It is with great pride that I present to you a short film (in which I feature) that speaks out against Russia’s anti-gay law. Please like and share with your online-world and together, we can make a difference. Thank you.
Thanks to the Metro for their coverage http://metro.co.uk/2013/11/04/what-if-a-gay-olympian-wins-at-sochi-4173518/
I was recently asked to pose in front of a camera wearing funny clothes… Here is the first few back ;-)
The amazing Richard Paris Wilson kindly took shots of my head in time for this years Spotlight renewal.
He is brilliant to work with, very quick and directs well. I could not recommend him more! Check out more of his work HERE http://richardpariswilson.com/ and let me know which shot you like best….
Screen grab of my opening scene in Internet series #STEFFI as Sarah Goddard… Episode out on Friday via YouTube…
A little short teaser of “The Invite” Featuring myself and Keshini Misha brought to you by Emerald Films
The marvellously talented Mark Leeming took a cast of my face last night for my latest project…. More to be revealed…
I was rather delighted to see it revealed no hidden wrinkles!!
Twitter is an amazing thing for so many reasons, but for me personally, the people I’ve “met” and interacted with is by far the greatest reason to join. @FingercuffJamie and I first connected back in 2010. Through a mutual respect for each others work and the proactive approach we both take to our careers, we decided to make a short film together.
Jamie wrote a brilliant script designed around the idea of ‘Hypnagogia’ which is the word to describe the moment between being asleep and being awake.
We got the gorgeous and talented @SebCastang on board to take the leading male role and all of us have been working away since January to create something both visually beautiful and of course, entertaining.
We have a little teaser and a few pictures that I thought I’d share with you! I hope you enjoy; I will keep you posted on developments…
Vimeo Link to Video: Hypnagogia Teaser
The man inspires us all…
I lent my voice to this gorgeous viral championing same sex adoption. I hope you enjoy. Please share this message.
Introducing Sarah Goddard. First day on set of #Steffi
A few weeks ago I posted Part One which outlined my top five tips for approaching casting directors and how best to show yourself off in castings. However, in Part Two I thought I’d point out more of the basic and obvious things we can do which perhaps we don’t always bother with.
1. Do your make up and do it well. I don’t mean pile it on! I mean take the time to make up your face properly. If you are on camera, you are being recorded, and you are being recorded because they are going to watch it back later. Perhaps they will show the client and this will be the first impression they have of you. You do not want to look washed out, you do not want to appear tired or hungover and you do not want to appear anything less than your best (unless the part demands that of you). Even men should think about hiding those dark circles under their eyes and giving their skin a light covering of foundation. Making the most of your looks will only ever serve you well.
2. Assume the casting director has no imagination. Dress appropriately for the role, for instance, if you’re playing the role of an office worker, wear a shirt. Don’t go too over board, don’t dress in a wedding dress if you’re going for the role of the bride! However, perhaps wear a floaty white dress, do your hair well and make your make up natural. Going for the role of a hooker? Wear red lipstick and high heels. Going for the role a rock star? Wear skinny jeans! It’s basic, it’s simple and it does work. They see you walk in the door and they see the character in you therefore, they see you in the character. Don’t go and spend a load of money on clothes just for an audition though; but in the auditions where you can make this extra effort, do!
3. Have some questions ready. Think about your character, the story, your impressions and imagine yourself on set, playing the role. Ask appropriate and thoughtful questions which show your interest, enthusiasm and passion for the project and the role. It’s a smart way; a far less desperate and subtle way of standing out.
4. When auditioning alongside other actors, it is easy to let them throw you off. Also, when you have someone reading in, they often don’t give you much to bounce off of and that can throw you too. However, you have to prepare yourself mentally for this before you go into the audition so that you are ready for the worst case and still able perform at your best. When it comes to other actors, obviously you have to respond and react appropriately. However, in an audition you can afford to be a little selfish and give the performance you feel that they are after. Give a little but also be confident to take and shine through the actor alongside you. When it comes to an unhelpful reader, just…fuck it! Give it all you have, pretend in your head you are performing alongside the best actor you’ve ever worked with and give the performance that you would deliver on set.
5. Take the pressure off. Don’t tell yourself that each audition could change your life. Don’t allow for so much to ride on each thing. Just, tell yourself you simply have an audition. Do the best you can and the second you walk out, try to forget about it. The more you focus in on the detail and how much you need/want each role, the more pressured, the more stressed and the more frustrated you will become. Casting directors pick up on this too. This is a hard one because it is so easy to feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall and of course you are allowed your down days. However, try to find away to take it all in your stride and turn it around. It will be different for all of us, but think about what would work best for you and put it into practice.
