I’m a 2020 graduate seeking representation. What would you say is the best way to navigate into the industry during these times? It’s hard enough in a normal year but now a lot agents aren’t taking clients and everything has been put on hold. New to this! X— Holly Rae (@hollyraeskinner)
I’m a 2020 graduate seeking representation. What would you say is the best way to navigate into the industry during these times? It’s hard enough in a normal year but now a lot agents aren’t taking clients and everything has been put on hold. New to this! X— Holly Rae (@hollyraeskinner) May 13, 2020
Yes, my dear, you are 100% right. Things are tougher at the moment, but please don’t worry about being forgotten. Everyone in the industry is aware of the trials facing new graduates. Most haven’t had the chance to do proper showcases, and have also had their final-year productions cancelled. But fear not, there are things you can do, dear.
Firstly, I would recommend getting yourself listed on the various drama school showcase websites. Showcase 2020 was put together by actors Isaac Stanmore and Olivia Beardsley and it is a great initiative. You can upload your showreel very easily, and it is then visible on your drama school’s section of the website. The site is very user-friendly, and I know for a fact that certain producers and agents are using it.
Also, I have a little digital drama school showcase on my YouTube and Vimeo channels – just tweet me your links and I’ll put them on there. Basically, make your face and material as visible as possible.
There are lots of Q&A sessions with agents on Instagram Live and other streaming services – Newman Casting Studios does one every few days – where you can watch a live interview and submit questions. These are very useful in two ways – firstly you can make contacts and connections, and secondly it makes you feel involved in the business.
It is worth looking into the auditioning services and masterclasses that are available. There is the 21-day self-tape challenge, which allows you to get professional feedback and, again, make excellent contacts with others in the industry.
There are also plenty of Zoom classes that you can subscribe to, where you can learn from lots of leading West End performers (all of whom you will obviously be working with in the future, dear).
If you have the time (and can be bothered) it may be a good idea to work on your own website. Wix is excellent and very easy to understand – even I can navigate my way around it. Make sure your website has your showreel, voice reel, updated CV and contact details, then email the link to agents and invite them to have a look around. We all have more time on our hands at the moment, so agents will be only too happy to take a look at your work.
There are numerous online play readings you can become part of, which will include you in the online theatre community. They are also excellent at helping actors utilise their ‘line speaking’ skills.
Of course, it is true that some agents will not be taking on new clients at this time, but if you make initial contact with them now, they’ll know how to contact you when the business starts healing.
Finally, and most importantly, look after yourself. Keep your talent in good shape, because you will need it soon. We will get through this and the industry will spring back stronger than ever. Theatres may be closed, but our wonderful community isn’t, dear.
Send questions to your dear agony aunt via Twitter @westendproducer