as I work quite visually, I am interested in the imagery you can create as a company with movement and the sound and light for me is integral to creating beautiful moments of atmosphere and tension. As an audience member as well as theatre maker, the best bit is always the same though – transporting characters and the audience to other worlds and making them care.


You also work allot in television, what do you like about filming?

Actually, the very thing I hated when I first started – stopping and starting! I love the fact that screen acting has just as much, if not more, technical craft involved to create work that not only is believable, but looks as good as possible on screen at each moment. I’ve been fortunate to work on a lot of big US TV productions and you really learn a lot from American actors and experienced directors as so much dedication goes into the craft to make it look as good as possible. I also love stepping into a huge set and there being just an army of people working together. It’s awesome! Just as in theatre, it’s a collaborative process with a lot of attention to detail involved by a lot of people.

You direct a youth company in peterborough, tell us bit about your role there?

Ok, so I work with The Young Actors Company in Peterborough and Cambridge, we have been going nearly 50 years and I absolutely love it. I treat the students the same way as adult actors, which they not only appreciate, but benefit from. Yes, we have a lot of fun, but we devise work that says “something” and essentially I try and give them a taste of drama school training as we create theatre and practice the various acting techniques to build confidence and hone craft. 

You are currently taking 2 plays to the Edinburgh fringe 2016, a man with many jobs! Can you tell us bit about the plays?

The show I am directing is very exciting – The Monologues of a Tired Nurse, written by an actual nurse who is now also training as a professional actress, will be at The Space. It’s a two hander with very talented actresses playing the nurses and it’s moving and funny, and very raw. We want people to not have a stereotypical view of nursing, but really think about the human condition. The human condition in all its facets – we literally examine it! 
 
I’m also in, and the co-creator of, a ridiculous, spectacular B-Movie homage called (it’s a catchy title): Escape From The Planet of the Day That Time Forgot! Myself, actor/director Katherine Hurst and actor/director Gavin Robertson, both renowned particularly for their physical theatre work, have designed a show that we unashamedly want people to just sit back and enjoy. We are at Assembly Roxy for the whole of the Edinburgh Fringe and it’s our first collaboration since the acclaimed The Other Side in 2009. We’re also touring internationally. Both Katherine and Gavin are award winning creatives so it is always fun and inspiring to work with them.

You have been to Edinburgh numerous times over the years, what advise would you give to people heading there this year?

Save your money in advance, it can get VERY expensive… Also, don’t underestimate the power of marketing and getting the reviewers in early if you can sway people. Be nice to everyone as word of mouth really is hugely important and for God’s sake, don’t take any shows up there you don’t put the appropriate effort into. It can get pretty harsh, pretty quickly and you get out what you put in… don’t just do it to “do the festival.”

What do you like about the roles of actor and director, do you prefer one over the other?

They both have their attractions and in all honesty, it varies job to job. I love the challenge of acting in terms of the characterisation and making people believe what they are seeing and very importantly, to connect with the other actors in a company on stage as if you are really there. It’s beautiful to create emotion and art and I like to play even during a long run, and go with my feelings, instincts and reactions and have that from the others too and see what happens! I love that no two performances or on screen, takes are the same and I love that little choices can alter the fabric of meaning hugely. As a director, I’d say stress levels are much higher, but the payoffs are huge! You get to see other people work up close and to gain inspiration from everyone’s gifts to create great art. I also love seeing someone progress in confidence as we work together and try to tell a story the way we feel it should be done. 

What would you tell your younger self?

Don’t be such a doubter. Don’t try to overcompensate for your lack of self belief by trying to prove yourself. Trying too hard usually results in bad results.

You also coach people on monologues and have sat on drama school panels. What advise do you give those people auditioning for drama school?

Trust that the people there on panels want you to do well. At the end of the day, you have no idea what panels or directors, casting directors for that matter are really looking for from you. If you are worrying about what they are thinking you’re not being yourself and that is your biggest selling point. If you can eliminate that and then work the monologues a little with some outside advice to help make bold choices then you will feel better and have a better chance of doing well. Generally I don’t care how well someone can learn lines. I do care about whether they have connected with the emotion of it and can adapt to direction. You do not need to be PERFECT. It doesn’t exist and you are going to drama school to learn the technical skills as much as anything else. Panels are not looking for a finished article. What would be the point?! I also care about how you come across as a person. Be lovely, just be yourself and make mistakes then recover confidently, don’t be arrogant and defensive.

