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Actress From The Us In London

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#1 golightly19



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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:41 AM


I just moved to London from the US and I'd like to start auditioning but I'm a little confused! I think I thought the theatre industry here would be almost identical to NYC and I'd just be able to figure it out, but much like a lot here, that has not been the case.

My main question is where are auditions listed? I know about Spotlight, and I think I'm eligible to join (I have a BFA and have worked in the US although I'm not Equity) but when browsing through it I saw a lot of names I recognized and got rather intimidated and wondered if maybe I should wait to join? It looks like you can self submit on there, but then when I saw that I started to wonder if it was really just for agent submissions? Also, it looks like here everyone uses black and white headshots, and mine are color...?

I've heard that The Stage is the equivalent to Backstage but when I looked on the website it didn't seem like there were many auditions listed at all. Also, it seems like in the UK things aren't so divided like they are in the US between Equity, Non-Equity, going to an EPA and waiting if you're non-Eq.

So, point being, I have just been confused and would appreciate any help! Thanks!

#2 Laughingmonsta


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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:31 PM


1) Spotlight is the main casting directory any actor that wants to be considered as serious and professional needs at present to be listed on there, you can self submit and there are many actors that prefer to do it.

2) CastingCallPro - is the next main avenue for auditions - mainly non equity/fringe shows again this is quite costly but worth it.

3) Headshots - agents and indeed casting directors are now starting to accept "US" style colour headshots but it is worth also having a black & white just in case

4) The stage doesn't have many auditions, mainly because casting directors etc tend to use spotlight or CCP

hope this helps!

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#3 Guest_Annie_*

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

Yes you MUST register to be listed on Spotlight, otherwise no one- not even fringe theatre directors - will take you seriously. You should post a mixture of colour and b/w photos. You can upload voiceclips and showreel too. Spotlight has a feature called Spotlight Link, which is an excellent casting service, which you can self-submit if you dont have an agent.

For theatre (esp 'fringe' theatre, which in UK is like off-off-Broadway; 'off West End' theatre is like off-Broadway), Casting Call Pro is an excellent way to start.

For headshots, you should know that in the UK, 'portrait' style photos are needed, as opposed the more common 'landscape' orientation in the US. Also, your CV can be printed on a full sheet of A4 paper. Unlike acting CVs in the US, in the UK, you just staple your CV, facing the same way as your photo, on the upper left corner.  It looks best if the only thing visible below where your photo hits the paper, is you or your agent's name and contact info.

For mailings, or applying to agents, you should buy a copy of CONTACTS (published by Spotlight). There's nothing like it in the US- it's fantastic! It's a listing of almost all casting directors, theatres, agents, etc!

One annoying thing about the UK, is that there is nothing like Ross Reports, which in the US is crucial for learning which tv shows and films are currently in production in given cities. There is absolutely no way to learn this info all in one place. Some suggest Broadcast magazine. I've also heard that if you're an Equity member (which I am not, because like you I stayed away from it in the US), they have film listings.

You should know that in the UK, Equity (which is for stage, tv and screen actors) is an 'open shop' union, which means you can totally work in non union productions.

One really helpful blog with lots of info for American actors is American actress Kosha Engler's blog http://blog.yankeeinlondon.net/ . You may also want to join the North American Actors Association, although it's not necessary; because on Spotlight you'll list your American accent as 'native', and casting directors can find you that way too. http://new.naaa.org.uk/

I wish someone had given me all this info when I moved here!

#4 MusicalTalk


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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:52 PM

Casting agent Pippa Aillion has told me she hates any colour photographs; finds black and white a lot classier.  Just a tip from the top :)
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#5 Guest_woodpusher_*

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:42 PM

View PostMusicalTalk, on 02 March 2013 - 10:52 PM, said:

Casting agent Pippa Aillion has told me she hates any colour photographs; finds black and white a lot classier.  Just a tip from the top :)

Is that a classier emoticon also?

#6 Minsky


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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:24 PM

I really think that the best way you can get a foot in the door here is to find yourself a London Agent.

A list of these can be found in a theatre directory called Contacts, which I believe you can now get from Amazon, or any major bookshop.
It is also available from Spotlight

Just a word - which you have probably thought about -  but check your Visa conditions.
Good luck

#7 Chris_Blob



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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

The equity union is quite different over here. There is now no longer a disadvantage when it comes to casting if you are not a member. Many well known performers are not equity members. Members and non-members work side by side in the same shows and it is not taken into account by casting agents or producers.

Although, as a life long member I would urge you to become a member. It is not difficult to join equity these days as long as you can prove some pro work. You will get all the benefits of being a member of a trade union and the more members that join, the stronger and more effective the union will be at negotiating rights and rates for performers.

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