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.
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! 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 (:
Has the long lockdown shot your productivity? Having a good morning routine can help!
If you are working at home, like me, you know how difficult it can be to separate work and home life. It can be so easy to wake up and turn straight to your phone or open up your laptop, but before you jump straight into all the chaos, having a good morning routine can set you up for the day and boost your productivity! Don’t let your schedule control you, but rather you control it.
Productivity isn’t always about how much we get done, but how well we do it. A morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, and if you start it off by reading a negative news article it might linger with you and affect you more than you know. So instead of going straight to the phone, or getting straight to work, giving yourself just 30 minutes (or more) in the morning can give you the clarity you need for the rest of the day.
Here, I have outlined what my morning looks like. Everyone’s will look different, but I personally find waking up early allows me to get everything in (exercise, journaling, breakfast) before sitting down for a busy day of work.
Whatever you are working on (writing a script, practicing for your next self-tape, or working on the production side of things) do it with a clear, fresh mind!
Trying to make your break in the industry? Or maybe you are already in the industry but need a little extra knowledge to help you migrate to a new position?
Here are my top books to start reading that can help!
Over lockdown I found it very difficult that I had to stop doing what I loved, acting. But I also found it prime time to gain valuable insight on other roles I would like to potentially take on in the industry. I got really into Youtube videos, networking sessions through zoom and training courses, but nothing is like picking up a good book and having all the tips and advice at your figure tips to reference again and again.
I’ve always struggled with the question “what exactly do I want to do?” Acting has always been a no-brainer, but it is also not reliable (never give up!). However, I don’t want to leave the film industry either because it is an industry I feel so passionately for. At university, I found that I really loved scriptwriting and also really great at pre-production. Some of these books I will mention below have really helped me understand each role and where I can apply my skills best. So, if you are struggling I highly recommend checking a few of them out to help you find the role you are most suited too.
Producer to Producer – Thinking of becoming a producer one day, or are making your own films? This is a great manual to get you going! From pre-production, budgeting & finance, and distribution – this book has got it all! You can even get free downloadable templates.
Digital Filmmaking Handbook – I got this book quite recently, and I am so glad I did! It is filled with so much information from equipment to use, creating a great script, pre-production step, film, and so on! I am one of those people that finds it so important to know everyone’s role in the industry, even if just at a basic level so that you can understand the film process more. As a producer, I’ve noticed this significantly helps.
Action! – There is an actress and a crew one of these books, so make sure you get the right one. Or if you are like me, get both! This is a very helpful guide to navigating your career in the film industry. A breakdown of each role, CV tips, looking for jobs, and what to expect when you are on set.
Making Your Own Movie – I refer to this quite a lot and could be very useful to aspiring filmmakers, especially during COVID. Take 39 steps to creating your first film, which could be completely on your phone! Also, there are some helpful templates in the back of the book to refer to, as well as film suggestions.
Poldark : The Complete Scripts : Recently I have been rewatching the Poldark series, and I am a sucker for period dramas. I was so excited when I saw they had a book with the complete scripts so that I could follow along as I watch the series to see the translation from script to screen. If Poldark isn’t your thing, I still highly recommending reading scripts. Whether that is from online download (check out Shore Scripts) or finding books like this one.
These are just a few I have, but I am sure there are plenty more!! I am constantly on the lookout for more helpful books to add to my collection so if you have a suggestion drop it in the comments. ⤵️
If you found this useful please be sure to share and follow my blog for new posts every week! Thank you for the support (:
Welcome to Featured Friday! This week I am very excited to announce actress, Ellie Bindman.
I was fortunate enough to meet Ellie during lockdown on a networking zoom session and we have followed each other social media since. She is very talented and also a Tik Tok sensation! Ellie has been in Call of the Midwife, Casualty and Grantchester.
Check out my recent interview I had with her, here!
Interview with Ellie Bindman
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself – where are you from, what do you do, where do you live?
My name is Ellie Bindman, I am a professional actress and I have been working professionally since I was 10 years old, I live in England.
How did you get into Acting? Is there any actor in particular that inspires you?
I kind of just fell into the Industry, I attended an open call audition for a feature film , just went along not expecting anything to come from it, and 11 years later here we are. I love Jodie Comer she is once of my favourite actress’s and she inspires me so much due to how incredible her versatility is.
Do you hope to do anything else in the film industry? (Direct, produce, write. etc.)
I am also a writer, I have been working on our latest project ’Tell Me Why’ over the past few years, and I have enjoyed that whole process so much and viewing the industry from such a completely different perspective. I am excited to see what the future brings for ’Tell Me Why’.
You have got really big on Tik Tok, did you ever anticipate that?
I have, I have managed to accumulate over 360,000 followers, which is honestly slightly mind blowing to me, I never expected it to happen, I started TikTok over lockdown 1 and just did it as an entertainment source for people and I wanted to create content to cheer people up and bring a smile to peoples faces in such a difficult time. So the fact I’ve been able to do that makes me so happy and thankful, and it’s leading me to some amazing opportunities which is very exciting, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
What have you got coming up in 2021?
A lot of very exciting things are in the pipeline and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for me in this year, I take each day as it comes as my life can be so unpredictable working in this industry, you can never really plan anything, because you just don’t know what’s around the corner. But I am very much looking forward to the future of this year, not just for me but for everyone.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you see yourself still acting?
