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Tanya Vital's Blog

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Biz Tips No.1

I often get asked how to get into the acting industry and sometimes get asked by those fresh into the industry, how to get further. The first basic rule is training. As you know I never went to Drama School because I was 'fortunate' enough to go straight into work. That is not to say I have not had training over the years. A dedicated Actor must learn their craft, just as you would for any other career.

Because I never had those 3 years of Drama School intensive training I am constantly playing 'catch up', to those that did. I regularly take classes, workshops, read books, and watch DVD's. Anything I can to learn technique. It's all well and good to be talented but talent alone will not sustain you in this industry.

For example, stage work requires an Actor to be able to project their voice into the auditorium as far as the back seats. This can cause strain and after a few performances can even lead to a lost voice - if you don’t have the technique to do so safely. This must be learnt. Even in TV and Film, you can be doing take after take of an emotional scene and your voice must stay strong. This applies to everything: posture, breathing, relaxation, diction, character work - everything.

So the very start or your foundation must be built upon some form of training or experience of acting. (E.g. Amateur Dramatics, National Youth Theatre, Stage School).


When trying to get an Agent or work you must have a decent headshot of yourself. The price can range from £60 to £500. This may sound expensive but the reality is - you get what you pay for. Your face (shallow as it may seem), is your money maker. Without a decent headshot showing your 'type' an Agent or Casing Director will not give you a second look. A cheap headshot suggests an unprofessional Actor. There are a number of great Photographers in the UK - they can all be found in Spotlight.


There is a wealth of advice on line some good - some bad but these following sites have helped me personally:
The Stage 'How To Guides' to find out about Agents etc:

John Byrne Career Advice:

Spotlight website:

Ideas Tap website:


If you're serious about the industry, expect to have to pay for certain things like books, promotional items, your Spotlight page etc. (Never pay an Agent! Your Agent takes commission from work you obtain through them only).

These items will help you:

Contacts book (The Actors Bible!! it’s a complete listing of Agents, Casting etc):

Agent e-book

Get On:

A professional Actor must be on Spotlight if they intend to book professional castings. It is the main Actors Database that Casting Directors use. IMDB is not enough!

If you are starting out Casting Call Pro is also good to try out - it’s FREE and you can apply for jobs as well as be chosen: can help you get more experience and add to your showreel.

Also TWITTER!! An Actor/ creative person cannot have an elitest attitude towards social networking. The old saying "It's not what you know, it's who you know" definitely has some stead in the Entertainment world so get networking and get yourself out there!

Yorkshire specific stuff:

Friday, 5 August 2011

Monologue Slam UK Leeds - Launch Night 2011

Blog has now been moved to

This is the promo video for the MonologueSlam UK - Leeds Launch Night 
At The Wardrobe on 6th June 2011. 

It was an absolutely fantastic evening with some wonderfully talented actors on stage, proving that the North and even more specifically YORKSHIRE does have what it takes to make it in the Acting Industry. 

Judges on the night included Madani Younis of Freedom Studios & Artistic Director of The Bush Theatre. Vicki Psarias, Award Winning Film Writer & Director. Jo Adamson - Parker, Casting Director and Rik Makarem, well known Actor currently playing Nikhil Sharma in ITV's Emmerdale. Our wonderful presenter was Lewis Barker. Our Fantasic DJ was DJ Tigga and KODH came down to film. 

For those who are unfamiliar with MonologueSlam UK, it is the "ULTIMATE Actors Showcase", created to give actors an alternative outlet to display their talent to industry professionals. It's FREE and it's a great platform for Actors to practice their craft and improve their performance skills before an audience. 

Lladel Bryant, a local Actor from Leeds was the winner on the night and has since gone on to do great things! He is now NYT allumni and a Co-Founder of the infamous CHICKEN SHOP SHAKESPEARE. CSS is collaborative project based in Leeds and the North of England, who bring Shakespearean words and scenes to unexpected situations, environments and new audiences. Lladel has toured with Leeds writer Zodwa Nyoni and had some TV success. 

We hoped to bring another show in September 2011, however at the time it was extremely difficult to get industry professionals in the area to back such a wonderful project. The company was virtually still unheard of and we're still making a name for themselves in London. 

I guess we were just a bit before our time, however the company has since gone from strength to strength in London and Manchester so I'm positive it won't be long until Yorkshire industry leaders finally open their eyes to this wonderful opportunity. 

"Raise that bar!"

Created with flickr slideshow.



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