Are you a creative person? Then you’ll want to read this!

Are you a creative person? A writer, musician, actor, dancer, or even a filmmaker wanting to share your talent or story with the world? Well, now you can! I’m inviting you to share your creativity with a chance for a featured spot on Double-J-Creative.

If this sounds like you, keep reading for information below!

Who can submit?

Anyone! Whether you are just starting out, had your break through moment, or famous it doesn’t matter I welcome everyone and anyone.

What should I submit?

By submitting I will feature your work in a blog post depending on what you want to submit. This can be anything from video footage (whether that be of your talent, film, or link to youtube) , agreeing to be interviewed about your time in the industry, promoting your project or simply sharing ideas.

The WHY

I want to use my blog to create a community of creatives where we support each others work and help each other grow. This industry can be harsh at times with rejection and so much competition, but by coming together and sharing our talents we can support one another. I myself have known the struggle of having a project I care so passionately about but don’t have the launching pad or community to share my ideas with. So now, I’d like to share my projects with you as you share yours with not just to me but everyone we reach. Together we can be heard and share our creativity with the world.

All new featured post will be available every Friday. If you feel you would like to share, get in touch!

**Please note that all material will still be yours and will only be shared in a blog post that you are agreeing to.

Don’t forget to subscribe and follow if you wish to keep up to date with the latest posts(:

Resources for Actors

Are you an actor? Well then this post is for you.

It can be overwhelming with picking the right classes, headshot photographer, news articles, etc. BUT over the years I have been able to find my ‘go to’ websites and resources that have helped me. So below I will make a list of my top sites and tools I use as an actor that will hopefully help some people just starting out.

Resources

Backstage – Founded in 1960, has been a great resource for all those in the industry, from casting to news and helpful articles. You can sign up for a subscription and apply to castings, or you can visit their site for useful articles on a range of topics! Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom event with Backstage and listen in on a Q&A with a casting director. You can find all of their videos on their Youtube channel as well if you ever miss one.

WeAudition – This is a great website I have recently discovered, thanks the the 98% Podcast. If you are stuck for a reader it’s no problem, easily find someone suitable to be your reader or make money yourself by being available to others. There is also casting calls, advice and support. Be sure to check it out and if you want a discount code, check out my Featured Friday post with the 98% podcast;)

Spotlight – Okay, so many actors will be familiar with this one, or are on it if they have an agent, but besides it being a platform for your profile and casting submissions, there are many things you can utilise. I regularly check out their blog and Youtube channel. If you are a member you are also eligible for discounts – who doesn’t love a little money off?

Masterclass – This is subscription based, but you have the option to pay for one class or unlimited for a year. Personally, I would go with the unlimited for a year because there are so many amazing classes you can take advantage of. There are several categories, but for this particular post, I explored the tv/film genre. I learned from Natalie Portman on acting, Shonda Rhimes on TV scriptwriting, Samuel L. Jackson on acting and more. Learn at your own pace and do it online!

Ace your Audition – A great website to find free monologues for auditions or just to practice with.

These are just a few great tools you an use and I am sure there are many others! Feel free to get in touch with more suggestions. I would love to hear more ways I can keep learning and practicing my craft (:

What is your ‘why’?

For what ever you aspire to be or do in your life, there is an important question you should ask yourself – why?

What is yours?

I recently watched a career’s video, and this idea of ‘why’ really stuck with me. Why be in a job you don’t enjoy? What is it adding to your life? It is so important to me that when I get a job, and one day soon I pray I do, that it means something to me. Not only because it will make me feel excited to get out of bed every morning, but so that I can put 100% into the work.

If you are in the creative industry you know that it can be very competitive and sometimes hard to get your start. This is when having a ‘why’ is crucial, because if don’t know what is driving you through this industry, I can tell you it is probably going to make it a lot harder when you get rejected over and over again. As an actress and writer, constant rejection is part of the package (especially at the beginning of your career) but I do it because I have understood my ‘why’.

My reason – WHY

Being an actress is hard. Many people will think it’s not a career or it’s all glam all the time, but no. If you read my recent post interviewing the 98% Podcast (and if you haven’t I highly recommend) the two girls highlight that only 2% actually make it to that top “A-list” spot. That’s not a very big percentage if you think about all the aspiring actors out there, and yes, I am one of them. It’s not a career you take lightly, it’s important to understand that there will be rejection, you have to invest in yourself and sometimes pick up awful jobs to make ends meat. Sometimes I wonder, why the hell am I doing this to myself? Wouldn’t it have been easier to have ‘normal’ job? But something about someone asking me what my ‘why’ is for continuing to pursue it – which I have been for almost eight years now – puts it all into perspective, and is the motivation that keep me persevering.

Here’s what I wrote in response:

I act because it is a way to explore my imagination and break out of my shell. Naturally, I am a very shy person, but when I become a character and tap into another world it is freeing and exciting.

I act because I have never been able to see myself doing anything else. From a young age I was performing, making my own talent shows, plays, dancing and at fourteen I got interested in TV and film.

I act because it is my passion and to be able to make someone smile or feel something, is something special.

