What is your advice for drama school grads entering the industry at this time, particularly from the schools which have had to postpone their showcases indefinitely? Is there anything proactive we can be doing during the isolation period?
— Michael Dodds (@DoddsAndEnds)
What is your advice for drama school grads entering the industry at this time, particularly from the schools which have had to postpone their showcases indefinitely? Is there anything proactive we can be doing during the isolation period?— Michael Dodds (@DoddsAndEnds) March 17, 2020
Don’t worry. We are all aware that a lot of you are having to postpone your showcases, and most drama schools are doing all they can to help market you digitally. I know many are sending out CVs and headshots to relevant directors and casting directors, and keeping us updated about when your showcase may be happening. In truth, even if it happens in 2023, the business will be here to support you.
You were meant to be known as the 2020 graduates. But instead you will now be known as the Covid-19 grads – drama students who not only had to endure the pain and torture of full-time vocational training, but also had to deal with the coronavirus.
You will now be known as the Covid-19 grads
I think it would be a good idea if all drama schools still did a showcase, but using Zoom or other online platforms. Casting directors can be invited to watch online, and all students can perform their speech or song. And you know what? In many respects it may be just as good as a ‘real’ showcase. At least this way we’ll actually be able to see your faces close up, and not from row Z in the stalls, dear.
However, this may not be possible for every school. In these circumstances, I suggest the school sends your showreel or recorded examples of your work to agents, directors and casting people. We are all spending a lot of time at home at present – and I, for one, am bloody bored – so the promise of some fresh speeches and songs would be most welcome.
You can also take on some marketing work yourself. If you have a showreel, send it off to casting directors (ensuring to compliment them on their work – casting directors love that sort of thing). Research directors you fancy working with, see what they were planning to do later in the year and send them an email or a tweet. Things are constantly changing at the moment, but reaching out and showing that you’re trying to turn this negative into a positive goes a long way.
Also, try to do something creative with your time. Why not write something with your fellow students, and do a read-through online? Tweet me, and I’d be very happy to retweet so people can see the work you’re doing.
It is also a great time to be making ‘virtual’ connections. Lots of performers and directors are offering online lessons, vocal warm-ups, and gym workouts. Follow them online and get in touch – it’s the perfect way of getting your foot in the door.
Tim English (@mrtimenglish), a director and tutor at ArtsEd, is just one example of many. He is offering free ‘acting through song’ sessions. Take advantage of as many of these as you can.
And finally, keep the faith. We’re going through a tough time. But you will not be forgotten – you will be embraced into the business. We’re lucky to have such a thriving community, which is showing its real spirit in these difficult circumstances. So get involved. I look forward to seeing your showcase, in whatever form it happens, dear.