Actress Domenique Fragale trained at Arts Educational and now works both on UK shores and also in the USA. I recently spoke to her about what the differences are between London and LA and here is what she had to say; 

'Living in two incredible cities I always get asked ‘which city do you prefer?” or hardest of all questions, “which is better?” This is impossible to answer. Both are incredible with positive and negative points in their own glorious ways. 

The biggest difference is the TV / Film and theatre scene. It’s a world known fact that London is one of the best and leading theatre scenes, where as LA, it’s near non-existent. There are the odd casting calls for a theatre job however they’re usually unpaid with very few seating more than 99 people. TV and film on the other hand is a completely different story. There are casting calls for commercial, film and television every day on LA Casting and Actors Access (the American and Canadian version of Spotlight) that you can submit yourself for. That also leads me onto being seen more often here in Los Angeles. In the UK as there are a smaller population, the casting calls are usually very exclusive or tight knit, leaving you in the dark until you ask your agent what you were submitted for that month. In LA there is more of a ‘free reign’ on putting yourself up for more roles – all you have to do it pay an annual subscription and you’re good to go to submit your headshot, showreel (or demo reel as it’s called in the US) and be on the casting director’s computer screen in a matter or minutes. The only downside to that however is that you’re also going up against the other thousands upon thousands of people who are self submitting.

Another huge difference I discovered as soon as I moved out to LA was the lack of public transport. Without a car or willing to use Uber / Lyft, you might as well quit while you’re ahead. I currently do not have a car in LA, so use Uber to get my way around and there’s good and bad points to that too. Yes I never have to worry about finding a parking spot or having to move my car at ungodly hours of the day to avoid getting that parking ticket as well as not having to pay out for car insurance, but as every location in LA is so far a part, it’s impossible to walk to the auditions you need to get to. As an avid walker in London, that was a hard pill to swallow.  Los Angelians are shocked when I say that to me walking thirty minutes is nothing – walking 3 minutes can be a chore to them. So for travel convenience London’s a winner on this one.

In my first meeting with my agent, he immediately told me to get used to being a ‘branded product – that the business side of this Industry are only interested in.’ We wanted to become actors because we have a passion for creativity and story telling that it can be easy for us at times to have our blinkers on and only see what the next job will be that we book or create but we agents and managers see the other side; how can we make money, so they make money and that’s the business side coming in. We’re products that they want to sell and the easier we are for them to brand, the easier it is for us to be sold. In London, I found that whenever I went to an audition, there would be a plethora of look usually for the casting director to see, in LA, that’s extremely rare. You all have something in common – be it your nationality, your accent or most typically your look. Why? Because the audition is a box that needs to be filled and those behind that table want it done easily; they know what they’re looking for and that’s what they want to see. Why do you think agents have to turn down potential new clients? Because they most usually have someone they already represent that looks just like said agent-searching actor.


In LA having improvisational skills is a secret killer point on your resume. Casting directors and agents love to see them on your set of skills, especially if it clearly states that you trained on one of the courses at UCB (The Upright Citizens Brigade) – notable alumni include Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Aubrey Plaza and / or The Groundlings – where comedic greats such as Melissa Mc Carthy, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig began their journey. An actor being able to improvise, but improvise well under ‘The Rules’ is vital and being able to at the drop of a hat lets the casting team know that you’re a.) Dedicated and wanting to learn if you attended a course in the first place and b.) Able to truly listen to your scene partner and be that rock that they can trust and rely on when you’re together.

I love both cities incredibly. Not to sound corny but they’ve both taught me a lot about myself and made me grow into the person I want to be. Before moving out to London to attend Arts Ed I was a pushover and a little shy but being thrust into two massive cities that won’t stop for anyone, especially in our line of work, you learn to take on challenges, learn from any mistakes that may come up and keep moving towards that success, whatever it may be to you because trust me if you don’t, there are ten more people behind you who will. Comparing yourself to anyone else is also not only time consuming, but also dulling to you as a person. It’s natural for us to take note of people who have raised the bar a little higher but for us to start to become jealous, envy them and then become obsessed with our deficiencies and overlooking all the areas we excel in, it can become dangerous. Resist the urge to compare to others. You are on one journey and he/she is on a completely different ride. We can’t guarantee that we’ll all reach the stage of ‘success’ that we dream of straight away but with more time spent on comparison or worrying about it, less time has been spent on achieving said goals so concentrate on your own path of accomplishment, each day you do, you’ll get closer and remember to not worry as much. You wanted to be an actor because it made you happy, find that joy again.'

