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acting classes in Leeds - film festival

Leeds International Film Festival Returns for 37th Year

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Leeds is celebrating its Year of Culture during 2023, and that makes the annual Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) even more exciting than ever. This event is celebrating its 37th anniversary, and it will be showcasing the work of some of the most exciting filmmakers in the local area, as well as from across the world. 

For drama students or anyone taking acting classes in Leeds, it’s an ideal opportunity to mix with writers, directors, and fellow actors at a manageable scale. This could help you to make valuable connections if you are looking for your first big break in the film scene, or just give you a better insight into the workings of the industry. 

The LIFF takes place at various venues throughout the city, including Hyde Park Picture House, Howard Assembly Room, Vue in The Light and Everyman Cinema. The quality of the films on offer is second to none, and the event acts as a qualifying festival for prestigious awards such as the BAFTAs and the Academy Awards. 

The Official Selection brings together the most anticipated films of the year and features some exciting new filmmakers. Highlights this year include Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, and Justine Trier’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall.

For students of drama, it’s an excellent opportunity to study some of the country’s finest actors as they put in world-class performances. If you have an interest in specific genres of film, there’s bound to be something for you in the Fanomenon offerings, which include films from the fantasy, sci-fi, horror, dark comedy, and animation genres.

Fans of horror are particularly well catered for with the legendary Night of the Dead, an all night session of classic and contemporary horror films. A highlight this year is the Spanish horror/comedy The Coffee Table, which has already won the accolade of Best Film at Manchester’s Grimmfest film festival. 

The LIFF is an important contribution to the UK arts scene, and all the more special because it’s a scene that does tend to be dominated by London, especially when it comes to art house cinema. Leeds is easily accessible to anyone who lives in northern cities such as Manchester, Sheffield, and York. 

It’s an ideal opportunity to see some of the most interesting and cutting-edge work in the world of film, often months before the official opening. There are also curated retrospective showings, helping to bring some of the finest work of the past to a new audience. 

LIFF is an event not to be missed by any student of drama, for the sheer variety and versatility of the work on offer. The website also contains links to useful guides and educational resources for anyone keen to learn more about the creative process of filmmaking. 

acting classes - film acting breakthrough

Tips For Breaking Into Acting In The Movies

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Many people embark on acting classes with a dream of breaking into the movies, no matter if they are from Liverpool or Los Angeles. Taking acting lessons is a great place to start, but it’s important to include some specific skills in your training to give you the best chance of success. Here are some top tips.


Camera training

There are some differences between acting for live stage performances and acting for screen, so it’s important for aspiring film actors to have some camera training. When looking for a suitable acting school, make sure that the course covers this aspect of your education. You can also practise interacting with a camera at home, even just using your phone. 

This will help you get used to seeing how you look, move, and sound on film, and to always be aware of your actions in relation to the camera lens. The camera can pick up subtle nuances of facial expressions and tone of voice, so you will need to develop good prosody skills and be able to express emotion without exaggeration or hamminess. 


Be prepared to start small

It’s unlikely that you will be cast in a big-budget movie straight away, and it’s a better approach to build up your experience in low-key productions. There are plenty of online resources with adverts for auditions in student-led or low-budget projects, for example. 

It may even be useful to accept an entry-level job as a runner on a production. Although you won’t be acting in this role, it’s a foot in the door and a great opportunity to observe how the whole process operates. 

It is also a good chance to network with more experienced and well-connected people, so even if work is unglamorous, it pays to be enthusiastic and show that you are not above hard work and are a good team player. 


Build up a network

Many opportunities in film come about through word of mouth, so it’s useful to build up a network of contacts. Attend small film festivals where you have a chance to mix with other actors, directors and creatives. The UK has a thriving independent film scene, with highlights such as the Leeds International Film Festival that takes place in November.

Even attending auditions is a great way to connect with fellow actors and get noticed by useful people in the industry. Therefore you should always try to be friendly and approachable with everyone you meet, even if you feel a little nervous and stressed out by the occasion. 


