Every time a break comes around, whether Easter, Christmas or a bank holiday, I always get major work anxiety.

Now I love a break and a rest, but being freelance I always feel majorly guilty that I am not doing anything. I think as an actor and being in love with my work, I find it very hard to not think about it every second and not to be working on something that I can create.

I have recently seen many of my friends, who are also performers, say the same thing recently. Feeling, themselves, that they must rest and take a break. But what do you do when the career you are in is also your hobby?

I think as performers we can put a lot of pressures on ourselves and there is always something else we can be doing to climb that ladder. So every time a holiday comes around I get all nervous and disappointed that work might be closed down for a bit.

I for one am definitely going to try my hardest to enjoy the up coming May Bank holidays and not open my laptop and do what normal people do, enjoy a rest. I know I won't like it at first but my God do I need it (and you probably do too).

It can be very knackering chasing auditions, making money, working on your craft and being creative day in day out, so every now and then we must take a seat and chill.

It does make me think if I am not working though, there is someone else out there who is and I need to keep going. But for May's holidays I am going to have some me time.

Will you be doing the same? How do you juggle acting and a life?


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The Resting Actor

Thursday, 27 April 2017

A Definition


A is for Always pursuing a career/dream that makes you skint.

C is for Creating a life where you get to explore characters more interesting than yourself.

T is for Trying to network with Casting Directors & Agents but never really getting anywhere.

O is for Opening your soul to the public.

R is for Really wanting to do it none the less.


D is for Destroying your body.

A is for Attending open casting calls. 

N is for Never knowing why you didn't get the job.

C is for Constant self criticism.

E is for Eating fuck all.

R is for Really wanting to do it none the less.


S is for Sore throats that can end your career.

I is for Inviting management listen to you but no reply.

N is for Not wanting to be the backing singer.

G is for Gigging without getting paid.

E is for Everyone buying Beyonce latest track but not yours.

R is for Really wanting to do it none the less.


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A Definition

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

10 Rules To Filming

1. There is a lot of down time on set and you probably will be waiting around for hours, whoever you are. Don't moan about it though, use your time wisely.

2. Learn the names of everyone you are working with, not just the actors. You will find them all on your call sheet.

3. Be nice to wardrobe and at the end of the day hang your costume up. You may be wrapped but other departments were probably there before you and will be leaving later than you.

4. Don't get involved in set gossip. It will only come back to bite you.

5. You probably won't get many rehearsals so be ready and be adaptable.

6. Listen to everyone on set, you can work out a lot of what is going on by what the DOP and runners are doing and up to.

7. Trust your director. You probably will not get praise after your take, they may just move on. The director has a hundred and one things to think about so trust he/she has got what they wanted.

8. Stand still. Whether on set or behind camera waiting, stand still so the camera man can focus on you or that you don't become in the way of the crew.

9. You are allowed to ask questions. If you don't know what is going on or what terminology has just been used ask the First AD (Assistant Director). He/she is your first port of call.

10. Don't wander off and let people know where you are, even if you need the toilet. You don't want a crew running around trying to find you and wasting time.

If you are looking to brush up on your camera skills, learn what is involved in set life and keep your acting muscles flexing, then join Acting Up with Vicky Alcock.

7:30 - 9:30pm

7 - 9pm

To join a wonderful bunch of working professionals all still training email: ActingUpVickyAlcock@hotmail.com

Check the website here.


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10 Rules To Filming

Thursday, 20 April 2017

10 Rules to an Audition

1. Before you enter the audition room, remember that they want you to solve the casting puzzle and they want to give you the job.

2. Make a strong decision about you character. Stand out and show them that you have thought about the script. Give the director something to direct.

3. Always learn your lines. It will allow you to make eye contact to the reader and let the camera/panel really see you.

4. Wear clothes with a hint of the character you are auditioning for.

5. Don't lie on your CV as it will com back to bite you (you can't drink a gallon of milk in ten seconds).

6. Make the right impression. You are auditioning for a job but you are also making a career for yourself, so make the right impression and they will call you in again for sure.

7. Treat the audition like a performance. You are there to act so enjoy it.

8. Make it count in that room as getting an audition is the hard part.

9. There are a hundred reasons why you might not get the part, it does not mean you are a bad actor (unless you were sh*t).

10. Commercial auditions are a law unto themselves, leave your ego at the door and just go for it.

I think as actors we all know these points but every now and then it is good to recap. Remember you are there because they want you there, so enjoy it, so them what you have got and then forget about it.