What ever your ‘why’, let it be the thing that motivates you to pursue your dream job. If you can’t answer that question with a good answer, then maybe it is time to reconsider what it is you are doing and if it makes you happy.

A lot of the time acting, scriptwriting and pursuing a career in the film industry is really tough, but when I think about giving up or throwing in the towel, I know I would regret it and I couldn’t imagine what other job I would be doing.

Challenge

So I challenge you today to right down you ‘why’ for whatever you choose to pursue. Once you get your why, write it down and hold onto it. Through the rough times remember what it is that makes you fight for your career/dream.

Feel free to share, or reach out if you are stuck and need some help.

Be sure to like and subscribe to my blog for new posts every Monday, Friday & Saturday!

Featured Friday : 98% Podcast

Alexa Morden & Katie Elin-Salt

Welcome to another Featured Friday!

Over the past couple weeks I have discovered the amazing, hilarious and insightful podcast – the 98%. Two lovely ladies, Alexa Morden and Katie Elin-Salt, joined forces to explore what it is really like for the majority of actors by sharing advice, interviews and a few laughs about the reality of the job. It’s become my regular listening playlist for my walks, or if I am just sitting around the house doing odd jobs. Although, I have to tell you beware if you are listening to this on a walk because they will have you laughing out loud! Just last week I was walking around London listening to one of their episodes of them sharing audition stories, which I could definitely relate to, but one of them was so funny I couldn’t help but burst out laughing not caring who was looking at me. I highly recommend checking it out and giving it a listen.

I was so delighted when I reached out to them recently and they agreed to have an interview for a Featured Friday spot! So let’s jump to it, and find a little bit more of the behind the scenes of the 98%.

