Tongue In Cheek

As actors, we work with language in the most intimate way possible. Someone else's words expand in our mouth, and often in an accent or language that is foreign to us.

I was very lucky to grow up speaking two languages: English and German. Also, my Bulgarian grandmother spoke Bulgarian to me when I was little, but after her death my mother wasn't able to keep that third language alive. Growing up with these different languages gave me an advantage as an actor: a good ear for different accents, and an ability to learn other languages more easily, but more importantly, it made me instrinsically aware of tone, how much gets lost in translation, how quickly we misunderstand each other, how hard it is sometimes to detach what is meant from the way it sounds - not only from the emotional tone, but also the dialect, class specific inflection, and so on. 

I have played so many different nationalities on screen (and in daily life) already-- I go between two and four languages within a day (having learned French and Italian out of love). Yet I feel that with each language I learn-- or more specifically, with each new word that I not only understand but naturally start using myself-- I initially lose part of (or at least confuse) my base languages somewhat. It will lead to me either using creative grammatical structures in English, or suddenly having an Italian melody when I speak German. Usually it's more funny than anything else, but when it comes to my work, it can also confuse people. Industry like to slot you in a box and limit who you are or could be, even when our job's definition is to embody so much more than just our own story.

These days, realising the importance of clarity and branding as an actor, I try to only highlight whichever part of my language history is important for the role I am auditioning for-- going as far as not even mentioning the other languages, or committing to the accent I am going in for; from start to finish. I have heard some casting directors find it irritating when actors put on accents or characters (especially if not done well enough), but I also know many casting directors who have been very impressed by it. The argument for it, is that once people know that someone is, in whatever way, not who they are claiming to be-- many are inclined to think they would have noticed it anyway, or doubt that the person can nail another persona authentically. However, I have been in embarrassing situations with colleagues claiming they spoke a language or an accent perfectly-- and it ended up cringe-worthy. So know the limits of your own abilities, which is the only way to improvement.

I am torn about how to speak in personal or in semi-business situations, like a chat at a film party-- because so much in this business depends on first impressions. For a very long time I strictly stuck to Standard American, cutting out any possible Southern Drawl (I went to High School in Alabama) or English inflection (a two year relationship with a British actors left some language residues) and neutral TV-German (as opposed to an Austrian accent). However, the more I work, the less I care: as I now have audio-visual proof of my ability to embody different nationalities authentically. 


 Who are we “authentically” anyway? In a society that is becoming more and more mixed, don't we all start sounding more and more globalised? I feel in many ways that TV and Film does not fully represent the multilingual, multidialectal life many of us lead - characters seem to all come from the same mold. At least Science Fiction continues to lead the way, where more diversity has always been possible, from “Terminator”  to “Game of Thrones” and “Wonderwoman”.

L.A. vs Sydney for Film Actors: an African-American Perspective

by Bolude Watson

L.A. Actress Bolude Watson
When you know what you want, you want to be where it’s at. If you want to be in theatre, you move to New York; if you dream of being in fashion, you find your way to Rome, Milan or Paris-- and if you want to be in film, Hollywood is where you want to be. So when I moved from L.A. to Sydney three and a half years ago, I knew that I was probably doing things a little backwards-- but I fell in love, and love is the best reason to do anything. I knew that living in Australia would be different, and that it would present its own unique challenges for my career, but there was still much I hadn’t been prepared for.


