So here it is, the final post of 2016. Things will be changing slightly in the New Year and there are a load of exciting things coming up. But I wanted to firstly say a massive Thank You to every single one of you who has read one or all of my posts. It honestly means the world to me.

Starting back in August I never thought that I would make it to the end of the year, but 'Life of an Actor' has grown loads since the beginning. I guess it's so similar to the acting industry as there are things that have happened this year that I never thought would, and I have grabbed a firm hold of the next rung on that ladder to success in my acting career. I am excited to be entering 2017 with a few jobs pencilled already.

I am not a massive fan of New Year as I don't quite believe you should wait until the end of the year to start something you want to. Each day is a new start and you can start whatever, whenever you like. That is why I don't have a New Years Resolution, but I am simply going to make 2017 more successful and full of even more happiness than 2016.

I hope I have managed to share some tips and advice that you have found useful and I hope as an industry we all start to support each other more and more.

I hope you will join me again in 2017 and I truly wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Here's to a successful 2017 all round.



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The End is Nigh

Friday, 23 December 2016

The actors showreel is as important as their headshot, but it is not always created in the right way or updated regularly enough. Here are my top tips for a showreel:

#1 - Content

Make sure that the opening shot is you. Casting Directors don't want to be left wondering who they are meant to be looking at. Open with your best work, that shows you off in the light you get cast in.

#2 - Montage

Don't, just don't. A showreel used to see how you perform on screen, not a look at all the things you have been in. If a Casting Director wanted to hear a song from The 1975 with random clips over it then they will search youtube. No music, no montage, just scenes.

#3 - Length

So it has been said that a Casting Director will look at only the first 20 - 40 seconds of your showreel so there is no need to have a 5 minute epic. Keep it to 2 minutes and you can even upload it directly to Twitter (pin it to your profile is my top tip here). It's a good idea to have your first scene around 25 seconds, then straight into your second. This way a Casting Director will get to see you in two different scenes. Keep it short and sweet, make them want more.

I am often asked how to get a showreel together (especially as I came from a Musical Theatre background) and my answer is this. Get in some student films (use Casting Call Pro), get in independent shorts (network on social media), write yourself a scene and get a friend to film it. It will take time but it will be worth it. Paying companies is great but they are expensive, branded and also look a bit naff. There are many editing softwares you can use to keep it updated, I use Adobe Premiere Pro.

Spend the next two weeks over the holidays updating your reel as on January 11th Kate Marie Davies is running #ShowreelShareDay on Twitter. Pop your showreel on Twitter (needs to be 2 mins or less to be able to upload) and get it seen by hundreds of Casting Directors and Directors. Just don't forget to retweet other actors showreels too as support really counts here.

Here is my showreel, I would love to know your thoughts and see yours too.

Hope you are having a great week.


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Showreel Surgery

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

It's finally time for me to start getting festive. I am not into all the festivities in like November and early December but seeing as this is the Christmas week, I can finally start getting excited and what better way to do that than watching a few Christmas films.

Here are my top five christmas films to watch this holiday season.

#1 - Miracle on 34th Street

Starring the late and great Richard Attenborough, this film will make you believe Santa Claus is real again. It's magical, full of joy and hope and will even bring a tear to the eye. Miracle on 34th is the best Christmas film in my opinion.

#2 - Home Alone

I mean I don't really need to say much here do I.

#3 - It's a Wonderful Life

There is nothing better than sitting watching a black and white movie, wrapped up warm with a hot drink. Made in 1946 this uplifting movie is a Christmas classic. It is currently showing at The BFI Southbank on the big screen so I recommend getting down there this week to view it how it is meant to be seen. Book tickets here.

#4 - Die Hard

So the debate is still out with a lot of my friends whether this is a Christmas film or not. But I am a true believer that it is (it is set at Christmas let's remember). Die Hard can add a little Christmas action to the holiday season.

#5 - Elf 

The one liners, Zooey Deschanel and the songs all make this a Christmas favourite.

So there you have it, my 5 favourite Christmas films. I recommend others like Jingle All The Way, The Holiday, Love Actually and E.T but didn't want to ramble on for too long.