Put a portfolio together

You will need to have a professional portfolio including a headshot, resumé, and a demo reel. Make sure that your headshot is natural and accurately represents your appearance, rather than a heavily made up face and filtered photo. Wear neutral clothing that doesn’t distract from your face, and make sure that it is updated every six months to keep it current.

What Do Acting Coaches Mean When They Talk About Prosody?

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When you begin to take your first acting classes, you may find that the coach sometimes refers to ‘prosody.’ This refers to the way an actor uses the voice, both to be understood clearly and to enhance the meaning and emotion of their words. Here’s a closer look at what the term means and why it is an important skill for an actor to possess.

What is the definition of prosody?

Prosody refers to the rhythm, stress and intonation of speech. The human voice is an instrument, and prosody is sometimes referred to as the musicality of speech. It can be modulated in tone, volume, pitch, tempo, and so on to bring an extra dimension to the literal meaning of the words. 

This can help to communicate the social and emotional context of the drama in a more nuanced way than with words alone, and bring about a higher state of psychological truth. Here are some ways actors use prosody.

Deeper emotional expression

Prosody is used to help convey the emotional state of the character, such as anger, sadness, joy, fear, or excitement. For example, when a person is afraid, they might speak in a fast, high pitched voice, and when they are angry they might raise their voice and speak with harsh abrupt rhythms. 

To enhance character traits

Characters may have distinctive speech patterns that help to communicate their personality or social or geographical background. This may be through a strong regional accent, or a particular inflection or pace of speaking that may indicate that a character is laid back, highly strung, warm, irritable, and so on.

To enhance storytelling

The art of prosody is used to help unfold the drama for the benefit of the audience. It can control the pace of a scene, be used to build tension or suspense, or provide moments of light relief. This helps to keep the audience engaged with the story so that they understand the context of what is being said and are keenly anticipating the next development. 

To bring stage presence

Stage presence refers to an actor’s ability to command an audience. This can be done through physicality and body language, and also through the use of the voice.  An actor who has full command of their vocal range and can modulate their tone, expression, volume, tempo and so on will be a more compelling performer than one with poor prosody.

To widen the range of an actor

An actor who is capable of adapting their prosody to suit a wide range of characters will have more choice of future roles. It will enable them to more easily portray characters from different social, cultural, or geographical backgrounds, or tackle more psychologically and emotionally demanding roles. 


If you are looking for adult acting classes in Leeds, please visit our website today

TV acting classes in Manchester - senior acting

Why It’s Never Too Late To Pursue Your Acting Career

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Acting is often seen as a younger person’s profession, but if you look past the fresh faced soap stars and Hollywood film fodder, you will find that in fact there are a diverse variety of roles and age ranges on offer. There are plenty of examples of actors who have entered the profession in their 40s or beyond and gone on to have successful careers.

However, a career on stage or screen is often not the main motivation for anyone who wants to learn to act. It can, and should, be just as much about the journey as the destination. Here are just a few of the reasons why age should never be a barrier to pursuing your acting dreams. 

You have life experience and wisdom to bring to acting

Acting is essentially pretending to be someone else, and when you are older you naturally have a broader range of life experiences to draw on that can help you to do this. You can bring that emotional depth and maturity to a role in a way that a younger actor might struggle with. This will help your performances to resonate and feel authentic.

Age is more than just a number

Actors are rarely the same numerical age as the characters they are playing, and neither is this always relevant. Casting directors are more concerned with the ‘playing age’ of an actor, which is the age that they could convincingly play. In many cases, this can be within a range of 10 or even more years below and above their numerical age. 

TV and film roles are more diverse than ever before

With the huge success of streaming TV channels such as Netflix, more shows are being made than ever before for a more diverse audience. This naturally means that there is now a greater variety of acting roles available than ever before, as people want to see relatable elements of their lives and experiences reflected in the stories on screen.

Speaking to Backstage magazine recently, casting director Olivia Ahmed commented: “Casting older people is much more fulfilling. They just haven’t been given a chance in reality TV and I think it is going to come full circle.”

