So this isn't a sponsored post but I wanted to promote a event which I love, had a laugh at and made many contacts from. And I know how much we all like to get absolutely wasted (drink responsibly) on a school night. I also know how important networking is for us actors and this is the perfect event to it at. The Raindance Independent Filmmakers' Ball.

Set within the beautiful Cafe De Paris (Piccadilly), the Filmmakers' Ball sees directors, producers, writers, executives and actors all drinking and dancing under one roof.

It is one of the events of the year that you don't want to miss out on, as the amount of contacts you can make as a actor is incredible. 

This event is the perfect place to dust of your cards and have a chat with all the up and coming film creators, meet other actor friends and dance your troubles away.

The night is topped of with a set from Natty Congeroo & the Flames of Rhythm (who are incredible and the ticket price is worth this alone) and a raffle for some film goodies (money goes to the Independent Film Trust).

So join myself and many filmmakers' and get down to Cafe de Paris from 7:30pm on April 26th.

Tickets are available here.

Mines a beer.

Joseph

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Cinderella Will Go To The Ball

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Photo by Nikki S. Colt http://nikkiscolt.com/xx-smile/

Many of the shows I want to see at the minute and that have recently been I have been totally out priced to even consider getting a ticket. From seeing Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in No Mans Land, getting to see both parts of Angels in America to seeing Daniel Radcliffe in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, has the theatre industry started to become elitist and over expensive?


I guess the answer to this is not simple at all, since putting on a show is more and more expensive each day and theatre producers lose money into the thousands with shows only having very short runs these days.

I do however love what the National Theatre is doing at the minute by introducing NT Live, which broadcasts their most popular shows to cinemas across the world. 

This brings me to say that Cinema has become the most accessible art form and easier/cheaper for me as an actor to go study, research and escape much more than theatre. You can buy a monthly cinema pass for as little as £18 these days and this gives you access to unlimited films and many, many cinemas.

I guess what my point is, is that theatres need to start looking at ways to open up theatre to the struggling actors, directors and creatives as well as the wider population again. Many theatres don't do Equity tickets anymore and I recently spoke to an agent who even struggles to get industry tickets to see their clients and potential new ones as well.

There is no simple answer to this but I believe that the theatre industry should look at ways of making money on the side of shows to help rent and overhead costs. For example the BFI and the National Theatre are always full of people working and writing in the day because they have lounges, wifi and a bar throughout the day. They have membership passes that enable you to cheaper tickets and exclusive content, plus discount off that all important interval drink. This all enables them to have money constantly going through the tills and thus payback into the venue and its customers.

Imagine if each theatre had a membership scheme or of there was some kind of monthly membership that allowed you to see shows needing audiences and the most popular shows at a monthly fee.

Theatre and Cinema need to try hard to keep this art accessible as without it they will slowly put themselves into a grave.

What are your thoughts on this?

*Photo above is by Nikki S. Colt, check out his website here

Joseph

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Theatre vs Cinema

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


We live in different days now, where everyone has their own promotional social media accounts to generate interest, promote work or to connect with fans. We all have Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts to name just a few (because there are so many now I can't even get my head around the all). Your favourite singers, actors and directors are all there ready to message and support in the click of a button. But hey, so are your friends.

What I find interesting here is that we (and yes I include myself) are very keen to support the successful ones; not hesitating to buy their album, see their latest film or attend a gig. All parting with our money without thought. But yet when we see shows that need the press, friends in fringe shows and indie films asking for help we are all less inclined to support. Why is this?

Beyonce has millions, Brad Pitt isn't becoming homeless anytime soon but your friend in a play at a small London theatre probably isn't being paid. Support them. 

This also comes down to likes on social media. We are quick and keen to tap and like Taylor Swifts latest post or David Beckham's latest picture, but when one of your friends posts you may think twice. However, social media is now really important in the industry and those likes and shares generate interest in a person and help support their growth on that platform. Let's also face it Taylor isn't going to be short of them.

So what am I saying? Well, let's really start supporting each other on the way up. Like your friends posts, retweet their tweets and spend a little money helping the up and coming artists. I am going to make a pledge that every month I will spend £10 on a different Kickstarter or Indie Go Go campaign, from a new film, a new show or an artist in need. Now that doesn't sound like much, but imagine if we all did that. So much more work would be generated and more independent films and shows would be out there for us to be in and see. And let's face it two beers in London is more expensive.

Let's start supporting and really start supporting each other, and of course you can start my signing up to my blog here : )

Joseph

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Why Don't You Like Me?

Thursday, 23 March 2017


So I blog every Tuesday and every Thursday, which isn't much but I still struggle with that creative block every now and then. 

This creative block doesn't just come down to my blog, it also happens with my script writing, my film productions and some times my acting. 

I recently read a book called 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear' by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and I highly recommend it. But one thing it taught me was that ideas come and go and if you don't nurture them then they will certainly leave you and move on to some one else.

Now I totally agree with this. Ideas come to me all the time (mostly at the most random and inconvenient time) but how do I know which ones to follow and which ones are just time fillers. I guess the answer to this is that you never will know. However, sometimes I sit there with so many ideas that I creatively block myself and end up not being able to follow any of them.