Who inspires you?

Artists who care about the work, not just the adulation or the money. That goes for people who make great music and other art forms, as well as actors. My students also inspire me. The way young people can be unaware of their instinctual gifts and come up with something that is more honest and clever than the most experienced professional is always an inspiration.

What issues to feel you face most int he industry?

I think it takes time to take your ego out of it for a lot of people. I’ll use myself as an example as for a while, I wanted to be seen a certain way, hard man types and such and such. Sometimes we can be afraid to look weak, even if that is character but of course, that is ridiculous! If that is your type, embrace it. I got hung up on knowing martial arts, being bald so therefore looking a certain way but physically, I’m quite slight and short so I’ll never be in constant work that way! What I have learned to love is playing weakness, weaselly types, even taciturn outcasts or nice guys. So I’d say my challenge was accepting my type!

Do feel the industry is inclusive and diverse? your thoughts?

I do not feel it is as diverse as it should be at all. I have worked in casting and as an agent as well as my work on stage and screen and one thing I’m certain about is that unless roles are specifically detailed as “other” the establishment which is largely white and middle or upper middle class in England see all roles through those eyes unless they are specifically labelled “disabled”, “gay,” “black” or “Arab” etc. I feel that Hollywood does not get off scot-free either because of the very specificity of identity and perception of type. Bad guys are Middle Eastern or Upper Class English! Heroes in blockbusters are all supermodels or body builders. Now this is not necessarily all the fault of the production companies and the industry – there is an element to humanity and we see it reflected in the media all the time, where people want to see the ideal, see what they are not, as that seems to be shiny perfection. So the industry reflects that as much as the industry creates it! So diversity in the industry is an interview in itself…

Do you feel it is important for an actor to do many roles as yourself and be the creator of their own work? 

I think it depends on each person and what they prefer for themselves. Personally, I like creating through devising and writing as much as I like getting work from other sources too, the collaborations are really interesting. But, as I get older I realise that the important things is to enjoy what you do. If you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong!

Proforca

 proforca

Proforca creative is a brand new non-professional theatre company based in London. It was formed in late 2014 with the idea to create a new and dynamic projects which are more accessible than the average amateur theatre company. They want to create a group of talented creatives united by their love of theatre in a warm, welcoming and encouraging environment.

Proforca want to create great quality theatre to a very high standard, and it is their mission to provide opportunities for writers to have their work performed, actors to showcase their talent and to promote the work of the very hardworking people behind the scenes in the very important technical roles and provide them with a “stage” to develop and gain experience as well as put their talents to great use. By keeping it “small and friendly” is the way to go, which means creating fringe productions which will excite and challenge audiences with something new.

As a non-professional theatre company, performance is their passion, but also a way to channel talent from their “day jobs” in a new and exciting way. Within our Proforca there are artists, performers, designers, writers and other creatives, by combining these skills with  professional abilities (Marketing, Operations, Project Management, Finance, Communication, IT etc,) Proforca are able to create something interesting, dynamic, and perhaps a little bit different to the norm. Theatre allows them to step away from the office, put away the work email, (even if just for a little while) and go on those adventures which you just can’t have as part of the 9 – 5!

Proforca are always interested in meeting new and interesting people who would love to come on this new journey. If you are interested in getting involved with Poforca, please visit their website at http://www.proforca.co.uk or send an email to hello@proforca.co.uk

THE PLAY

    proforca poster

Proforça Creative presents “If I Go”
Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre, Walthamstow E17
Wednesday 4th – Saturday 7th May 2016
(Performances at 7.45pm, Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.45pm)

“This thing that the two of you have, it’s an illusion, and it can’t be this way forever…”

It’s been this way for years. Matt and Becky have lived together forever. In a parallel universe they’re probably married, except Matt’s going out with Danny. Then of course there’s Will, who been in love with Becky for the longest time, if only she’d be nice to him long enough to notice.  Can one phone call be enough for Matt to make the biggest decision of his life, and in turn, change everything for all of them forever?
Proforça Creative presents a brand new comedy drama written by James Lewis and directed by David Brady about moving on, moving out, drifting apart, and the people we can’t bring ourselves to leave behind.  (Please note the production contains strong language and audience discretion is advised)
Tickets are now on sale for all performances, priced £12.00
For more information, exclusive behind the scenes content and for tickets for this new production visit http://www.proforca.co.uk and for special offers follow us on Twitter @weareproforca, Facebook & Instagram @proforcacreative

Actors Awareness Special Offer: Use the code BLACKBERRY at checkout for discounted fees on tickets for any performance (subject to availability, offer expires April 30th )

Adam Morley

Adam Morley Photo.