Interview

  • Let’s start from the beginning, from your website I see you two met from a commercial casting and kept in touch. What prompted you two to start a podcast?
    • I (Alexa) was in Vancouver for half the year of 2017 and was having a bit of a tough time mentally. I personally found at that time that listening to interviews with other actors actually made me feel worse because in my mind they had everything I wanted in terms of their career, while I was doing everything I could to get there and it wasn’t working. I realised that actors are always comparing themselves to others (specifically the 2% who are “working actors”) because they are the only actors we hear from. We never see or hear from the majority of actors who aren’t going from table read to premiere every other week even though I KNEW they existed because I and all my friends were them!! So I toyed with the idea of starting a podcast because it was the only way we’d have a voice that wasn’t contingent on someone else making it happen. I was also listening to the podcast My Favourite Murder at the time and loved that they were just two aquatints who bonded over a common interest and as a listener it was enjoyable hearing them learn things about each other as the podcast went on. I had only spoken to Katie properly once before this but I knew she was funny, honest, passionate and talented so I sent her, I think, a 5 minute voice note on WhatsApp babbling on and asking for her honest opinion on my idea of a podcast talking about the reality of what most actors go through but never talk about. I knew she’d be honest if she thought it sounded shit because we weren’t even friends at that point so she didn’t have to be polite! But luckily she loved it and I soon realised it would be way better with her as a host too so we could bounce off each other and share stories that neither of us had heard before. Katie has lots of impassioned thoughts about this industry that I knew she wouldn’t be afraid of sharing..which was proved correct when I got back to London and we had our first meet up where we chatted non stop!
  • Did you find it difficult starting out? And did you think it was going to get as big as it is now?
    • It had its difficulties in terms of me having no idea how to make a podcast! But I dedicated hours to research and learning and bought a microphone and I’m a very organised person so as soon as I have some sort of grasp on something I take it in my stride and am able to keep multiple tabs open in my brain at all times! We would imagine and joke about it going mainstream and having thousands of listeners and being able to quit our day jobs just to podcast, but as actors we were both used to not getting ahead of ourselves and not expecting anything. Which I think helped a lot. I see other podcasters in facebook groups asking how to get more listens and how to make money from podcasting. That was never our goal. In my mind if we got any more listens than just my parents or we were able to help just one person then it would be a success. The fact we’ve reached so many people and continuously get told how helpful the podcast is is still surreal, I can’t really explain it! I’ll never forget the first time we got an email from someone saying that thanks to our honesty on the podcast they had started therapy and had a complete turn around in their attitude and mental health. No matter how “big” the podcast gets – those are the moments that stand out the most.
  • As an actress myself, I find it so important to find other creative outlets, that’s why I started the blog in the first place. How has the podcast 98% allowed you to explore yourself as artists/actors – Or has it? (Btw one of my favourite things about the podcast is the introduction theme songs!)
    • While the podcast isn’t an acting job, it is a creative outlet that has helped me enormously. I found that even writing scripts came to dead ends because you’re waiting on other people to give you the green light. With the podcast we are in charge of it and don’t have to wait for someone else to grant us permission to do it and make it happen. It’s given me an identity outside of auditioning and therefore a channel to find fulfilment inside myself. Seeing hard work actually pay off is an amazing feeling and we both can’t recommend enough that actors find something, anything, that gives them a creative outlet that doesn’t rely on someone else (agents, casting directors, directors, bosses etc) allowing them to do it. Even if it’s an instrument or jewellery making or photography or something!And in terms of songs…Katie is the only other person I’ve met that loves writing parodies to songs as much as me (like, it’s just something we do randomly throughout the day) and we joke about being the Lennon and Mcartney of jingles ha. We are always singing a made up song about something! So I love that we were able to include that in the podcast…despite it adding a lot more work!! And you can find all our theme songs on our website as a sort of playlist!
  • I love that you are able to bring in a variety of guests – casting directors, agents, directors –  How did you start approaching them, or did they come to you?
    • One of my motto’s is “you never know unless you give it a go” so when we started we just tried our luck! A lot of our guests are people we know, especially when we started, because we knew that’d be the easiest way to get people on and the vibe would instantly be friendly. We are specific about who we have on though and have a clear idea on why we are approaching them over others. We didn’t want to ask people just for a sake of it. We’ve had to say no to people that would be great guests because they didn’t quite fit what we’re about. Or others who we’d love to chat to but the topic would be too similar to something we’ve done. When we then started getting approached by people as time went on I was floored! Industry professionals we followed personally were getting in contact with US about coming on! It just shows that so much of this industry is smoke and mirrors. Every one of our guests has been a delight and genuinely loves what we’re doing and wants to help actors. 
  • I know that it is probably not the intention, but do you think you have benefited in any way from bringing on guest speakers, like casting directors?
    • We’d be lying if we said we hadn’t fantasised about our podcast being an out-of-work actor ironically bringing us both acting work haha, but honestly it’s helped us more long term than that. We’ve benefited because of what our guests have taught us and the curtains we’ve been able to pull back for the first time. I am a more confident, content and understanding actor now because of what I’ve learned doing the podcast. Which I hope is the same for our listeners! When I had my final audition for the feature film I ended up booking last year the director said he’d been listening to the podcast after he saw my audition tape and looked me up. (Yes! They do look you up!) I was instantly nervous because I was so used to the “this is what I’ve been up to” spiel. I knew that he now knew I hadn’t worked for a while (and everything else we’ve talked about on the podcast!!). But he loved it and it took all the nervous energy out of the room. We spoke about some of what we discuss in the podcast…dodgy castings, being a 98% actor and our love of independent film. The podcast wasn’t the reason I got the part but because I had nothing to hide behind and no bullshit to try and spout it made it the best audition I’ve ever had. Katie and I felt like we took a risk being so honest about our actor lives on the podcast but really, why is it a risk? It’s the way things are, nothing to be ashamed of!
  • You are now on your third series of the podcast, how do you feel you have grown since 2018?
    • I love that our twitter has grown. We didn’t want our twitter page to just be dedicated to marketing the podcast. I love podcasts but don’t follow their social media because it’s all just advertising for a podcast I’m going to listen to anyway! So we really enjoy being a hub for all things actor, podcast related or not, and being able to be a voice for many people who don’t feel able to talk publicly about things when we do. But really in terms of the podcast I feel the same as the very first episode. We just want to provide support and laughs and be the “audio handbook” we could have really done with ourselves years ago. That will never change – even if they do make a movie about our lives and pay us millions of pounds! 😉 And while we have had a few recent guests that people may know more than others, our chats (don’t like calling them interviews!) just show that we are all people. Many podcasts have guests with large followings which leads to more exposure. That is not even a thought process for us. Every guest is as important as the next and we love that our steady growth comes from content not popularity!
  • What is your ultimate goal you’d like to see the podcast achieve?
    • I haven’t really thought about that before. I remember reaching 100 downloads a week or so in and sending an excited screen grab to Katie. So everything since then has just been a bonus. I think we are on track to reaching 100,000 total downloads for the whole podcast by the end of Series 3 which would be incredible. But if we don’t – no worries! We started the podcast as an outlet for ourselves and to be a help and support to others. That hasn’t changed and the feedback has exceeded our expectations! In a dream world we start earning money from the podcast, quit our day jobs and can podcast full time to bring multiple episodes a month! I’d love to do it more but it’s just not possible. I do all the editing, admin, marketing, communications whilst working and auditioning and Katie has her fingers in so many pies outside of the podcast with her many talents that we just can’t put more time in without giving up work that pays our bills! Plus it actually costs us hundreds of pounds a year just to host the podcast online for people to listen to for free, run our website and record our episodes. So if we ever got to a place where we weren’t out of pocket, that would be a huge weight off our shoulders!!
  • Can we expect a series 4?
    • We’ve been so busy trying to make Series 3 during a pandemic with me in Canada, Katie in the UK and our guests elsewhere that we haven’t even thought about doing a Series 4! Originally Series 4 wasn’t the plan because I’ll now be based in Vancouver but now we know we can do it all via zoom!! So maybe it’ll go to public opinion on if podcast zoom is the new podcast room and if people are left wanting more…answers on a postcard!! 
  • One last question, I always ask my features for any advice they would like to give to other creatives. Could you give any advice for young actors or creatives just starting out, or wanting to explore new opportunities to express their talents? 
    • It’s hard to think of anything to say that we haven’t covered in the podcast so…give that a go first! But I’ll try for a few succinct points…
    • – Everything is temporary. So; enjoy every moment of the work you have in the field you desire. And; the shitty job you’re doing right now to pay your bills won’t be forever.
    • – But! Try and find a pay the bills job that doesn’t crush your soul…
    • – Keep a list of all things you accomplish that make you feel proud. (Big or small!) Focus on them and not the things that are outside of your control…
    • – On that note…”Control The Controllables” !! (S1E5 of The 98%!)
    • – Buckle up and take things in your stride. The things that don’t go your way are almost never to do with your talent or ability so don’t let yourself get into self doubt.And the most important thing:
    • – DO NOT LOOK FOR YOUR SELF WORTH/VALIDITY IN THE INDUSTRY. YOU WILL NEVER FIND IT THERE!!! But when you find it within yourself, it opens a lot more doors.