I often get asked what the main difference is between the film industry in LA and in Sydney, and the short answer is: a whole lot. Below are just some examples of the differences I have experienced:
  • Breakdowns: in the U.S., sites like Actor’s Access or Backstage give actors direct access to breakdowns and castings for a fee, but in Australia, there is no access to these except through an agent. Star Now, and similar sites (such as The Right Fit) give direct access to lower-level (and lower-paid) gigs (also for a fee), but professional level self-submissions are nearly impossible to accomplish without inside knowledge.
  • Agents: while I found it near impossible to get an agent in L.A., within four months of being in Sydney, I had several agents interested in taking me on, and had signed with my current agency by the end of that fourth month.
  • Getting in the Room: while signing with an agent proved easy for me in Sydney, getting in the room for roles that supposedly fit my look was hard, and securing them even harder. In Sydney, I am seen as exotic. I was told even before I boarded the long plane ride here that this would work to my advantage: if there was just one role in need of an African American petite woman, it would be mine. I really wish that were true. Once I was here, I couldn’t seem to land a role-- any role, even ones seeking an African American or woman of color. I noticed roles I auditioned for were given to more lightly melaninated women, with looser curls and who didn’t come across “too ethnic” or could more broadly pass for a number of different ethnicities. I have full lips, my curls are not tame and I can’t pass for anything but African (I mean full African, from the Western part). I was certainly not going to fool anyone I was Egyptian or Moroccan. There is no mistaking my cultural heritage, and I’m completely fine with that, but it severely limits the roles available to me-- in L.A., and even more so in Sydney. In three and a half years, I have landed one commercial, one film, and three episodes of a television show that is shot in Australia but for American audiences.
    Still from the feature "Blue World Order" (2017, AUS)
  • Unions: In L.A., you have to land a union contract and pay a hefty fee in order to join the union (SAG). In Sydney, any actor may join Equity, as long as they pay their monthly dues.
  • Competition: the competition in Sydney feels more friendly; I find there is a laid back vibe that permeates the Sydney waiting rooms that seemed to be lacking in LA. Waiting to be called in by the casting director, I always have lovely conversations with other actresses who are obviously waiting to audition for the same role as me, and I quite often leave having exchanged numbers and with intentions to meet up for coffee later. The same room in LA comes with sneaky side glances and looks that betray the real thoughts of the girl sitting next to you: when the traditional “break a leg” wish is given I have suspicions the actress means it literally and is hoping I take a glorious tumble as I walk into the room.
  • Work/Life Balance: when it comes to motherhood and auditioning, I definitely give hats off to Sydney: casting directors are so much more accommodating with moms. I’ve been invited to audition with my young son in tow on more than a few occasions when I didn’t have child care on short notice. This would definitely not fly in LA; and more than likely would help you NOT get the job. I have come to appreciate this so much as it takes the pressure off when I find myself in a pickle and gives me the freedom to show up and perform without worrying about having to choose between my child and auditioning for a desired role.
  • The (Film) Community: one thing I miss about L.A. is the sense of community actors have there: finding one’s tribe is as easy as stepping out for a drink at the neighborhood bar, as you’re certain to meet a fellow aspiring actress who shares your struggles and is willing to co-write and costar in your brilliant idea for a pilot. It took me a while to find my people in Sydney; artists are not in the majority, and added to personal circumstances, I felt isolated the first two years-- the first year because I was new in a foreign city and getting my bearings and the second I was pregnant and then settling into my new role as a mom.
  • Making your own Work: The beauty and magic of being rejected or denied what you want is that you find the miracle within yourself. You discover you never really needed “them” to get you work; all you needed were the plethora of reasons that made you “wrong for the role” to ignite the fire to make you the catalyst to create the life you dreamed. I decided if Australian productions don’t have roles for me, I’ll write them myself. The Australian population itself is extremely multicultural-- and Sydney is one of the most diversely integrated cities in the world. I discovered people like myself who have felt ignored or rejected and created my own tribe, my own village of artists to help me shatter the glass ceiling. And with Sydney’s comparatively affluent and comfortable quality of life, your average collaborator has much more to give, both in money and resources, to self-produced work-- it’s more likely to happen, and to be of quality.


Seasons have changed; I am now a wife, and a new mom in a country I am getting to know better, and I love the new roles I have been given-- it’s given me a new lens through which I see the  world and how I see myself in it. It has also added a new layer and texture to the way I tell stories and interpret my characters. I believe that is the magic in acting; like life, you take what you are given, what you are blessed with and you weave it into the tapestry of the stories you tell.

