As the blossom tree buds brave the early-Spring cold, there’s a scent of promise in the air. It’s slow progress, but I’m moving forwards...‘Everyday I’m Hustlin’...so here’s a little Hustle Report of what I’ve managed to achieve in the past couple of months.
It was a great decision to audition for a play - an unpaid job at my friend’s fringe venue - Matchstick Theatre. A chance to flex my acting muscles and re-build my post-break confidence. I won the job and enjoyed the process and performances, which were warmly received.
An important realisation arose - that going forward I will no longer be pursuing stage work. Now I love theatre and I always will. 95% of my training has been for the stage- and (perhaps logically) 95% of my professional work.
But here at the start of my career whilst I’m trying to get a foothold, it seems the wiser option to pursue Film/TV which is by far the more popular, far-reaching medium. And where the money is!
Coming to this realisation has given me a wonderful clarity of purpose - I’ve since been dedicated to sharpening my screen acting skills, continuing Manuel Puro’s self-tape course to which I submit several audition tapes each week- a powerful discipline.
In turn I’ve set the important goal of improving my showreel - the most powerful tool that an actor has to win screen work. A showreel is a short portfolio clip - a selection of what projects you’ve acted on to-date. If a young actor is being considered for a project - their showreel is the first thing to be reviewed by the creative team.
If an actor is starting out and hasn’t worked on many projects they may consider paying hundreds hundreds of pounds to have a Showreel custom scripted and shot for them - from a company such as Slick Showreels. But as an aspiring filmmaker with my own kit - I’m set on making my own for free! Fortunately I’ve been getting lots of practice in lately...
Some great advice I got: the fastest way to get better at filmmaking is to get making films. Lots of them. Get on with quantity and don’t get stuck on quality. So in the past weeks that’s what I’ve done - shooting a varied mix of subjects/styles to get to grips with camera operation/editing...
I approached a corporate mental health charity and offered to shoot event coverage:
I approached a contemporary dancer and offered to shoot her rehearsal to make a dance video:
I approached the organisers of a dance collaboration event and offered to shoot a promo video:
For experience of working on dramatic scenes I've been helping actor friends with ‘Self-tape’ auditions at my home studio. It was great to observe their work - understanding from a directing point of view how I can encourage their performance.
And last weekend I got together with a friend and filmed a two-hander scene - to be usable on my showreel. I made a few rookie mistakes and ultimately fell short of the professional quality I was aiming for. Turns out that camera operating a scene that you’re acting in is rather tricky!
Now the search is on to find more material and collaborating crew that will ensure high production value. To that end I’ve attended a couple of networking events such as ‘Cine Circle’ - meeting some great people to work with. Soon I hope to have an embarrassment of riches to edit my showreel from!
Finally - I wanted to make the pledge that I’ll be making my next blog post as a video post. Whilst I enjoy practicing writing - I have everything I need at this point to be making a decent Vlog - and I shouldn’t be missing any opportunity to work with my camera. So tune in next time folks!