Get Into Acting ‘For The Love Of It’

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If you love acting you should consider it as a career choice, one British star has suggested. Speaking on a return visit to his primary school in Birmingham, Duane Henry who now stars in hit TV show NCIS said that he loves his job – and would encourage others to follow their passions.

The Birmingham Mail reported on his school visit just before Christmas, when Mr Henry not only addressed a school assembly, but was also interviewed by some of the current pupils.

He was asked what advice he’d give to students who also want to pursue an acting career, to which he responded: “Do it because you love it and everything else will come naturally to you.”

“Don’t concentrate on the awards, the money… just do it for the love of it because all those things will just come with it anyway,” he added.

Mr Henry also revealed that after leaving school at 17, he spent two years studying drama at a local college before moving to London, finding an agent and looking for work.

He recently became a regular on NCIS, which he described as one of the highlights of his career so far because getting that job meant he could “breathe” and know where his next pay cheque was coming from.

Actor Chris Geere, who stars in US show You’re The Worst, recently told Mandy News that he’d never considered working in the States until he was approached by an agent about representing him on the other side of the Atlantic.

He revealed that his first foray into the acting world in the US didn’t result in him getting a part, but he returned to the UK, saved up some money and went back for another go. This time he got the role in You’re The Worst, which he’s had for five years.

If you’ve always liked the idea of working in the entertainment industry it’s never too late. Evening acting classes in Leeds can give you an accessible way of honing your skills and picking up advice.

New Actors: Don’t Restrict Yourself To One Medium

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If you’re enrolling in drama school for adults this year, you might be doing it for fun, or you could be looking for a career change.

When it comes to acting roles, there are a host of options out there, from theatre and TV to movies and musicals. But it can be hard to know which direction to go in when you’re just starting out.

In a recent interview with Mandy News, British actor Chris Geere, who’s appeared in TV shows such as Waterloo Road and You’re the Worst as well as acting in stage productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company, offered some advice to aspiring actors.

He said: “Don’t focus on any medium in particular, focus on the kind of person that you want to be when you’re on set or on stage.”

Although he started out on the stage, Chris explained that he feels putting all your energy into working in just one medium will restrict you as an actor.

He also noted that who you know is important when it comes to acting, and therefore making a good impression with everyone you work with is something you should focus on.

“I think most of your career will come from the connections that you make, the people that you meet quite early on and the impact that you can hopefully have on them,” Chris added.

Michelle Danner, who runs well-respected acting classes in LA, recently offered some advice on how to present yourself with authenticity when you go for auditions.

She recommends finding a way to make yourself feel as relaxed as possible, and to try not to put too much pressure or stress on yourself over the outcome, because you can still learn a lot even if you don’t get a part.

UK Audience Behaviour Getting Worse

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You can get the best acting classes Leeds has to offer, but you will never be able to control the behaviour of the audience.

Some are claiming it has been getting worse in recent years. The papers carried one story this Christmas about a man who punched a fellow audience member, when he asked their wife to put away their mobile phone; they had been using it throughout the first act after all. The altercation took place at A Christmas Carol, at London’s The Old Vic.

It isn’t the first time that mobile phones have proved to be the scourge of the theatre, with one man reportedly climbing on stage during Hand to God on Broadway to charge his phone in one of the prop sockets.

Luckily, they have now been banned across New York, so theatre goers wanting a quieter experience should perhaps head to Broadway.

It isn’t just modern implements that are the scourge of theatre goers. The age-old problem of sweets and other food remains problematic. One actor even reported that her theatre company had removed some food that came in packaging that was too noisy.

Theatre owner Nica Burns told The Stage: “A few of the very noisy packages have now been gracefully retired, and we’ve brought in similar ones that don’t make any noise,

“It’s a work in progress.”

It has since been reported that Imelda Staunton insisted on food sales being banned for her production who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Panto ‘Keeping British Theatres Alive’

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The money made by theatres putting on pantomimes around Christmas is often enough to support the establishment through the rest of the year, allowing them to run less-lucrative productions.

