Act Smart: Don’t Quit Your “A” Job

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We’ve each gotta do what we’ve gotta do to get the bills paid. If we’re really lucky, we’re getting paid to do the thing we want to do the most, i.e., “acting for dollars,” as my friend O-Lan dubs it.

But there are inevitable stretches where life can start to feel like one of two very dangerous things.

The first is a fairly common phenomenon for most of us at some point in our acting careers, especially the beginning point: that head-down, nose-to-the-grindstone, bring-home-the-bacon (or appropriate vegan substitute) time. You know—the months (or years) when it feels like we’re scrambling to make rent, pay the utilities, and keep ourselves in current headshots. During these times, it’s extremely helpful to have what friends in the recovery world call a “B” job: some non-taxing, reasonably well-paying job that covers our monthly expenses and leaves some time and resources left over to pursue The Vision, a.k.a. the for-now dream of becoming a professional actor.

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The Conscious Actor: 4 Ways to Stop Being A People Pleaser

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Are you aware of how invested you are in getting people to like you? It’s astonishing, the lengths that some will go in order to be liked and accepted by others. In fact, some people carefully monitor their behavior to avoid negative judgment altogether. This is especially true for those unfortunate enough to have grown up in a household where family members continually pointed out what they were doing wrong. An unhealthy environment can lead to deep feelings of inadequacy. It can also make people lean towards becoming perfectionists and people pleasers.

If this sounds like you, maybe it’s time to stop putting all your energy in trying to please others and redirect it towards pleasing yourself. The truth is that it’s impossible to be liked and accepted by everyone. Not everyone is going to fall in love with you, no matter how hard you try; just accept that fact. Humans are by nature judgmental; that’s just the way the mind works.  You don’t have to trap yourself in a self-made prison of people pleasing. Instead, learn ways to free yourself. Here are four ways to let go of fear.

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Theatre Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

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Jane Kaczmarek and Alfred Molina in ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ at the Geffen Playhouse

When was this written? Who wrote this? Okay, I admit, I didn’t ask the second question because the sole reason I went to see Long Day’s Journey Into Night was because it was written by Eugene O’Neill, thought to be the greatest American playwright (or certainly one of them) of all time, and this, his greatest play. And it’s on stage, people. Remember reading it in theatre school? Yeah, I don’t either. So this rare opportunity is yours—not only if you reside in the City of Angels, but if you live anywhere in the country; BroadwayHD will be streaming it live on March 11th at 7pm PST/10pm EST, with the broadcast then available on-demand through March 21st—if you have a subscription, of course. And this will the streaming site’s first broadcast from the Geffen Playhouse! But let’s go back to the first question. I did actually wonder to myself when this humdinger of a play was written, for two reasons: it’s really long and it’s really current. Current? Read on . . .

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Casting Networks Manchester Q&A with Jane Anderson

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Casting Networks Manchester are very excited to have special quest casting director Jane Anderson join us on Thursday 30 May for our first FREE members event of the year!

Jane AndersonJane Anderson casts for both emerging & established directors. Before forging out on her own in Spring 2010 she had spent 6 years working with, and being guided by, some of the most respected casting directors in the industry including, as an assistant, Di Carling, Rachel Freck, Gary Davy and as a casting associate with Kate Rhodes James.

Her casting has been informed and is inspired by her life experience; growing up in a diverse family in London, a photography degree, 3 years in production in her early 20s, as well as travelling extensively and living in Melbourne for 5 years.

Jane Anderson’s casting ranges from comedy through to gritty dramas. She continually updates her knowledge of established and rising talent in order to maintain her innovative and fresh approach to casting.


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Health Uncensored: Tips for Actors to Own Their Lines Like a Boss!

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Where did I put my keys? Has anyone seen my script? Crap, what’s that girls name? She was in my improv class last year. I wish I had someone with me to introduce to ask her name.

Having a slight lapse in memory is one thing, but forgetting lines that your job relies on is another. The quicker a performer can commit their scene to memory, the better. Keeping our brains quick and sharp is a beneficial tool for acting, and life in general.

There are foods that feed our brains, and others that have the killer combo of taking a parting gift of brain cells and leaving the unwanted gift of fat cells. So what the heck are these foods? Let’s start with the ones that don’t belong on set: refined sugars, white bleached flours, fried foods, artificial sugars, artificial colors, hydrogenated oils, saturated fats, and heavily processed meats. Research shows that saturated fat impairs concentration and increases the risk of dementia. Additionally, a high stress environment, negative emotions, and lack of sleep eats away at our memory too. Take a deep breath with me right now and hit the hay early tonight. And not with your scene partner!

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5 Questions with Actor Aaron Glenane

Aaron Glenane as Michael Gudinski in Molly.

Aaron Glenane as Michael Gudinski in Molly

“Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.”
– Winston Churchill.


