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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2010
     (8226.1)
    As a few of you know, I've been struggling really hard with my university work lately, up to the point where I decided to take a year off to see if I want to go back or not. I'll have finished third year anyway, so the Bachelor is mine, if not the honors bit you get from a fourth year.

    What am I going to do with that time? Well, it was in my first year an online friend of mine told me that he never understood why I never went into performance. Since then, it has stuck with me. Why DID I never try to go for acting schools, etc? Oh, it's such an unsecure future, you might say. But filmmaking ISN'T?! So here I am. Let's see where this road takes me, eh?

    I've got Equity (The British actor's union), I've got a Casting Call Pro profile and I'm applying for acting jobs left, right and center. I've got a couple of auditions for Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows coming up, which - while unpaid - are great experience, exposure and professional credits. It'll probably take me years before I can live off acting, but we'll see what happens.

    Though I am doing research all over the place and also following the discussions on Casting Call Pro, I'm wondering if there's anyone else here who's taken the same plunge and have some knowledge to drop or anything else of the sort.
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      CommentAuthorAlastair
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2010
     (8226.2)
    good luck you mad bastard,

    p.s lemme know if you get into any shows, i'll come support you
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      CommentAuthorfiasco
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2010
     (8226.3)
    I've been a professional actress in Chicago for a few years now - I don't know if any of my advice would really apply, since it is a completly different scene (one where you can work a lot more if you're NOT a part of the union... sometimes. It is complicated). It sounds like you've got your head on straight - I know so many people who are shocked, SHOCKED, that they will have to do other things besides performance to supplimate their income. It is something you do because you HAVE to, not because you want to - at least, that is my feeling toward acting and arts in general. Good luck.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2010
     (8226.4)
    Thanks a lot. It does feel a bit mad to throw three years of studies and student loans (about £50K) out the window to go in for something like this, but the fact remains that one of the few things that can lift me to euphoria is acting. It can be hard and unthanking and somewhat depressing as well, but the happiness I get from performing is too delicious to walk away from. Add to that the fact that my studies make me more and more depressed, stressed out and sure I don't want to actually MAKE film myself, and I really have no choice.

    So yeah. Fiasco, I completely agree with you. It's like many have said on the "Why do you create?" thread: I have no choice. That is a massive oversimplification, but it does kind of boil down to that sentence, and it was time I shunted the acting "hobby" position and made the stuff that I have to do to make money the "hobby" instead.
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2010
     (8226.5)
    What is your degree in?

    The specifics of making it out where I live are a bit different, I think. But there are some constants - networking & persistence, networking & persistence. And a gigantic butt load of undeserved good fortune. If you were here in LA I would say the only thing your missing is an agent. I don't know if that's how it works in the UK, but it may help if you can feel certain you have a reputable, well connected agent who - most importantly - is truly committed to your career. There are plenty of fakes and bad agents out here so always be careful and double check.

    Break a leg!
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2010
     (8226.6)
    if you get famous don´t forget all of us!
  1.  (8226.7)
    @Magnulus You didn't go to acting school because you know the best school is reality. ^_^ Break a leg!
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2010 edited
     (8226.8)
    Hey, if you think you can do it, do it! I love your videos and I'm sure you'll do a great job! Especially in the Fringe Festival! My one concern is when you go to television/film work, as scenes involving the removal of your shirt might be problematic. The problem being that your tattoo of Jack Skellington, a trademarked character of Disney, is very prominent. And while it will most likely be no problem, there could be some producers who will get jittery at the possibility of a lawsuit. But even then it can be fixed by just not showing that side in the shots. Or makeup, which tends to solve everything.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2010
     (8226.9)
    razrangel: My degree is in Film, so it's related at least. I've been on both sides of the fence, so to speak.

    The road to getting an agent in the UK can be pretty long. In order to get professional work in the UK, you almost HAVE to have Equity, because it shows you're serious about your craft. Even with this, though, an agent most likely won't even see you unless you're registered with Spotlight, which is the industry standard in the UK for casting websites. Basically: EVERYONE is there, including the big names. BUT you can't get on spotlight unless you have at least three professional credits.

    So much concern right now is to get as many professional credits as possible and also to get some GOOD professional credits that I can send free tickets to agents to come and see. That way, I'm visible. That way, I might get an agent.

    icelandbob: How could I?! I think it'll be especially hard to forget you, ye sick bastard. ^_^

    cinnamonandspite: Hahah, we'll see!Thanks! *falls down the stairs and breaks a leg*

    oldhat: Yeah, that has been a concern of mine, but I've also noticed that if you watch any kind of TV show, there are usually a surprising amount of hidden tattoos in there. Heroes, Carnivale, Scrubs, etc. Bonus for me is that it wouldn't be as obvious since it sits right in a different tattoo, so the blotch wouldn't be as glaring. Also, if I need to be completely tat-less, the best way to do it is cover the entire arm, which again makes the blotch less visible.
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      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2010
     (8226.10)
    Don't think that having spent years learning filmmaking was a waste because you want to go into acting. Having been on both sides of the fence, as you said, is definitely a boon, as it means you've got a lot to bring to the table and can really add to a film. I'm a bit young, so I've not quite had the experience, but I also want to go into acting, though my primary focus is of writing anything and everything right now, and then I might direct at the end of the day, because really, everything is brilliant.