Thank you so much to Alexa and Katie for featuring on Double-J-Creative, they truly have helped me with this podcast in more ways then one. If you wish to help them out with their podcast, you can do so by visiting their patreon page. Also, something very useful for actors is WeAudition. Because of lockdown, self tapes are more on the rise and this platforms helps you by connecting with other actors in order for you to find a reader, or earn money yourself for being a reader to someone! I recently signed up and by using their code 9825, you can get a discount!

If you wish to keep up with the podcast further follow them on twitter :

@ the98percentpod @ alexamorden @ katieelinsalt

As well as visiting their site :

https://www.the98percentpod.com

I hope you have enjoyed this Featured Friday and please if you would like to be featured as well do not hesitate to get in touch!

Have a great day x

Life as an Actress : To be or not to be an extra

Are you an aspiring actress and wondering if it’s worth doing extra work? I’m sure you’ve heard many people tell actors not to do it because it is below them or it looks bad, but that is not always the case – especially if you are only getting started. I am here to share with you my experience as an extra (or supporting artist some may say) and what I have gained from the experience.

Getting Started

In 2016, I officially moved to the UK from America. In a way, I felt like I had to start all over again to find a new agent, understand the acting system and build a network again. I started university in the autumn of that year doing film and drama, which opened me up to the idea of supporting artist work. There are many different agencies to sign up to, but I started with Maddog and slowly made a shift to POP casting. It took a while for me to get my first booking because a lot of casting is based on size, look, availability and continuity. So, don’t get disheartened if it takes a while to book your first extra role – it’s really like winning the lottery sometimes.

I’ll never forget my first booking on ITV’s Victoria season 1 back in 2017, partly because I was freezing cold for two days. Don’t let that put you off though, sure it can be long tedious days, but what you get out of it is worth it – new friends, experience on a professional set and getting to time travel to a different world for the day.

ITV Victoria Series 1 (2017)

How it works

So once you have signed yourself up with an agency you will enter in all your profile details and upload four main pictures (headshot, front, back, left side, right side). Uploading pictures that represent the natural you are so important for casting because it is essentially the thing that get’s you booked. After all your details and required documents are set up, you are good to go and just have to wait. The agency will submit on your behalf for anything they think you would be suitable for, and when something does arise, you will be given an availability check. Availability checks do not mean you’ve got the role, usually it means you are right for what they are looking for and need to know you are free in order to put you forward to the production company. Once the production company has all the submissions, they go through and pick who they want. Usually, you will get pencilled or heavy pencilled if you’ve been narrowed down before you get the finally booking. It’s important to note that this can be so last minute, and sometimes frustrating, but is why you need to keep that date 100% available just incase that ‘pencilled’ turns into a ‘booked’. Getting booked is very exciting! You will get an email with your call time, base location and any additional information you may need for the day.

Life on set as an Extra

7am call time (before hair and make up) Victoria series 3

Now, life on set as an extra is by no means glam or A-list actor personal trailer glam. Sets can vary depending on production and how they treat their extras. If you are lucky you will have hot tea and coffee waiting for you upon your arrive that can be as early as 6 am, yes I have been there. During my time as a supporting artist I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I will not list names as it is not fair on productions, but one of my worst experiences was only being used for one hour in the day then waiting in a conference room until 8-9 o’clock at night until a security guard came to clear out the buildings and was shocked to see us still there. Lets just say communication was not a strong suit that day. However, there have been more good sets than bad ones I like to keep in mind. Extra’s have their own space during production for dressing, eating and waiting. Be prepared to wait around most of the day, but be ready to be called in at any time to start filming. Extra’s on set can range from a handful to hundreds, it all depends on the type of scene being shot and honestly I have found that depending on how many extras on set can largely impact the way you are treated. The times that there have only been a handful of us are my most memorable time because I got to get to know the crew and talk with the ADs a bit more – only do this if it is appropriate, and if you are an actor do not start trying to sell yourself, it is not what you are there to do. Getting the chance to be a small number of extras on a set is wonderful, but not always the case. If you are on a set with hundreds of extra make sure to stay patient and respectful of the process. It’s a lot of people for hair & make-up to get through and for ADs to monitor, so try not to complain. At the end of the day everyone is there to play a part in creating TV and movie magic, so enjoy the downtime when you have it and be ready to do a scene over and over again until they have the shot.

