Industry week is meant to show us what jobs are available in the acting industry, how to achieve them and what exactly does one do in them.
On the first day we had the pleasure of receiving a lecture from three people.
First one is a person we all know well, Lynn Whitehead. She talked about how hard it is to be the producer of a show. You have got to do a budget about everything that you need and sometimes getting a lighting designer is a luxury. It is a whole lot of complicated thinking about what job you can cramp into other jobs as in the director could also do lighting design and maybe the set designer can also be the costume designer. It gets fun, but it’s also quite depressing when you’re just under the budget and you need that just one tiny little bit of money and those arts council people won’t supply you with a budget to perform your show which would definitely sell out the box office. The arts council is where you can fill out a form, send it to them and with luck get a loan to produce your show, or whatever it is you’re putting on. We learned about the various kinds of jobs you can have in the acting industry from flyman and steward to artistic director and everything in between. We had to play a game to see if we knew what each job title did. We got most of them correct but to be honest there were a lot of similar names that did different things and a lot of them I just didn’t recognize. Image on the right shows what we thought would be the correct answer; image on the right portrays what we got right (left) and what we got wrong (right).
After that game we had to pretend we were organizing a show and the group of people we were with were all producers and we would have to make this show work. As visible in the paper below, there’s a lot of counting and there’s a lot of things we want but also a lot of things we won’t be able to afford.
Afterwards we had a visit from Tim Welton, an actor and a director. He went to RADA, had auditions for agents there and that’s how you would be put out there for auditions in a more easy way. Through your agent. After speaking a bit about how actors become actors and meet people and how he switched to being a director after a while. We did an activity where we were given an actor/actress, in our case it was Anna Campkin. On the paper it showed how that person was physically, it showed past experiences and it showed what skills you have.
After observing our actors a bit and discussing whether their pictures were all the same and whether they have a lot of experience or not, talking about their skills and what role we thought this person could play, we move on to a task of having to assign our actor to a role.
However, if the actor does not meet any of these criteria, we would not cast them at all. Best advice is to put everything as true as possible because once you do get an audition and you’re not the way you said you would be, you will have just wasted everyone’s time.
For our third person, we had the playwright Danusia Iwaszko. She gave really sound advice about everything we asked and she had really good knowledge of what a writer should do in what circumstance. She works at writing hard for 5h a day, if i’m not mistaken. It’s 90% perspiration and only 10% inspiration. You must work hard at doing whatever you want to do because just waiting for those inspiration moments will not be enough. She also mentioned that she was an actor at RADA before becoming a playwright. So either one of us actors could still become a playwright, just like her. There were quite a few things that were said by her in this little time that we had that are worth a mention. We might be inspired by other people, but we won’t copy because we all got our own fingerprint. Meaning that whatever we do that we recreate, we will always make it slightly to our liking. Danusia also did a bit of TV but she gave up on that, and that is really curious because that is my dream, I would never give up TV for actual theatre. She did though. She gave up TV for theatre because theatre is a live show. It’s much more lively than a TV show where you would hear “cut” a thousand times. There was a lot of advice for aspiring writers, for example: know your characters. Have a massive biography on each of your characters, if you don’t know where they come from what they did, you can’t know how they act and what they would say. If you want to start writing, write for something you love. When you’re out of ideas just go sleep. And the best advice for any type of writer is: Finish it. Finish what you started, no matter how small it is. Don’t leave story sketches just lying around. Lastly, something for all of us who will definitely struggle with this. Do not give up freelance after a short amount of time. Do freelance for at least a couple of years. Give it a chance, don’t just dismiss it after 3 months.