I hope this is helpful to anyone wanting to pursue a career both sides of the pond (I mean who isn't). I would like to say a huge thank you to Domenique and check back later this month for more.

For regular updates from Domenique follow her on Twitter and Instagram

Until Thursday,

Joseph
Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor'? Then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com

Domenique Fragale: LHR To LAX

Tuesday, 31 January 2017


Speaking to many of my actor friends, it is clear how acting and writing go hand in hand. 

For me my writing journey started back in 2012 when I decided to write my first novel. Not an easy thing to do but I thought I would give it a go. (I thought I would just write a book as you do).

What I quickly learnt, was that writing was hard (who knew). So I tackled my book by acting out scenes in my bedroom and imagining the film made from the book. This helped me to just write down all the images and scenarios in my head.

I was never very good at English at school and even now some of my blog posts the grammar and structure is appalling, but none the less I love to write and gave it a go.

I think all actors should write as we have many stories within us that should be shared. And if your writing is no good don't worry just put it out there and move on to the next piece. Your art will be judged anyway so do it for you. 

Never did I think my first novel would amount to much but it is on sale in e-form and paperback on Amazon and also will be available in Foyles (Southbank) come next month. I would love to know what you think of it so grab a copy here.

I am always collaborating with other actors on scripts and writing my second novel as we speak. If you have any scripts you want to share by all means send them to chippedproductions@hotmail.com as I would love to read your work.

Keep writing actors as you never know where it will lead and it helps develop your understanding of characters and journeys.

See you next week.

Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com

Writing Impact

Thursday, 26 January 2017


The other day I was asked if I have any advice for getting into the acting industry. Now this is such a hard question to answer as everyone has their own path, but it made me think of a question to fire right back.

Do you love it enough?

Do you love it enough to be rejected day in and day out?

Do you love it enough to put in the work everyday?

Do you love it enough to struggle to pay rent month in and month out?

Do you love it enough to do random jobs just to get money?

Do you love it enough to travel far and wide just for a casting?

Do you love it enough to let your friends down?

Do you love it enough to let your family down?

Do you love it enough to never having a structured life?

Do you love it enough to want it so bad?

Do you love it enough to go months without seeing your other half?

Do you love it enough to have doors closed in your face?

Do you love it enough to be judged?

Do you love it enough to go through the depression?

Do you love it enough to have others tell you to get a proper job?

Do you love it enough to constantly wonder why you aren't getting seen?

Do you love it enough to never being able to book a holiday at ease?

Do you love it enough to spend the only money you have on networking?

Do you love it enough to only having one casting every now and then?

Do you love it enough to do the graft?

Do you love it enough to have one line?

Do you love it enough to get type casted?

Do you love it enough to always wanting to go bigger and better?

Do you love it enough to miss family weddings?

Do you love it enough to follow your dream no matter how hard it gets?

Do you love it enough to have a call time at 2am?

Do you love it enough to not having weekends?

Do you love it enough to rent for years and years?

Do you love it enough to call mum and dad for help?

Do you love it enough to give up time for a pencil?

Do you love it enough to watch others succeed whilst you struggle?

Do you love it enough to make a right twat of yourself?

Do you love it enough to be in constant debt?

Do you love it enough to sit at home, whilst others work?

Do you love it enough to feel not good enough?

Do you love it enough to feel scared?

Do you love it enough for it to keep you up at night?

Do you love it enough to lose friends as you succeed?

Do you love it enough to be asked 'so what have I seen you in'?

Do you love it enough?

Do you love it enough?

Do you love it enough?


If the answer to all the above is yes, then you don't need advice. You have all you need already. Determination, motivation and a bloody thick skin is all you need in this industry. Keep going and you will get there one day.

That's my advice. Do you love it enough to be an actor?

Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com




Do You Love It Enough?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017



After #showreelshareday on Twitter, I had a scroll through some excellent and great showreels. Now this post is not about how to better your showreel, but rather what I noticed is how little attention actors make with their Twitter profiles.