My experience and views on being an Extra

I have been doing extra work since 2017 and have worked on sets for Victoria, Gentleman Jack, David Copperfield, ABC Murders, Super Woman 2, Peaky Blinders, etc. While I don’t do as much anymore because I have an agent now (yippee), I still reflect back on what I’ve learned on the numerous sets and the relationships I have formed. There have been countless time I have bent over backwards to get to these productions, mostly because I never wanted to turn down an opportunity to engage in what I find so fascinating and hope to one day be working in, and I can say I never regret any of it. My time on set was a constant learning experience, always watching how things operated and learning who was who. As I said, I was at university for most of my time doing extra work so as I was learning film production I got to live it as well. It’s important to always maintain a professional attitude working on production as an extra, and while it’s easy to want to talk to everyone and ask how you can get a job, you have to know when the right time is, and sometimes that opportunity will just find it’s way to you. You hear the stories of actors getting picked up for lead roles by working as an extra, and while not always the case it can happen, it did happen. While it wasn’t a lead role, I did end up getting my featured role on Peaky Blinders by simply just being an extra for three days. Those three days were the most exciting and yet most exhausting days ever. I was coming from York by train and one night I didn’t get home till 11 only to wake up at 2am and jump on a train at 4am to get back to work again. Why? Because that’s how much I love what I do, acting, working on sets and getting experience. I’ll tell you though, I am so glad I did because on my last day of work the 2nd AD offered me a feature role as Finn’s Women saying the director has seen me. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I remained calm and accepted willingly, but I am not ashamed to say I walked out of the studio feeling like I was on cloud 9. I was sure everyday till I filmed (from October to January) they would have found someone else. But nope. I went in, had my own trailer and got to feel like a part of something bigger than me for the day, only to be requested to come in again for close up shots. My two days only amounted to three seconds on screen, but overall I cannot say how thankful I was for the experience and who it has led me to meet.

So do I recommend being an extra? Yes! Okay, it gets a bad name sometimes if you are actor but, if you want experience on set and get comfortable in the environment, than do it! My confidence has grown just in the short amount of time working as an extra because I have seen first hand the operations, and if I were to ever finally book my leading or supporting role I will now go in having already a glimpse of the set life. My only advice is, don’t go in expecting to get noticed or make conversation with the cast and crew. Be professional, seize opportunities when you can and just enjoy the process of what you are there hired to do. If you just want to do it for a little extra cash, for a hobby or experience the set – great! Whatever your reason is for becoming a supporting artist I can confidently say you are sure to make amazing friends, memories and come home satisfied after a long day of work.

If you like my posts be sure to like and subscribe. I post new content every Monday, Friday and Saturday (:

Have a great weekend!

Featured Friday: Mykle McCoslin, Actor & SAG-AFTRA Houston-Austin Local President

Welcome back to Featured Friday!

Mykle McCoslin

Today I’m excited to be interviewing Actor, and SAG-AFTRA Houston-Austin Local President, Mykle McCoslin. I was fortunate enough to meet Mykle when I lived in Houston back in 2015. One of my friends pulled me along to an acting class one evening, outside of my usual agency classes, and from then on became my teacher for a while. She has taught me so much about acting and how to believe in myself. I’m grateful to still keep in touch with her today from across the pond, and continue to watch her career flourish.

Mykle has been kind enough to answer some interview question, so let’s get to it.

