By Richard Lawrence-Allen
Trying to forge a career within the performing arts is hard work. Incredibly hard work. More and more young actors graduate each year looking to follow their dreams, entering an already saturated marketplace. Competition is fierce. As with all freelance creative careers, actors face the challenges of constantly searching for new work, tackling short-term contracts, and large periods of unemployment between jobs. This is of course where RSVP comes in very handy; keeping actors financially afloat during resting periods.
Nevertheless, finances aside for a moment, there is a lot involved in sustaining a career in the entertainment industry. It can be overwhelming juggling different aspects of your personal and professional life and knowing what to prioritise as an actor. This applies not just to people new to the business, but to well-established veterans as well. Maintaining motivation, determination and momentum in a performing career can be a daunting task, and one that not all drama schools can fully prepare you for, if you were lucky enough to be able to attend full-time vocational training. However, whether or not you are drama school-trained, help is at hand navigating the peaks and pitfalls of being an actor in the form of Surviving Actors.
Founded by a graduate of The Court Theatre Training Company, Felicity Jackson, Surviving Actors run conventions for actors throughout the year in venues across the UK, including London, Manchester and Edinburgh, and even stretch their reach internationally to New York! The conventions are designed to create an environment attendees can meet other industry professionals to help network and develop their careers. They offer an extensive range of workshops, seminars and one-to-one sessions with invited guests, and host open casting calls as well. General admission to the event is free and each workshop/seminar can be booked for as little as £7.00. Attendees will also get the opportunity to talk to various different exhibitors in the event, including those representing various casting directories, show reel companies, headshot photographers, etc.
Surviving Actors’ Founder and director, Felicity Jackson
Surviving Actors’ next event will be held in London at the Radisson Blu Protman Hotel on Saturday 9th February 2019. It never fails to be an incredibly popular and well-attended event, so make sure to book ahead if you would like to go along, particularly if you’d like to grab a few of the seminars throughout the day. You can make your bookings on the Surviving Actors website here: https://www.survivingactors.com/london. The event kicks off at 10:00am (though it’s best to arrive early to beat the queues) and will run right up until 5:00pm. This year celebrates Surviving Actors’ 10th anniversary, and the event promises to be bigger and better than ever!
Surviving Actors also offer their very own Surviving Actors Manual. A fantastic book by Felicity Jackson, and sales and events manager, Lianne Robertson, it covers all of the essentials an actor needs to know in creating a viable business plan, including branding, reels, dealing with agents, managing money and much, much more! Copies are currently on offer for just £6.00 at Surviving Actors website here: https://www.survivingactors.com/buy-the-manual.
Also. Make sure to check out their website for Surviving Actors’ suggested ‘Survival Jobs’ that actors can take up between performing roles, in partnership with Casting Directory Star Now, where RSVP will often feature too: https://www.starnow.com/casting-hub/survival-jobs/.
Surviving Actors event never fails to be both a fun and incredibly useful event, invaluable in the advice and information that they provide, so make sure to go along if you can!
If you can’t make the London event coming up next month, do make sure to follow their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, @survivingactors, to stay up to date with other events, 10th birthday celebrations and other opportunities throughout the year!