It was 1938 when Winston Churchill spoke these sentiments; the world was approaching a war that Britain would engage in for national survival. Yet, even on the brink of a shattering historic episode, one of the most powerful men in the world recognised the importance of the arts in defining it’s time and empowering it’s people.

Storytelling is fundamental to the preservation of civilisation; it reinforces a nation’s cultural and social interest, cultivating historical events which otherwise would dissolve with time. With each brush stroke and penned word, citizenries are enlightened to the melody of the times and the narrative of the creative visionary is ignited.

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Theatre Angel: 5 Top Tips for Working in Costume with Fern McCauley

The Ripper Street Cast onset. Image: BBC America

The Ripper Street Cast onset. Image: BBC America

“It’s not just about the actors, the directors or your own team. Everyone is making this show happen and good working relationships are so important.”

Theatre, film, and TV bring imaginative worlds to life, transporting us through the magic of so many unseen creative hearts and minds. We so often celebrate actors, the ‘front-men/women’ of a production’s colossal galleon that is, in fact, sailed, steered, and charted by so many other (often unsung) talented artists: craftspeople and specialists. The very visual artistic screen and stage mediums owe much to their intricately styled and detailed costuming (evident in the jarring response we so often have to seeing, say, a watch on a Roman solider’s arm, instantly pulling us out of the world’s verisimilitude).

If you are one of these talented people who work so tirelessly behind the scenes to enrich our senses (and make actors’ lives so much easier), then we salute you! Or if, perhaps, you are an actor (or other creative) fascinated by the beautiful, tumbling world of silks, tapestries, scratchy old hessian sacks, gold, beading, and embroidery, then Casting Networks Australia is delighted to bring you these 5 Top Tips for Working in Costume with the gorgeous and talented Fern McCauley, actress and purveyor of costumes to the stars, who has worked on some of the UK’s best screen and stage projects.

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Outward Film Network and Their Ethos

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This week Casting Networks caught up with the folk at Outward Film Network (OFN), a Midlands and London based filmmaking organisation that boast support for low and no budget filmmaking. Their remit is to support all those filmmakers who can’t reach the general population because they just don’t have the funds or support. What a great idea. So here we talk with one of the founders, Matthew Simmonds, about what they offer, how they can help actors and filmmakers, and what’s coming up for OFN.


Casting Networks: So can you tell us a little about Outward Film Network and how it came to be?

Outward Film Network: The Outward Film Network was setup to support, produce, and promote films shot on a no/low budget. Heading Outward is Matthew Simmonds, David Woods, and Phil Slatter. We’ve been making movies (short and feature) and writing about film for over fifteen years.

Outward looks to embrace an approach to making film that’s often considered as being amateur or “student” filmmaking. We don’t think it’s beneficial to be catagorised, we can’t afford to compete with indie films (20k + budget), and to be catagorised as amateur creates an even greater disconnect. Influenced by movements such Dogme 95 and mumblecore, we like to discuss and make films that don’t fall into the “indie” or “industry” category.

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The Importance and Value of Live Script Read Throughs

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After yet another smashing night of Manchester ADP’s supremely popular event ‘Scripts Aloud’ I’ve spoken to four of the key players: Jaki McCarrick, writer of the engaging and heartbreaking Bohemians; Kyle Walker, the sole performer in the emotional journey that is My Man (written by Kenton Thomas); and the two wonderful women who make all of it possible—Hannah Ellis and Diana Atkins.

We asked each of them the simple question:

How do these ADP read throughs benefit you?


Diana Atkins – Producer

Producing ADP is such a buzz. It’s really lovely to be able to create opportunities for people to do what they love. To see all the hard work come together at each show always leaves me on a high (I usually can’t sleep that night!). I’m an actor too and producing ADP has opened doors that probably never would have been open to me before.

The main thing for me is the community that it’s created. I’m relatively new to Manchester, and it’s been a really great way to make friends and get to know other creatives. ADP really does feel like a big family!

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5 Questions with Actor Socratis Otto

Socratis Otto

Socratis Otto

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle


It is only the beginning of 2017 and already humanity has witnessed both division and unity. We have watched the greatest super power of the free world change leadership, initiating a global movement, which has ignited the voices of the most influential people in the world. Their purpose alone empowers and motivates communities to develop ideas and engage in creativity.

The arts, much like civilization, is beautiful like that. With the stroke of imagination, the gift of a voice, and the power of character, we have the freedom to create work that echoes life’s gravities and the depths of the human soul. Things are never what they seem and the artist who benevolently portrays the boldest of parts with conviction is a powerful source.

Graduating from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) in 2000, Socratis Otto has become a household name amongst Australian audiences. With his striking features and smouldering curiosity he has birthed some of the most distinguished roles to date on the Australian Stage, TV, and Film arena.

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