I met Rebecca during our Amy Winehouse inspired photoshoot. I knew from the way she spoke just how passionate she is about acting. She also writes from The Stage so I thought she'd be a great candidate for a guest blog!
What made you want a career as an actor?
I have always wanted to Act professionally on screen, ever since I was 9 years old. I remember sitting with my parents one evening after school, and becoming captivated by Lorraine chase's portrayal of Steph Stokes in Emmerdale. Acting for me is an escapism of real life, you can do anything be anyone, test boundaries all in a safe and creative space. The dream for me as always been to walk on those famous Corrie cobbles as an Actor. I have had a taste of how amazing the Corrie world is from working at the famous CORRIE TOUR for almost 2 years which brought opportunity to get involved with Good Morning Britain, Loose Women, and a lot of in house filming. All which gave an insight into how magical and surreal Coranation street is. Getting a contract, working in Soap, growing and developing a character on screen is at the forefront of everything I do.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
I have accomplished a lot in my career. Getting into my chosen University to study BA hons Drama and Theatre, getting signed for the first time, getting my first tele audition, almost getting that break in a well known soap to more recently signing with a top London agent. When your younger you think that you go off to Drama school, get an agent and then be a big star. But the older you get you realize you have to work for it, you have to want it, need it. Its not something you can just do on a whim. Acting for me is a journey and every little step you take is an accomplishment. One day you might have a moment that gives you that break, establishes you, gives you a platform as an actor and I imagine that will become your biggest accomplishment. But for me it is not the final destination I am focused on but the incredible creative journey that makes me feel free. There is not a right way to make a successful acting career, you cannot copy anyone's path, you have to create your own and although it is harder than I ever imagined I intend to do it my way. Whatever happens will happen.
Tell me about what you're working on now.
At the moment I have been auditioning for some very exciting tele jobs. I have just finished a 5 week Emmerdale course and audition with Jade Mcabe which was just brilliant. I learnt so much about Soap Acting in paticuler, script-work, scene work, and character objectives. We spent 5 weeks on a 2 minute scene learning about the characters inside out which led to a very powerful and emotional response to the script we were given. I am also working on my first fiction book which is due for publication later this year as well as some of my own projects. I am working with a fabulous team to film SILVER CROSS, a short film about 4 female ex convicts doing their last job which will be shown at Manchester Film Festivals upon completion.
Who is your favourite actor, and why?
I have many favorite Actors, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Cher, Olivia Coleman, Polly Walker, Pamela Rabe but the actor who I absolutely idolize is Sarah Lancashire. Her performances are always so raw, so real, so gripping and I am constantly in ore of her work. Sarah Lancashire in my eyes as had what I would call my perfect career, cast as Raquel Watts in over 400 episodes of Corrie, a TV and stage career for nearly three decades and playing lead roles in the critically acclaimed Dramas, Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley. Where her characters and shows are so different, her commitment and authenticity on screen is consistent. She really does inspire me to keep going, to not give up and to keep developing my craft as an Actor.
Of all the roles you have played in the past, which is your favourite?
One of my favorite projects I have worked on was in fact a play called The Hopes. It was a play based on BBC Royle Family Sitcom. I played Denise along with three other professional Actors, playing the roles of Jim, Barbra and Dave. I normally get type cast in emotional, gritty roles and so to play more of a fun, ditsy character was a welcomed treat. We got a fabulous response from the audiences and it was a great success in our local area. The Hopes was directed by the fabulous Barry Evans and written by the multi talented Aaron Cobham as part of the Haelo Commision in Manchester.
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 think when I used to audition and not get the part I took it very personally. When you are just starting out in the business, graduating, getting your first agent you constantly seek reassurance. I realized very soon that this is something you need to give yourself. Obviously it hurts when you dont get a part you auditioned for, especially when you know you would have been perfect for it but there is nothing you can do. You just have to do your best, soak up the experience and then move on to the next one. Do not take anything to personally. I have been in auditions before and I know I did good, I have looked over at the casting director and they know I did good and I still did not get the part. It is not just about your Acting, it is everything. If I do get a rejection now I always try and turn it into a positive. I send an email to the casting director thanking them for seeing me, I book an Acting workshop, I read a short play. And then I think about what I learnt from the audition and I am thankful for it because so many Actors I know do not even get in the door, so it is all ready a massive achievement if you find yourself stood in the room. Just remember to keep on loving it because you never want to loose that passion for Acting by been sad about every NO you get.
How do you prepare yourself for an audition?
I prepare for my Auditions by making sure I know not just my lines but the script and my character. If it is a self tape I always aim to get in another reader to help or I record the lines on my phone. I make sure my self tape set up is neat and tidy and professional looking and I always send my agents a mock test first so I have chance for feedback (depending on when the deadline is). If I am auditioning in person I make sure I have had a good nights sleep, I drink plenty of water. If I have to travel I have plan A, B and C because been late is not an option. I thrive to leave every person I come into contact with better then when I found them and I aim to get my passion across by keeping engaged and focused.
How do you keep your spirits up when you haven’t had an audition in a while?
If I have not auditioned in a while I think its very important to be proactive. You cannot just sit and wait for your agents to call. You have to be on it. I make my own work, short films, small plays. I write, I attend workshops, I get involved with short films in my local area, I read plays. Every 3-5 months I send emails out to casting directors, updating them on my information and just a gentle reminder of who I am. I am also very close with my agents who give feedback and different directions to take when things are quiet. One of my side jobs is Reviewing Theatre and so attending Press Nights, meeting Actors, been in a Theatre setting really helps me stay motivated and determined.
How do you source your auditions? What routes do you take/how do you network?
I get a lot of the big tele auditions from my agents. I use Mandy for smaller projects as well as following some of the most well known and respected casting directors in the industry on social media. You can find a lot of Casting calls on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I like, follow and comment before sending an email to introduce myself. The acting industry is actually a very small world. I learnt that from reviewing theatre, everyone seems to know everyone. I think talking to people is key for networking.
What websites would you recommend for other actors to use? What have you found to be helpful?
Every actor should be on SPOTLIGHT and ACT ON THIS, the community of Actors from actonthis is priceless. Ross Grant, Actor, Entrepreneur, vlogger, gives you vital information that will enhance your career. From podcasts to interviews with Actors, Casting directors, Directors to taking you on his personal journey to auditions, rejections and booking jobs. There are also regular meet ups in Manchester and London where Actors and creatives all come together to engage and network.
What honest advice would you give to other actors?
When you finally admit to not only yourself but friends and family that you want to be an Actor you set yourself up for failure. Because unless they see you on tele they think you are not working, not achieving. Very few understand just how hard we work behind the scenes trying to make it happen. Just remember only you can make this happen, it is not going to be easy but nothing worth it ever is. Just keep going, try not to think to much about the end goal but the whole journey. You can never ever fail at this if you are waking up everyday and going for what you want in life. Because we only get one life. There are people out their working 9-5 in a job they hate just so they can have a car, a house, and thats what they will do until they retire. If thats what you want then great. But for so many they want to be creative. And it makes me sad that people will get old and regret that decision when they were younger to play it safe. You cannot take anything with you at the end so whats the point in spending 50+ years doing something you hate. Live for spontaneity, live for you ambition, live for your dreams. I/ we might never be content in our Acting careers but as long as I go for it I know I will always be happy.