Acting coach Matt Newton added: “I believe there is a place for everyone in this business.  “Type and talent are obviously important but, more than anything, it’s important to follow your dreams and do what makes you happy.”

“Learn the skills, educate yourself about the business, and surround yourself with people who will help you on that journey and support you,” he said. “It can be a wonderful, rewarding career.”

If you feel inspired to take some adult acting lessons, there are many rewards that await you beyond the acquisition of skills. You will find yourself part of a diverse and inclusive community, where you will learn how to feel comfortable and confident expressing yourself in front of an audience. 

This is a life enhancing experience that is worth the effort no matter what your age or future aspirations may be. 


If you are looking for TV acting classes in Manchester, please visit our website today

£35m Funding Boost For Creative Industries Sector

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A new £35 million fund has been launched to help creative industries in the UK, including the film and TV sector. This is great news for anyone who is interested in drama classes for adults, as it could potentially open up new acting roles and job opportunities. The funding will be available to the performing arts sector and games and digital media companies. 

The funding scheme, known as the Creative Growth Finance II, will be delivered by Creative UK and follows the successful first round of funding in 2019. This scheme saw £17m invested across 30 creative businesses. The Stage reports that eligible companies will be able to apply for loans of between £100,000 and £1m to grow their businesses.  

Caroline Norbury, chief executive of Creative UK, said: “Over the past decade, the UK’s creative industries have grown more than 1.5 times the rate of the wider economy, currently generating £108 billion in economic value and employing 2.3 million people.”

She added: “However, this country’s talented creative businesses are experiencing a significant gap between their immense growth potential and access to the vital capital they need to succeed.”

“In launching the Creative Industries Sector Vision, the prime minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged the ’enormous potential of our creative entrepreneurs and businesses’ and said that ’growing the economy means growing the creative industries’.”

The creative industries are vital to the British economy, and the government has recently outlined ambitious plans to grow the sector by £50bn and create one million jobs by 2030. The UK is home to world class cultural institutions such as the National Theatre, and is a leading maker of films, documentaries, and binge-worthy television dramas.

Collectively, the performing arts and other creative industries contribute £108bn annually to the British economy, yet all too often they are neglected, underfunded, or dismissed as lightweight and non-essential. Despite this, the creative sector in the UK is thriving and has grown at 1.5 times the rate of the wider economy, employing over 2.3m people. 

In a statement earlier this summer, prime minister Rishi Sunak announced that he was determined to level up the creative sector, building on such landmark projects as the new British Library centre in Leeds. He also said that new creative clusters would be established across the country. 

Currently, Leeds has a centre of excellence in film and TV that has put the city on the map as the UK’s leading media production centre outside of London. Whether you are interested in acting, writing, set design, costume design or production, there are a wealth of opportunities in Leeds. 

In order to achieve these aims, the government has pledged a total of £75 m in new investment, and extra funding for apprenticeships and training in areas such as media, video games, and set design. This not only levels up access to the arts, but creates hundreds of other opportunities in related sectors such as marketing and props and costume design.

Why Acting Classes Can Enrich Your Everyday Life

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Acting can be a wonderful creative outlet whatever your level of skill and experience, and it can lead to life-changing professional opportunities working in TV, film, or theatre. 

However, not everyone has the time to put themselves through auditions, or the resilience to subject their efforts to the judgement of professional theatre or TV critics. 

This is perfectly understandable, but it shouldn’t put anyone off the idea of pursuing acting for its own sake. Here are some of the benefits of taking part time acting lessons whatever your career ambitions. 

An outlet for self-expression

Acting is a unique medium of expression and you may be surprised at just how much you can apply what you learn to your everyday life. You will find that you are much better able to access and express your emotions, whether for self-reflection or to improve your relationships with others. 

You will learn how to access past experiences and the deeper thoughts and feelings that we rarely have time to draw on in the course of everyday life. This will not only help you to become a better actor, but also to evolve in your own inner journey. 