Got any advice and thoughts of your own? Please share! And break a leg at your next casting.
I’m not claiming that I have all the answers or that I know exactly how to “nail” an audition! However, over the last year I have taken to being the “other side” of the camera and played the role of Casting Director on several occasions. I cannot stress enough how invaluable this experience is for a performer! Not only do you get to see things from entirely new perspective, you also get to watch all the “classic” audition mistakes which we all fall foul to from time to time. Sometimes to witness a mistake is the only way you really understand why it is wrong. You can also flip this too; sometimes to witness someone doing it right is the only way you understand why it works. So I’ve come up with my Top Five Tips which should give you the best chance possible no matter who the Casting Director is. Some of it may seem obvious, some of it you may practice and some of it you may think sounds crazy. However, I urge you to have a read of each point and be really honest with yourself about the way you approach your career.
- It all starts before you walk in the room. How many of you out there apply for work yourself and send out a generic email to everyone that kind of fits what “they” need across the board? Well stop. Keep your emails short and to the point but make sure it is 100% tailored towards the role you are applying for. This IS time consuming. This IS boring. This IS worth more than you know. Obviously the Casting Director knows you are always actively looking for work. However, they don’t want to feel like 1 in 100 and this email has been fired out over and over for all sorts of roles. You need to get yourself through the door so being interested in the project, the role and indicating that you’ve got passion and an extra “spark” can do you no harm.
- Stop being so desperate. This is possibly the hardest one because most actors are desperate. We want to work, we want to perform and we need to earn some money. However, desperation is like fear; you can smell it. Being over-the-top polite and overly smiley and overly, “Yes Sir, no Sir” is actually doing yourself a dis-service. Firstly, you are not being yourself therefore, the Casting Director doesn’t know what it would be like to have you on set and secondly, it looks as if you never work which instantly turns off anyone before they’ve even watched your performance. I’m not saying be cocky, but be cool, calm, collected and confident. If you believe in yourself and the Casting Director can see that, they start the process expecting the audition to go well and pay extra attention to your performance.
- Don’t be lazy. If you are sent the script and sides. Read them, learn your lines, know your character. Look at the context of your scenes and know the relationship your character has with the other characters in the scene. You don’t always get the script but you often get the sides and you should try to become as familiar as possible. There is no excuse in the eyes of the Casting Director.
- Enjoy the audition. Be at ease and relax. The more relaxed you are, the more the casting director gets to relax and enjoy your audition too.
- Post-audition – don’t chase. They won’t forget about you and you sending an email just to say, “thanks for the audition”, doesn’t really serve much of a purpose. Just believe they will come to you.
Inspired by the response my last post had, I thought I share another, more hilarious audition tale with you. I like to refer to this one as, The Tale of the Exploding Man!
It was one of those castings where your agent calls you up, you look at the breakdown (character brief) and think…”Erm?! I don’t suit this at all”. It was for a commercial too which, as I explained in my previous post, isn’t always plain sailing! I went along thinking the chances of me landing it were about as thin as a model at Fashion Week and I casually chatted to the other actors around me and gave the script a quick read.
Very unusually for a commercial casting, we were actually sent the script the night before and I’d had a read to see that mainly the two male roles spoke and us ladies were…fillers! However, on the day, the script we were given was entirely different and more scenes had been added. A couple of people asked if this is what other people had been sent the night before too, which everyone replied, “no” and smiled knowingly at each other that the script had just simply been changed overnight. No one really cared about it. It is the most common “problem” for actors to be auditioning with scripts they have seen just moments before.
Then, in comes the man…there is usually always one at every casting. The really LOUD actor who wants everyone else to notice them. He made a real song and dance out of the simplest of tasks; taking off his coat, finding a seat, filling out his form, it was all very dramatic. However, his look suited the breakdown to the ground; he was every bit the nutty professor with crazy big white hair and a monocle! The rest of us fell silent and went back to reading over our scripts, smartening up our hair or applying the last of our make-up.
