How We’re Supporting You Through COVID-19
Since the UK entered lockdown, we had to think fast about how we can continue to best support you during this difficult time. Our members are always at the heart of everything we do and our passionate team have come up with a number of innovative ways to keep our performer, agent and casting members informed, connected and supported.
Here's how you can continue to make the most of your membership.
Advice Sessions with Industry Experts
We've hosted a huge number of meetings where members have the chance to talk to Spotlight advisers, industry professionals, life coaches and peers via video chat or phone calls.
121’s with the Spotlight team
Usually we offer a limited amount of free face-to-face advice sessions with Spotlight advisers each month but during the pandemic, we’ve significantly increased the number of slots available for members. Since March the Spotlight team have offered their expertise and career advice to nearly 600 performers, graduates and young performers, with more sessions to come!
How to book a session
- New sessions for performers and graduates are released on the 20th of each month, book your place by visiting the 121’s section of our website.
- Sessions for young performers are released via our newsletter so be sure to opt in to the ‘Spotlight Event’ emails. To do this, sign in to your Spotlight profile and click the ‘My privacy settings’ link where you can update your email preferences.
Scott and I really found today’s session very helpful. Thank you again for you time it was really beneficial. Also thanks for the info you sent through!
121’s with Casting Directors and Agents
With general meetings not currently possible, we've been working with our casting and agent members to hold virtual meetings with performers. 80 casting directors and agents have generously volunteered their time, meeting with over 2300 performer members to discuss all aspects of their career. So far we've organised over 250 sessions for members to meet with industry professionals. Members are telling us how useful these meets are, so make sure you're opted in to our event emails to find out about future sessions.
How to book a session
- Sessions are released via our events newsletter so be sure to opt in to the ‘Spotlight Event’ emails by signing into your Spotlight profile and click the ‘My privacy settings’ link where you can update your email preferences.
- These sessions are hugely popular with hundreds of members trying to book a slot so to be as fair as possible, we offer one session per member. Once you’ve attended a 121 you will no longer receive emails to book future sessions.
D/deaf and Disabled Members
We continue to give priority booking to our D/deaf and disabled members. We offer support where it's needed including providing British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation on video sessions and organising for 121's to take place over email or phone to ensure members are able to make the most of their session.
Life Coaching sessions
We brought together a group of over 70 experienced and professional life coaches from across the world to offer our members support at a time when it is greatly needed. We’ve matched over 300 members with coaches, providing them with over 700 hours of invaluable coaching, for free!
Applications are currently closed however we hope to offer more sessions in the future.
Thank you so much for the life coaching sessions Spotlight arranged for me. They were so wonderful and helped me immensely.
Agent Meets and Panels
Being new to the industry is hard at the best of times but doubly so when theatre first nights, screenings etc. aren't available. That's why we hosted a meeting where 92 new and emerging agents could virtually gather together to share their experiences and concerns.
Spotlight’s Ellie Samuels also hosted a panel for agent members who represent young performers. The Industry Forum Presents: Advice for Agents Representing Children panel featured Esta Charkham (ECA), Lucy Jones (child employment officer and NNCEE secretary) and Adele Moss (AM Kids Agency), where they discussed industry updates, licensing and issues that are unique to representing children.
We love an event and we haven't let social-distancing stand in our way of organising some inspiring industry gatherings, albeit online.
Sign-up to attend one of our weekly webinars where industry professionals take part in video panels, Q&As and discussions on key topics. We've already hosted several well-received sessions including Nudity and Intimacy In The Post #MeToo Era and a Q&A with the with Casting Director Louise Kiely and Director Lenny Abrahamson about the phenomenon that is Normal People.
How to book
- Book your place via our events newsletter. Make sure you've opted in to receive ‘Spotlight Event’ emails by signing into your Spotlight profile and click the ‘My privacy settings’ link where you can update your email preferences.
- The webinars can be attended by up to 1000 members at a time and all have BSL interpretation.
I attended the Spotlight Zoom Webinar earlier today and I just wanted to say a massive thank you for organising it, it was utterly brilliant. It was really wonderful listening to Nancy, Ita and Marci about all the work they do as intimacy coordinators and their impact on a set.
Spotlight Events Archive
As we're not able to host our popular Open House event this year, we've dipped into our archives to release recordings of panels from previous years. With the kind permission of everyone involved, we're releasing a video each week on our YouTube channel for you to watch, with subtitles for our D/deaf members.
Spotlight Graduates Digital Showcase
Having worked and trained so hard to become professional performers, graduates are currently unable to show their talents at live showcases. That's why we've adapted our Spotlight showcase site where we're featuring around 1000 of our 2020 Spotlight Graduate members. Participating schools have let us know about students who have successfully signed with an agent because of this promotion, which is great news!
The Spotlight Prize 2020
One of the highlights of our year is the much anticipated Spotlight Prize. Due to COVID-19, we've made the decision to cancel this year’s Spotlight Prize for Stage, however, we will be continuing with the Screen Award for Best Actor. Each of our 20 nominees will be directed by Paulette Randall MBE as they film a monologue in September, with the winner being awarded their prize in October. We can’t wait to see them perform!
Improvements To Spotlight Profiles
We continue to make improvements to our website, making updates to profiles and adding new features to upgrade your Spotlight experience. We've also introduced a service where performer members can get tailored advice from our expert team about how you can make your profile the best it can be.
Spotlight profile service
Your Spotlight profile is your calling card so our publishing team check every edit and photo that our members upload and are now offering their expertise with tailored advice to help you make your profile shine.
- If you’d like the team to take a look at your profile, email us at [email protected].
We continue to work on updating the Spotlight website so that we offer you the very best features and experience, which will be especially important as our industry begins its recovery. Behind the scenes we are working on new look Spotlight profiles, improving the way casting directors and agents use our site and adding improvements to video and voice for performers.
New voice over skills
We realised voice work was likely to continue during the pandemic so we got in touch with audio producers and voice casting directors to see what voice skills would be useful to make available on performer's Spotlight profiles. If you haven't already, find out how you can update your profile with these new voice skills. We've also published a helpful article about how to record your voice at home.
Digital self-tape service
With the closure of our rooms and studios, our team quickly got to work to offer a digital self-tape casting service for casting directors who are currently unable to hold face-to-face meetings. Find out more about the self-taping casting service and what it has to offer.
If you have any suggestions for things you would like us to consider doing then please get in touch with us at [email protected].
Last updated Tuesday 7 July 2020.
Photo by Jiroe via Unsplash.