London can be very expensive, as we all know, so I thought I would share with you some free cinema that you can attend in the next few weeks.

Set underneath Waterloo Station is the House of Vans, the perfect venue for a beer of two and an oscar nominated/winning film.

Here are the dates of the up coming films.

Arrival - Friday 16th June
Lion - Saturday 17th June
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Saturday 17th June
Finding Dory - Sunday 18th June
Jackie - Sunday 18th June
My Life as a Zucchini - Saturday 24th June
Storks - Sunday 25th June
Moonlight - Sunday 25th June
20th Century Women - Friday 30th June
The Lego Batman Movie - Saturday 1st July
Fences - Saturday 1st July
Rouge One - Sunday 2nd July

Admission is free and you don't need to book. So if the English weather starts to turn grey again you know where to head.

For full details and timings head here.


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Free Cinema

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Recently a lot of people have spoken to me about Casting Call Pro and whether it is worth the money and/or the profile. It definitely gets some negative press with people comparing it to Star Now (which I can't stand) but I do think it does have it's positives.

Firstly before you even start, you should know that you are not going to find your big break on this site. The calibre of work on this site is more that of low budget short films and corporate videos than Hollywood features and BBC series. That said though you can get some really cool and random work that can boast your CV in those down times.

The upfront cost seems expensive and another thing we actors have to pay for but honestly I have already earned the money back for a years subscription 5 or six times over this year. 

Generally, and through speaking to some of my friends, I think Casting Call Pro is better for men than it is women. I don't know whether this is down to the amount of castings for each gender or that more females are on it and subsequently more are applying for roles than men.

I definitely think that if you are a male and wanting to earn some money doing a short film or modelling then you should definitely get on the paid side. 

When I started out as an actor I didn't pay and I used it to gain set experience with doing the odd free role (a whole other post) and it taught me invaluable lessons.

So let's get the negatives away from Casting Call Pro, it can aid and support your career (and also pay your rent some months) so get applying.

What are your thoughts on CCP?


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Casting Call Pro?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Having an agent is one of the most important things to have within the acting industry. You can go it alone and represent yourself but you will probably miss out on 90% of the casting breakdowns.

But what is the best way to approach a agent and how do you know if they are going to be right for you. Here are my top 5 tips for writing to agents:

1) Do your research - talk to your peers and ask who they are represented by. Find out who your favourite actors are represented by and find who has clients in a film or programme in your casting range. You need to know the agents name, not just the agency. Every agency has a website so get checking them. Have they got people like you on their books? (if they have they probably won't take you) What work are their actors in? (could you be cast in it?)  

2) Get personal - once you have found their email address (I would always try for the specific agents address not just the generic agency one. However, if that's is how they have stated representation requests then mark the email FAO [agents name]) write a personal email to them. Why do you want to be with that agent? What connections have they got? Why should they take you on? Keep it short and sweet but keep it personal and friendly. A small paragraph will do.

3) Quality not quantity - Don't waste your time writing to 30 agents just out of desperation. Get a list of agents you really want and order them in importance to write to. Do 5 at a time, if you haven't heard back in a few weeks do another 5. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE. Change the email each time. As above make it personal. If you have a particular agent you want, apply every six months or so updating them on your career.

4) Get your link - don't attach big files to your email. Have your spotlight link clearly visible and attach a headshot. You don't need to attach anything else as CV and showreel should be on your Spotlight page and every agent knows this. You can state your last few jobs in your email but don't ramble, they will check your CV.

5) Chat business - so you get a meeting with the agent you want and now you're really nervous because you really want to be with them. However, remember that they are working for you. You need to be the business here. They will make money from you working so ask questions about what they can do for you, how they see you in casting and who can they get you in front of. You should already know this from applying but chat to them like you want to start a partnership. You need to like them as much as they need to like you.

It can be pretty soul destroying when applying for agents as 99% of the time you probably won't get a  reply. But keep going. Invite people to shows you are doing or send film links to agents to keep them in touch with your career. Contacts is your friend when searching for agents and so is Google.

Good luck.

Have a great weekend and happy hunting.