What will you be watching this Christmas?


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My Top 5 Christmas Films

Monday, 19 December 2016

So as the last Acting Up of the year approaches, I thought I would tell you the journey myself and Vicky have had to get to this moment and what Acting Up is.

So firstly I met Vicky Alcock (she was Julie Saunders in the brilliant Bad Girls, to name just one of her hundreds of credits) as a teaching assistant for PQA in Sidcup a fair few years ago. She taught the Film and TV module within the academy and this is where she taught me everything I know teaching regards. 

Both myself and Vicky got on so well that we have had many a drunken nights (or should I say days) together and when she came up with Acting Up, I was on board straight away.

So what is Acting Up?

Well we both realised that there is not much (or any really) training in acting for camera and having both come from drama schools, where stage acting is prominent, and learning what we know on set. We decided to share our skills with other actors and start up straight acting for camera classes.

The class is open to professional actors either in or outside of training and classes are full of script work, camera techniques and technical aspects. Basically everything you need to know to be a great actor on screen.

Acting for screen is very different than stage. In my opinion, it is far more truthful than stage acting because the camera sees everything. 

Currently the students have embarked on a few short films that are now completed (look out on Facebook for their work) and will be meeting agents and casting directors, as well as a stunt master class in the new year.

I write this post not just to advertise my friends business but also just to highlight people who are helping other actors and how friendly this industry can actually be.

If you would like to be a part of the Acting Up company and become a student, then send Vicky your CV and a message at and she will be happy to chat to you and book you in (spaces are limited).

Join us in the New Year upstairs at The Union Theatre (Southwark, London) every Thursday from 7pm - 9pm* where agents from Simon & How, Sheila Simmonds, Alicya Eyo and casting director Rebecca Wright will also be popping in.

*class is £18 a week, paid for a full months commitment upfront in advance. 

I can't recommend the class enough and even though my company 'Chipped Productions' runs the production side of it, I wish as an actor that I had the opportunity to attend a class like this.

Thanks for reading and see you next week for my final week of posts in 2016.


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Acting Up

Friday, 16 December 2016

Over the last weekend I sat down with one of my friends in a pub and had a beer to put the world to rights. It was after a long day of teaching kids so was very much needed.

What we ended up discussing though I really wanted to share as I think it is so important to actors. 

We decided that there were two types of performers, those who happily just take on any job and those who are decisive and like to have creative control.

Neither of these are a bad thing but I personally believe that the latter is a better attribute.

We came onto the conversation because we are both working actors but also have a keen interest in directing and writing and let's face it they all work hand in hand. Personally I don't want to just be an actor who goes around taking this Panto and that TIE job, I want to express stories and creativity in my own way.

Yes, granted there are jobs I have done that have been somewhat just for the money, but I think saying no once in a while is stronger, gains you more respect and money isn't everything.

I am a big believer in the fact the performance industry should ask questions and shine a light on humanity and if you aren't doing that within your career you should ask yourself why not.

Eventually we came to the conclusion that a creative actor is a better actor through and through and that we should all try to express ourselves with our own work as well as the jobs we have to do. We all have stories, views and options remember.

For me I would love to leave this planet saying 'hey that's what I have left behind in film and I hope it helps'.

Are you a creative actor? Got a project you want to share then get in touch.


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The Creative

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

This week I thought I would start by spreading a little laughter. 

Everyone probably has them but I thought I would share with you two casting stories I have had this year that are literally table anecdotes. Both these tales are what has happened to me within a commercial casting situation recently. 

I should add here for new actors that not all castings are like this, the majority are pretty normal, but once in a blue moon you want the ground to swallow you up, even if they do make great stories.


This was pretty recent actually. My agent got me in for a Spanish Beer Commercial. Good money, great company. I was nice and relaxed about the audition as it happened to be my third that week, so I headed along to the casting studio dressed as a hipster barman. Upon getting to the casting I signed in and was given the release form to fill in. I was then told that there was a script to learn and that it was in Spanish. Yes I had to double take too. Spanish!

