Currently busy in development with a female led body horror and an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation in conjunction with Lunar Lander films’ BFI vision award funded slate, Laura is no stranger to hard work, grinding and getting the work done. Previously Laura directed five short films in the UK, Germany and Australia that were all commissioned by the BFI and Channel 4, amongst others, as well as directing countless episodes of television for some of Britain’s most well known shows like The Cut and Hollyoaks and developing feature films with support from financiers such as Creative Europe and the BFI. She is one busy lady. We sat down with Laura to find out what she is up to now, how she feels about casting actors, and the state of play for female directors in the UK right now – because it is a hot topic right now after all.
Gabrielle Miller in THE OUTBACK MOTEL. Director: Laura Smith
Casting Networks: Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about how you got started in the directing world, and how long you’ve been directing? Was it through studying at NFTS or did it start way before you were accepted into the highly prestigious NFTS director course?read more
One of the great mysteries (and frustrations) in the casting world is why some actors don’t show up to their audition appointments. Right now you, the actor, are either shouting at your computer in exasperation because you would never miss an audition, let alone be unprepared or late. Or, you are going though the list of what seems to be legitimate reasons an actor (ahem, you) sometimes miss auditions. And while I’ll fully admit those legitimate excuses exist, I’m sure it’s not nearly as often as I hear them. What’s the big deal? That’s well covered territory, but a quick recap: it’s a BIG deal. So, what gives?
Commercial actors should never stop assessing why they don’t show up. read more
Time-tested tools to keep you on track
After spending a chunk of the holiday break shredding old tax documents, I can definitively confirm what I have long suspected: that I used to be more addicted to acquiring tools than using them wisely. read more
The New Year arrives wrapped in a glistening layer of Hope. There is a sense that one can start over. The slate is cleared. All our mistakes and misfortunes are joyfully replaced by visions of abundant opportunities arising in the future. The word “new” is such a delicious word. It comes packed with the thrill of experiencing something good. The hope of finally getting what you have desired. read more
By Lenka Silhanova
You may have been told by your agent, manager or by a casting director that you should use social media to promote your career. You’ve read all these “success stories” that actors were cast because they had a lot of followers on social media. So you created profiles and started promoting yourself like you’ve been told to do so… you share your demo reel, tell people to go check out your profiles on casting websites or to visit your own website. But what happens is that nobody’s reacting to anything you share and your follower count is not growing either. That is really frustrating and you wonder “Is this social media thing just a waste of time?”, right? read more
When you are a true lover of the theatre, many believe you have a higher calling/moral obligation to support the new stuff, the home grown stuff, the challenging, strange and goofy stuff. We all want a world with new and innovative theatre and not just the classics produced over and over. Los Angeles has a surprising amount of new theatre being produced and supporting the cause is important, if not required. Now let’s be clear, you don’t have to like it and many times you probably won’t. But those shows turn into, or, at the very least, provide a start for the shows that take our breath away, inspire and entertain us. You can’t have one without the other. read more
The beginning of the year always brings up lists of resolutions and goals. There is a place for that at times, and other times, a resolutions place is in the trash. Yep, you heard that right. There is so much pressure to create grand lists, become a “regular” at the gym and completely cut out carbs, sugar and dairy. Just writing that sentence makes me wanna cuddle up in sweats only suitable for the house with a big bowl of pasta topped with parmesan. My idea of the way to start a new year is to clean the clutter on the outside which inadvertently cleans the clutter on the inside. read more
“Perspective gives us the ability to reflect on our lives and to gain a very necessary distance from the daily bubble we live in” – Miranda O’Hare
A few months back, I came quite close to booking a job that I had become very attached to. When I found out that in fact I had not booked the job, instead of my usual ‘ugh that sucks, forget about it three minutes later’ routine, this one stung. I tried to brush it off and continue on but a couple of hours later when I found myself crying into a plate of fries sending dramatic texts in caps to my friends like ‘I CAN’T KEEP DOING THIS,’ I realised I might be a little upset about this one. read more
“I believe very strongly in the quality of an ensemble spirit”
-Damien Ryan, Managing Artistic Director, Sport for Jove.
For many actors home is where the theatre is. Whilst the big bright shimmering lights of Hollywood lure many of us into the world of motion pictures, there is something comforting about the authenticity and artistic freedom of the stage that permits actors of all different merit to tread the boards throughout their careers.
Sport for Jove (SPJ) is one of Australia’s leading independent theatre companies. As a producer I have always admired their hard work and cultural contribution to the independent art scene and, as an actor I have always been in awe of their immense talent and vision.
Managing Artistic Director of SPJ is the multi award winning director Damien Ryan, with a career that spans over 20 years in the industry as an actor and a director; Damien has been the driving force in cementing SPJ.
In the midst of another successful outdoor summer season, Damien shares with us a detailed and insightful look into Sydney’s most compelling independent theatre company. read more
Social media is a way of life and should not, and cannot be avoided. It’s worth looking at the pros and cons of social media in your career.
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS
A big question seems to be, “does it matter how many followers I have?” “Will I get more auditions or book more commercials if I have more followers?” “Can the number of followers I have help me get more bookings?”