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My First Audition: Anna Acton

Anna Acton. Photo: Ross Ferguson Anna Acton. Photo: Ross Ferguson
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I didn’t get an agent after my graduation showcase, so I had to rely solely on The Stage and PCR for casting news. (Back then, online Spotlight etc didn’t exist.)

I saw an advert in PCR for a low-budget feature film and I posted off my headshot and – at that time – very short CV. I was amazed when I got a call with an audition. I remember having a very high temperature and feeling pretty unwell, but somehow managed to get myself through the three-hour journey to the audition room above a pub in Bromley.

I had read and re-read the screenplay as many times as I could and was more than familiar with the part. When I arrived, pale and sweating, a film crew asked if I would mind them sitting in on my audition and filming it for a Channel 4 documentary. Given my current state, and the fact it was my first audition, I declined. I was nervous enough with just the director and producer in the room. I just about managed to get through the audition, reading the scenes several different ways, showing I could take direction.

I’m not sure how, but I managed to get the job and met my best friend during filming, Louiza Patikas, who now plays Helen Archer in The Archers.

There are so many factors that are out of control that mean you don’t get booked for a job. Just make sure not being prepared isn’t one of them. Do your research on the play or script, the people you are meeting and, most importantly, your character. And always be on time. I always get to a casting at least 30 minutes before I am due in. I’ll sit in a local coffee shop or have a walk to clear my head.

I can’t actually recommend travelling across London with a high temperature, and doubt the people you are meeting would thank you for it either, as no one wants your germs. But I am really glad I did that day. Every audition you go in for, whether you get the job or not, is a brilliant chance to learn something and meet new people.

CV: Anna Acton

Age: Mid to late 30s
Training: BA (hons) in acting, Middlesex University
TV includes: Family Affairs, The Bill, Hollyoaks, Holby Blue, The Wrong Door, Doctors, Casualty, Topsy and Tim, EastEnders
Theatre includes: Noises Off, Cor Blimey!, The Hokey Cokey Man, Relatively Speaking
Agent: Helen Robinson at United Agents

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