Emerging Actors Roundtable: 2017
The time is at last here to meet the actors that make up the cast of the very first UK Emerging Actors Roundtable. But what’s so different about this roundtable, and why should you watch it?
Well, whether you like other roundtables or not shouldn’t be the deciding factor. This isn’t all Hollywood gloss and A-list anecdotes. If you want well-powdered famous faces discussing the struggles they overcame en route to their latest award nomination, honorary degree or lifetime achievement award, you might be disappointed. Not that I’m against a bit of powder or a few awards, it’s just that at some point early last year, it occurred to me that perhaps there was another way of doing the roundtable. Something a bit more ‘Honest Actors’…
The idea was to extend the Honest Actors project beyond those who are already working, and to give those who are entering the industry – or are just about to – an honest impression of what it’s like out there, and what they can realistically expect. And so, last autumn, I opened applications for actors who wanted to take part. The rules were simple: they had to be a) graduating from either drama school or university in 2017, or b) have entered the industry after January 2015 without training at an accredited school.
The final group of actors were chosen from well over a hundred applicants, following a selection process that involved not just a written application, but also Skype interviews and a lot of shuffling and reshuffling of headshots. My aim was simple, in theory at least: to find a group that reflected not just a range of back-stories, but also of starting points and aspirations. So difficult was the task, that I failed to make one final cut, ending up with a cast of seven rather than six.
The plan now is to meet these same seven again later in the year to see how things have progressed. For me, the project really only begins to work when we have seen how the same group of individuals progress over time. This is the very first stage of an experiment. As such, the results may differ from those anticipated, but that is a large part of the reason for undertaking the process in the first place.
Anyway, enough from me; it’s time to meet the cast…
24 year old actor and cat of many hats. Bilingual travel kid. Training at Drama Studio London.
“The first Honest Actors Roundtable served as a starting point for a discussion that must continue. We are a group of passionate people exchanging our experiences and understanding of what is an incredible yet difficult industry to enter. The roundtable will hopefully be able to bring into discussion vital issues for emerging actors but most importantly show that we’re all in the same boat and can help each other find solutions to the challenges we face.”
Untrained actress/English rose/Norfolk thorn. Mother of two cats. Thinks she's funnier than she really is.
“There's nothing more comforting than to hear you're not alone. No matter who you are/what stage you're at in your career, you always have something to gain from hearing the stories of us and sharing your own. Feeling lost in the industry? Me too. Let's go!"
Southern African actor and deviser. Third year at Central. In an Afro jazz funk rock band. Will dance to anything, without requests.
“The roundtable affirmed how many voices there are available to us, so that when we speak we really do speak with the voice of legions. It's scary being an actor, and it made me sad and hopeful to meet other people whose vulnerabilities I recognised as my own.”
Surviving actress and singer, chronic foodie and lyric writer of sorts. Final year student at university in Lancashire auditioning for drama school MAs. Lover of SLEEP.
“The first roundtable reminded me that it is ok and totally cool to be wherever you’re at on your journey; there is no right or wrong way of going about your career. On the whole, it provides a big platform for little voices in the performance world to be heard and make an impact on others."
29 year old Belgian, Greek, Moroccan Archaeologist turned actor/deviser. Third year BA Acting, Collaborative & Devised Performance student. Casual reader of Mesopotamian clay tablets.
“What I took away from our first roundtable is a real sense of community, of people willing to wrestle with important questions regarding training and entering the profession. We don’t get to hear that very often! This roundtable reflects the diversity of the community and I sincerely hope that everyone watching it will see themselves in it.”
North West based Actor, now on an MA in London, adjusting to student life by wearing black, accruing debt and eating couscous. Needs tea and sleep to function.
“The biggest thing I took away from the first roundtable is the sense of meeting like-minded people, despite us all having wildly different backgrounds and chosen paths for the future, we all share a passion for the work. I think watching us chat will remind people we're all in the same boat.”
Lapsed scientist and corporate type trying out a bit of acting while riding-out a mid-life crisis. Father of two, lover of crisps. Probably asks too many questions.
"It was nice to realise that, just like the regular podcast guests, there was a connection based on shared concerns and dreams for our acting job. It's always fun to spend time with people who, despite everything, have to be doing what they do."
The first episode of the Emerging Actors Roundtable series is available now (in two parts) on our YouTube channel.
Jonathan Harden was born in Belfast. Since moving to London, he has worked extensively in television and film, as well as in restaurants, bars and on building sites. Since 2015, he has been at the helm of The Honest Actors' Podcast – the UK’s #1 acting podcast - and it’s award-nominated blog.