Mykle McCoslin’s Interview

  • What inspired you to become an actor? 
    • When I was around 4 my Grandmother Elvis took me to see the movie Grease, and I was completely hooked. I didn’t know what Hollywood, Actors, or acting was.  All I knew what that whatever they were doing up on that screen I wanted to do as well for the rest of my life. My grandmother would also play make believe and  improvise together playing “Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Johnson.” She would climb upstairs where I would be waiting with my toy china and stove and icebox and she would come to “my house” and visit and we would sip pretend coffee and tea while talking about our “husbands and babies,” making up stories and different situations.  I just knew from a very early age that acting was my calling and that I didn’t want to do anything else.  It has been a divine calling on my life and one that I have followed through thick and thin ever since.   
  • Did you do any training or specialise in a specific genre?
    • I started in Theatre in the sixth grade doing plays and school UIL acting competitions in duet acting and solo performance. That is when I started receiving positive compliments and winning trophies and awards for my skills as an actor for the first time.  I completely shocked myself at how easy I was able to transform and slip into different character’s skin and lives and how I would invest 100 percent in becoming someone else.  Although I was learning about different types of acting styles and becoming exposed to the world of plays and playwrights, the acting part was something I didn’t have to really learn as opposed to tap into as I had been acting for fun pretty much my whole life.  After high school, I got accepted into the Theatre program at the University of Southern California and moved to Los Angeles and my life has never been the same. I was finally in the city where my dreams could come true.  I was exposed to so much history and knowledge on campus, honing my craft by continuing my education and training in the history of Theatre as well as performing in experimental and traditional plays there.  I joined an improv troupe with some other students and we would perform on Friday outside for the student body. I took advantage of the amazing classes in the Cinema department there as well as acting in student short films and loved listening to actors and directors who would come to campus to showcase their work to us and then do live Q&A’s.  It was a true blessing and one of the greatest privileges of my life, attending such a prestigious University.  I actually had no idea when I was there how famous USC was, ranking as one of the top 10 Theatre Schools in the world.  After graduating and earning my Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre, I continued studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse under the direction of Milton Katselas for several years.
  • What do you find the hardest thing about being an actor?
    • Not being able to do your craft as often as you want, when you are not booking work.  The season of quiet times, while it seems all of your other actor friends are working and your not.  Putting your whole heart and investing time, money, and sweat in auditioning, then not getting the job. The belief in others who aren’t actors that you’re only an actor when you’re acting on stage, TV or in a film, and the other times that your not.  The asking of what your “plan B” is or, “well, don’t you think if it was going to happen that it would have happened by now?”
  • As one of your past students, I admired how you utilise your skills to help other actors improve their craft. What made you want to get into teaching? Has it helped you in anyway?
    • I think the best teachers are students themselves.  Always learning always growing.  It was something I started doing in college, helping out at Theatre camps for kids for my summer job when I would come home for summer breaks.  I just loved sharing with others what was so freely given to me by my grandmother.  This sense of play and magical world of make believe.  I didn’t ever think I would become an acting teacher or coach, that was never my goal, but sometimes, well most of the time honestly, God has other plans and ideas for you to share the talents he has given to you with others that you never thought about. Where you are focused on maybe one view and destination, God has a hundred more avenues that you never even saw until he showed them to you in His perfect timing.  For me, it was my honest and simple love for acting that made me want to teach and coach.  And I found the more that I gave to my students, not only did I become a better actor, but more importantly I became a fuller human being.
  • What tools or classes would you recommend for new actors?
    • *Meisner is a wonderful technique to learn.  Improvisation and getting out of your way is A MUST to anyone looking to become an actor. Reading books on acting and biographies of famous actors from the past who you admire. Watching old movies, and not 1980s flicks, although those are amazing, but the great films of the 40 and 50s.  Know the classics! Letting go of your precious ego and being okay with being the fool.  Journaling and connecting with your true self, and your spirituality.  Decluttering your life and getting rid of things that don’t serve you anymore.  Clothes that don’t make you feel YOUR BEST!  Negative friends, family members or those who try to stop you from dreaming and following your path have no place in your life. You can love from a distance. Know that you and the space around you is sacred. Giving back to others in your community and surrounding your self with people who have the same beliefs and make your feel your best to be around.  Life is too short to have people who didn’t follow their dreams, try to hold you back from achieving yours!  

*To anyone looking for books and Meisner check out my recent blog post on “must have books for actors”

  • If you could pick a dream role what would it be, and what do you feel you could bring to it?
    • I’ve always wanted to play a strong Queen from ancient times who leads her people with strength and dignity. There’s always been a part of me that feels like I’ve lived in those times before.  I love all the costuming, gowns and have always enjoyed dressing up. I’ve also always wanted to play the lead in a romantic comedy. I love comedy, like the old screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s. Maybe a modern version of one of those set around karaoke with a handsomely talented actor like Zachary Levi who can sing, dance and crack jokes like Clark Gable in It Happened One Night. 
  • What has been your favourite role you’ve got to play so far?
  • I see you are now president of SAG-AFTA Houston, can you tell us a bit about that?
    • That was also a role I never saw coming.  In my early days of being an actor in LA, the proudest day of my career was when I joined the union and became a SAG member.  (Screen Actors Guild Member and eventually a SAG-AFTRA member after the two unions merged in 2012.)  I felt like I had joined a legacy of actors who came before me and that I was now one of them, carrying the torch of what they stood for, protection for all actors, at a time when the studio system basically owned an actor’s life.  When I moved back to Houston 10 years ago, I was searching for a family of actors to belong to, and I just started getting involved, sharing my knowledge of being a working actor in LA and NYC with the my fellow union members back home. I stared a Conservatory for our local members, where there wasn’t one before and gave back my time and talents.  That was my community service. I eventually ran for the local board, and became the first Vice-President, and then last year ran for President and won.  It is an honour and privilege that I do not take for granted.  To be voted by your fellow peers to lead is one of the greatest honours that can ever be bestowed upon anyone.  
  • What is your next career goal?
    • Writing/Directing and Producing my own work.  For years I have been telling other people’s stories and came to the point in my career where I finally answered the “whisper” that I had since college to tell my own story in the form of my first novel “My Grandma Elvis.”  It is my story of my Grandmother and I’s adventures growing up in the small town of Donie, Texas that she lived in her whole life.  The smallest town in Texas with a bank if that tells you anything.  I got the idea in a feminist class my senior year in college three months after my Grandmother passed.  I wrote the premise of the book for a class thesis paper, and it took me 23 years later to actually get it out and onto paper. I’m currently in the final editing phases of the book and after it is published, I plan on writing the screenplay, producing and directing the film, and starring in it as well.  I also plan on winning an Oscar for it! Look out for “My Grandma Elvis” book coming in 2021.
  • Lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
    • OMG, I would have to write a book on that, ha, which I probably will do one day.  Besides what I’ve mentioned above, know that there is never or will never be ANYONE on this planet like YOU.  That you are divinely called to be Actor and that it takes special individuals to choose to live the life of an artist.  The life less traveled. That as my friend and amazing actor Glenn Morshower likes to say, “you won the race when you beat out all the other sperm to make it first inside your mother’s egg. That says a lot!” That you will have more down times than good times, but that it is in the moments of failure, stillness, and rejection where your true character and spirit grows and comes from.  Don’t fear the lows in life for they are necessary and the stepping stones to reach the highs. No one really tells you this but I am, and from experience. That no one has a perfect life. Even the actors we admire and wish we had their lives struggle.  That the moments of bliss as an actor outshines all the rest and simply leave you breathless and more connected to the divine than you ever thought possible.  That the moment where you are standing in the rain for your first international photo call, looking up to the heavens as the rain pours on your face, shinning in the night sky, under a painted red carpet in Rome is a moment that you could only have ever gotten to live if you had persevered, despite all the hurt, pain, being talked about and made fun of and rejection.    That it is a lonely path that only a few ever get to truly experience because they were brave enough to leap. That you are simply A MIRACLE, never again to be repeated in the entire universe. To know yourself and love your self and always put your dreams, your wants and desires first, and to never, ever, ever give up!

