Deciding which are the best services to sign up to as an actor is hard. When you are fresh out of drama school you want to sign up to eveyerthing and anything to be in with a better chance of working professionally. But sometimes those services aren’t all their cracked up to be and end up a waste of money. I thought I’d share with you some of the ones I have felt are money well spent. You may not agree but remember this is one (desperate actors) opinion! If you want to know more information about each of them, then just click on their logos!
Spotlight. Obviously!! You aren’t a professional actor if you aren’t on Spotlight. This one isn’t really an option if you want great castings, but I thought it was important to include! This is where all the casting directors advertise for roles, and your agent (or yourself if you don’t have an agent) can apply for them. If you aren’t on Spotlight you don’t even stand a chance! Plus, there are so many benefits to Spotlight including the amazing discounts that the card can bring – check out the full list here.
The Actors Centre. I use to be a member of The Actors Centre, way back before drama school when I only really worked evenings and had time to attend classes there. (If I wasn’t working during the day and could attend the classes, I would still be a member). You have to either be an active member of Actors Spotlight, an Equity member, completed a 2 or 3 year Drama UK accredited course or have 4 professional credits to be able to qualify for membership. But what the membership includes is incredible:
- Access to an excellent seasonal programme of workshops and masterclasses (Access is defined by your membership type)
- Full access to the Green Room Café and Bar with the right to sign in up to 4 guests at any one time.
- Access to mentorship and guidance from our Membership Team.
- Access to the Actors Centre Membership Perks Scheme – For more details click here (Terms & Conditions Apply)
- Full access to in-house room and theatre hire discounts as per Actors Centre Membership Perks Scheme.
- Concession rate tickets to Tristan Bates Theatre productions.
- The opportunity to apply for a subsidised week long hire of the Tristan Bates Theatre to present a production, with one week per season reserved exclusively for AC members.
- 50% discount on daytime hires of the Tristan Bates Theatre, for readings, showcases etc. (subject to availability) – click here to see more information about the Tristan Bates Theatre and offers for AC members.
- Invitation to the Seasonal Programme Launch event. (Limited RSVP on a first come first served basis)
- Membership Card (This card is used to obtain some of the Actors Centre Membership Perks Scheme offers)
- The chance to network with other members and associated professionals at our hub in the heart of the West End.
- Regular news bulletins and member events throughout the year.
- Representation on the Actors Centre Members Committee.
The classes are great and there’s a great chance to network with other industry professionals if you stop for lunch or a coffee in the cafe!
The Actors Guild. This one is £24 a year well spent if you ask me! I’ve just recently renewed mine and I think it’s such a good price. With The Actors Guild you pay for the Premium Membership which is £24 for the year and you get discounts with certain services (and there is quite a long list), access to their services directory and most importantly… spaces at their fabulous workshops! I’ve attended a couple now and they are great. I’ve renewed my membership so I can make sure I attend more workshops. You do pay for the workshops on top of your membership (which vary in price), but remember, you wouldn’t have even had a chance to be on that workshop if it wasn’t for the membership. You can join for just £10 a year, which is the standard membership. This gives you access to the discounts but not the workshops. But at the workshops you get the chance to meet other actors and they are taken by casting directors, directors, voice coaches and other great industry people. It’s always imporatant to keep learning!
The Honest Actors Podcast. These podcasts are brilliant. I was recommended them by my brilliant friend Karla Crome who is also an actress. They are a great forum for honest reflections on the realities of being an actor, so I often listen to them on my way to an audition or just in the car to work. Every episode is a chat with a different actor, talking about their struggles on their way up the acting career ladder. I find it great to help put things into prospective. You can subscribe completely FREE and listen to their podcast via iTunes, it’s well worth a listen.
Casting Weekly. I pay peanuts for this subscription! Not literally of course! It’s £2.50 a month (which works out at just 7p a day) and you get a list of all the castings which will be coming up soon, with all the production details. You can then email the casting director to apply for the relevent roles. On their website it says:
We want to give you the leads to help you find your next job, give you the right information at the right time so you know what’s happening across the industry, helping you to see the bigger picture. The more information you have, the better equipped you are; remember, no one cares about your career as much as you do.
You also get a profile on the website which I think is just another great way to get your face seen!
If you know of any other great services you think actors can benefit from then please share them below, I’d love to check them out!