Tag Archives: twitter

Meet, greet and tweet: reporting from the UK Actors Tweetup (VIDEO)

6 May

by Elli Donajgrodzki and Edward Randell

On Wednesday we made our way to the UK Actors Tweetup to hear – and livetweet – a panel discussion on the Cannes Film Festival. Producer Christine Hartland, director Paul Hills and Variety’s Alberto Lopez tackled burning issues including whether Cannes is the Bournemouth of France, what shoes to wear and the most effective schmoozing techniques. The general consensus among the panel was that Cannes was less useful for actors than for producers and directors, but that it could still throw up unexpected opportunities: or as Hills put it, “The beauty of Cannes is the chance meeting”.

We spoke to Hills, as well as UK Actors Tweetup founder Angela Peters and actress Moyo Akandé, about sharing tips with other thespian tweeps, and the benefits of mixing work with pleasure.

Who is ‘West End Producer’?

23 Nov

The elusive ‘West End Producer’ has been entertaining us for a while with his (or her) amusing tweets.

It seems like we’re not the only ones to have noticed – with 6,555 followers (and counting) he or she has gained quite a following.

While The Standard suspects celebrated producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, we’re still in the dark.

Who do you think is behind the tweets, #dear?

Picture by alancleaver_2000, from Flickr, via a CC Licence.

Les Miserables – Musings of a resting actress

18 Nov

Our first guestpost comes from the brilliant Resting Actress on the problems that out of work actors face.

When I pluck up the courage to tell people what I do, it is normally met with gushing excitement. Trying not to seem like an ungrateful manic-depressive I smile, nod and try to get onto another subject as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately acting is a much more interesting career to say you do, rather than actually do, because for many struggling and desperate actors the reality is glum.

I have recently found a new agent and have been eagerly attending classes and singing lessons, reading plays and visiting the theatre, all to prepare for the fateful day when I get an audition.

When this rare occasion arises I am filled with hope, excitement and enthusiasm, but underlying this is a feeling of dread, self-doubt and a constant preparation for rejection. This whirlwind of emotions combined with the constant busyness (and expense) of preparing and rehearsing can be exhausting, and all with very little to show for it except an empty wallet and a few tears.

This brings me onto my main gripe about the life of a ‘Resting Actress’.

Everything that I have briefly outlined already is but ONE of our careers. Alongside all of this we are also reliant on the “Real Job”. The “Real Job” provides the income; it’s the 9 to 5 or the evening job. Working in a restaurant until 1am, slaving away in a pub for minimum wage or sitting in a discount ticket booth selling tickets to shows you should be IN, not trying to sell. This is our second career.

I myself keep busy with a mixture of work including waitressing and promotional jobs (handing out free samples of Babycham outside the local AA) in an attempt to avoid the boredom and relentlessness of just one job – one job that with every shift is a constant reminder of what I am NOT doing with my life!

I of course understand that this is the life we chose, enough people warned me how difficult it is and how poor I will always be (thanks Mum). I am not naïve, I did not think it was going to be a bowl of cherries and that I’d be bouncing from one job to the next like an ex Big Brother contestant, but what I and the other ‘Resters’ find difficult is the lack of understanding we encounter from the acting industry when it comes to auditioning.

Let me set the scene.

I receive an audition from my agent. Not only does this quash my theory that he is dead, but also reinstates my faith that he does know how to work Spotlight. It is tomorrow at 12pm, I need to prepare two scenes in Dutch and choose a song from the Swing era in C Minor, you know the type.

Great, but I now have to get out of my shift at work tomorrow. So, either I risk losing my job by pulling a sickie, or I find the nice manager at work and hope that flirting with him (he’s nice but has a face like the underside of the Phantom’s mask!) will get the shift covered. Either way, I lose a day’s wage for one audition. An audition I probably won’t get.

This aside, we do it, it’s our job and we are passionate/stupid enough to sacrifice making a living for that 90 seconds in front of a panel who already know who they are going to cast.
I am constantly reminded that, as an actress, it is my job to attend auditions. But, as I constantly remind the casting directors (silently of course), attending auditions does not pay a wage!

This said, we all know that we will carry on slogging our guts out learning seven songs, three scenes and attend nine recalls if we are lucky enough to be asked for. In return Pippa Ailion will not remember your name, David Grindrod will not give you feedback and Trevor Jackson will continue to play Space Invaders on his laptop.

So remember my fellow Thespians, when someone asks, “So, what do you?” do yourself a favour, tell them you’re a vet.

What do you think? Do you agree with Resting Actress?

Picture from sludgegulper, on Flickr, via a CC Licence.