I am so grateful for Mykle coming on to do a featured post and her words of wisdom she has shared for aspiring actors. If you would like to follow more of her work (which I highly recommend) some places you can find her are linked below.

https://www.myklemccoslin.com/

https://www.imdb.me/MykleMcCoslin/

Instagram & Twitter: @MykleMcCoslin and @MyGrandmaElvis

Furthermore, if you would like to be featured and share your talents do not hesitate to get in touch! This platform is all about supporting one another and having a place to share your careers, ideas and goals.

Must have books for actors!

Lockdown has been a really good time to reflect and learn new ways to improve your craft, and while classes and workshops mainly stopped (unless they operated on zoom), a few books I got were just as useful to further my understanding on acting techniques, auditioning and what it’s like when you get on set. Check out these must have books below! All books can be purchased on Amazon and if you click on the picture below it will take you there(:

*Audition by Michael Shurtleff is a great book for getting you prepared for an audition, because lets be honest who isn’t always wondering how they can improve their audition to book the role? He goes over 12 ‘guideposts’ to help you deliver the best audition you can! I have recently been reading this book and it has opened my eyes to so many little things I can be improving for when my next audition comes.

“Everything an actor needs to know to get the part”

*Sanford Meisner on Acting. Meisner is one of the best known acting teachers widely known in American theatre. This book follows a fifteen month acting class and gives you insight from acting exercises to polishing a scene. Although it is theatre based, if you are more focused on Film & TV acting I still highly recommend, as Meisner does a brilliant job exploring how to evoke emotion and bring the truthfulness of a scene — which ever actor needs.

*Action! by Robert Benedetti Switching to camera acting? Or maybe you just need a more detailed approach to the fundamentals. Whether you are just starting out or you are experienced looking for a little extra to add, this book will give you professional advice from an award-winning producer and acting teacher that will help you build your acting career for the camera. Prepare for when you book that audition and get onset. I personally have loved reading this book and how it has given me a better idea of the process from call sheets, blocking for the camera to the final call of Action!

I own all three of these books and can attest that they are worth having. Each give a brilliant understanding of acting on different levels – from the art of acting, auditioning and finally getting in front of the camera.

If you are stuck without classes or just need some extra reading, be sure to check them out before your next audition.

Like and follow my blog for new content every Monday, Friday and Saturday!

Have a great weekend x

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you a creative person? Then you’ll want to read this!

Are you a creative person? A writer, musician, actor, dancer, or even a filmmaker wanting to share your talent or story with the world? Well, now you can! I’m inviting you to share your creativity with a chance for a featured spot on Double-J-Creative.

If this sounds like you, keep reading for information below!

Who can submit?

Anyone! Whether you are just starting out, had your break through moment, or famous it doesn’t matter I welcome everyone and anyone.

What should I submit?

By submitting I will feature your work in a blog post depending on what you want to submit. This can be anything from video footage (whether that be of your talent, film, or link to youtube) , agreeing to be interviewed about your time in the industry, promoting your project or simply sharing ideas.

The WHY

I want to use my blog to create a community of creatives where we support each others work and help each other grow. This industry can be harsh at times with rejection and so much competition, but by coming together and sharing our talents we can support one another. I myself have known the struggle of having a project I care so passionately about but don’t have the launching pad or community to share my ideas with. So now, I’d like to share my projects with you as you share yours with not just to me but everyone we reach. Together we can be heard and share our creativity with the world.

All new featured post will be available every Friday. If you feel you would like to share, get in touch!

**Please note that all material will still be yours and will only be shared in a blog post that you are agreeing to.

Don’t forget to subscribe and follow if you wish to keep up to date with the latest posts(:

Life as an actress : Getting started & Tips to stay Motivated

There are probably thousands, if not millions of people out there hoping they will be the next big thing! Whether that is on television, a cinema screen or stage production. But, what does it really take to get from here to there, especially if you are just starting out. There is no linear route to becoming an actress, throughout your whole career there will be highs and lows, but the key is to embrace every chance you get because you love it. Even the small parts. Life as an actress isn’t easy, I can definitely attest to that, but I want to stress that the littlest moments and parts you get in your life can sometimes be the stepping stones leading you towards success.