After a few moments the man asks the group if there are any other copies of the script? I show him mine and he studied it for a moment, looked back at me and said, “No, the one they sent last night was different. That is what I am auditioning for.” I smiled and said, “Yes, I think they’ve changed it overnight. This is the new script.” – He blankly stared at me. – A few seconds went by. -
Then, out of no where, this man screams…and I mean SCREAMS! Everyone’s jaws were on the floor as we listened to him begin to rant and rave! He went on for a good few minutes, swearing every second or third word about the fact that he had stayed up all night learning his lines! He had cancelled work, cancelled a doctor’s appointment, and changed “everything” in order to be off script and word perfect…
When he stopped finally, the casting director came out of the audition room and politely asked if we could keep the noise down as every word could be heard. His face went very red and I thought to myself, you might as well go home now. A male actor offered up, “Never prepare too hard for commercial castings mate, they always change stuff” but it came out more sarcastic than reassuring.
Looking back, I feel quite sorry for him. Every now and then we all have that moment where the industry just chucks that final straw at us and we break. His look suited the job so perfectly, he had probably laid a lot of hopes on getting the part and done as much preparation as possible so that it would happen. Sadly, at a casting in earshot of the people you are about to audition in front of is absolutely the worst place for you to show your frustration.
I got lucky though and landed the job! I think the exploding man made me realise I could stand more of a chance than I thought…
Well holy moly it has been a long time since I’ve blogged anything more than a few words and a photo. I must apologise for my tardiness! The time has now come however, to turn my attentions back to MyLittlePonderings and share my thoughts, feelings and musings with you all once again.
Today I am going to share the simple tale of The Commercial Casting Fail and I share it with you as I’m pretty sure I’m not alone and many actors out there have experienced the unforgiving nature of these auditions!
The magical call from your agent saying you have a commercial audition that you perfectly suit the breakdown for is one most actors can’t fail to get excited by. Sure, we all might have a grumble…”It’s not really acting, is it?!”, “Ooo my big break” or “How embarrassing” are phrases that have passed my lips when telling friends or family. However, the truth is, it’s work! These days, it often means travelling abroad, good exposure and a lot of fun! Plus, commercials are usually really, REALLY well paid work too. So why wouldn’t we get excited?!
Well, because quite honestly the “Commercial Casting” can be closely compared to a “Meat Market”. You line up, have your photo taken, look at the sides (script/direction), wait with a room full of people who all sort of look like you but then also who look nothing like you and then…PERFORM!
I always try to “dress for the part” as much as reasonably possible but for my casting on Monday, I was given very strict instructions by my agent to dress as beautifully as possible, as if I were attending a wedding. And in fairness to them, on the forwarded emails from the casting company, these were the guidelines given.
I had nothing appropriate with me as I’d just been on a weekend trip to the Lake District where I’d lived in muddy riding boots and my North Face Gilet! So I went out and bought a dress, shoes, the whole she-bang-bang. However, when I arrived at the casting, all the other “meats” were dressed in jeans, t-shirts, leather leggings and generally looking pretty trendy and chilled. I felt like a complete idiot (to say the least) and probably looked like an even bigger one! To add insult to injury, the casting director asked me, “what were you told to dress as?”, I meekly replied to which she laughed and said, “oh right, that’s weird, well you do look nice”…..!
I then had to act alongside a guy wearing Hawaiian shorts (NO I am not joking) and a VEST (it hadn’t stopped raining at this point for 3 weeks!) who’s role was to propose and I cry tears of happiness and accept, he then runs around with joy. Well! This guys idea of extremely happy was to say “woo” and then high five me…. WOULD THAT REALLY BE YOUR REACTION?! Two minutes later, I’m on my way home.
Needless to say, I didn’t manage to summon up tears of happiness (although tears of humiliation were close by) and I’ve not heard back from the Casting Director. Sigh.I managed to return the dress though…Every cloud!
I have two versions of the old reel-of-show… Let me know which you prefer.
A short film based on Britain’s first female serial killer, Myra Hindley. Written and performed by Kate Hollowood. The script was created entirely from Myra’s own words using interviews, her three autobiographies and transcripts.
Special thanks to Steve Montgomery and Abbie Lucas for all their hard work. Thanks also owed to those who have supported this project since I started it over two years ago, in particular my Mum and Sam who have been there at every step.
I apologise to anyone offended by the content, particularly the victims families.
(the link appears to break randomly so in case that happens, it can be viewed https://vimeo.com/38979622)
I have had lots of questions and comments about me popping up on your TV screens. Here are two of the five viral videos for the Two and a Half Men promo we filmed in February!
Some viral videos for Arena Flowers featuring myself and few other funny fellas!
Check out www.arenaflowers.com and add discount code “hello” for 10% off your first order!!