Speaking to iNews, pantomime historian Professor Jeffrey Richards, of Lancaster University, said that these fun productions are “unequalled in keeping British theatre alive”.

When asked about their enduring appeal, he explained that the reason pantomimes have survived so long is because they are constantly evolving. “Pantomime producers never hold onto anything which doesn’t appeal,” he asserted.

Some may consider pantomimes to be a lesser form of stage production, however, one of the country’s leading panto producers Michael Harrison told the news provider that he thinks this is nonsense.

“I would say playing Widow Twankey didn’t hurt Ian McKellen,” Mr Harrison stated. In fact, many big names have starred in pantos in the UK at Christmas time, including those from the US and Australia who can make good money in a relatively short space of time.

As an actor, it’s hard not to love walking on stage to see so many children’s faces in the audience, and to watch as they’re captivated by the colourful costumes, classic tales and comedy moments as the action plays out.

This year there will be pantomimes running up and down the country, but the Guardian recently singled out a couple that look to be particularly memorable this festive season in its list of the top theatre shows this Christmas.

Jack and the Beanstalk at York’s Theatre Royal got a mention, with the newspaper noting that it’s the 39th year that Berwick Kaler has trodden the boards as a panto dame; while Dick Whittington at the London Palladium boasts an all-star cast, including Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Elaine Paige and Gary Wilmot.

If you’re inspired by what you see on stage this Christmas, consider booking drama classes in Liverpool in the new year and see where acting could take you.

‘Authenticity’ Acting Tips From Michelle Danner

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If you’re looking to pursue a career in acting, then you might be interested in finding the best drama classes Manchester has to offer to hone your craft. Just putting yourself in the thick of it with passionate peers and teachers can help you pick up a few new acting tricks.

When it comes to acting classes, Michelle Danner knows her stuff. Her acting classes are considered some of the best in Los Angeles, and UK website The Stage spoke to her to get her best advice for presenting yourself with ‘authenticity’ in an audition.

Her first tip is to try as best you can to remove any pressure you feel surrounding the audition.  Of course, the ultimate goal is to get the job at the end, but if you don’t, it’s not a complete waste of time. You might just not be right for it, but it can be chalked up to experience and you may be remembered for other roles and jobs. Try to make a connection with each and every person you come into contact with throughout the audition process.

To help yourself feel as relaxed and engaged as possible, concentrate on your breathing by taking calm regular breaths. Don’t try too hard or feel like you have to give off a really energetic vibe in your audition. Just be yourself and feel confident to completely embrace whatever energy and feeling you have at that time. If you can find something that really does excite and motivate you about the reading and channel that, this will seem most authentic.

Let your emotions come out by using your own life experiences and memories, putting these into the performance. You might have to dig up feeling you a difficult time, but that is what genuine acting is all about. Allow your emotion to surface and trust in yourself to put across an authentic performance.

Jake Gyllenhaal Takes On Challenging Role As Bomb Survivor

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Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal has opened up about why the character he plays in upcoming film Stronger was one his most challenging roles yet.

Known for his performances in Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain, the actor will be gracing the silver screen again over the coming weeks in true life story Stronger, based on the memoir of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman.

Mr Bauman had been cheering in the crowds when the bomb exploded in 2013, causing him to lose both of his legs. The movie adaptation of Mr Bauman’s memoir follows his journey to recovery – both physically and mentally.

The actor, who is five years older than Mr Bauman, told the Metro that he found the role particularly challenging.

“I am playing a guy who survived and thrived, and some part of acting is wish fulfilment, in that you believe you are like the characters you are playing. But I realised I didn’t think I’d have been able to do what Jeff did,” he said.

The breakthrough moment came when the actor understood that his self-doubt was just the way in which he could identify with the bombing victim.

“It was exactly how Jeff felt. He doubted himself and his own masculinity,” he added.

The actor worked to coax Mr Bauman’s feelings out and understand how he has come to terms with the experience of losing limbs and dealing with what happened in 2013. Mr Gyllenhaal’s acting skills have paid off, as his depiction has been well received by critics.

