PODCAST: Episode Sixty with Katie Birtill

E P I S O D E S I X T Y is live
Today I speak to my lovely friend @kbirtill. We talk lots about creativity; what it means and how you can get back into the zone, if you have felt you have been out of it.

Over the years, we've had so many chats about how we dance the creative career. How to deal with rejection; not being flavour of the month, or not be 'quite right'

Katie recently reached number one in the ITunes charts with her debut album, a project she produced herself. It is a fascinating story.

Podcast: Episode Nineteen with Indra Ové

In today's episode, I talk to my lovely friend and actor Indra Ové. You may know Indra from the small or big screen; her credits include; Interview with the Vampire, Resident Evil, Marcella, The National Theatre, The Young Vic, The West End...these are just a few.

Practical solutions to help you move forward as an actors [video]

I love collaborating with Surviving Actors. In this video I share lots of practical solutions to accelerate your acting career and help you move forward. 

Sometimes my inner Veruca Salt wants to shout... 'I WANT IT NOW'

But I know that is not appealing or endearing...

I have to play the long game...

Throughout my career my patience has really been tested.

Why is it quiet?

Why am I not being called in?

Why is this taking so long?

WHY WHY WHY (basically)

But I have learnt to stop, collaborate and listen (!) and play the looooong game.

I was interviewed by Surviving Actors and shared my thoughts on the industry and there may be some nuggets that may help you. 


There is so much you can do/change/shake up in 2017.  I know myself when I am in the frame of mind of ACTION, the results come thick and fast.

But I have had to decide.

I have got clear and I have got support.

As a qualified life coach, I can help you too: 


What we may discuss... 

Agents | Head shots | Castings | Getting started | Networking | Branding | Websites | Motivation | Boost your cast rate | Drama school | Boosting confidence | Creating an action plan.

Several beliefs you don't need to have as an actor

What I am about to share with you could change everything. 

Why didn’t anyone tell me…?!

Here are some of the beliefs that I had: 

1) When I left drama school, I would be different. I would never be out of work because I would work really hard. 

2) I didn’t really need to earn loads of money…I trained as an actor which was my dream so money necessary…

3) I was just grateful to work…payment is not an issue. I beat the competition…er yeah for a job that wasn’t paying me!

4) Surely I couldn’t be creative and earn well…I had to struggle. 

5) Being an ‘artist’ is cool, I don’t want to be too corporate. 

When I write these, I realise two things.

Firstly many are not true.

They are not factual.

They were simply stories in my head.

Secondly I wasn’t helping myself and I certainly wasn’t helping my agent. 

Here’s why…

I have been an actor that has struggled. I have had the ‘Oh shit- I don’t know how I am going to pay my rent this month’ 2am wake up call and the actor who has been stuck in day jobs that have made me feel rubbish, lost and disheartened.A great energy to take into a casting room? 

I have also been an agent. I have seen how essential it is for an actor to have a job that works for them (pays their bills, keeps them comfortable, provides them with options) and for an agent to represent an actor who is comfortable, secure and open.

This industry is ever changing and you never know when the next opportunity is going to zip around the corner so you want to be in a position to receive it.

You place an enormous amount of trust in an agent, understanding they will nourish and nurture your career and provide fruitful opportunities.

It is crucial an agent also has trust in you. That you are level headed, reliable and deliver the goods. An agent understands that acting can be a hard, financial game, but also needs to know you have options to invest in yourself, so he/she can do their job and propel you to the next level.

The agent is looking at your profile on a daily basis but also has a great understanding of what breakdowns are arriving in their inbox. They can see where the gaps are- i.e. ‘You don’t have a headshot to represent X side of your personality’ or you need to attend X workshop with a certain casting director as you are a perfect fit for a future project.

It is your responsibility to leave yourself with financial options so you can fulfil these requests, not to ignore the email or brush your agent off with ‘I haven’t got any money at the moment’. This will not accelerate your career. 

It is ok not to struggle. You don’t have to hate the times between acting. You can enjoy them. Both worlds can fuel and nurture each other. What blocks do you put on yourself? It is a fresh new week so I am extending the offer until tonight. I have all the tools to help you and they are waiting for you. Please don’t email me saying ‘I just don’t know what to do’ You have to figure out a better question. You have to identify what you need help with and be willing to ‘do the work!’. 

10 ways to get back in the game as an actor

Being a successful, working actor is about being strategic.

Sometimes as actors we can be vague and passive…we wait for the phone to ring, we hope something will happen. 

I want you to get started now. 

I want to encourage you to GO FOR IT. To put your intention out there and follow through. 

e.g If it is TV work you want to do, what do you need to do? 

Here are ten questions to help you gather your plan.

1) What would be your ideal job? What is the area you want to work in? 

2) Where are you now? What does your CV/headshot/showcase say about you? 

3) What is missing? What do you need to do to take you closer? 

4) What daily actions could you put in place? 

5) What do you say to yourself that is not helpful. 

6) What rituals or habits are keeping you stuck? 

7) What task would bring you tremendous results?

8) Who is doing what you want to be doing? 

9) How can you increase your motivation? 

10) How would it feel if you achieved everything you wanted to this year? 

Complete the questions and take time to get specific about what you want. 

Getting organised as an actor

When I was an agent, I rarely stopped for breath. Lunch was a hurried affair at my desk and often the calls and emails of ‘immediate attention’ continued way beyond office hours.

When you are under pressure as an agent, you want to be able to deliver to the client (you represent or company you are working with) in the most efficient and effective way.

Due to the timing, you can be away from your desk - which can prove difficult if the systems are not in place. Fortunately they were, which would pay off tremendously.  

Although I am a creative, I love systems and they are essential for my life. As you know, my working day can alter hugely, so it is essential I can work remotely, across all devices.  

We are all working across time zones, under strict deadlines and in various locations.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to be organised as an actor.  

This five step plan I am going to share with you is really easy to implement, even if you wouldn’t consider yourself as an organised person.

Remember, with all of my 5 step plans…take action. Don’t just read and say ‘I really must do that’. Schedule it in your diary and make it happen. 

Step One: Choose a programme

My favourites are Google Drive and Drop box. My lap top is currently at the Apple Store hospital so I am working from my I mac. I have very little saved onto my computer because it is all uploaded on to one of these programmes so I can access from all my devices- I am a 4x times Apple user!

This takes away an enormous amount of stress because I can always access what I need, when I need it. Plus these two programmes are shareable so you can share your material by simply typing in an email.

Instantly get the tools you need: 

Step Two: Scan and upload

- Passport

- Drivers licence

- Insurance

- Measurements

- Contact details

- Doctors details

- Your headshots (including your back catalogue)

- Video clips/showreel

- Documents of achievements- certificates or any evidence to proof you can do what you say you can do.

-Your CV

-Pictures- family/with partner/with friends/action shots- perhaps that capture your specialist skills.

Step Three: Expect the unexpected

Don’t wait until you need the documents, preempt the situation. Take a couple of hours now to get everything in place. You will remove the stress at the last minute and be ahead of your competition. 

Step Four: Check it works across all devices

Make sure you have downloaded the app on all devices so you are never caught out. 

Step Five: Link and share with your agent

Don’t forget to let your agent know about your high flying organisational skills. This way they can quickly access the material and advise you on what is missing and what may be useful. Plus, the agent will be super impressed and be more likely to suggest and push you for last minute jobs because you are ready to go!

So what do you need to? Where are your gaps? Take action and get cracking...