I am feeling very lucky as I find myself struggling to pack for my two weeks of winter sun in Egypt. I have been cast as Leah, a woman on honeymoon, in the first of five short films shot by Realm Pictures as part of their Underwater Realm project. Eek how exciting this all is but …Eek…what to pack, what to pack! I am already WELL aware that I will be the only member of the cast and crew giving this so much thought. However, I want to feel comfortable, look good and fit in around Egypt so I feel it deserves some of my attention.
First off, what to wear to the airport and on the plane. This is particularly tricky in winter as I don’t want to freeze this side or boil on the other. So I opt for a casual blue dress, teaming it with a thin cardigan and throwing my leather jacket over the top, both of which can be removed once I’ve arrived. I also threw on some tights which can be removed and wore flats that worked for both bare leg and tights! Problemo solved.
Secondly, I hate strap marks from the sun at the best of times, but being filmed meant it was all the more important I didn’t get any. I got myself onto ASOS and thanks to it now being winter here, picked up some very nice bargains on strapless bikinis in their winter sale…Oh hell yeah!
Next I wanted to make sure I had clothes that covered my legs and chest should we go anywhere that this would offend. Again, the winter sales came through for me and I got myself three lovely maxi dresses from French Connection, ASOS and Vero Moda that worked like a charm and looked stylish. I also threw in some wide-leg floral trousers I got in River Island as they are cool to walk around in and look feminine and stylish too.
As a way to accessorize, I packed a few pretty headscarves as they look good and for practicality…they keep my hair off my face!
Check out what I got up to over there in the blog dedicated to our week of filming!
As a fresh wave of graduates joins the flood of Actors already out there competing for roles, I can’t help but think back to last year when I graduated and joined the “real world”. One thing acting school does not (and probably cannot) prepare you for is just how tough it is day in, day out.
Most of us leave with our degrees in hand having trained in our art. We feel hopeful, excited and optimistic that we will be successful and make a career out of it. Most of us have been told how tough it is, warned of just how much competition there really is out there, heard the realities of the ongoing expenses that the business demands. Most of us “think” we are prepared for it. Being told something and experiencing it are incredibly different and no words can really prepare you for the emotions that go hand-in-hand with these harsh truths. None of us would even bother if we thought for one moment we couldn’t overcome all the trials and tribulations. All actors must have absolute belief that we are talented, we are what “they” are looking for and maybe, just maybe, we will get the part!
And I’m not saying that we won’t. But there are thousands and thousands of super talented actors sadly out of work growing frustrated and tired. So, I have put together a list of tips for any recent Grads who might feel a little lost now they are “out” and ultimately, on their own.
- Don’t wait for work to come to you. If you are lucky enough to have an agent – awesome. If you don’t, this is not as “terrible” as you are led to believe. You have hundreds of small theatres, pub theatres and studios willing to let young creatives take over the space and put on a night of theatre for little money or even a share of the ticket price. This can be done fairly cheaply and it’s a good opportunity to invite along industry folk who you want to work with. A perfect example of how successful this can be are Made From Scratch. A theatre company set up in 2009 by two graduates from Rose Bruford who has regularly showcased new writers, directors and actors around the capital. They started out small putting on Scratch Nights – a short play or a collection of short plays and monologues but two years later they are off to Edinburgh Festival with their first full length play.
- Don’t under estimate Social Media. Get out there; join forums, even the most unlikely of websites such as LinkedIn can connect you to hundreds of writers, directors and other actors all looking to collaborate. Working with people on fresh new material is incredibly exciting. Make sure that across the board you are saying the same thing about yourself, all your credits are up to date and your images/showreel are the same. You are a brand; it is part of your job to brand yourself across all forms of social media professionally and consistently. Twitter, Facebook, Ideastap as well as CastingCallPro and Spotlight all connect you to people just like you and tell you industry information!
- Know your Industry. Find out when that musical/TV series you are dying to star in is casting and independently of any agent you might have, write the Director or CD an email or a letter (yes letter!! Think how many emails they get…letters are quite novel!) and express what character you are interested in, enclose your CV and Headshot (and CONTACT info). It will probably produce little reward but…what if that one person reads it and wants to see you. You have nothing to lose so do it! Also as a side note: keep your emails/letters short and to the point. They do not have the time to read your life story. In addition, tailor each letter, express praise for something you know they recently worked on etc.
- Pay Attention and Know what’s going on. You don’t have endless funds but you can get some cracking deals on theatre tickets if you do your research! Go and SEE theatre, watch that independent film, read interviews, reviews, take an interest in those who are casting or about to start working on their next project. We have the internet, The Stage, countless journals and blogs. There is no excuse not to know what is going on.