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Gaining an Agent

Thursday, 8 June 2017

You are probably bored of all the headlines and programmes on TV recently about the up coming general election but the importance of voting is essential.

Ever 5 years we have the opportunity to change the course of the country and whether the politicians lie about their policies, I guess you have to be in it to win it.

Now every person has their own reason for voting for a leader or a party, and whether you vote on policies for the NHS, housing or the environment the choice is yours.

However, this time around I was shocked to see the lack of arts policies in all the major parties manifestos. There was none the less one party that did mention their arts, or should I say culture policy, and that was Labour.

Here is what Labour are proposing for the arts:

'We will introduce a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country, based on a similar model to enterprise zones. Administered by the Arts Council, the fund will be available over a five-year period. It will be among the biggest arts infrastructure funds ever, transforming the country’s cultural landscape. 

Labour will maintain free entry to museums and invest in our museums and heritage sector. Conservative cuts to the Arts Council and local authorities have created a very tough financial climate for museums, with some closing or reducing their services, and others starting to charge entry fees. The Cultural Capital Fund will have a particular focus on projects that could increase museums’ and galleries’ income and viability.

Labour will end cuts to local authority budgets to support the provision of libraries, museums and galleries. We will take steps to widen the reach of the Government Art Collection so that more people can enjoy it. 

We will continue to mark the ongoing centenary of the First World War, and the sacrifice of all those who died during it. Labour remains committed to honouring the role of all who have served our country, including the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish soldiers who fought for Britain. 

Our thriving creative sector, from the games industry to fashion, needs a strong pipeline of skilled talent to sustain its growth. 

Labour will introduce an arts pupil premium to every primary school in England – a £160 million annual per year boost for schools to invest in projects that will support cultural activities for schools over the longer term. We will put creativity back at the heart of the curriculum, reviewing the EBacc performance measure to make sure arts are not sidelined from secondary education. 

Labour will launch a creative careers advice campaign in schools to demonstrate the range of careers and opportunities available, and the skills required in the creative industries, from the tech sector to theatre production. 

Being a performer is a great career. But too often the culture of low or no pay means it isn’t an option for those without well-off families to support them. We will work with trade unions and employers to agree sector-specific advice and guidelines on pay and employment standards that will make the sector more accessible to all. 

We will improve diversity on and off- screen, working with the film industry and public service and commercial broadcasters to find rapid solutions to improve diversity. 

We recognise the serious concern about the ‘value gap’ between producers of creative content and the digital services that profit from its use, and we will work with all sides to review the way that innovators and artists are rewarded for their work in the digital age 

Music venues play a vital role in supporting the music industry’s infrastructure and ensuring a healthy music industry continues in Britain. Labour will review extending the £1,000 pub relief business rates scheme to small music venues. 

And we will introduce an ‘agent of change’ principle in planning law, to ensure that new housing developments can coexist with existing music venues.

We all need to work harder to keep children safe online. Labour will ensure that tech companies are obliged to take measures that further protect children and tackle online abuse. We will ensure that young people understand and are able to easily remove any content they shared on the internet before they turned 18.'

They have also pledged this for the media:

The BBC is a national asset we should all be proud of. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will always support it and uphold it's independence. We will ensure the BBC and public service broadcasting has a healthy future. Labour is committed to keeping Channel 4 in public ownership and guarantee the future of Welsh-language broadcaster S4C. 

Victims of phone hacking have been let down by a Conservative government that promised them justice, but failed to follow through. We will implement the recommendations of part one of the Leveson Inquiry and commence part two which will look into the corporate governance failures that allowed the hacking scandal to occur. 

Local newspapers and broadcasting in Britain are an important part of our democracy and culture. We are concerned about closures of local media outlets and the reductions in number of local journalists. Labour will hold a national review local media and into the ownership of national media to ensure plurality. 

To protect democracy and media freedom, we will take steps to ensure that Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership and to put in place clearer rules on who is fit and proper to own or run TV and radio stations.

I find it very interesting that no other party has pledged anything, or anything I can find. So whether you vote Greens, Conservative, UKIP, Labour or the Lib Dems please consider the arts in your vote.

But most importantly, don't forget to vote this Thursday.


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The Arts Manifesto

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

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