You may find yourself better able to handle sensitive situations and bring a new emotional intelligence to past or present events in your life. Of course, not all acting has to involve heavy emotional weather, and it can simply be a way to escape from the more mundane realities of everyday life and have fun pretending to be someone else for a while. 

Improved communication skills

Whether you have inner demons to wrestle with or you just want to feel less self conscious and more confident speaking in public, acting lessons will help you to express yourself in an accurate and assured manner. This can lead to greater self awareness and help you to achieve career goals or have more rewarding personal relationships. 

You will not just be taught the theory, but also the practical skills to help you communicate well. For example, you will learn how to project and modulate your voice to fit the situation, and adopt the right posture and body language so that your gestures enhance your words. 

By learning to control your whole stage presence, you will find that you have an invaluable skill that you can bring to a wide range of other occupations, from teaching to telesales or customer service. 

You will become part of a community

In your drama classes, you will encounter people from different walks of life to your own, and soon you will have friends and acquaintances from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and occupations. This is a great opportunity to build a supportive network of friends that can bring you a fresh perspective on life and enjoy shared experiences with.

You will develop cultural capital

During your acting classes, you will encounter some of the world’s best stage and screenplays, from Shakespere to contemporary TV dramas and comedies. This will enhance your understanding and appreciation of drama and help you to explore the wonderful variety and complexity of the human condition.


Feel inspired to try acting classes in Liverpool? Please get in touch with us today.

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Surprising Ways Your Day Job Can Help Your Acting Career

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Most aspiring actors also have a second career, either through a previous calling or to support themselves financially while they look for acting work, attend drama college or study online acting classes. For some, a side hustle is merely a means to an end; something to be endured while waiting for a big chance. 

However, even the most ordinary-seeming job can provide an excellent training ground for the aspiring actor. Here are some surprising ways in which you can boost your acting career while working a ‘survival job.’


Call centres

Working in a call centre may not have the glamour and excitement of acting, but in fact you are using some similar skills. The best actors are also great listeners, and know how to respond effectively to the cues of their director or stage partner. These skills are also essential for a good call centre agent to communicate effectively with customers.

Telephone work is also a great opportunity to perfect the art of speaking clearly and moderating the pace and tone of your voice. If you are a whizz at accents, you can always keep yourself entertained by switching between regional accents for each call (if your manager doesn’t mind/notice).


Waiting tables and bartending

Waiting tables may not have the status of acting, but to be a good waiter or bartender you need some of the actors’ flair for adapting to different audiences and being comfortable with a crowd. If you are naturally a sociable personality with oodles of charm, you will probably enjoy waiting or bartending as a side hustle while you look for your acting breakthrough.

Hospitality jobs have the benefit of being flexible, usually offering evening shifts that leave you free in the daytime to attend auditions. It’s also possible to supplement your wages well with tips, especially in the higher end establishments. 

However, if you have no previous experience, you may need to be prepared to start in a more humble role collecting and washing glasses or peeling veg in the kitchen. Even this type of work can bring you into contact with people who move in the right circles, so don’t dismiss the idea too quickly.


Retail or other customer service work

Working in customer service is often seen as a stop-gap job that requires no particular training or qualifications, and it’s one of the easiest sectors to break into if you don’t have a lot of work history under your belt. 

The work will bring you into daily contact with a wide range of personalities from diverse backgrounds, which is a perfect opportunity to observe human behaviour and hone your emotional intelligence. The ability to ‘read the room’ and deal with all manner of characters without becoming flustered will stand you in good stead for your future stage career.


Tutoring  or teaching work

Tutoring other students in person or online allows you to hone your communication skills and develop empathy and a greater understanding of how other people think and feel, which is a perfect grounding for an actor.

The Art of Listening: Why Acting is Really About Reacting

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One of the most common pieces of advice aspiring actors are given is ‘acting is reacting’. This can be a novel concept for those who believe that acting is all about using their voice and body language to portray character and emotion. However, the best actors do not put themselves first, but are actually great listeners.

Here’s a look at how to put the concept of reacting into practice. 

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