Ok yes, we all use Twitter to chat random opinions and let the world know if we have worked out. But it is also very useful within the acting community as a way to network with up and coming directors and producers. These are the people creating work that you want to be in, as their success is your success.

What I noticed on whilst scrolling on Twitter is that many actors aren't stating what they are firstly or placing any contact information on their profile. So to help, here are a few tips to tightening up your profiles on Twitter, after all drama schools don't teach social media skills.

1. Your headshot should be your Twitter picture. This is important as it is your image, your brand and you. You can add a separate image i.e. a movie still or a modelling image as your cover photo, but try to keep the photos of yourself drunk with a line of coke up your nose off your page.

2. State what you do. If someone is passing through your profile they want to know what you do for a job, so put it in your bio. It's great you have a passion for life and love avocados but lets keep this professional. All your social media pages are how you represent yourself and how you are seen within the industry, so keep it professional.

3. Who are you represented by? If someone wants to hire you or send you a script they may want to speak to your agent so pop it in your bio, with a link.

4. Spotlight. I have seen so many actors simply just pop their spotlight pin number on their page. This is useless. No one is going to copy that number into google and search for you. Get the link from the Spotlight website that leads directly to your CV. This way any potential contacts will know exactly how to connect with you, because all your contact details for your agent are right there.

5. Pin your showreel to your page. Did you know you can have one tweet constantly at the top of you profile? I highly recommend embedding your showreel here so people can view it with ease and quickly.

Just remember the easier you make it for somebody to connect with you, the more likely you will get work and a network. If someone can't find your details, they will simply give up and move on. 

Lastly remember to never put your own details on your profile, this is why you have an agent. They will appreciate it and networking through them helps you to work together.

Get you social media in check and let me know if you have any other tips.

Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com


#weliveinpublic

Thursday, 19 January 2017


So neither of my parents will be happy with this post, but I wanted to share with you my smoking story, in hope that anyone wanting to kick the habit may find it useful (note the picture of me hanging my head in shame).

Sorry Mum, I started smoking back when I was at The BRIT School, not heavily, but on and off. I then went to Bird College and I completely quit (apart from the occasional party). I was off the cigarettes from college until I was 26.

Now don't ask me why I suddenly started again, I am not really sure. I do feel however, in the film industry it is very hard to escape. There is so much down time on set it can give you something to do. Smoking can also give you a break (I was going to write get some fresh air here but that would be stupid) that you might otherwise not get and I also find it is very useful to network with because it can give you time to get to know a director or producer at a party as you shiver outside puffing away.

But with all the positives it may have lifestyle wise, you cannot say the same for health, but you know that.

I carried on smoking right up until about 4 months ago now. It gradually went from one or two a day to spending £20 - £30 a week. Mental. My poor bank account.

Now last year I tried to quit a number of times and never succeeded. I even tried vaping but the damn thing was always in my mouth and I kept having nicotine overdoses. The idea of sucking a battery also never really sat well with me either.

Trying to quit made me realise I was hooked and becoming a slave to smoking, so I decided to 'stop'.

Now, I use a different word here rather than 'quit', because I haven't 'quit', I have 'stopped'.

To you reading, it may not seem relevant but changing the terminology in my head massively helped me kick the habit. I told myself 'hey if you want a cigarette you are allowed one, don't punish yourself, but then stop again'. So that's exactly what I did and surprising I completely managed to kick it.

I did have one cigarette a month or so in (I was offered one on a night out) and I absolutely hated it. The taste, the smell, the head rush, it all made me realise how disgusting it is and how I didn't need to smoke.

Now I am not saying I have completely quit because hey, if I have a stressful day, want one at a party or even buy a packet for set purposes I will allow myself. But by stopping, I have gained control of it.

If you are struggling to quit, maybe trying stopping.

Are you a smoker or have you kicked the habit? Let me know and comment below.

See you Thursday.

Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com

The Big Smoke

Tuesday, 17 January 2017


Many of you will know I am a massive film fan and you can regularly find me in a cinema. 2016 was a great year for films (my favourite being I, Daniel Blake) but here are some films I can wait to see in 2017.