A lot of film hopefuls worldwide see Hollywood as the mecca for their dreams, but that mindset is changing rapidly with technology and globalisation (as is evidenced by the casting of Israeli-based Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman). I have discovered that I am where I am supposed to be. I believe the Australian audience is ready for more diversity; people want to see characters that look like them on the big and small screen; they want to be able to identify with them. The change in the way people consume media now means content from anywhere in the world can succeed internationally. There are so many stories to tell and the great thing is that there are colorful voices willing to tell the tales, all they need is the chance-- and that is where I come in, that is why I am here.


ACTivism


Hello fellow actors, filmmakers and theatre-creators and humans! This posting is a little outside our usual remit but I think the times call for it - if you’ll permit a little digression I’d like to talk about the role of activism in our creative lives.

Segue: Listening to one of my favorite film podcasts I recently heard a movie review of “Machines” which included a brief description of a scene where a boy was falling asleep over and over again at his monotonous and dangerous factory station. My heart broke - here was somebody’s son, working underage in terrible conditions at a dangerous and abusive job.





I mentioned my upset to someone later that day and she chuckled, ‘Ahh, new mom syndrome..  Hell's bells yes, I am a proud new mother (and typing this whilst my 14 month old son enjoys his afternoon nap.) Perhaps to offset the inevitable lack of sleep and me-time I can see this as my new special power – a heightened way in which to view the changing world that my boy was born into. I've certainly had plenty of time to feel charged up by our changing political and environmental climate, the refuge crisis and modern day slavery, about women’s issues and men’s issues, global terrorism and domestic hostility, about over-consumption and under-appreciation... a lot to re-examine.

But whether you’re a new parent or not, chances are you’re more than ever interested in how activism and political engagement can play a role in your life, and by extension your career as a creator and artist.

A running theme of recent blogs has been the importance of telling your own story, which often includes the decision to accept and embrace your own heritage, look, (dis)ability, uniqueness etc. It stands to reason that there are values and a moral code that we've formed and with which we view the world. As we go through life we have an opportunity to learn and re-evaluate our own values, and as artists we're in the unique position of creating a lasting visual piece of work which can be informed by those values and shared with the wider world.



But we can get caught up in the day to day challenges and low level anxiety of our industry - I should self submit and self-tape, I must read more plays, must market myself more effectively, must find a better survival job to pay the rent! - and the idea of doing much else politically outside 'the hustle' can feel daunting and more of a 'nice to have'.

So I'd like to build upon what many of us have been feeling after the last 12 months of unexpected political developments around the globe: a hunger to engage and do SOMETHING.



Let's first remind us of what we already know, that getting involved doesn't have to be an all or nothing affair, or a cynically motivated one. 

Rather, we can become the better versions of ourselves even through the tiniest of political engagement 'baby steps', and from our cultural standpoint as storytellers we can use this growth to better contribute to our work, our communities and industry in all kinds of ways. And how cool that the root word of activist is the Latin actus, "a doing, a driving force, or an impulse" - actors are taught the importance of this on Day 1!

 


We all have impulses – so how parlay the hunger for activism with our lives as actors?

Here are some ideas that have resonated for me:

EXPLORE

This isn’t just about traveling to Laos or Ethiopia, it’s about taking a different route home for a change, walking around your town or city and better understanding how different types of people are getting by. Take yourself out of the day to day. Venture three stops further on the subway and look around.

Too often the nature of the acting business is so demanding that we develop tunnel vision defense mechanisms to keep up with the daily casting breakdowns, emails, nurturing of relationships and of course the all-encompassing co-dependency we have with our phones and social media engagement.

It's easy to get so caught up in our stories and carefully fabricated marketing that we forget to venture into unknown territory!

As an environmental pattern interrupt, just try to see how often you can switch off, head out of your home turf without apology or judgement.