You can also read Casting Director Rebecca Wright's advice here.


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10 Rules to an Audition

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Now those who know me, know I am pretty badly sighted. I'm not blind or anything but to read a script I need to wear glasses. I hate going to a casting and being asked to cold read as I always have to say 'do you mind if I put my glasses on'.

Now I know this doesn't sound like a big thing, but I feel it drastically changes my look. It makes me look more geek like than I normally do and although the director and casting director would of seen me without glasses, I alway feel that they will not see the character with glasses.

So 'get contacts' I hear you say, and yes I am well on my way to getting contact lenses. I say well on my way because I am absolutely terrified of touching my eyes and have a really strong blink reflex (according to my optician).

When I was younger I had a tumour grow across my eye and had an operation to remove it, plus months and months of washes and creams to apply to help it heal. So you could say I have a right to have this fear. However, it is not useful when getting contacts.

Recently though, I went to Vision Express in Holborn and they were so calm and lovely that they managed to get them in my eyes and I was so pleased with the vision. I did however have to put them in myself later and this didn't go so well.

I will be looking again at laser eye surgery to correct this but in the mean time I want to get these little buggers in my eyes.

Do you have this problem? Do you wear glasses to a casting? Have you had laser eye surgery?
Let me know your tails and stories and I will keep you updated how I get on putting my contacts in at my next appointment.

Have a great Easter.


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Seeing Clear

Thursday, 13 April 2017

When I was a kid, much like many performers, I attended a Saturday Performing Arts School called Yew Tree Theatre School and studied acting, dance and singing. Along with performance studies, I was lucky enough to be on the books of a kids agency called Jabberwocky. I think I was 12 when I was rung up and had to prepare for my first ever casting.

I remember it quite well actually (much drinking since then has destroyed some of my past) and my mum gave me the news that I was going to audition for the lead role in a movie. Being my first audition and my family not really understanding what the film was, we printed the script and I learnt the lines (I think I had a week to prepare, as the industry is way nicer to kids than us adults now). 

It wasn't until one day my mum came home from work and had told me that her friend was very excited by the audition I had as Harry Potter was a huge book. Yeah, I had no idea what Harry Potter was or what it would turn into but I had a audition to play the glasses wearing wizard. 

My mum gave me the third book to read, to get some sort of context on the story (I think the first two had sold out in the local bookshop), and then a few days later I went up to London from Tunbridge Wells to meet Susie Figgis for my audition.

I was terribly nervous and the actual audition is a blur but I do remember only one other boy being in the waiting room. I have no idea if I was good or what I talked about but I do remember them just chatting to me for ages, and then I forgot about it and enjoyed my day.

This story reminds me that you never know where your life will go as who knew that Harry Potter would be what it is today many years ago. I mean JK Rowling was turned down so many times trying to get it published. Of course I wish I had got that job (who wouldn't) but maybe I wouldn't be the person I am today if I did. I guess I am not a wizard at the moment. I do have a desire to get, even a small role, in a Fantastic Beasts film or the Cursed Child play. Maybe one day...

Do you remember your first casting? When did you start? Comment below.



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I Want To Go To Hogwarts

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

So yesterday marked the day for my 29th birthday and I wanted to look back at my twenties and things that have helped and hindered me. I especially wanted to look at the things that are holding me back and the things I need to give up. Here are a list of ten things I want to give up.

1. Give Up Being Liked

You may say that's rich from someone who is a actor, runs a blog and loves social media, but I want to give up caring if my latest post will be liked or not. Or if I share a film I was in, will people like me. It doesn't matter, if it is liked or hated as long as it has self worth do it.

2. Give Up Toxic People

Some people are just not meant to be in your life. They can drag you down, distract you and not support you. Check your friends and get rid.

3. Give Up Saying Yes To Things That Don't Support My Goals

Doing things that are not oriented towards your dreams are not worth your time. Don't let the money distract you, time is so much more important.

4. Give Up Multi-tasking

What ever it is dedicate that time to one thing so you can focus and put your all into it, even if it is just working out.

5. Give Up Perfectionism

No one is perfect, every one has a different journey. Fear of failure prevents you getting on with it. Get over it now.

6. Give Up Excuses

You are responsible for what happens next in your life. It can be scary or exciting but you can direct your next move. Don't let excuses of situation or circumstance stop you.

7. Give Up Playing Small

If you never try, you will never succeed. Go after your BIG dream and don't be scared to fail.

8. Give Up The Short Term Mindset

Get a great body for life, not just summer. Act for a career, not just a job. Live by the long term goals.