- Never Stop Learning. Keep your training up; movement, voice, being present. I’m not saying we “forget” but under the pressure of an audition, if these things are no longer like second nature you may just “forget” to perform to your best. There are countless reputable companies offering cheap workshops for actors to get involved in and keep refining their skills. (Social Media sites regularly advertise these)
- Talk to each other. So you’ve heard about a casting of a play…do you know anyone you have worked with or went to school with that could play one of those roles?! Talk to them and send them the details… next time, they might just return the favour. Remember, we are all competing but that’s no reason not to let each other know about things and help each other out. Also as a side note: just because your friend is doing well, doesn’t mean you aren’t. You are on different paths and acting in a turbulent business. Be happy for your friends when they are doing well, they will find it much easier to be happy for you when your turn comes.
- Always Attend Castings. We have all been there when we have received instructions to attend an audition and we look at the breakdown and go…erm…this isn’t my casting. To be honest, that isn’t your job to decide. Do your best with the material you’ve been given, go there with confidence and give it your all. You never know, you may just surprise yourself…and the casting directors.
- Look after yourself. You are going to get stressed. You will have times of immense frustration. Make sure you sleep well, drink lots of water, moisturise your skin, maintain your hair/nails/figure. It sounds so silly but you have no idea when you will be hired, you need to make sure you are always ready to perform, ready to audition and ready to be seen. Keeping control of yourself (your brand) will make you feel more in control of your career. You don’t want the fact that you look shattered to be the reason you don’t get hired. Also, stress and frustration can easily spiral into depression if you lose sight of your goal and feel sorry for yourself for too long.
- Be Realistic and Stop to take Stock. Don’t get upset and frustrated because it hasn’t happened yet. Every achievement, no matter how small is still an achievement. It means you’ve got yourself out there, been proactive and hopefully helped your career. So many times we are thinking about that next show, or the audition we have coming up after closing night or “that’s a wrap” has been shouted we forget to give ourselves a small pat on the back. Of course focus on what is next; but also stop and take notice of what you’ve achieved. If you’ve had a whole day of sending out CVs/Headshots and researching what’s casting, you should still see that as a small achievement. So many actors sit back and wonder why people aren’t knocking on their door for work; at least you’ve been doing something.
- Remember; If you quit today then I guarantee you would have made it tomorrow. Keep with it for as long as your dream is alive. If you realise this career if not for you, that is one thing; but if you’re sat, reading this, unable to imagine a life without performing…remember that phrase. It will pick you up when times get tough.
All that is left to say is…Break a leg! Let me know your thoughts on this blog – you can find me on Twitter @k8hollowood and if you have any questions or queries, I’d love to hear from you.
It’s been a year since I graduated and I can’t help wonder…what the hell have I achieved in the last 12 months? I was so excited to get out of uni and throw myself into “real life”. I wasted no time at all and moved to London as soon as I could, managed to land a fairly well paid job in Mayfair that would be flexible when it came down to auditions and managed to keep my interests in live music and unsigned artists alive!
Ugh how optimistic.
In the 12 months since being in London, I’ve bounced around homes, lived with family, the flatmate from Perv Street and boyfriend plus various friends along the way. My supposedly flexible job turned into a nightmare that consisted of being bored, being bullied daily and guilt tripped anytime I took advantage of the “flexible” arrangement we’d agreed. My interest in music was as alive as ever but my ability to attend gigs and festivals faltered with ever growing exhaustion and lack of funds. And ACTING… what happened to that?? Apart from my daily performance as Happy Office Manager (which trust me, even I can admit I wouldn’t have won any awards for!) and the inevitable “how successful are you” conversations with strangers; I have hardly done anything! It is not for lack of trying at all, but holy shit (!) it is fricking tough! Tougher than anyone ever said and just trying to be an actor is a full-time job.
So. A year down the line. What have I achieved? Hmmm…I have this overwhelming feeling that I am a failure. The sensible side of my brain tells me that, of course, that is stupid. I have performed my own play in London this year, been involved in putting on an unsigned music competition, made some incredible new friends, discovered a lot about myself (and started up this blog)! However, the emotional side just focuses on where I still find myself; am I really any further forward than I was on my graduation? I certainly feel just as lost and unsure as I did a year ago although I’m probably wiser in some areas.
I guess I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and plugging away. Hopefully this time next year I’ll have something more to write home about…!