LEEDS GRAND THEATRE LAUNCHES TRAINING PROJECT FOR ASPIRING YOUNG ACTORS
I’m very excited to announce that I am heading up Leeds Actors in Training (LAIT) – a brand new pilot project being run in collaboration with Leeds Grand Theatre offering 18 to 23-year-olds a highly practical pathway to a career as a professional actor.
LAIT gives young adults the opportunity to access actor-training of the highest quality with support and insight from professional directors, actors, movement specialists, vocal coaches and producers across the year. LAIT is designed to develop participating young artists vocally, physically and imaginatively, encouraging an independent and in-depth approach to work. For some years now I have wanted to provide high quality and meaningful actor training to young adults who are between school and further education/the workplace. Passion and a good publicity photo will only get you so far in this industry. In my experience, to truly succeed, an actor must be skilled and committed with a strong grip on reality. A thick skin, good work ethic, generosity, imagination, tenacity and an interest in human behaviour are also vital.
At LAIT, we will provide a supportive and vibrant space to help aspiring actors unlock their potential, develop skills, get a foot in the audition door and move to the next phase of their training/professional life with confidence and their eyes wide open.
Auditionees will be required to perform a monologue (classical or contemporary) and take-part in an hour-long group workshop and individual interview. The auditions will end with a group Q&A session so come armed with any queries you may have.
I will be running the auditions along with Ben Burmann, a professional actor recently seen as ‘Hot Tony’ in Emmerdale (2015-2017) and currently filming “Another Kind Of Love” directed by Jack Grewer. A dark urban drama for Netflix, set in the north. Recent theatre credits include Northern Broadsides (Merry Wives and King Lear) and Cast (Kes).
LAIT will be split across three terms. Term one will focus on The Actor; term two, The Actor and the Play; and term three The Actor and the Industry.
Run over 30 weeks, LAIT will meet every Tuesday night at Leeds Grand Theatre from 6-8.30pm.
Fees cost £450 per year-long course (bursary places are available upon application)
WHO AM I AND WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
I originally studied as an actor at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. I am currently the Artistic Director of the City Varieties Youth Theatre (2012 – present) where I direct and produce up to seven shows a year with 60 young people aged 8-17-years-old.
In 2016 I wrote, produced and toured my own Arts Council funded show, Punching The Sky, a collaboration with partners the Lowry, Live Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse, ending at Soho Theatre in London as part of A Nation’s Theatre Festival.
I have also written for BBC Radio 4: I was a guest writer on their long running series Brief Lives, produced by Gary Brown (BBC Radio North). I have also been Script Writer for the Child Friendly Leeds Awards for the past three years, creating and writing the scripts with the young presenters, Guest Writer and Director for the Carriageworks Academy in Leeds, Freelance Animator for Woldgate College in Pocklington, Founder and Artistic Director of Raised Eyebrow Theatre Company/Raised Eyebrow Youth Theatre, Freelance Project Director/Writer for All Change Arts in London, Education Director for Y Touring Theatre Company in London and Education Officer for Polka Theatre For Children in Wimbledon.
I am also on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Youth Theatre.