9. Give Up That Unhealthy Lifestyle

You only get one body and as a actor it's is pretty important. So look after yourself. Look after your health, your appearance and your mental health.

10. Give Up The Doubt

Get over it and get on with it.

Writing them down they seem pretty obvious but yet somedays I ignore every single one of them and suffer in my own self. I think we should all aim to give up all the stuff holding us back, and I mean really give it up. Spend every day we are given dedicated to the career we want and the people we love.

See you next week.


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Give Up

Friday, 7 April 2017

Last month, at Acting Up, Casting Director Rebecca Wright (Call The Midwife, Rillington Place, A Street Cat Named Bob) kindly popped in to answer a few questions from the students. Here is what she had to say;   

What do you look for in an actor?

Half the time, it’s a gut feeling and very subjective. For TV I look for truth, for something real. It’s difficult to define and it changes from job to job. I love meeting people and I love actors. If you come to a casting, you are in the room for a reason, so don’t doubt it. Feel confident that we want you to do well; if you do well it makes my job easier.

How can an actor make your job easier?

Be good (laughs). Be prepared, make sure you have read the script and learned the lines. It’s a good idea to have the script with you in case you are given a note. And be as professional as you can. Keep the personal things to a minimum. You will probably get asked whether you have any questions but don’t feel you have to have any.

Can actors write to you?

Absolutely send emails to Casting Directors but it’s best when there’s a reason: you’re in a show or you have a new headshot. Don’t send a generic email, think about who you are writing to, what have they worked on, is there a specific reason. It’s refreshing when someone has taken the time to compose an email and often I will reply. Your email will always be read.

What’s your favourite part of casting?

Obviously telling someone, usually via the agent, they got the job. I think finding someone new or giving someone their first job, whether just two lines, is just lovely.

What do you look for and how do you find new talent?

Someone who’s ‘fizzy’, that has something about them. I will ‘store’ everyone I see. I would much rather go to a small fringe theatre to find talent. It doesn’t matter if you have no TV experience, I like to find new talent in fringe theatres. Show reels are a big thing however, as I see a tiny headshot when posting a casting, so it’s nice to see a show reel. If you haven’t got a show reel I then look at your credits – what roles you have played.  I also look to see if you’re with an agent I know.

How many agents receive your castings?

About 300 on Spotlight.

How many submissions would you normally get for a role?

Sometimes even for a tiny part (i.e. role of a three line receptionist) I can receive over 400 suggestions. I then write a long list from this, including actors I’ve thought of myself, giving me a list of about 30 – 40 people. For a new regular, I would meet these people but for a guest part I would meet between 3 to 6 people and then if we haven’t found it, I meet another 3 to 6 people. But often things are cast so quickly I might only be able to see 2 or 3 people for a one/two line part. It can be very frustrating.

Should an actor come into the room in the accent stated in the script?

I prefer you to come in as you and surprise us with the accent.

Do you look at people who trained in Musical Theatre too?

I love musicals and have cast people in TV who have done musicals. The problem for musical actors is that it’s hard to hold out for TV work when you may be offered yearlong contracts in musicals.

How long should an actor wait to hear if they have got the job?

If you don’t hear after a week, it probably hasn’t gone your way. Not always, but for your head, yes after a week.

What are the dos and don’ts in a casting?

Don’t chew gum. My pet hate. It’s amazing how many actors have come in chewing gum. Don’t be late and don’t be too early. Ten minutes early is fine. Wear a suggestion of what you are going up for, as it is nice to get a feel for the character. If it’s an emotional scene and you need to get in the mood, don’t spend too long psyching yourself up to get into that space. A moment is fine but if the moment becomes too long it becomes awkward for the director, producer and myself.

Have you any advice for actors?

Hold on to the feeling that you did a great audition; it can often be a very random reason why someone else gets the part over you. So much is to do with look. Everyone realises you will be nervous and if you are nervous have your script on your lap. It’s not a test it’s about conveying the truth and don’t worry if you stumble on your lines, it happens to the best actors, just act through it. It’s so hard being an actor; when you get a part enjoy it for that moment, as it may be over quickly and may not immediately lead on to more work.  Get rhino thick skin!

A massive thank you to Rebecca Wright for speaking to us at Acting Up and letting me share her answers here. It’s so nice to hear casting from the other side and I think you will agree is very useful.

To join Acting Up email: ActingUpVickyAlcock@hotmail.com


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Casting Conversation: Rebecca Wright

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

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