Theatrical & Model Agencies
So you or your child would like a career in the performing arts...
You often see advertisements in the local papers inviting young people and children (accompanied by their parents) to attend open acting and model agency auditions in hotels or similar venues. Very often these promise - in return for a 'book fee' - the chance to sign up with the agency and attend auditions for films, television commercials and photo shoots.
All too often the reality fails to live up to the promises and the individual finds themselves out of pocket and depressed at what they consider their failure to succeed. The best way to avoid this type of situation is to approach established reputable agencies yourself. They will provide you with a realistic viewpoint on your or your child's potential but who are they and how do you contact them?
Below you will find some information on reputable Theatre Schools and agencies however if you are confused as to whether you should consider sending your child to a Theatre School - or if you are still hoping to pursuade your parents to send you - read this piece of advice from Sylvia Young who runs the Sylvia Young Theatre School first.
Stage Schools and Children's Agencies
Ravenscourt Theatre School and agency has a good reputation of combining acting with academic studies.
Sylvia Young Stage School and agency
Scallywags Agency is a large Essex agency that has an excellent reputation for television commercials and photographic shoot auditions most of which take place in central London. They have a waiting list but will often take on whole families or even young adults if they feel that they have commercial potential.
Adult's Acting / Theatre Schools and Agencies
It is much harder to break into acting as an adult than it is as a child. Agents usually demand that you have had recognised training via a comprehensive list of reputable theatre schools - and this is often essential if you want your acting to be taken seriously.
RADA, LAMDA and the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama are the most popular theatrical schools - though even those don't come with a guarantee that you will ever make it as a professional actor. The audition process is very tough, there aren't many places available and often only the panel of auditioners really know what kind of person they are looking for. One thing for certain though is that you have to have that X factor - that extra something that makes you stand out from the crowd.
The ability to talk in an RP (Received Pronunciation) accent also gives you an advantage as a regional accent restricts the amount of work that is open to you. Elocution lessons are expensive but well worth the investment if you are serious about acting.
Remember, although the narrative of some films depict young girls and boys being 'spotted' by directors or producers in restaurants, car washes and shopping malls this rarely happens in America and is almost unheard of in the UK. If you really want to be a professional actor you have to be in the right place at the right time and the only way to achieve that is through sacrifice, determination, patience and a lot of hard work.
Buy The Stage newspaper and check for open auditions every week, buy a copy of the 'Contacts' book and send you photographs out to all the agencies in there and most importantly keep following your dream.
If you would like to learn more about theatrical schools please visit the links below:
RADA - Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
LAMDA - London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Before attending any auditions or replying to an advertisements that you see in your local paper or magazines please read these tips from The Stage.
and read this BBC News article on Rogue Model Agencies
or listen to this BBC Radio Interview
more will appear here shortly...