I used to do a lot of performing and now...not so much. So I thought I would share my experience, after taking a step back from the crazy world that is acting.
What made you want a career as an actor?
Harry Potter. I’d never felt anything like it. After watching Harry Potter I just wanted to be Hermione Granger. I had a full on vendetta against Emma Watson for years because she got to do such amazing things, like fight trolls and ride on the Whomping Willow.
In short, I just liked being dramatic. Don’t get me wrong I never wanted anything bad to happen for real, but I loved the thought of being in one of those scenes, like the battle at Helm’s Deep or the final scenes of Titanic, where you could cry over people dying in your arms and be part of a kick ass scene that makes people hairs stand up on their arms.
After The Philosopher’s Stone, I made it my mission to be an actress!
What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
I’ve worked with some great people and it’s nice when you’re surrounded by people who understand your passion - The type of passion that would make you chop off a leg, just to be given a role!
I think I gave up too early on actor, but my greatest achievement was working on The Renata Road feature film. It was an amazing experience to work, none stop, on a project with a full cast and crew for weeks on end! AND…I got my dramatic moment – Running for my life down a corridor, whilst being chased by a group of people trying to kill me - LOVED IT!
I never wanted the project to end and I don’t think I ever got another opportunity like it.
Tell me about what you're working on now and Who is your favourite actor, and why?
Photography! It was originally a way to make some money and have a flexible job, whilst I continued to follow my dream of being the next Meryl Streep.
However, I loved photography so much that acting got pushed of a cliff and landed with a smack on Bex’s mad idea and career pile. As much as I would love to return to acting, I think it took such a toll on my mental health and confidence that it’s hard to think about trying again.
My favourite actor changes constantly. My all-time favourite would have to be Helena Bonham Carter, I’m just in love with her madness and willingness to play bizarre characters (also have a major crush on her).
I’m also a huge fan of Emma Thompson (Why didn’t she win an Oscar for THAT scene in Love Actually) and, of course, Meryl Streep – There’s nothing that woman can’t do, and I wish I had that determination and belief in myself.
When you suffer a setback, or you don’t receive the part you want, how does that emotionally affect you and what do you do to get over it?
I struggled with this so much. It was heart breaking every time. I would be so sure, prepping for an audition, that I had it and daydreaming about my days to come on set. People always tell you, you have to have a thick skin to be an actor but it’s hard to not let it effect you when it’s all you think about, day in and day out.
I wouldn’t cope well with the rejection, thinking I wasn’t pretty enough or talented enough but then what followed was quite nice…I would use that all of the sadness and anger and put it into applying for new things. After a few days, I would pick myself up and make a new plan – send out new emails and apply for everything that suited my castability.
How do you prepare yourself for an audition?
Practise, practise, practise. Make sure you know those lines and be off book. Sometimes they don’t care too much if you have the script, but the biggest thing I learnt from the many casting workshops I attended was that casting directors want to see your eyes. They want to see what you’re thinking and the energy your bringing. So, I always try to be off book.
With regards to character, I try to find a character similar to the one I’m auditioning for and watch how the actor plays it, for inspiration. I also try and give the character a back story.
In terms of rest and staying calm…there’s none of that. I am an anxious wreck before an audition. Probably best that I gave it all up! If it’s down in London, it’s worse as I have longer to worry – Sat on the train, mumbling lines to myself like a crazy person.
How do you keep your spirits up when you haven’t had an audition in a while?
I just keep applying for more!
How do you source your auditions?
Well…I used the usual route or Starnow, Spotlight and Castingcallpro, but what I also did, which I was really proud of, and the main source of my networking was Imdbpro. This gave me a way to email directors, casting directors, producers and more. I would look for projects that were in pre-production and I would contact someone from the team, asking for more information. Many wouldn’t get back to you, but some did and this was a good way for me to get in before the casting process had begun. It’s a length process but when you have people replying to you about auditioning for the latest Tolkien film…It’s worth it baby.
What routes do you take/how do you network?
Casting workshops with casting directors was a great way to network and be seen. This is also really useful if you’ve seen a casting director is auditioning soon for something you want to be considered for, then you’ve already been seen by them and you have an excuse to follow up with an email!
Imbdpro – My favourite way to connect
What honest advice would you give to other actors?
It’s hard! The feeling of being on stage or in front of a camera was amazing, but the in between stage was stressful and full of anxiety.
I think the advice I would give is to try not to take it too seriously, remember to also live your life. Don’t worry about missing auditions – Go on holidays, get married, buy a house! If it’s going to happen, it will.
If you want to act, you will always find a way!