As a creative and an artist I struggle with this most days. Which idea do I give my full attention that day? It is acting out a monologue I want to film? Is it writing that screen play I had an idea for? Is it taking my camera out and grabbing footage that I wanted? Or is it all of them?

Along with earning money to live, attending castings, being on set and meeting friends some times you can become creatively blocked with all that life throws at you.

So what have I decided to do?

Well, keep going is the answer to that. If I have an idea but I can't give it my attention yet, then maybe it is not for me, yet. Maybe it came to me at the wrong time so I have to give it up. I am now only following the ideas that I am passionate about rather than every Tom, Dick and Harry that enters my mind.

As actors I think we can get bogged down with the amount of ideas we have of how to get our career up and running too and I would like everyone to take a moment and breathe. Breathe in your dream and relax. Know that you are doing everything in your power to achieve it, but know you are allowed to enjoy life too.

A creative block isn't a bad thing or something that lasts for ever. So if you feel drained, tired and uninspired, chill. Do something else that day and come back tomorrow. Your dream isn't going anywhere but your life is. Don't fret just get set.

P.S I don't know if this post will make any sense as I am tired, creatively blocked and had a few beers (oh life).

See you Thursday.

Joseph

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Creative Block

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


I don't need to tell you but life can be pretty tough, especially in the good old acting world. But I have a dream and you have a dream and we need to dare ourselves to achieve it. So...

Dare to take a risk

Dare to live life to the fullest

Dare to pursue your passion

Dare to spend your money on your dream

Dare to not worry about money

Dare to enjoy yourself

Dare to have your own political view

Dare to listen to others

Dare to turn your back on negativity

Dare to build your own empire

Dare to help others

Dare to get up early

Dare to go to sleep late

Dare to promote yourself

Dare to promote others

Dare to create your own work

Dare to fail

Dare to speak out

Dare to play the moment

Dare to give it your all

Dare to travel

Dare to smile

Dare to say 'thank you'

Dare to say 'I can'

Dare to read more

Dare to see more

Dare to make art

Dare to work hard

Dare to say 'no'

Dare to make a fool of yourself

Dare to conquer your fears

Dare to better yourself

Dare to better the world

Dare to network

Dare to dream

Dare to dream BIG

Let's dare each other to achieve our dreams and goals whatever situation we are in or life throws at us. Because. let's face it life is short so you might as well spend it chasing something you love rather than wishing you had taken the dare.

Joseph

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Dare To...

Thursday, 16 March 2017


We are all striving for happiness and success these days that sometimes we get bogged down with our day to day slog. It's good to follow these simple tips to create happiness and wellbeing around your work.


1. When you wake up in the morning say thank you. You are lucky to have woken up in a bed, breathing and ready to chase your dreams, so say thank you for it.

2. No matter how you feel, get up and get dressed. A good outfit can drastically change your mood. Put on clothes you like and make yourself look like a million dollars whilst you work to get a million dollars.

3. Give something good to others each day. Whether it's a Big Issue, a coffee for the customer behind you or simply helping a single mum with her pram, give something to others and you will feel full of delight and self contentment.

4. Get rid of anything that is clutter. Clear out your junk and stream you life, it will give you peace of mind and stop those 'where is my...' moments.

5. Do 10 to 30 minutes exercise each day. Whether it's a walk, the gym or doing stairs in the Underground, exercise promotes positivity, makes you feel better about yourself and gets the air flowing round your body.

6. Drink water. Keep your mind in shape and your skin fresh by drinking two litres of water a day.

7. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes a day. Take a moment out each day to think about your goals, give thanks and just listen to the world around you. It doesn't have to be full meditation mode, even sitting on the tube and tuning into your thoughts will do.

8. Hug someone. Everyone loves a hug so give them out. 

Do all eight of these and you are sure to have a great day, plus hopefully allow someone else to have one along with you too. Imagine if every one smiled at each other and did things for random strangers every day.

Remember you are on your own journey in life, so do not compare your failures or successes to other peoples. Be yourself and be you. Now go be happy and chase that dream.

Joseph

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8 Ways To Have A Good Day

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Part Two of our Women's take over for International Women's Day (March 8) sees us joined by Amy Kinder (Emergency: LA,  Knights of the Damned) and Emma Ralston (Into The Woods, The Frogs). 

I asked both what are the differences between being male/female in the performing industry.

Amy (@amyy_kinder): 

I think the answer to 'do you think being a female in the acting industry is different from being a male' question completely depends on your experiences within the industry. Personally I don't think so. I do think there is this stereotypical image of what roles would should be playing and how they should represent themselves, which rather annoys me. So, in that respect I feel there isn't enough variety yet to the roles women are presented with. I do however, feel this is gradually changing.

Who says a woman can't do this or that? After all; films, theatre and TV are supposed to replicate life truthfully, so it would be a lie to not include more women, even in stereotypical man roles too. I say, whoever you are, embrace yourself and present exactly who you are to the industry. There is a gap for everyone here and it is just about finding what your uniqueness is. Just go for it and don't let anything stop you.


