Since graduating from East 15 Acting School in 2006, the best piece of advice I was given was to ‘keep training, keep learning, keep doing!’ At that point, I wasn’t really aware of what they meant by this.
After moving back up to my home in the north west in February 2011, I got myself a new agent, attended numerous castings, some with success, and generally pushed myself to the best of my ability. Then it all became a little stale. The castings got fewer, my skills were admittedly getting a little rusty and I was getting severely disheartened.
It was at this point that I came across a company called Act Up North. I was unsure of whether to join because I naively thought that I had done all of my training at drama school. Now 8 months on, I can honestly say that it has been the greatest decision of my acting career so far.
Each week we are met with new, current and fresh television scripts. These scripts are attacked differently every week and performed, some weeks infront of the lens, refreshing camera technique. Act Up North provide honest, constructive feedback to your performances EVERY week. There are opportunities to work with new people, make new friends and try new approaches to acting. Throughout the term, you have the opportunity to work with guest tutors, who are currently working in the industry, passing on invaluable knowledge. At the end of each term there is a mock casting with a casting director in which you have the opportunity to gain exposure by performing your chosen piece/script, along with asking any questions which you may have to help with your journey in the industry. All of the tutors at Act Up North are trained actors themselves. They know where you are coming from and assist you in progressing your skills to where you want to get to!
Since joining Act Up North I can honestly say that I now know what East 15 Acting School meant by ‘keep training, keep learning, keep doing! As an actor, you NEVER stop learning! Nor should you stop doing. You should take every opportunity you can to better yourself and progress to where you want to be. It has given me a new found passion to continue with the industry and has reminded me of all the reasons why I got involved in the first place! I can say that I am now confident in approaching a script again and pushing myself with new ideas in delivering it. When I walk into that casting room again I know that I will leave in the knowledge that I have done my very best and will continue to learn with the aid of my Act Up North weekly classes keeping my skills fresh!
And for a 2 hour weekly session, it’s only £54 a month – a bargain! Get involved and join Act Up North!