The face of someone who 'went for it' in her comedy dance audition.

The face of someone who 'went for it' in her comedy dance audition.

Lessons of today.

1) I can be daft on demand

2) When you have a room full of people who want you to make a fool out of yourself, you have to leave your inhibitions at the door

3) My whistles jumper, studio lighting and cardiovascular activity do not mix

4) My hula hooping needs work

5) I need to do a bra shop

6) I kind of need a wine

7) Fortunately I have been drunk on many occasions so could channel all those times to make all of the above much easier! #anactorslife#dancelikenooneswatching #naptime

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. 

Be ready for the audition

As actors, we are used to working within tight deadlines and changing circumstances; last minute auditions, script edits at the final hour or a fast paced improvisation session. Then throw in international travel and ‘with hours to go’ confirmations, we can be stretched.

However if you can train yourself to ‘be ready’ for anything (apologies for the outrageous plug!) you will reap the rewards.

You will be the one is more likely to get the job. You will be the one who makes the production team’s schedule easier and stress free and ultimately the one who is remembered as someone who was amazing to work with.

Over the years in this industry as an actor and an agent, I have noticed the time frames have become tighter due to the speediness of technology. It can be a case of fastest finger first.

Of course, talent comes into play, but most are talented so what is going to make you stand out from the crowd?

Here are five strategies that will help you be in the best possible position for the next opportunity.

1. Be in contact

Communication with your agent is absolutely key and by maintaining an open dialogue of your whereabouts will build trust and allow your agent to push on certain jobs and make last minute decisions on your behalf.

Firstly always update them with your availability so they are informed- expect to get a call about an audition. Don’t be tempted to slip away for the weekend and turn your phone to voice mail- don’t get caught out. Secondly always keep your phone charged. I purchased and external phone charger that doesn’t need to be plugged in- try this one… this has saved me many a time when I am out and about.

2) Have online copies of your documents

Open a dropbox account or google drive account to store scanned copies of useful paperwork- your passport, measurements, insurance, driving licence. So if the production company needs your details quickly you can simply ‘share’ via email rather than waiting to get home, find, scan, email and this point you may have missed the boat.

3) Expect to travel and have a ‘travel bag’

This is not a whole suitcase :) but a collection of stuff I always need that I can easily access. I have a travel cosmetics bag with travel sized products ready to go plus a drawer of plane essentials- eye mask, foregin currency, travel pillow, adaptors etc that I can quickly grab.

4) Keep things smooth

So many parts of an actor’s life can complicated so try and keep your finances and general life stress free so you can go accept a job at a moment’s notice.

5) Be remote

it is essential an actor can work on the move. This could be downloading scripts (I always have my computer with me) or equipment to be able to record.

How to get a brand new agent (my top ten tips)

I have had many agents over the years; some have been wonderful and some less than wonderful, let’s just say :)

This week, I signed with an additional agent, lovely Kaye is going to look after me for my speaking and presenting work. Elevating this area of my brand was on my 2018 goal list so it feels great to have achieved this by 10th January 2018. Bizarrely I now know Kaye was aware of me too and was going to get in contact but I beat her to it. 

You may be reading this and thinking ‘It’s alright for you Nicky…’ and that is totally cool. I get it. It’s annoying especially if this is something you want to do too. But don’t worry, you can do it too. There is space for everyone.

Writing to agents and getting a positive response is something I am always asked about. I’m sure you know already, but I was an agent for 5 years… over that time, I read many applications…many of which were poorly written, vague, unclear and a little bit slap dash. The applications that stood out weren’t necessarily the actors who had the most experience; often it was to do with attitude, understanding of their brand and a general sense that he/she would be great to work with. 

Here are my top ten strategies which will help you land your agent of choice:

1) Consider what you want for your career

Get clear on your vision and big picture dreams. What do you want to build? What direction do you want your career to go in? Don’t say ‘You don’t mind’ ; you may think you are being flexible and easy to work with but actually you are making it harder for the agent to get you work or envisage working with you. 

2)Who do you want to work with?

Agents have very different styles and not all are suitable for you. I certainly don’t get on with someone who is dismissive, soulless and doesn’t get me. Read ‘about’ pages and their social media feeds carefully, there will be plenty of clues that will help you to make a decision. 

3) Start with a winners’ mindset

Assume that your dream agent is waiting for you… even if this requires your best acting pants. Agents don’t get paid unless they represent actors who get paid. FACT. Starting the writing/email process with a positive mindset will shine through in your communication. Whatever you do, don’t start with ‘No one is probably going to read it anyway’… 

4) Do your research

Check out social media feeds, be thorough with their website, understand their clients, google their name in You Tube. Get to know their likes, dislikes and overall vibe. 

5) What are you selling?

I know we are taught to not show off or sell ourselves and sound sleazy and desperate but agents need to know who you are and what you do. Get clear on your talents, your niche, your skills, your appeal, what you can do now and where you want to go… feel free to write oodles and then strip it back to the essentials. Don’t give yourself the pressure of having to ‘nail it’ the first time. Successful emails do take time to write…so write 20 rather than 200. If you are falling into the trap of ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ reassess. If you need help with this, get in contact with me via my contact page

6) Build your brand

I know brand building a bit of weird concept BUT do it anyway. These days how you do something is how you do everything and you have to be ready for the opportunities. The first thing I would always do when I received an application was to google the person. Yes you need a website. Yes it needs to look good and yes we want to know all about you. 

7) Be creative now and don’t wait for the opportunity

I have written my blog for 5 years, I have a You Tube channel and I am launching a podcast on Monday. I am not waiting for someone to offer me the job or give me an opportunity. By creating stuff myself, I attract the right people. I show that I believe in myself so other should too. 

8) Build the evidence

The testimonials from directors, the press clips, what you are doing right now. We need to know. You have to champion yourself before anyone else can. Plus you will always be the common denominator in your career. 

9) Make it easy for someone to say yes

Tell them how you could work together. Keep it simple and consistent. 

10) Take action

Of course you can spend another day/week/month/year and moan that things aren’t happening for you and if that is your bag, go for it. But I know you are better than that. Take small steps, even if they feel scary or a bit vulnerable. Granted you may not get a ‘yes’ straight away but often that is no reflection of you. I would love to hear what you are up to this year, feel free to share with me via my contact page