So, what has my journey been like? Everyone’s will be different but if you’re interested to hear my story, I aim to offer you some tips I’ve learned along the way, and hopefully inspire you to keep charging forward even in the hardest of times or obstacles.

**Scroll to the bottom for top 5 tips to stay motivated

How I got started

I was a very shy kid growing up, to this day my mum is still amazed I wanted to become an actress; because of how terrified I was to be around anyone. However, it was something I so desperately wanted to do and I kept being drawn to performing. I think my major breakthrough moment on the stage was in 3rd grade, I was 6 years old. It was the talent show and I sang “When there was me and you” from High School Musical (because lets be honest those are the best movies ever). My first audition was a train-wreck, I left the room before I could even sing. But one of my favourite teachers believed I could do it and let me re-audition, sometimes you just need that extra push. Turns out, singing in front of five hundred people wasn’t so scary after all. Okay, maybe it was but it got me out and showed myself that I could do it if I really wanted it badly enough.

Acting didn’t come straight after that, though. It actually took me many years to build up confidence, and to be honest is something I still continue to work at to this day. But what really helped me ease my self into the spotlight and become comfortable on the stage (or camera), was my love for dance. I didn’t have to talk or sing, just let myself have fun through the movement. It helped me in more ways than one. I went from just generic classes to competition team, and before I knew it was performing in front of thousands. It really helped me break out of my shell and understand that performing is a deep passion of mine, I was finally comfortable enough to put myself out there and into acting classes.

I’m sure most people watched Disney Channel growing up. Suite Life, Hannah Montana, Wizards or Waverley Place? Yes, no? Well, for me, at the age I started acting (14 years old) all I wanted to be was on Disney Channel. I can tell you now it did not happen (obviously) but it was a dream that gave me something to aspire to. To this day I still have hopes of being in a Disney Production, or Disney Live-Action film. But what ever your goal or dream you have as an actress, don’t let go of it. Especially if it is what drives you to keep going, even in the hard times.

My first agent was Page Parkes in Houston, TX. I became homeschooled so I could really focus on training, and dedicated myself to it. I took intensives, six week courses, and workshops. Honestly, starting out this really helped and highly recommend taking classes. I made the switch from stage to on-camera which can make a big difference in how you perform. I met loads of friends as well which was great because we all encouraged one another and helped each other when we had auditions. Auditions are so exciting to get, I got ones for Disney Channel, Feature Films, Commercials (I actually landed an Academy School Advert one time) but they can also come with a lot of rejection. One thing I wish I knew when I was starting out was to have more confidence and put everything you’ve got into every audition because it is an achievement in itself just to get called into the room or a self-tape, so don’t forget that.

On set Gentleman Jack (HBO)

At age 17, I packed my bags and made the jump the the UK. I kept my agent from America for the longest time, but shortly got an agent here. I studied Drama and Film at university and worked tirelessly along side my studies to continue to create my own projects and put myself into being an extra onset. Every step has been a learning opportunity, because although I wasn’t always acting I was constantly engaging with the production world and it has also taught me about my love to write for screen and do more behind-the-scenes work. A lot of people will tell you not to take extra work, but some of my best memories and learning experience has come from them!

So finally I am in London, it’s been a long road to finally get here and amongst it all. Of course Covid has slowed things down since I got here, but I have hopes for what is yet to come.

MY TOP 5 TIPS ON HOW TO KEEP MOTIVATED :

  1. Remember your WHY – why do you want to become an actress? If you don’t have a passion to act or work in the film industry rejection is going to hit you a lot harder.
  2. Don’t let it consume you – I’ve been there, I was so wrapped up in it constantly. Who was getting what audition, why it wasn’t me, and what did that person have I didn’t. STOP. Your time will come, I know that is cliche but it is true. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride and where it’s taking you.
  3. Keep training or exercise your craft – Staying in tune with your craft can get you prepared for when the auditions do come. This could simply be taking a workshop class, finding a monologue to record yourself, finding student films to act in, or just having another friend to rehearse scripts with. Like with anything, practice never hurts.
  4. Pick up a hobby – Remember at the bottom of your CV there is the ‘skills’ section? Well why not make yourself more available to work by learning a new one. Maybe teach yourself a new language, or learn how to dance. With all the free time actors usually have between jobs it will keep you busy and could come in handy one day.
  5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – Cannot stress enough, this is so important. You are your business, you are pitching yourself for everything. Making sure you are healthy and rested is not only good for you, but when you do finally book the job it will be busy and you’ll need to ensure you will have the energy to do it.

I am by no means a top actress, but I continue to strive to do the best I can to achieve my dreams. All the rejection, little victories, and hard work has made me appreciate how much I love what I do. With perseverance and passion, will come success. Hang in there and if its all you can think about doing, then don’t give up.

Sending you every once of luck! xx

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