Adam is an award winning Director/Writer/Producer Artistic Director of The Regional touring company Baroque Theatre and is the Associate Director of the Canal Café Theatre in London, home of the Guinness Book of World Records holder world’s longest running live comedy show ‘Newsrevue’ which he has directed many times in London.

His work in film and advertising has twice been nominated at Cannes Lions winning in 2006 in the same year he was named as one for the creatives of the year in creative review magazine. He won an Editor’s Choice Award as Artistic Director for best new venue, Edinburgh 2008. He directed the winning show for the national new writing competition for Writers Avenue (Seconds) which received a transfer to the Pleasance Main House. He was awarded “Best Director for Theatre & Film” at the Fringe Report Awards 2012. Adam also directed an acclaimed UK tour of ‘Great Expectations’ for the bicentenary of Charles Dickens birth .

He directed ‘Dracula’ in the West End in a limited sold out run starring Andrew Lee Potts (Primeval). He has also directed Lady Windermere’s Fan and new writing based on the life of Woody Allen at The Pleasance Theatre staring James Phelps (Fred Weasley, Harry Potter film series), as well directing for the University of Cumbria and various Drama Schools across the UK . Adam has directed Moliere and Lorca in French and Spanish language for the sold out five star seasons at The Barons Court Theatre and internationally. Further credits include The Birds by Conor McPherson from the story by Daphne du Maurier.  Inspector Morse “House of Ghosts”, “The Haunting of Hill House”, “Up Pompeii” and many others for Baroque Theatre Company.

He is now joining Actor Awareness as our executive producer!

So Adam you are firstly a great director, I’ve had some first hand experience. What draws you to directing?

Thank you I am blushing, I love telling stories in a variety of ways using a wide range of methods, I enjoy very much working with actors and tech, my training was very practical, there is not a job in film or theatre that I haven’t done professionally and I always wanted to direct to use the talents and energy of casts and crew to tell great stories.

You’re director who really understands actors and works with them, what do you think a good actor offers a director?

Great actors offer me options as a director, no one wants an actor to just stand there and say “direct me”, we want creative minds and people prepared to take risks and experiment, look ugly and be beautiful.  I want an actor who has great personal discipline and a joy and hunger for what they do, someone who brings ideas and enthusiasm into the rehearsal room and is prepared to match my energy and commitment to any given project.

What makes an actor stand out for you?

Someone who treats the industry and themselves like a business rather than a hobby, unfortunately I do come across some actors who aren’t prepared to even do the bare minimum or present themselves badly, don’t read a brief properly or simply expect something handed to them with no effort. Talent isn’t enough you need to own your art and self, be prepared to sacrifice and do your research, constantly be working to improve yourself .

When casting a show for actors, can you give our readers some tips on answering an ad.

Yes, firstly actually read it properly….Don’t skim read, all the information you need should be in a well written ad and it is normally not much to read. Also do your research, find out about the project and the people involved, don’t just cut and paste a standard covering letter. Once you have done that ask yourself the question do you actually want to apply, is it the right thing for you, are you available? if yes then write a personal short and professional cover note stating your suitability relevant experience and knowledge of the piece and or the people.  If you are Dyslexic like I am have someone proof read it. No more than a couple of short paragraphs, as casting is a time pressured event people may not have the time to read a long detailed letter.

What excites you about theatre?

I love the immediacy of the theatre. The linear aspect of it; the excitement of an audience entering an auditorium before curtains go up. I love the feeling of captivating an audience and feeling the energy created by cast and spectator. The fact that no two nights are ever truly identical and different audiences see a show differently, find new elements funny or moving it keeps you on your toes.

What do you think as a director is your best asset? 

I am an actors director and what I mean by that is I feel I can communicate across concept and enthusiasm clearly and effectively to create a shared vision. I also understand tech and design which helps create the world of the show and I like to work  collectively as part of a company. Over the years I have gained enough experience to work smart and fast allowing for strong time management  and people skills. My shows I am pleased to say are generally happy ships. I lead by example using my energy and enthusiasm to motivate my teams.

You are a avid supporter of Actor Awareness, what drew you to being part of the campaign?