LISTEN

This means listening first without presumption and interruption.

Any drama school or acting class will have put you through your paces at some stage around giving your scene partner your full attention. See how often you can do this in your personal and work life - not head half buried in a screen but with the generous gift of your whole heart and connected spirit. By doing so see what unexpected information you pick up from your family, your lover, your bank clerk hairdresser grocery teller... 

And how much you can curate your listening of media and external voices? Have a go at choosing what news and opinions you’re deciding to ingest and process. If you’re able, see if you can spend a week without being in reaction to your smart phone alerts – turn them all off and instead actively choose which programs, articles and media outlets you’re engaging with, of your own volition. No doubt you’re a smart and switched on tribal member of numerous creative outlets, podcasts, news and sm feeds – but why not take the time to decide who you’re going to pay attention to and then maintain that connection for as long as you can? What can you learn from this?

You may find out how quickly you’re getting bored or distracted, which can speak to whether the voice you're listening to has the power to grip and sustain your attention. If you're getting itchy feet, why is that? Is the program or commentator doing too much or too little to engage with you? Are you waiting for the next stimulation high that comes with a 'Like' or another type of electronic interruption?



The risk of staying self-involved online..

I'm not here to preach against social media, but do take the occasional time to stop yourself getting interrupted during a mental or creative flow, especially in those times you've deliberately tuned in to another person's experience.

As a global citizen you'll feel a responsibility to stay informed and to keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the people you’re trying to understand. As actors and artists we need to maintain a disciplined command over our attention span, not just to see through our creative endeavors but in order to foster authentic communication. It's our job to inhabit the lives of other people, and that starts with true listening without prejudice.


SPEAK UP!           

There are countless ways in which to do this and no doubt you have a lot you'd like to take action on. If you've listened and have something to say, all bets are off.

Let yourself harness all the unique reasons why you feel strongly about something - what differences are you embracing and where do your strengths lie? How can you contribute?

Actor Adam Driver was so moved by his experience in the Marines and his frustration at early discharge following injury whilst his peers continued on tour, that he founded Arts in the Armed Forces, an organization which provides cultural events and live theatre to the military population. This group has built upon the incredible and unexpected amount of crossover you find between actors and the armed forces.

But of course you don't need to be famous or form a new company or movement in order to stand up and speak out. You can certainly champion these but as a first step it's important simply to claim your own voice, elegantly and without apology - to yourself and then your community.

It might begin in journal form, in prayer and meditation, and from there be directed outwards in your daily interactions.

It's very easy to feel pressured to keep our thoughts to ourselves, chiming in to conform with social norms and the opinions of others even if you don't agree - but if you can speak with eloquence and elegance, letting yourself have an honest conversation is one of the biggest gifts you can contribute to our society. (This doesn't mean walking away from the fall-out of a difficult communication!) Part of 'organizing, not agonizing' means skillfully interacting with people you may not agree with, sharing opinions so that you can have a healthy and constructive debate.

To generalize horribly, actors tend to aspire to a dramatic high and seek to make monumental strides; this is awesome when we do it but don't forget the importance of proverbial baby steps. In her TED Talk Julie Chappell demonstrates how we can harness the power of communication to change attitudes - small changes day by day which can create immeasurable shifts of global consciousness over decades.

When you develop who you are and what you stand for, you have an opportunity to speak authentically and feel connected to the very fibre of our global humanity.


 The future of activism in a pussy-grabbing world | Julie Chappell | TEDxLSE


ENGAGE

We are only as strong as the weakest part of our community and country; we cannot live in a peaceful and prosperous community if a significant number of inhabitants are lacking in essential ways. For example research has shown that if a percentage of a country's children is undernourished or in other ways abused, this will directly and adversely affect the fates later on of the other children in that same country. We are interlinked in such a vital way, and participatory citizenship starts with your engagement on a local scale.