Tulip Fever

'An artist falls for a young married woman while he's commissioned to paint her portrait', Set in the 17th century during the Tulip mania in Amsterdam starring two of my favourite actors Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz.

I was lucky enough to read the script for the film a good year ago whilst audition for a small role and ever since the story hasn't left me and I cannot wait to see this film. I believe it will do very well and may I add, Award Season 2018?



Saw: Legacy

OMG I fricking love these films. Call me sick but ever since the first one and then the introduction of the games I have been hooked. Even if the story can be a bit hit and miss, I go for the gore and tension. It's expected the 20th of October at the minute, just in time for Halloween.



T2 Trainspotting

Need I say more than 20 years since the first masterpiece, Danny Boyle brings back the original characters on the 27th of January. See the trailer here.



Wonder Woman

Now I am not a huge DC fan since I hated 'Batman V Superman' and was also highly disappointed by 'Suicide Squad', but none-the-less a kick ass female superhero film, I'm all in. Expected the 2nd of June.



War for the Planet of the Apes

The war is about to come to it's climactic end. If you haven't seen 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' or 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' then do. The motion capture performances are amazing. Expected June 14th.



Beauty and the Beast

A film from where my nickname 'Chip' came from (because I smashed out my two front teeth regularly) now comes in a live action, all singing, all dancing form. It looks magical and it looks stunning. It looks everything a Disney film should. An amazing cast and due out 17th of March. Trailer is here.



Logan

Again a massive Xmen fan and 'Logan' sees the final outing for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. It is said to start the new generation of Xmen so expect a heart wrenching and epic ending. Due out March 3rd.



Thor: Ragnorak

Not much is known about this film but it will lead into 'Avengers Infinity War' and with cameos from Dr. Strange and the Hulk you can expect a Marvel epic for sure. Expected 27th of October.



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I am Groot



Alien: Covenant

Ridley Scott is back in the Alien seat and starring Michael Fassbender this is set to be a great film. Check the trailer here. Due out May 19th.



I would of added La La Land to this list but I saw it at the UK premiere in October and it came out in America in December so wasn't sure what year to put it in. Though I may add I think it is my new favourite film ever and it is open in cinemas across the country now. Check out the trailer here.


Now the best and cheapest way to see films at the cinema is by getting a Cineworld Unlimited Card. As long as you go twice a month you have covered the cost and with cold, rainy days ahead, what better way to keep warm. Get yours here and if you use my code RAF-93PS-70VF-11BK-91EP you will get one month free.

Top Tip: You can use your Cineworld Card at Picturehouse Central (£5 uplift) which is by far the most beautiful cinema in town.

More film posts to come on the lead up to The Oscars so keep your eyes pealed and let me know what films you have loved recently or are looking forward to.

Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com

Top Ten Films I Want To See In 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017


With January blues about to set in, I believe it is very important for everyone to look after their mental health this month. But what I also think is more important, is being aware of others suffering and knowing what we can do to help. 

After a lot of research and knowing how to help my friends that suffer from depression, here are 10 facts and tips to consider when helping someone in need:

1. Depression is not a choice. No one chooses that state of mind. Just remember that the person suffering doesn't want depression, they want to be out of this crippling state too.

2. Your go to words are probably 'it's fine', 'don't worry' and 'stop thinking so much'. None of these are helpful at all. 

3. Instead tell them 'I'm here for you', 'We can get through this' and 'I have faith in you'. They help by confirming they have support and the strength rather than highlighting the negative.

4. Depression is perfectly normal. Everyone gets frustrated every now and then. They/You are not alone.

5. Sufferers can get overwhelmed by even the smallest tasks, so help them out where every you can. Even the smallest gesture can be the biggest help.

6. Know that the situation is not about you. A person suffering is going through a mind battle not a personal one with you. You are not the cause of it, you just need to be there.

7. Never compare your suffering to theirs, they and you are not in the same mental state and never will be, so don't compare. Everyone is different.

8. Don't cause more stress, if you can't be there to help or be on the phone to listen, don't make empty promises. Don't make the situation worse and cause more stress.

9. Depression is being overpowered by your mind and not being in control of your thoughts. Just because they are depressed doesn't mean they are weak. Knowing this will help you understand what the sufferer is going through.

