Spotlight Career Advice for Members

Book a free career advice session with a Spotlight expert

Whether you’re just starting out or feel the need for a "refresher chat", Spotlight career advice sessions are your opportunity to have a 20-minute appointment to discuss your career. We've got sessions for performers and graduates, plus specialised sessions for young performers, and their parents.

Anything is up for discussion, including photos, profiles, showreels, casting directors and agents (however, it is not possible for us to recommend agents!). This is a free service, inclusive within Spotlight membership and available only to members.

To book a session, please follow the links which can be located on the right hand side of this page on desktops. If you are using a mobile device scroll down the page to 'Related content.'

Please be aware that we have limited space on our Spotlight career advice 121 sessions. Therefore, members are limited to one session a year with one facilitator, this means that we can offer this service to as many members as possible.

'I found this so incredibly useful. To be able to talk to experts openly and have an honest conversation was extremely beneficial and made me feel really supported. I also came away feeling really positive and encouraged that people really do want you to do well in this industry. Just got to keep going! Thank you x'

'As someone returning to the industry, I found this service very helpful to bolster my confidence and get a critical assessment of what to work on next.'

'Amazing session, so grateful that you've provided it, it's really set me off refired up in the right direction! Thank you sincerely.'

'I had an incredibly helpful, friendly session and was surprised by how personal it was made! I got all my questions answered and discovered many new things that were completely relevant and personal to me. My situation and profile were personally paid attention to and I would highly recommend these to any other performers. Thank you!'

Spotlight Performer and Graduate Career Sessions

Spotlight provides career session for our members to get free advice from the membership team. The event information (dates, times, etc) become available for booking on our website on or around the 20th of every month (and the link can be found via News and Events) and are first come, first serve for our members only.

The sessions can be face-to-face, on Skype or over the phone, depending on your preference.

If the slots have all gone, please place yourself on the waitlist as some sessions do become available last minute. 

Information about our Spotlight advisers who lead these sessions:

About Emma Dyson

Emma Dyson trained at the Guildford School of Acting. After working in other areas of the arts, she became an agent for a leading West End actors agency and developed a broad understanding of the relationship between the performer, management and casting process. Her experience as an agent gives her an invaluable insight and perspective on portfolio photography, profiles, showreels and voicereels. As well as liaising with drama schools in the UK and overseas, Emma coordinates the Spotlight Prize and is an experienced public speaker, contributing on industry panels and discussions.

'The session with Emma was wonderful. She is incredibly supportive and encouraging. I felt uplifted and inspired. She also was very specific in giving inputs and advice. A true gem of career coaching!'

'It was good to chat to Emma, who has a wealth of experience in the industry. The conversation was very positive and reassuring, as well as encouraging. Thank you!'

About Justin McDonald

Justin McDonald is an actor, writer, voice over artist and producer.  Justin is originally from Tyneside in the north east of England. He won a scholarship to train at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London, where he gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Acting. Completing his studies early to play a leading role in a prime time television drama, Justin has continued to work consistently in film, television and theatre. With over fifteen years' experience of working in the industry, he has gained a valuable insight into many of the issues faced by actors today, including working effectively with agents, casting directors, headshots, CVs, showreels, self tapes, LA pilot season, managers, visas, tax, audition prep, drama school, branding, self promotion and voice overs.

'The advice Justin gave was very helpful and I felt supported. The session made me feel more confident in what I am already doing, as well as the confidence in the things that I need to do, to improve my career.'

'Justin was wonderful and I went to work that night with a huge smile on my face that my colleagues commented on! Thanks so much Justin. Your advice made such a difference to me. Thanks for taking the time to watch my videos and treat me like an individual rather than just a number.'

About Mel Brown

Mel studied drama at Loughborough University, before heading into the industry and interning at a number of places including Hubbard casting, the National Student Drama Festival and a number of performer agencies. She then took up a full time job as a young performer agents assistant at YAT Management, where she remained for five years and worked her way up to being a Junior Agent. In 2016 she moved to Spotlight and started on the membership support team as Membership Coordinator, she then moved to Senior Performer Executive and was recently promoted to be part of a new team where she will undertake the role of Spotlight Success Manager for performers.  

'Mel was super informative and amazing. She gave me real in-depth answers regarding all my questions and now i know how to update my profile'

'Mel was brilliant I couldn’t recommend her highly enough. I am acting upon her advice right now!!!'

Spotlight Young Performer and Parent Careers Sessions

We also have new one to one sessions for young performers and parents with Ellie Samuels and Mel Brown. They are on hand weekly to answer any questions you might have about your career as a younger performer or for parents with children looking to make their name in the performing arts. Sessions with Ellie and Mel are available on zoom or over the phone. 

To book into one of these sessions as young performer or parent please click on the link on the right hand side of this page which says 'Spotlight Career Advice sessions for Parents and Young Performers'. If you are using a mobile device scroll down the page to 'Related content.'

Please be aware that we have limited space on our Spotlight career advice 121 sessions. Therefore, members are limited to one session a year with one facilitator, this means that we can offer this service to as many members as possible.

If the slots have all gone, please place yourself on the waitlist as some sessions do become available last minute. 

'I think these sessions are ideal especially for young performers who live outside of London to get hints and tips on how to make the most of your Spotlight profile.'

'As a parent I found the session to be informative, responsive, practical and provided very good advice and suggestions about the next step.'

About Ellie Samuels

Ellie is the dedicated account manager for young performers. She trained at the Guildford School of Acting and her extensive experience in the industry – as a performer in musical theatre, a jazz teacher at Pineapple Dance Studios and being part of the Spotlight team since 2003 - makes her the ideal person to guide you on the ins and outs of the acting industry, from the casting process itself and refining your Spotlight profile, to the importance of cultivating a strong relationship with your agent.

'Ellie was truly marvellous and had so much knowledge to share with me. I feel like she really gave me the next steps to take in order to enhance my profile and career. Couldn't recommend enough! Thank you, Ellie, really appreciate your time.'

'Ellie was very helpful and informative, she helped us to understand how things work in the industry and gave some very good advice. Thank you!'

About Mel Brown

Mel's bio can be viewed above - she works with all the membership groups in her current job, so is able to offer advice sessions to all members. 

'It was great to speak to someone knowledgeable and friendly. Also we felt that Mel was really genuinely interested in helping us make a better profile. We will book again in a future.'

'Mel was so lovely and took the time to answer all the questions I had. She has such a welcoming and friendly approach so it made me feel comfortable to ask her anything.'