COVID-19: The latest updates for our members
Following the latest advice from the UK government, to protect our team and members, we've closed the Spotlight office, rooms and studios for the foreseeable future. Our team are now working from home and will be available to fully support you as usual by phone or email.
Please note that we’ve had to reduce all our staff’s working hours to 10.00am-5.30pm Monday to Thursday as a result of this crisis until further notice. You will of course continue to have 24/7 access to the Spotlight platform, it is only our business hours that are affected by this change. Please do get in touch with us on [email protected] at any time, or call us on 020 7437 7631.
We’ll keep this page updated with our latest updates, help and support so do keep checking back for more information.
Use these links to skip to a page section:
- Official industry advice
- Charities and financial help
- Wellbeing and mental health
- What Spotlight is doing for you
- Making the most of your membership
- Spotlight membership fees
- Resources for performers
- Resources for young performers
- Things to watch
- Things to listen to
- Things to do
Keep updated on the latest industry news and advice related to Coronavirus.
If you’re in urgent need of financial assistance, there are many charities and organisations who can help.
- Government guidance on financial support
- Equity Distribution Services - ensures performers engaged on Equity contracts receive royalties and other secondary payments arising from the terms of the union's collective agreements.
- Acting for Others
- Charities for Performers - a list of organisations and funds set up to help support performers.
- The Fleabag Support Fund - providing grants to UK-based freelancers working in the theatre industry who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
This is a challenging time for us all and you may be worried about Coronavirus and how it affects you, your family and the industry. It’s important that you take care of yourself and there are lots of resources available to help give you the best advice.
- The Theatre Helpline
- A Guide to Finding Help with Anxiety
- Tips for Good Mental Health
- A Parent’s Health to Mental and Physical Health for Young Performers
Remember, it’s perfectly ok to listen to your own needs and if that means taking some time out then do so and do not feel pressured to 'make the most' of a tough situation.
All of the Spotlight team are working from home to ensure all our services continue to be available to you, and that our work on improving the Spotlight platform continues so that we’re ready and able to serve our members in the best way as soon as the situation improves.
All our efforts at the moment are on keeping the business running as effectively as possible to support our customers, the industry and our staff at this very challenging time. We are pleased to say that we are seeing breakdowns, searches and castings still happening on the platform, although understandably at a reduced volume.
We’re also in touch with Equity and are supporting all their work campaigning for Government support for our industry.
We will constantly be reviewing how we can support you while we face this period of uncertainty and will continue to offer as many services as possible to our members:
- We’re continuing to offer our one-to-one career advice sessions by phone or online for members in the UK and members in Ireland. We will be aiming to increase the number of these we’re able to offer.
- In the coming weeks we’ll be streaming some of our most popular past casting director panel events online - we’ll share details as they become available.
- We’re providing more advice and support on our website and social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- We’re offering casting directors a digital casting studio service so they can run auditions remotely for our members.
- To assist audio producers currently searching Spotlight for those with, or with access to, home recording facilities we’ve added some new voice over skills. When signed in go to ‘Update my CV’ and go to the performance area of skills.
- We’re encouraging all casting directors to continue engaging with our members as much as possible, and asking them to offer 15 minute Skype sessions to either review your showreels, profiles, or just to have a friendly chat. We’ve released some of these already and will continue to add more sessions depending on the availability of the casting directors.
- We'll be offering as many workshops as possible online.
- We’ve launched supporting activities for our 2020 graduate students.
- Our discounts scheme, advice articles, videos and podcasts continue to be updated and available to our members.
As soon as we understood the extent of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK, the Spotlight team immediately began work behind the scenes to plan how we could best help our members.
The announcements made by the Chancellor on Friday 20 March about business support packages allowed us to offer our members a payment holiday, whilst still ensuring that Spotlight is able to continue to provide our services to the industry throughout this crisis.
We emailed members information about how to register for the payment holiday. The deadline for opting in was midnight on Sunday 5 April, the details of which were included in the ‘opt-in’ email sent.
The deadline to opt in has now passed and the offer is no longer valid. We’re sorry for any disappointment this may cause as we understand this can be a difficult time for members.
We’re continuing to help our members in practical ways, more of which you can read about above.
If you want to learn more about a topic, get tailored advice from our expert profile team or read tips about how to give your profile and acting tools a spring-clean then we have some handy links for you:
- Review and update your profile
- Contact [email protected] if you would like one of our publishing team to cast their expert eye over your Spotlight profile and give you their advice over email about how to improve it
- Learn how to film and perfect your self-tape
- Find out how to self-tape on your smartphone
- Review and change up your showreel
- Master an accent
Links to advice and resources for young performers whilst classes are closed.
- Suggestions to keep young performers creative
- Learn how to film young performer self-tapes
- A parent's guide to mental and physical health for young performers
- Young performer career advice sessions via Skype
Whether you need a distraction or want to feel inspired, here's a list of musicals, opera, dance, theatre, films and TV shows for you to watch for free.
- BBC's Culture in Quarantine - a programme of productions, documentaries and interviews about the arts
- As part of the Spotlight Discounts membership benefits, Spotlight members can become a TOTUMPRO member and get a six month trial of Amazon Prime
- National Theatre - a different production is streamed every week on the National Theatre's YouTube channel
- Sadler's Wells Digital Stage - online screenings of dance performances and workshops
- Screenings at 7 - short films produced by the 2019 Rose Youth Theatre film course and their course leaders will be shown every evening at 7pm until Friday 10 April
- Shakespeare's Globe YouTube Premieres - six plays will be shown, one at a time, on rotation every two weeks, on The Globe's YouTube channel
- SIGNAL's song playlists - videos from SIGNAL's artist-driven musical theatre events
- The Royal Opera House - a programme of free broadcasts and live content
- The Shows Must Go On! - streaming a new musical every Friday for 48 hours
- Wind in the Willows the Musical - available to stream online.
Give your eyes a screen break and listen to some stories, sonnets or informal chats with industry experts.
- Audible.com have a collection of free stories for kids to stream
- Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a sonnet every day on his Instagram channel.
- The Spotlight Podcast has plenty of episodes available that feature industry experts and performers.
Creative exercises, competitions and learning resources if you'd like to keep busy or fill some time.
- If you're 70+, you may want to enter King Lear Prizes' national creative arts competition
- Try these lockdown-friendly exercises to kickstart your creativity
- Work your way through our Open House sessions round up to gain new skills and knowledge.
We’re here to support you at this difficult time - please do email with any queries on [email protected] or call us on 020 7437 7631 (between 10am-5.30pm Mon-Thurs) and we will do everything we can to help you.