My Time As An Actress

Hi everyone!

Not many people know this, but I trained for years as an actress. I always thought I’d do it forever, I based all of my spare time and classes around becoming an actress.

It started when I joined a theatre group for a few months with my friend… I performed on stage in pantomimes to big crowds and had to change costume back-stage every few minutes while singing / dancing every night.

We had to rehearse most nights, and because I am a terrible dancer I just didn’t feel happy. The singing and acting I enjoyed, and performing to a crowd was extremely fun, but at the time I just felt out of place. I knew I wanted to act, just not on a stage…

In highschool I chose “drama” as a double-option. (Options were when we chose 4 non-mandatory classes that we wanted to study for our final grades / GCSEs)

I was having classes every day, but unfortunately the teachers had their favourite students. This meant that most of us were given smaller roles where we couldn’t be fairly graded, or we weren’t told about opportunities until after the favourite students had found out and chosen their parts first.

Taking drama classes also meant that we had to perform live on stage in school shows, just like the pantomimes I used to do. But obviously I didn’t want to be a stage actor, I wanted to be a screen actor!

In the school production of “Annie” I auditioned for a small role but surprisingly ended up being one of the main roles. I played Molly, Annie’s best friend. This meant that I had a few solo singing parts and duets with the lead girl. I also had the first opening lines / scene in the whole play.

During the time I was 13-18, I attended out of school acting classes every week where I was taught by my agent and acting tutors with a group of other kids.

In the classes we learnt each acting technique, how to portray each emotion, how to improvise, how to read from scripts, how to cry on cue, how to do stunts and much more! I was given a lot more of a chance to play bigger parts and felt that we were treated a lot more fairly than in school.

However my agent wasn’t the nicest person, and wouldn’t tell me that I had a job until the night before. I could get a phone call at 7pm saying “you need to be on set which is 3 hours away by 5am in the morning and need to bring a white shirt and green cardigan” etc.

(Louis Tomlinson from OneDirection also attended the classes and had the same agent before he quit acting to become a singer…)

Since I knew how to act, I went to college and decided to take a 2 year-long Media Film & TV class. This is because I felt like an acting class would be a waste of my time and I wanted to learn more about what happens behind the scenes of films (e.g. editing and script writing).

The teachers were very condescending, unorganised, unmotivated and most ended up getting fired or quitting. Plus, a lot of my peers weren’t happy that I took a film class when I wanted to be an actress and not a filmmaker. But I made a couple of films as assignments for college just the same as everyone else did and think I did a good job (if I do say so myself). I knew that I didn’t want to work in that kind of job so I never continued with making films.

The teachers always bragged about how they’d worked in the film industry so we had to trust them and they made it seem that we had to go to university or we wouldn’t get anywhere, and how their classes would definitely get us into the industry for sure.

But because I was still working as an actress, I missed a few classes and my tutors were not happy. They threatened to fail me in the class, despite the fact that I was already working in the industry and didn’t need their help to get a job.

Out of college I was still acting for my agent and she got me a few background roles in the TV series’ Hank Zipzer and DCI Banks and a movie called The Hunters Prayer.

Hank Zipzer is a kids tv show on CBBC based on the books by Henry Winkler who also appears on the show.

If you don’t know, Henry is a big star from an old TV show called Happy Days, he played “The Fonz”. He was an incredible guy and told me all about his family, his time growing up dyslexic, and he even asked me about myself. He told me that I was very smart and brave, then took a photo with me and gave me a hand signed letter to tell me that I was lovely.

The series is set in a school so I had to have my costume, hair and makeup in a way that made me look younger than I actually was. Most of the cast were also young kids but all very talented!

We filmed in the late autumn / winter time, but some of the episodes were set during summer or spring. This meant that we couldn’t wear coats despite it being freezing cold, this made a lot of the children upset and each day we could be on set from 5am until 7pm, meaning most of the time it was pitch black outside so the set team used lighting to make it appear daytime.

The set was an old school with no heating so me and my friends would bring blankets and heaters from home for the long periods of time we’d spend in the green-room (which was actually an old dining hall). Due to our age we were separated from the children and made to stay in the adult area with the crew and main actors.

DCI Banks is a detective / crime tv show which is mostly aimed at adults and is shown late at night, and is always filmed in different locations for different “crime scenes”

I was only involved in this for a short while and had to be transported around with the other actors to get to multiple different locations each day. I didn’t know most of the other actors but had to pretend to be their best friends while in the show, so I would joke and laugh, hug and speak to them when the camera was rolling but after that we didn’t talk at all.

The days were long too and this time our green room was an unheated double decker bus with no space to move!

The Hunters Prayer is a thriller movie with actors Sam Worthington (he also plays the main character in the movie Avatar) and Odeya Rush playing the main roles. The movie was released this year.

This was probably the least-enjoyable time I had on set and I was told that I’d be filming a second day for a late-night nightclub scene, however I was let down by poor planning on the film team’s behalf.

Now I just act for my boyfriend’s YouTube films or for any of my friends that make YouTube movies. I don’t get paid to do it and it’s nothing professional or serious, I just help out from time to time.

For years I thought that acting was what I wanted to do but once I actually started doing it I changed my mind, and once I discovered influencing online I decided to pursue that instead! I made so many friends through acting and I wouldn’t change my past or do anything differently!

I knew I’d ever make it big in acting and that it wasn’t going to become a full-time career where I’d be walking down the red carpet as a millionaire. I think that the film industry is a very hard place to get into these days, unless you’re born into it or extremely rich.

A lot of people will say “follow your dreams nothing is impossible, try hard and you can get into the industry” but I’ve been in it, I’ve seen how it works, and I was very lucky to have a chance to do what not many people will get to, but it’s not for me and I truthfully wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. This is because of the harsh things that we had to endure, e.g. the weather and being kept in cold places with bad food, while the big actors got warm trailers etc.

When watching a movie or Tv Show you only see a small part of the long time and effort put into the production. We could re-film scenes that lasted 30 seconds, for 2 hours each day. Obviously I’d signed contracts and agreed to work in the industry and knew what I was getting into from my training, but for first-timers it can be a very different experience to what you’d expect.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, sometimes we had fun and I’ve only worked on 3 sets but all of the other people I’ve worked with that did other TV shows have since also quit acting due to them being put-off by it. If you think you can handle it then definitely give it a go but it may be difficult to find a good agent without having to spend a lot of money for the classes.

Anyway, that’s my acting experience from start to finish. If I had a better agent and was promised more roles in less-harsh conditions then I’d possibly give it another chance but until then I’m very happy to be out of there and enjoy with what I do currently on Instagram.

I hope that you enjoyed this blog and learnt something new!

If you have any suggestions for future blogs or questions about today’s blog then please do let me know!
See you guys next time.

Best wishes ~ Becca x

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