You're likely to be doing a whole host of things already - helping out family and friends, volunteering your time and energy and money where you can. And Activism can simply mean being the person you want to work with and live amongst. Many people have realized that cannot rely on our political leaders to look after the things we care deeply about, so however you choose to do it, never discount the smallest acts of leadership you can take. Allow yourself to find time to train, and teach, and in the process keep engaging in the wider political conversation.

For some comic relief, Last Week Tonight used its final show of 2016 to detail several ways in which US citizens could choose to support each other in such times of drastic change - a useful reminder of how engagement can work in practice, even if time is limited:





Finally, you're a talented actor and creator and you have an obligation to share your work!

Every profession has a unique thing to contribute and in the words of Meryl Streep at this year's Golden Globes, "An actor's only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us, and let you feel what that feels like." By acting on our impulses, engaging politically in our community and contributing to the world around us we learn and draw from other people's stories and understand the impulses that drive all kinds of human behavior. Engaging in your career with your full authentic self and voice that comes from living a full life inside and outside of our industry, will truly allow you to let your creative freak flag fly!

Be well, and if you have time to drop a line I'd love to hear how you've engaged as an activist - in your creative life or elsewhere! I'm sure this blog has only echoed what you already know and for my part it's provided a good kick up the backside -  a reminder to get out there and do my son proud (who by this point is trying to stuff my wallet with Cheerios :-)

xE

Size Matters: the when, why and how of an actor’s body weight

The Context


Those of us who work in the industry can hardly avoid the virtually nonstop discourse scrutinizing the weight of even the most proven actors: Jennifer Lawrence is considered “obese” by Hollywood standards (despite weighing less than the majority of America’s humans) and has been told she could be fired if she didn’t lose weight. Kate Winslet was told she’d have to settle for “fat girl parts” and frequently criticizes magazines for photoshopping her legs in half. Amanda Seyfried has tweeted about how she’s almost lost roles for being “overweight” and has stated previously that if she doesn’t keep her weight down, she doesn’t get work. Matriarchs such as Meryl Streep have contradicted producers by telling younger counterparts not to lose weight, and Emma Thompson has even threatened to walk off a production if the producers didn’t immediately cease asking a younger actress to lose weight. Both Streep and Thompson have commented that the requirement to be thin is “epidemic”, and despite long-held widespread criticism of this, nothing seems to change, and Hollywood starlets remain a mere percentage of the weight of the average woman. In fact, Thompson claims that Hollywood’s requirements are only “getting worse” and that women well into their thirties are simply “not eating.”


There isn’t much mercy if you’re considered to have gone too far the other way either: for example, calls for Kiera Kneightly and Calista Flockhart to gain weight have been relentless.



There certainly exist visible plus size success stories in the industry: Roseanne Barr, Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, Queen Latifah, Amy Schuemer, Amber Riley, Jennifer Hudson, to name a few. But it does not escape anyone’s notice that the allowance only applies to comediennes (where the joke is centred on them being fat) and African-American singers. Where are success stories of those “in-between” actresses, who represent the size of the average woman? With notable exceptions, pretty far and few between since the 1960s.




My Journey

Admittedly, being the daughter of a ballerina, a dancer myself, and a white-looking actress with a very latina shape, it is perhaps no surprise that I’ve had a career-long obsession with weight. 


However, my obsession was not created in a void. While I had no problem getting cast in roles from a young age, the first conservatory training program I applied for at the age of 16 told me in my interview that I needed to lose weight. When I auditioned ‘for real’ the following year, they told me flat-out I hadn’t lost enough, and I received my rejection letter in the mail shortly afterward. I worried my mother when I framed that letter and put it on my wall, the drive to prove them wrong stronger than any compliment I could have received.


