As an aspiring actress in England, what do people reckon? Is London really the only place in the country to be in order to succeed?
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In general an actor needs to be where there is work. An actor living in an area with little or no film/TV/theatre is going to have a difficult time getting jobs. Are there a lot of opportunities to act where you are?
I'm in Manchester, so there are a few. I think that's sort of why I'm not sure -- up in Manchester there are opportunities, but will a move to London give me significantly MORE opportunities, or will it be sort of similar?
Ciara, I'm from Dublin and live in NYC now. A move to London will give you way more opportunities. London is the epicentre of theatre in the world and of all entertainment and media in England. of course there's also way more actors.
I don't think I'm quite ready for it yet, but I do see your point! How does life in NYC compare to Dublin? I think I'd miss the Irishness of it all too much!
Well you have an Irish name! NYC is so muggy in the summer, and it is a very loud city, much more so than Los Angeles or London or any other big place I've been to. but it's an exciting place to be :)
My parents are from Dublin :] I'd love to visit New York but I dunno about living there!
Well.... It seems that where there are more projects there are more opportunities. Of course that means there will be more competition. So London isn't really the only place in the country to be in order to succeed, but being in London can help. But you aren't ready for the move. So my advice is to stay where you are until you're ready. How often to get auditions? How many jobs do you book?
D Marcus, my answer is basically zero! My problem is that without an agent it's really hard to actually find out about the castings in the first place, never mind land an audition! I have had a couple of background artist jobs and some offers of roles in student films, but nothing major or well paid.
I understand. There are many problems and challenges for the actor. You say there are a few opportunities in Manchester so my suggestion would be to audition for those. Get some more local jobs; build your experience and contacts. When you are ready for the challenge of a bigger city with more opportunities then make the move. It isn't easy, is it?
Yeah that's what I'm trying to do -- I'm looking forward to September when I'll be finished my masters and I can then really focus on acting as a career :]
I read about a guy who was pursuing a career in stand up comedy. He was struggling in Los Angeles but going no place. He moved to Chicago which also is a good place for stand up (Second City, etc.) but my 'guess-timate' is perhaps not as competitive as LA. He worked there for years and then returned to LA. He was successful and people were asking 'Who is this marvelously talented guy who came out of nowhere and was successful overnight?' :) I think perhaps (I'm not an actor so view this skeptically.) this applies to the question of where to work on your acting career. I'd say you want to be where you think you'll be pushed to improve but not overwhelmed by competition from people who are way out in front of you in terms the their training and experience. A hard thing to evaluate? Sure. One could argue it was the years he put in, not the geographic location, that led to his success . But one could also observe that it pays to surprise people, not be what they've seen locally for many years. (I'm really not sure about this.) But answering these difficult questions is one reason why they call it a struggle to succeed. :) Anyway, I hope the example is helpful.
There is no set answer to success - everyone who has succeeded has done so in a different way then someone else. The best advice I can give is, to not worry about anything. Keep perfecting your craft - and I mean YOUR craft. The one thing that is true is there is NO SUCH THING AS COMPETITION - especially, in acting. No matter what the worlds agreement is on that - acting is being - and no-one will ever be as good at being your version of a character then you are. I don't know how many times I have had to tell this to an actor on my sets - but for some reason they are being told - they need to be better then the next guy - I too was told that once as an actress and it is completely not true. The truth is you need to be the best at what YOU CAN BE and just continue to make your self known and seen by as many casting people and directors as you can find - anywhere they can be found. Continue to drill your skills and continue to be seen and forget about the rest - time will open up the doors for that.
Its not all happening in London, if you get yourself established in a regional theatre scene you can build from there, the key is to work, and work gets you work. My friends run a theatre festival in Birmingham which is building a reputation for itself. "BE Festival". So go regional.
Alle says a lot of very true things, you must know your craft and be ready. Be the best at being you. And have a great work ethic. All are valid in getting work.