Here are Richard's TOP TIPS for performing as a career...
If you’re under 16 years old…
You are only allowed to work for a limited number of days in a year by law, and will need to be licensed by your Local Authority to do this. You will also need to be chaperoned and tutored while you are working. So…
- Look into joining a local agency specialising in children, which will find you auditions and handle licensing applications, chaperones etc. You can find these online or in Thomson Local Directory or Yellow Pages (under Theatrical Agencies or Entertainment Agencies).
- Learn by joining a local theatre class (Stagecoach, Theatretrain, Pauline Quirke Academy etc) or youth theatre.
- Think about advertising in Children’s or Young People’s Spotlight (spotlight.com).
- Keep an eye out for auditions for productions that are happening or are being filmed locally.
- Check the internet for auditions of West End and touring shows that feature young people, such as Billy Elliot, Matilda, Oliver!, Annie, The Sound of Music, The Lion King and Les Miserables. The websites of the shows themselves and thestage.co.uk are great for this.
If you’re 16 years old or over…
You can work full time without a license, but the Industry is far more competitive for adults! So…
- Keep learning at local classes or consider formal training at a drama or theatre school.
- Advertise in Young People’s or adult Spotlight Casting Directory (spotlight.com).
- Try to find a good agent, either locally (which can be better) or in London to represent you.
- Look into signing up to services that give information or promote you for auditions, such as mandy.com, castweb.com and shootingpeople.com.
- Have a social media presence. Follow your favourite people and companies on Twitter and join groups like British Actors Network and Casting Directors For Actors.
- Keep in touch with local theatres or production companies to let them know you’re around.
- Network with likeminded people and share information about what’s going on.
Whatever age you are…
- Find out as much about the entertainment industry and performing profession as you can.
- Make sure you have good, clear photographs that look as you do at the moment… photos taken by a professional photographer are good, but not essential.
- Create a CV with information about you, the shows you have appeared in (even if they were at school, youth theatre or amateur companies) and the skills you have and are good at.
- If you feel you’d fit in well to a TV soap or series, or a long running theatre show, find out who the casting director is and contact them by letter or email, telling them why you feel you could join the show and asking them to keep you in mind for any suitable parts in the future.
- Always write or email yourself. Hearing from a young person who is keen and knows what they want is much stronger and more memorable than Mum or Dad doing it on their behalf!
Go to the DOWNLOADS page to get a printable copy of these tips to carry in your portfolio for inspiration.