I was accepted into a Broadway-based conservatory, where my classmates were of all shapes, sizes and types. Although I was accepted by my teachers and peers as talented, the mantra to lose weight never ended. I remember my father once instructed me to ask one of my acting teachers what I could do to be more hireable. The first thing he said was ‘lose weight.’ When I spoke to potential agents and producers, they told me to lose weight (I later learned they told my very skinny friends to get nose jobs, boob jobs, etc). When I went to auditions, someone would take the time to tell me how wonderful I was, and that I should lose weight. When I was cast as the lead in a national tour-- a rock musical version of Alice in Wonderland, I was told to lose “just a little bit” of weight to be perfect for the role.



When I look back at all this, it is no wonder I have a career obsession with weight. When I would compare myself to others, I only looked at one thing: how much they weighed. Importantly, when I took time out of my acting career to study and work as a counselor and social worker, my obsession and dissatisfaction with my weight disappeared. I felt healthy and attractive and enough. As soon as I re-entered the profession, the dissatisfaction returned with me. Though it is an industry issue that is much talked about and close to my heart, I have not had the courage to write about it until now.


Gender


All the examples I’ve mentioned this far have been women, and many have claimed the focus on looks and weight in Hollywood is a gendered issue. However, unlike age, I’ve noticed that weight very much seems to be an issue for male actors as well. I notice the pressure my male actor friends feel to be be built like Thor and own a six-pack, and that some worry and stress and eating-disorder themselves as much as women do. The term “Bigorexia” has even been coined to describe the fairly recent phenomenon.


For the Role


There are times when preparing for a role calls for weight gain or weight loss. Not only is this accepted in Hollywood, being able to harness large weight loss or gain for a role is often synonymous with critical acclaim (think Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones Diary, John Travolta in Michael, Christian Bale in American Hustle, Eric Bana in The Hulk).




But this kind of expedited and vicissitudinal weight change has also been condemned as unhealthy and dangerous, and certainly represents a higher risk than changing your accent or dying your hair. Some actors have taken a stance at losing weight for a role, such as Jennifer Lawrence’s supported decision despite the title of Hunger Games. Amanda Seyfried has also said she won’t lose weight for a role.


What to Do


After having just given birth to my second baby, the questions haunt me now as much as ever. How much should I lose? Should I lose? Should I even be thinking about this???


My advice to myself, and to anyone else out there with these questions, is this:

  • Be your healthiest self. The self that allows you to use your physical self to get what you need done and savour your time on Earth and enjoy mental health as well.
  • Make peace with how you look on screen/stage and use it to your advantage. No matter what you look like, you will be perfect for a certain ‘type.’ Market yourself accordingly.
  • If someone mentions your weight, use Emma Thompson’s fabulous line: “Do you want an actor or a model?”




  • Stand up for others. If you see someone getting told they have to change their face, skin color, body shape to be more perfect, say something. Maybe you don’t have the clout to threaten to walk off a project, but you can certainly say “Well, I think this really brings a wonderful sense of humanity and vulnerability to her work” or at the very least, go tell him privately you think he’s fabulous and those guys are losers.
  • Remember, that as an actor, it is HUMANITY you need for your audience to connect to you. Think of stars like Judy Garland and Mae West, whose body you probably never even noticed.
  • Go find examples of people who look like you that have had successful careers.
  • Market yourself in a market that likes your look! I remember being impressed by Bollywood’sAishwarya Rai, Italy’s Monica Belucci, France’s Juliette Binoche…
  • When it comes to physically adapting for a role, remember it’s your call. Hurting myself for a role or endangering future work is not on the cards.
  • Remember the consumer: some producer's idea of perfection is hardly what most people want to see. It is not for no reason shows like Girls' and Ugly Betty are such a hit with the public.




Do you guys have any great advice to add? I would love to hear it! Here’s hoping we all find peace and uninterrupted focus on what’s most important: the work, the connecting!

Actors: Start Building Press


So it has been quite an interesting journey looking to generate press in London around projects I've been a part of lately, and it has brought up much to talk about!