Within the room was one other actor frantically going over the Spanish lines and I knew that I would be in pretty quick so stopped filling the form in and desperately tried to learn Spanish. I mean sometimes I can barely speak English so speaking Spanish in a casting was going to be a nightmare. I did think about bolting it but then decided ‘hey, I am probably not going to get this so let’s just have a laugh’.

When it sped by to my turn with the CD, I rocked in and decided I am going to have to take control of this room and just be confident because my Spanish was not about to get me this job. I did my ident and then was given the chance to got through the words with the casting drector. My god I felt like I was in school again, standing there phonetically going over the lines and not getting one word sounding right. Eventually after 15 plus takes I got one full take without stopping and the casting director goes ‘great we are getting there, now just make it sound more natural’. Yeah like that is going to happen. I am an actor but I am not a magician.

I never did get a recall strange enough.


My second story is actually about a successful audition. The casting went well and they seemed to be very happy with my performance. Now I never shake peoples hands in a casting room unless presented but when the director went to shake my hand at the end of the audition, he reached over the table and because I was already near the door I turned to reach back and shake his.

What happened next literally happened in slow motion. 

Reaching for the directors hand I knocked the coffee table just in front of him and the water jug fell over with a Tsunami effect and a glass smashed on the ground.

I have literally never been so embarrassed and rush out the room. I instantly thought that that wouldn’t be successful but later got the job and the director was like ‘I just remembered you’.

Now let’s not go smashing up casting rooms but that just shows that you can never expect what is going to happen in a casting, most are normal though. I hope these made you laugh, bad auditions happen to everyone.

Have you got any funny casting stories?


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Casting Stories

Monday, 12 December 2016

I haven't done a men's fashion post in a while so it being Fashion Friday I thought I would talk about three of my favourite brands right now. I have split them into The Everyday, The Something Special and The Sporty Type;

The Everyday - ZARA

I cannot sing praises enough for this brand and it makes up about 90% of my wardrobe. The clothes at Zara are the same price to most hughstreet stores so are very affordable, but come with many more options in design and are of a better quality in my opinoin. They have a great love for black clothing too at Zara and are currently promoting the rocker and biker look which are two of my favourite looks. Here are three items I am currently in love with. And I really want to model for this company. 

The Special Something - Joshua Kane

Perfect for the party or the red carpet, Joshua Kane is fine tailoring done at it's best. His clothes are awe-inspiring, unique and I think you will agree, damn right beautiful. The guy himself is a total good egg and his style is eccentric and totally awesome. He currently has a store in Spitalfields but is opening another in Regent's Street very soon (#FindJK). Check out his website and his range in store (including some sexy leather jackets) as this is a name you will hear over and over again. 

Here are three examples of his work and I think you will agree that they are just beautiful. Perfect for that special occasion.

The Sporty Type - Adidas

Sports fashion doesn't have to be just matching tracksuits and is unlike it was back in the early 2000's. One company making huge waves in sports fashion is Adidas and done right can become a really unique, comfortable and great looking outfit. I think the trick with sports fashion is to mix it up. Mix Adidas with Zara and you can't go wrong. Here are three pieces I am loving right now.

So that's it. I love each of these brands and this is not a sponsored post so it's genuine love (although I would be happy to represent each three of them). What are your three favourite men's brands or do you agree with me.

Have a great week y'all.


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The December Issue

Friday, 9 December 2016

The headshot, the calling card of an actor. But what makes a great headshot and can we do anything as actors to help the photographer.

Firstly though there are many headshot photographers out there and you probably have your favourite and some recommendations. I like to change my headshot every year as I feel your look changes often and it just keeps your whole profile updated. Here are some of my favourite photographers at the minute;

Claire Newman-Williams - not the cheapest of photographers (£450 with hair and makeup) to go with but her style is clean and classic and she really knows her stuff. Based in Chippenham Claire is one of the few photographers that you can have a hair and make up artist on set as well. I would highly recommend this for both men and women as they will over see all aspects of the shot and help to bring out your best. Save up and book this shoot you won't regret it.

Jonny Bosworth - he's mainly a portrait and fashion photographer, but his skills in photography translate beautifully over to headshot photography. Based in East London he has a great style that can get across that gritty actor in you. He is up and coming in the headshot world so get in now before his rates go up. Email to find out his latest deals. 