10. It doesn't last forever. Stay by them. 

As actors it's easy to slip down the road to depression, so I hope by talking about it we can make each other aware of what to do when you notice someone who needs your help. There is nothing nicer than knowing you have a friend who will be on the end of the phone or will come around and support. Be that friend to yours because you never know when you will need it either.

Have you got any other tips or stories on how you overcame depression?

Much love,

Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com

Depression: Ten Ways To Help

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


Today in Hollywood voting opens to decide the Nominations of the 2017 Academy Awards. And with the Golden Globes this Sunday (8th), the BAFTA's on 12th of February and the Academy Awards on the 26th of February I wondered what makes you chase after success.

Are these awards the pinnacle of an actors career? Is this what we are all striving for?

Well the answer to that totally comes down to the individual. But for me, yes and no. Don't kid me wrong but these awards give me huge inspiration and drive to perfect my craft, to push further and to go after the dream. And I would in no way turn one down. I in fact, sit every year into the small hours watching the red carpets and awards being handed out, shouting my opinion at the screen and saying I'll be there one day. But the industry is so much more than this to me.

There are so many actors who work consistently and professionally that are never recognised by The Academy. So why do we strive to have our name written inside a golden envelope? Is this success?

For me success would come in the form of three things. In no order:

1. Financial Freedom (I may be in the wrong career here, but then again life can change in the blink of an eye in the acting profession).

2. Being in Constant Creative Work (Acting, Directing and Writing telling stories and messages that need to be told and inspire and educate).

3. To be able to Give Back to my family (and have my own family I can say you can do anything to).

A few years ago I once sat and watched The Oscars with my then housemate and had a nervous breakdown, started crying and had a major anxiety attack because I was so scared I would never achieve my dream. Now not only did this make me realise how much I want it but also how inspiration other actors can be to you (just don't get to that level it's not healthy).

I think we all give ourselves too much pressure to be acclaimed and awarded in this industry and that if we just learn to just support others and expand in growth then maybe we can be successful in our own way.

I'm not chasing the Oscar, I am letting it find me.

Are you striving for an award or are your successes different like mine?

Don't forget to support other actors and creatives and you can also watch the Academy Award Nominations Announcement here on the 24th of January.

To watch the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday head to www.NBC.com


Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com

And The Oscar Goes To...

Thursday, 5 January 2017


This morning I opened my laptop again for the New Year, after signing off for a much needed break since the 23rd of December. Like most people, I decided to actually take a break and enjoy the Christmas holidays. It's very rare I get the opportunity to do so and believe my my to do list is massive but I still needed to switch off.

But now we roll on, 2017 is here. 

As you know from my last post I am not a fan of resolutions, but people have asked me if I have anything I want to achieve in 2017 and I have made one goal and promise with myself for this year, just one.

It is simply to better myself than last year.

Now you may say this sounds like a huge cop-out but I believe that's all we can do as goal chasers and artists. I strive every single day for my dream, so saying I am going to work harder can't happen, and I am truly happy with my life at the moment so can't do anything there either. But, if I can have more of what I have now, then I would be even more grateful.

Don't kid me wrong, there are a few other things I want to achieve this year, such as a better body and getting contact lenses (which I try every year) but these are aesthetics, not goals or ambitions.

Personally I had a great 2016 (some would say well done for surviving) and to just better myself in 2017 is all I can strive for this year.

So moving forward, there are some exciting things about to happen on 'Life of an Actor', with a new Youtube channel coming and actor interviews on their way. My break has been lovely but I have also been itching to get back.

I will add that posts will now be on a Tuesday and Thursday as over the next few months I am on a few films so my time is limited, but this will also give me more time to get better precise and helpful posts out. 

Remember there are 365 days a year and each one of them is a start to make something new of yourselves not just New Years.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Years and as Casting Directors and Studios start up again, what are your goals for 2017 and what would you like to see on here this year?

Glad to be back, here's to a very successful 2017 to us all.

Joseph

Follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Website

Sign up to regular updates and the latest post HERE

Want to write for 'Life Of An Actor' then email us with your ideas at chippedproductions@hotmail.com

Merrily We Roll Along

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Latest Instagrams

© Life of an Actor. Design by Fearne.