As actors we tend to not always think of generating press and I've really started to realise that we have to. Why? Because we are a business! Start-up businesses do it all the time to get seen and heard out there alongside ones that are established so that leaves no excuse for us really. It's time to start and to keep going!

Get press written about you wherever and whenever you can, to even have bloggers do interviews with you online is useful! So why get press? Well, it's great for anyone who is looking to apply for an O1 Visa to the U.S. of course (part of my reasoning for jumping in) but to also keep people aware of who you are & what you do. Just as importantly it's a great muscle to exercise-- talking about yourself-- as we have to do it continuously in this industry, at times in auditions, always in general meetings & interviews on any scale.




Why don't we do it as often as we should?

Because we think our story isn't worth telling right? WRONG! Your story is ALWAYS worthy. What I've learned is that every reporter in every entertainment section of a magazine/paper online or print are truly wanting to hear your story, they crave stories, they are also story tellers like you! Everyone loves a story. Get it? We get so caught up in thinking 'oh that was just a bit part in a film that's not worth mentioning the experience of' or 'oh I'm not a A-lister yet so why the hell would anyone want to talk about me publicly?' All that noise truly effects your worth, so start getting proud of all that you have achieved and start talking about it - PUBLICLY! It's great self-development work alongside very awesome pro-active work that will help further raise your profile. People need to be aware of you and what you do in order to get interested in working with you. Making sense?



So where to start?

Take a look at the work you've done or what you are about to work on. That doesn't have to mean a huge NBC show or studio film. It could be a short film that went to festivals that you are extremely proud of and truly feel your performance in it is some of your best work or perhaps it's an indie feature you've mucked in on with a collective of creatives that you have high hopes for and want to talk about the experience of. Even an indie where you had a day player role but worked with an A-lister. All of these things are worthy of news. You're an actor. You work on your craft. You are pro-active and working towards building your profile more and more each day. People love to hear what it is you are doing, your experiences and what you are working towards. So don't worry if you haven't played opposite Brad Pitt in a huge supporting role for 45 scenes of his next feature, it doesn't need to be that (but if you have, then you better drum up a ton of press now to keep that ball rolling)!

Once you've looked at what you feel you want to talk about, go to local papers/magazines in your current area or the ones in the town you grew up in. That'll get the press train rolling for sure and always get a link-- or if it's print only, ask the editor you speak to to send you a PDF image of the print page. I always recommend calling up a paper's newsroom line and asking for a reporter who works in the entertainment section (online or print) - emails get buried easily as these people are very busy and on the plus side you will start to make more of a connection and relationship with the reporter from talking on the phone, resulting in you then having a follow-up-buddy in that paper or mag for follow-up pieces!

Also track down those online bloggers who love doing pieces on short films, films, TV shows, acting reviews, all of that. They may want to interview you so you get a great profile piece online of what it's like to be an actor or more about the last project you are working on etc. They are great resources and if they've been blogging for a while chances are they have a great amount of traffic who will then look you up even further.

There are companies you can talk to in helping generate press with the bigger magazines and papers. They do charge a fee but depending on what kind of work you've been bagging lately it may be a great avenue to explore. A company I've been recommended and have been to a Q&A with before (courtesy of UK Actors Tweetup) is London Flair PR. It's definitely worth starting a conversation with them as they can be very honest about whether they can help you or not (I've been told) and they are a fantastic company.



One last resource I'd like to share with you is my good friend & awesome actress Angela Peters. She is one of the founders of UK Actors Tweetup, but also mentors actors and has incredible insights into the business of acting here in London-- furthermore in how to generate press! You can check her mentoring page out here Acting Mentor - B.A.B.E and that's lots of juicy stuff for you all to get your teeth into!



I hope you take a great venture in building press for yourselves, make a page on your website for press too where all your press links and pdfs can be stored for all to see.

Get yourself seen and heard! Share your story and remember that others really do want to hear it wherever and whenever you can! The only story stopping you is the one you are telling yourself.