John Clarke - the current go to headshot photographer there is. With years of experience and a very quick turn over. John Clarke has the talent to get you the headshot you need with the name that will make your agent happy. Currently charging £250 go to John Clarke if you know what you are doing and you want a great headshot.

Michael Spring - throwing his hat into the headshot photography ring is Michael Spring. He has a unique style and feel. Shot mainly outdoors, Michael will shoot for you and then you only pay for the photos you want. Great for those actors looking for professional photos at a budget. Michael is makes you feel very relaxed on the shot and loves to keep shooting until you are happy. Time is not an issue but after a couple of hours we can all lose focus so stop when you get tired.

For us actors it's important to know what you look good in. I can speak from a male point of view here and say that generally a tight fitting t-shirt is best, with some photos layered up with a jacket or a shirt for depth. A great tip I was taught is to match the t-shirt colour with that of your eyes as it will really bring them out and let's face it the eyes can sell the shot.

Speaking of the eyes when having a shoot with Claire Newman-Williams she taught me that having a line in my head as she takes photos helps to bring the picture alive. The line I chose was 'I have the gun'. I said it over and over in my head in many different ways and I could really see that there was thought in my eyes and interest in my face.

I think who ever you go with it is so important to feel comfortable. Get your friend with a camera to practice shots with you because you never know what they might be able to do and it will help you relax before you spend that all important money on a professional.

Here is the transition of my headshot since 2014:



And for an absolute laugh here is my first ever headshot when I was nine or ten. I can't remember the photographer unfortunately.

Have you got any headshot photographer recommendations?


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Lights, Camera, Headshot

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

There are two cities for me that a film actor should either live in, Los Angeles or London. Apart from that I don't really understand living anywhere else as an actor. Yes both are very expensive and also if you have your name made then by all means move somewhere more secluded but until then they are the place to be. These are the cities where most auditions happen and most networking opportunities are. 

I made add here that please speak up if you disagree as would love to know what other opportunities or advantages any actors may have that don't live in London.

So I have said it once already but London really is expensive, I get that. But I thought I would share with you how I have called this city my home for the past 10 years. 

Initially when I was at college and for 2 years after, I worked front of house at The Palladium, Adelphi Theatre and The Trafalgar Studios. Now this job is great for having time to audition in the day, easy to get time off for jobs and a great place to meet fellow performers. Theatres are regularly looking for ushers so get your CV off to a few of them. Plus you get to see a few shows. The only downside is it eats away at social hours for non performing friends.

After leaving the theatre world I started working for The O2 Arena. This was a great way to earn money but not work everyday. I worked on the merchandise stand and obviously only worked when gigs were on. I could pick and choose the days I wanted in advance and also they were very kind with last minute cancellations due to castings or filming. A great company to work for just a little cold in the winter as it is just a big tent really.

A job I also did and still do is teaching kids drama and screen acting on a weekend. At first I just assisted Vicky Alcock teaching Film and TV for PQA Chislehurst and Sidcup, but now I teach there with my own assistants are regularly cover for Vicky in other schools. Teaching work is a great way to earn a ton of money in only 4 days a month. It can be great fun and also means you are helping impart the knowledge you have learnt to kids with a similar dream. Filming never really happens on  a weekend so I find it very useful to keep that money coming in.

Nowadays between acting, teaching, production company work and modelling I manage to make my way in this big city. It has been a slog to get here and I am not settled where I am in life but happy to be growing. 

Many of the jobs I have done I thought I would never get out of but taking the jump every now and then has eventually worked out and pushed me to strive further.

How do you find living in London as an actor? Are you an actor from outside of London and have a story? Let us know and have a great start to the week.


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An Actor In London

Monday, 5 December 2016

No prizes what this post is about and let's appreciate my cryptic title, NOT!

Firstly let me just apologies but massive rant coming up. I will try not to sound too negative but this just has to be said.

Recently I have been waiting to hear on a pretty big job. Not a film or a TV show but a commercial. Now you may say 'oh well it's only a commercial move on', but it was pretty high profile and the money was big too. 

