3 Top Tips for New American Actors in London

Contacts 2016Hello, welcome. It's been 11 years since I moved to London from Washington, DC. I have firmly crossed over from ingenue to older woman/mom territory. But I'm leaning into it. I've been fortunate enough to find great agents and get some satisfying, regular acting and voice work - almost exclusively with my American accent. (see koshaengler.com for the low down).

I remember arriving here, not having a clue about where to begin. I could've used some help. So if you're new to the London community, here are three things you can do right now to jump start your career as a North American actor in London.*

  1. Join Spotlight UK and American Actors UK
    Spotlight is the industry standard way to market yourself as a performer. It's a must. You pay an annual fee to get your headshot, CV and other media in an online database that is used by everyone in the industry to cast everything from big budget films to profit-share plays. Also you must buy Contacts - the essential book for everyone who is anyone in the entertainment industry.

    AAUK is a great way to meet the pool of North American actors in the UK, mostly London. They have social events and workshops where you can meet people, casting announcements for American actors, newsletters where you can announce your recent work, play readings and more.

  2. Put your showreel and/or voice reel on Spotlight.
    Your genuine American-ness is your USP! Show it off. You must have a showreel, voice reel or preferably both on your Spotlight page or risk being passed by. Casting directors like to be reassured of what you're bringing to the party, especially if they've never heard of you or met you. Let them hear your American accent and show them a bit of you doing your thing well. You can get a custom showreel made by Luce Newman-Williams at Reel Motion Pictures, get it edited brilliantly by Twitch Films. For voice reels I used JP Orr at The Showreel. It launched my VO career.

  3. Be in something. Invite people.
    A play, a public reading, a showcase, a TV episode, a commercial, a film if you're lucky - whatever. Whether people come and watch it or not is almost irrelevant. It's a way to meet people and an excuse to get in touch - with agents, casting directors, directors, producers etc. - and say Hello! I'm here! Here is what I'm offering! Either by hard copy or electronically, send your headshot, a SHORT biography highlighting your most sparkling credits, a link to your CV on Spotlight and details of the performance. Crucially - do your research, be strategic. Write to people who are looking for what you're offering. Open your letter with something specific about THEM, and why you want to work with them. 
Good luck guys. Let me know how it goes, and shoot me any questions you may have.

*Assuming you have a work visa and professional credits or drama school training. If not, get on that first.


Popular Posts