I strongly believe the Arts should be the leaders in helping to create equality and diversity. We have a duty to help raise awareness and create opportunity for education, this promotes and ensures a rich tapestry for our society. Actor Awareness  is striving to do just that and has grown so much in a short space of time, we don’t just talk about inclusivity we actually do something about it and get off our own backs without funding.  My personal goals and those of Actor awareness were well matched. I have always operated a blind casting policy for example (Where I have been allowed to sometimes right holders won’t allow it) and have actively fought for and tried to address the imbalance in the industry in my own small way. Actor Awareness has helped me reach more people and actively create more opportunity.

You are now executive producer of Actor Awareness, what do you want to do within your role?

I am delighted to have a more formal relationship with Actor awareness and I hope to be able to provide even more support for Tom and everyone involved.  It means I can help with fundraising and profile raising. We have a shared goal and I can now wrap up even more work and events with Actors Awareness, there are some very exciting developments and opportunities being created so watch this space.

In your own theatre company you are very adamant about highlighting gender equality and women voices, what do you think about both issues and representation in the industry at current?

They are appallingly represented. There is far too much discussion without anything actually being done to tackle the problems. The fact that Women especially are so under represented at every level is ridiculous and the mainstream top end of the industry must do more to address this.  Writer’s producer’s directors and casting directors we need to do more to get away from traditional gender stereotypes and start focusing on the human story regardless of gender. I understand there are commercial concerns but we must trust our audiences more that they can easily cope with gender reversal or blind casting. We need more female roles we need better female representation at the top end of the industry, enough now it’s 2016, the time for change is upon us not in five years’ time but now.

You often talk about not being pretty on stage, being truthful, what do you think about beauty and image in the industry at current?

The focus can on beauty especially body and weight is very worrying. Women are being objectified and considered more for their outfit then their character. I have created an actors bootcamp keep fit for performance. It is about Strength endurance and flexibility not about weight; you can carry weight and still be fit.

I often see in students or new graduates so much fear in their performances that hold them back because they are scared to look ugly on stage.  You can’t be beautiful on stage without allowing yourself to be ugly as well… Don’t hold back let go and allow you the physical and emotional expression needed to fully realise a character. We are all ugly, good looking, fat, thin, unique, the same…we need to get over ourselves and allow freedom of creation to occur for real truth on stage.

What do you feel about uni trained and drama school trained students?

I feel that the main difference is not one of talent but opportunity and technique. What I mean by this is at most drama schools your week is structured with long days working on a variety of techniques i.e voice and speech, movement etc. At University the contact and face to face time is much less.  Drama schools of a certain level have higher profile showcases and therefore more chance of getting signed by a top agent thereafter. Part of the remit of a university student is research and self-learning. This is very difficult in terms of the core fundamentals but not impossible. I feel the tide is turning and the days of snobbery towards University graduates as opposed to drama school ones is changing. I have employed both and find little or no difference. Ultimately your training should never end, there are financial and time factors to consider but there are ways to continually improve yourself. Sight read every night, practice cold reads, warm up properly, exercise read and watch plays, work harder.

What do you think about drama school training at current in todays industry?

Like with any training providers some are excellent and others not so much. I would suggest if you are considering the investment in drama school training do your research. Find out what they do and who runs them, who teaches on them, do they have a specific approach and what is it.

How do you think the arts cuts are affecting us? The government are cutting creative subjects in schools and reducing maintenance loans for students, eventually the divide in working class actors and those in a wealthier positions will be wider, do you agree with this?

Yes the gulf is increasing and this is having an adverse reaction to the industry. We need to find a sustainable model, we can’t just throw money at the problem we need to tackle the wider issues and consider funding and application. However there is a real danger of completely shutting out the working class from any form of artistic expression that is not directly relevant to an area of arts funding that needs a box ticking. The industry as a whole needs to examine where money is going and must help create business as well as supporting the unheard voice. Art and finance can co-exist they are not mutually exclusive, my company does not take a penny of public funding we survive via our commercial and creative ability and this is something that perhaps needs looking at and can be taught. Commercial does not mean bad and is often unfairly maligned. The way arts funding is awarded in my opinion needs a serious review to ensure transparency and consistency, the fact that there are specialist form filing producers who’s only task is to decipher funding applications suggests to me that perhaps the applications and requirements are incoherent and therefore not necessarily in every case going to where is best needed. It’s not about putting values on creativity, more considering the needs of larger publicly funded organisations and perhaps helping them diversify their income streams to free much needed money for other causes.

 

Thank you Adam what a pleasure!!!!!!!!!!