After having my first audition back in the early part of October, I was successful and got down to the last 4 people. My last ever casting lasted 4 hours in which I was given 10 minutes in the actual casting room, but yet the directors wanted more pictures and more info every time I went to see them. The production dates were moved constantly and the whole thing was a real shambles, yet I was still pencil for the job and my agent even had the contract to look over. It all looked in my favour.

Now I write this, sat in my flat only just having found that I have not got the job. I will be honest with you that I kinda knew it as earlier in the day I noticed a Agent post a congratulations to one of their clients on social media and the look of the actor just worked with what I knew the breakdown was. 

I will brush myself off as an actor and get back in the game, that's not a problem. What doesn't sit well with me is just the way it was all handled and I have heard many similar stories. 

From a production side I get that branding is everything and there would of been so many people involved in making the decision that it takes time. But how hard is being transparent and letting people know what is going on. I am in no way blaming the Casting Director here, they were friendly kept saying they didn't know either.

It's just not cool when you are ask to keep a whole week free and right up to the line not told. I may add here that if my agent didn't ring earlier on I would have actually just been left pondering. 

How is it acceptable to leave people in limbo like this? How is it in this industry that you are only told if you get the job and the actor seems to be the last person to find anything out. Let's remember that without the actor the production doesn't go ahead.

Eurgh, this industry can grate on you sometimes. Thank you to my brilliant agent throughout this, your support means the world.

As I turn my frown upside down, have you any casting woe stories? 

Rant over now I need a drink. Let's move forward to a very positive week next week. Have a great weekend y'all.


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Can I Have A Pepsi Please?

Friday, 2 December 2016

So a lot of my friends constantly ask me for documentary recommendations as they know I am a massive doc geek. 

I love to get lost in a documentary and educate myself, question things and see real stories brought to life. I feel I can escape much more in a documentary than a film as I am not looking at the acting, the direction or the bloody grading. I simply watch it for it's story and message.

So here are a list of ten documentaries I recommend that you can see now either on demand or at a cinema near you.

Bitter Lake 
Dir. Adam Curtis

A look into how Saudi Arabia had a relationship with the US and it's role it played in the Afghanistan war. 

Before The Flood
Dir. Fisher Stevens

Leonardo DiCaprio takes a look at the science and the effects of Climate Change and shows us what society can do about it. 

Life Animated
Dir. Roger Ross Williams

A story of a boy and his family overcoming great challenges by using animated Disney films to express himself.

My Scientology Movie
Dir. John Dower

Louis Theroux takes a look behind the church of Scientology.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
Dir. Werner Herzog

A look into the internet and the past, present and future of the connected world.

Where To Invade Next
Dir. Michael Moore

Michael Moore looks at what the USA can learn from other nations across the world.

Audrie and Daisy
Dir. Bonnie Cohen & Jon Shenk

What effects does online bullying have for teenagers lives and their communities?

Chasing Asylum
Dir. Eva Orner

A look at Australia's inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

Dir. Ava DuVernay

How does the prison system in the US reveal the nation's history of racial inequality?

Dir. David Farrier & Dylan Reeve

Journalist David Farrier gets to the bottom of the mysterious tickling competition online.

And let's not stop there. Why not binge these on Netflix.

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, The Imposter, Food Matters, Amanda Knox, The Wolfpack, Welcome to Leith, Cowspiracy, Blackfish, Winter On Fire, Living on a Dollar, An Inconvenient Truth, GMO OMG. Tyke Elephant Outlaw, The Hunting Ground, The Square, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence and Fed Up

Hope you enjoy some or all of these. I would love to know if you have any other recommendations.


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Ten Documentaries To Watch Now

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Now this post comes to you from being written at 5am on Sunday morning. And I tell you this because I want to be honest about what this post is about completely.

Over the past two days I have felt a bit down about things. I can't pin point what I have been down about exactly and don't really have anything I should be depressed about, but yet that feeling was there. Those who know me know that I can shrug off negative thoughts quickly but yet this weekend they seemed to linger.

I was starting to question everything. Why was I not feeling happy at that moment? Why do I do this to myself? What does today hold? What does the future hold? How am I going to get everything I want done? 