    Now I don't know how it really works in the UK, because I am in Canada and we are all crazy people, but the best advice I'll give is that you shouldn't spend as much time worrying about credits and agents and all that as you probably think you should. Which isn't to say you shouldn't do it a lot, just not to the extent that it takes your focus off being great, which is really what you need to do. Just be as great as you can possibly be, and hope that it's amazing (which it may well not be, as no one is as talented as they think they are, including me, but I don't know you) and people will notice how great you are and invite you to be great. Well, maybe. Probably.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeMay 17th 2010
     (8226.11)
    Oh, I'm the kind of guy who thinks nothing is ever a waste unless you make it a waste. Even if I went into... uhm... designing mugs for some reason, I wouldn't consider the past three years a waste. It has taught me a lot about myself, how I work, what my limits are, etc. Especially since I am an actor, my profession is ALL about life experience in general.

    Well, you can be as brilliant as you like and hope to be "noticed", but in 99% of cases, that's not going to happen. Acting is an incredibly crowded and competitive profession, and you need to work hard to be seen. Of COURSE you should focus on doing your absolute best, but you can't do your best if no one wants to hire you to do so. You need to do your best both as an actor and as a *shudder* self promoter. The received wisdom is that 95% of the time you apply for a gig, you won't even get an audition, so it stands to reason that you need to work hard to get those jobs, get those credits and get that agent.

    Of course, when you have an agent, that's not your work done either. You still have to work hard to promote yourself. It's a really, really challenging business, but the personal rewards from a job caught and well done are also fantastic.

    I'm up for three unpaid auditions this week, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2010
     (8226.12)
    I don't do gratuitous bumps of my own threads, which means that in this case, it must not be gratuitous.

    I thought I'd let you know that I've just been offered my first acting gig! It's an original children's play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Huuuuge cultural festival with tons of stuff happening. Edinburgh basically goes absolutely mental for a month) and it's called Aberglas. It's a bit of an untraditional adventure story of two young girls who meet various fairy tale creatures and people. I get to play their grandfather, a handsome but useless Prince and a magic fish! There's also a female knight and an elf, etc etc.

    I've come to realise that I'd probably be best suited for children's plays and such, so this is going to be a lot of fun. It's going to be running all through the Fringe as well (6th - 30th August) so I'll be plenty busy and also will have the time to really get into the characters, which can only be a good thing.

    If you're at the Fringe and would like some easy, family-friendly fun let me know!
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      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2010
     (8226.13)
    I'll take my nieces to see that Mags! Sounds brilliant. Best of luck with your further endeavours.
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2010
     (8226.14)
    Excellent Magnulus! Break a leg! I've always wanted to get to Edinburgh Fringe, at the very least to see the madness for myself. It's very much a life-dream to get a show there!
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      CommentAuthorAlastair
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2010
     (8226.15)
    i might be there tail-end, pint?
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      CommentAuthorRooth
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2010
     (8226.16)
    Good luck Man!
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2012
     (8226.17)
    Oh hey!

    Figured I'd make an update to this.

    Since the last post, I have worked two paying gigs. One minor panto before christmas 2010, and one gig for the entirety of 2011 acting in four children's shows at the Butlins Holiday Resort in Minehead here in the UK, among them Lazytown, from which I have assembled a show reel:
    Lazytown Live

    Since January, I've been updating my acting website and appearing in student films. I've also registered with Model Mayhem where I met some people I took some shots with. I'm still filming the last few films and have a couple more stills shoots to do, and then I'll be hunting for an agent to represent me. Hopefully, my peculiar looks and energy will land me someone good. :)

    So that's the update. I'll upload a showreel from the film's I'm doing right now once I have the finished films. I'm honestly having a blast these days and am incredibly hopeful though fearful for the future. Who knows what it'll bring?
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2012
     (8226.18)
    Holy cow, I didn't know all this. I must have missed this thread the first time around. Well, I take my hat off to you sir. It takes a big pair to jack in something you've invested a lot (time, money) into, and just dive into something more or less unproved. I'm so pleased you're making it work out - due I'm sure to equal parts very hard work and talent. Bravo.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
     (8226.19)
    A lot of time and some money, yeah. I need to spend more money on it (more acting classes, stage combat courses, horse riding lessons as I have some experience already and might as well flesh it out, etc etc) but that will have to wait until I HAVE money to spend on it. I was lucky enough to have Yskaya help me get a nice theme for my website set up and I have the patience and (limited) knowhow to maintain it and make it look alright myself. I've also designed my own business cards and am editing my own showreels (which easily cost 100-200 quid each). Paid a professional photographer for my headshots, though, which was totally worth it.

    I feel positive about my prospects. I'm not sure how my work this past month will look on screen, but I know that even if it's not all that good, I can still develop further. I have a lot to learn but I should be able to learn it with time and experience.
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
     (8226.20)
    I'm so glad you're chasing down your dream, Magnulus!

    I've switched career courses for myself and I'm actually undertaking acting as something that will hopefully bring in some cash. Naturally it's hard. I haven't acted since college, even though I've never been terribly far from actors. But switching my way of thinking - from stage managing & being a dramaturg to calling myself an actor - is the tallest order.

    But every day I work at it I remember that it's really where I should have been all along. I'm a little frustrated that I spent my 20s in pursuit of "real" jobs with desks and 401ks and things... bah. Waste of some damn good years. But I'm on the right track now, going for voice acting.