I think the difference between being a women than a man in this industry is that it is a lot more competitive. In musical theatre especially it is very female heavy but I know there are many other industries that are male dominated. There are loads of females in musical theatre and there are not enough jobs for us all. What is interesting is there is now a lot of gender swapping happening within casting at the moment. In fact, the job I am about to start (The Frogs, Jeremyn Street Theatre), I will be playing a role that on Broadway was originated by a man. The director decided she would like the role played from a male perspective and so I will be the first woman playing this role in a professional production which is an exciting challenge.

A massive thank you to Amy and Emma for speaking to us. I completely agree that we should all just support each other and go for it, and that roles out there do not have to be played exclusively by men' as women come from all works of life too and some roles shouldn't it just be best person for the role?

Happy International Women's Week here at Life of an Actor.

Joseph

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It's A Women's World: Part Two

Thursday, 9 March 2017

International Women's Day is March 8 and what better way to celebrate than to hand over this blog to four wonderful and talented actresses.

Part One Domenique Fragale (Universe of Gods, Knights or the Damned) and Alida Pantone (My Baby Shot Me Down, Miss Julia) talk about what it is like to be a woman in an industry plagued with stereotypes and male studio bosses.

Domenique (@Domeniquex) : 

Equality in the acting industry is getting better and has become a much more listened to issue in today’s society, however there are still aspects that I wish I could change yet unfortunately I know realistically won’t any time soon. The manner of stereotypes, particularly in LA, are still prominent and women a lot of the time are only used in some casting calls I have seen as an ‘eye pleaser’; using a woman on the screen for attractive appeal for the watcher. We all understand marketing and we all know that sex sells but the amount of time I see a casting call for a female role ‘aged 18 – 28’ that would require the actress to be nude or topless, with a few lines, if any, can get tiring. As a woman in this industry you need to ensure that you know one hundred percent what you are submitting yourself for because still in this day and age, people aren’t always as trust worthy; there are people out there who know some girls will do anything to ‘make it’ and will take full advantage of that. That is the biggest aspect of being a woman in this industry I don’t like. I have had many men approach me, a couple very notable names in the acting world, who ‘will do anything they can to help me if…’ (Notice the if? Exactly.) If (now this is a good if) could give just one piece of advice to a fellow female in this line of work, it would be to know your worth. You don’t need to take that role where you’d be just down to your underwear for the entirety of the film or kiss that other actress because ‘the script says so’ and you can see no real reason why the character would – if that came up in a call or the audition, just leave, you do not need to waste your time on something or someone that is just wanting to exploit you. You can do better because you are better. 

Alida (@AlidaPantone):

I grew up with the inspiring example of a caring and at the same time, hard working mum. She started from the bottom and owned every step, all the way up to being a manager. With no excuses and no favours, I had to fight for my right to choose an uncertain career in the arts. Eventually my parents understood that I was more stubborn that any rational attempt to dissuade me and they even came round to paying for my acting course.

I started my acting career in Rome and I soon realised that I needed more. So I moved to London. Despite all the adversities being a foreigner brings, I quickly built a network of professional people I could grow with. Along the way I have met a lot of driven and inspiring actresses and we have supported each other and built a community together (now called ProActors). Running the London Rolling Film Festival I also had the pleasure to meet many female directors and I believe I know more female producers than male ones at the moment here in London.

In my opinion, in the historical moment and in this particular city, I don't think there is any rule that stops women competing and reaching the same level as men in the film industry. Of course they are more established because of the past male dominant society, but things are changing, and the only true obstacles I see we have as women in the business is our mind set and the jealousy and envy towards one another. We nee to get rid of this as together we have no limits.

Thank you to Alida and Domenique for sharing their inspiration and experience with us at Life of an Actor. Join us on Thursday for part two where we get more from Emma Ralston and Amy Kinder joins the gang.

Happy International Women's Week here at Life of an Actor.

Joseph

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It's a Women's World: Part One

Tuesday, 7 March 2017


I am totally guilty of it too, but recently I have seen so many actors do a great job but deliver a very simple and underwhelming performance. So much so I think we need to relook at taking a chance.

So, you get a self tape audition, you set your camera up, learn your lines and then perform to camera. You get a casting and deliver your one line to Nina Gold exactly how it is written. But hey where is the character, where is the choice, where is your chancing?

It's easy to deliver a script simply, what is more interesting is when someone goes 'hey I think he/she would sound like this' or 'hey, I am going to make them have this weird tick'. 

As a director as well as an actor, it is so much easier to bring down someones performance rather than having to build it up. It is also so much more interesting to take a chance on a character personally and so much more exciting to watch when someone really goes for it. 

So from now on let's all take a vow. A vow that the next audition, casting or self tape you/I get that we are really going to go full pelt with our acting and take a bloody chance on our ideas and ability.

Here is a great example of an actor taking a chance (Jason Momoa) and as you probably know he got the job.


*I do not own this video, all rights go to HBO.

Until next week.

Joseph

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The Game of Chance

Thursday, 2 March 2017

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