And then it happened again, like to has happened before. Suicidal thoughts. 

Now let me tell you here that I don't believe I ever would act upon these thoughts but yet they are intrusive and invasive and happen. 

I was literally questioning that there must be more to all this. Struggling with the thought of humanity. Why are we here? Why do we destroy each other? Does life really matter?

Now I haven't slept well the past few nights, due to having a lot on, so this could be down to tiredness. But I wanted to share this as I may not be the only one that has this and I feel we should be talking about it.

I managed to keep a smile on my face throughout, which I found helped (even forced) and I kept reminding myself of all the good things in life which kept me grounded whilst my brain was wandering. 

One thing I don't like to use however, is distraction as I feel you are just suppressing the thoughts and not dealing with the cause. Telling yourself you are ok having these thoughts, but wow what a future you have to look forward to is a great way to help. Remind yourself that the future is unwritten and whatever struggles you have now you won't have forever. But don't hide. It's ok.

Here is an article about another actor Devon Murray and his struggles (which are very different than mine, but I believe this is not all simple and the more shared the more people are aware of the help out there).

Too many performers punish themselves day in day out with negativity and depression. Let's end this. Let's talk about it.

For facts and help about depression click here.

Do you ever suffer from suicidal thoughts? What are your coping mechanisms? 


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The Mental Taboo

Monday, 28 November 2016

As you know I am a keen writer, but what you don't know is that I don't like to write at home. (Interesting fact I know).

But at home I have many distractions, whether it's my TV, having to clean or Lego Dimensions so I tend to go out to write and here are my two favourite places to do so.

Picturehouse Central - Members Bar

With a glorious view down Piccadilly and Haymarket, the Members bar is the perfect location to write and work with a bit of exclusivity. A membership to access the bar with roof terrace as well is £75 for the year, but you do get four free cinema tickets on top and if you save them for exclusive events you can make your money back quickly.

The atmosphere in this bar is light and quiet, a perfect place to work with film inspiration everywhere. I tend to write with a beer (it loosens up the brain) and here it's a reasonable £4.32 for a pint of Estrella due to a 10% discount with membership.

BFI - Benugo Bar & Kitchen

Round the back of the BFI Southbank and through the string curtains is the dimly lit, jazz scored Benugo Bar. Here you will notice everyone is on a Macbook typing away and the atmosphere is very creative. The jazz music helps you relax and the dim lights help you focus. A BFI membership will get you 10% off soft drinks at the bar, but note that if you order from your seat there is a service charge on top of your order.

A beer of Heineken here will set you back £4.80 here as there is no discount on alcohol. A BFI membership however, does get you early access to the London Film Festival and money off in the shop. So at £45 for the year it's well worth it for film fans.

Both BFI and Picturehouse memberships make great unique christmas presents for the creative friend, family or partner. Click on the images below to buy yours now.

I am currently writing my way through a play, a feature film, a self help book and a new fantasy trilogy and enjoy both these places very much. 

If you see me around don't forget to say hi.

Until next week.


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A Writers Story

Friday, 25 November 2016

Having missed the London Film Festival Premiere of Arrival, the other day I decided to head to the cinema to watch the film starring Any Adams and Jeremy Renner. The film is about a linguist who is hired by the military to assist in translating alien communications, but this is not a review.

What sprung to mind whilst watching was the film was the future. I am not talking about future technology or clones and spaceships, I am talking about how do you know what the future actually holds?

Yes, the short answer of this question is we don't, but I think it's much deeper than that. As actors we can be regularly be auditioning for jobs that could massively alter the way your road hurdles into the future. Some of these roles are massive and some of these roles are lucrative.

I am currently in this position right now. I am inches away from a very lucrative job that would open up many more possibilities and opportunities. My immediate future is decided by a yes or a no in the next few days and this could be the crossroad I look back on and go that's the job that changed it all.

It's hard to look to the future as actors as our world is so uncertain, so I am looking at life daily now. What can I do today that could also be that crossroad in my dreams, that next rung on the ladder. We put too much pressure on ourselves when we look to the future so let's arrive in the present, the now.

The now is ultimately all we have.

Is there a job that changed your path? Let us know.


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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

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