The film is released in the UK on Friday December 8th. For acting classes in Manchester, contact us today.

Daniel Day-Lewis Talks About Retirement From Acting

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Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably one of the most influential and inspiring actors of his time. He’s well known for the incredible lengths he goes to in order to get into character for each of his roles, and the memorable performances that ensue.

Given that he’s won three of the five Oscars he’s been nominated for in his time, you can’t deny his talent. He may even have inspired people to sign up to drama classes in Liverpool. So it was a great surprise to many when he announced his retirement from the profession in June this year, stating that Phantom Thread would be his final movie.

In an exclusive interview with W Magazine, he said that he didn’t know he was going to give up acting when he started working on the movie with Paul Thomas Anderson, the writer and director.

He said that the two of them “laughed a lot” before they made the movie. “But then we stopped laughing because we were both overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. That took us by surprise,” Day-Lewis revealed.

He also said that he has a “great sadness” about leaving acting behind, but added that this is “the right way to feel” given that he’s been interested in acting since he was 12. “Back then, everything other than the theatre – that box of light – was cast in shadow,” he explained.

Now though, he feels differently and wants to discover the world in a new way.

There’s no doubt that he’ll be missed on the big screen. Earlier this month, a poll conducted by Gold Derby named Day-Lewis as the top Best Actor Oscar Winner of the 2010s, for Lincoln.

How To Cope With Stage Fright

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It doesn’t matter if you’re Dame Judi Dench or an extra just making up numbers in a smaller production – stage fright is very real and can affect anyone from the most to the least experienced of actors.

Taking acting courses for adults will help you combat your nerves but here are a few top tips to get you going the next time you find yourself treading the boards.

Centre your thoughts

Try not to think about what might go wrong – you’ll only send yourself into a panic and then it’s more likely that what you don’t want to happen actually will. Instead, think calming happy thoughts, take deep soothing breaths and perhaps try relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

Be prepared

If you don’t rehearse or know your lines, then it’s no surprise you might be feeling a bit anxious about opening night. Rehearse as much as you can and make sure you know your lines backwards so you know that if something does go awry it won’t be down to you.

Avoid caffeine and sugar

You don’t want a bad case of the jitters just before you go on stage as you’ll probably be feeling nervous anyway. Steer clear of coffee and sugary food and drink to help keep as calm as possible.


Before you go on stage, do a bit of limbering up to keep your muscles nice and loose. You’ll feel instantly more relaxed and this will translate once you’re on stage.

Go with it

Don’t try and fight against the nerves – it’ll only make them worse. Instead, acknowledge how you’re feeling and it’ll soon pass.

4 Christmas Theatre Shows To Put In Your Diary

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When it comes to getting festive and celebrating all things Christmas, there’s not much better than a trip to the theatre to see an incredible show with friends and family (apart from eating all that yummy turkey and Christmas pudding on December 25th, of course!)… so with that in mind, here are just a few of the many Christmas theatre shows taking place this year. Enjoy!

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

Sadler’s Wells

This wartime interpretation of the classic fairy tale is a must-see, not least for the incredible costume and sets designed by Lez Brotherston (who won an Olivier Award for his trouble). It’s on from December 10th to January 18th, so there’s plenty of time to see it.

The Nutcracker

Royal Opera House

This Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker is the perfect way to mark the start of the festive season and it’s something the entire family will enjoy – no matter how many times you go to see it. A brilliant Christmas tradition to start!

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

West Yorkshire Playhouse

We love this idea as a Christmas production! The classic novel is surely one of everyone’s favourite books to read and with set designs by Rae Smith of War Horse fame, it’s definitely one not to be missed this year.

Peter Pan – Christmas In Neverland

Arena Birmingham

This new arena production is festive, funny and perfect for all the family. Apparently, there’s a team of BMX stunt riders, aerial mermaids, a life-size Jolly Roger galleon, trapeze artists, custard pie slapstick specialists… it sounds amazing to us!

Want to book acting courses for adults? Get in touch with us today.