I have no idea, as I said I can never plan or predict anything, as long as I am happy, and successful then I will be over the moon, yes 100% I will never give up this job, it’s the true source to keeping me going and happy, the joy this job brings me is unexplainable, and I feel eternally grateful to be able to be in my position, and have been blessed with the opportunities I’ve been given.
Do you have any advice for young actors just starting out?
If you want to be apart of this industry, you have to eat, sleep and breathe it, and you genuinely have to have a true passion and love for it, that has to be the stem and root of it, otherwise the constant rejection that this industry gives you will be too much for you, you also have to have so much resilience.
Thank you so much Ellie for being apart of Featured Friday and sharing your advice, talent and ambitions for the future!
Welcome back to Double J Creative, and if you are joining me for the first time then thank you for checking my site out!
I am super excited to be relaunching my site and all the things I have planned coming up.
What to expect:
As you may know, Double J Creative is apart of my production company Double J Productions. My blog is about supporting creatives (featured Fridays), inspiring creative ideas and sharing tips/news in the film industry.
If you are filmmaker, actor, artist, photographer or in the creative industry that has something to say or would like to share their talents – please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you and feature you in a post! You can check out my past features in earlier posts.
I am all about inspiring creative ideas and learning new ways to do things. I don’t know about you, but in lockdown I have been constantly seeking new things to do and trying out new ideas. So if your imagination and creative flow has been a bit slow recently, I am here to help (:
On my blog I will also have mini features for any exciting industry news and reviews I may have for recently release movies/tv shows. I will also sometimes feature what Double J Productions is up to, as this year is a very exciting year for new productions!
If you are already following my blog, thank you so much for the support and I hope you continue to enjoy my content. If you are new to my site and are interested in all things listed above, please subscribe and follow for new posts every week!
Don’t forget, if you have something to share or would like to be featured my inbox is always open 😊
Tell me what your most excited about in the comments below ⤵️
Welcome to my Featured Friday! If you have been with me from the start (which if you have thank you so much!) then you would know I love to invite people for interviews to share some love to their work and beautiful creations!
A few to check out on my blog!
These are just some of the brilliant creative in the tv and film industry that have been so kind to take the time and share with me their creations, skills and insight advice for anyone starting out in the industry – whether you are an actress, screenwriter, filmmaker, or anything involving creativity!
If you have a skill to share or would like to be featured, please get in touch. I like to hear from you at any stage of your career, so don’t be shy (:
Get in Touch!
Follow me on instagram for Film productions in the works @double_j_productions or twitter @Doublejfilms
Have you heard the news? Bridgerton is picked up for series 2!
If you have not watched series one yet, I highly recommend you stop whatever you are watching and go give it a try! During the Regency era in England, eight close-knit siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family attempt to find love. It is Downton Abbey meets Gossip girl, who wouldn’t love that?
It is reported by Variety to have reached 63 million households within four weeks of it releasing on Christmas Day. One of the most successful Netflix originals the platform has launched to date.
Bridgerton is based on a series written by Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes is the executive producer on the TV series. If you don’t know, Shonda Rhimes is one of my FAVOURITE screenwriters. Since high school, I have always had Grey’s Anatomy as my go to television series and have also enjoyed How To Get Away With Murder. As a screenwriter myself, I actually took the Masterclass by Shonda which really helped guide me on the fundamentals and not to give up on my passion for storytelling. I currently even have my own television series that I wrote within one month after watching her course! She is truly an inspiration and someone I aspire to work with one day.
I have sat through the series twice now and I can honestly say I would watch it a third time, so when I heard the news there was going to be another series I was very excited. A would be lying if I didn’t say there was a part of me that hopes I’ll get an audition for it – unlikely, but a girl can dream. But if you are a casting director reading this, keep me in mind(;
The music, costuming and actors are all stunning. If you don’t think you are a fan of period drama, at least give this one a try because I can assure you – you won’t be bored! But I will warn you, once you start you may not be able to stop!
So I want to know, have you seen series one and are excited for series two? Or maybe you haven’t yet but now you want to start? Let me know in the comments(:
Do you have new years resolutions? A goal? A dream? You may be thinking in the current climate you can’t make yours happen, but I am here to tell you that with a little perseverance and a positive outlook – you can achieve and accomplish anything you set your mind to. It just might take a little creativity (:
How to get started:
Write down your goals – This step is often looked over or severely underestimated. But, when you have something written down you hold your self accountable and you remember it. No matter how small or big your goals or dreams are, WRITE THEM DOWN! When you have a clear vision of what it is your are trying to achieve, 1) power of manifestation and 2) you have a better idea of the things you need to do to make those things happen – which leads me into….
Small Steps – So now that you know what your working towards, what are the steps that you can be doing everyday to help make them happen? Because let me tell you, nothing happens over night. Even if we wish it could, it doesn’t.
3. Ways to help – I know, I know, the road looks long ahead and you may feel like giving up along the way or like it’s never going to happen. Hang in there though, there are things that can help.
Keeping a diary and set your deadlines for short term goals in order to achieve your long term goals.
Hanging up your goals somewhere that you will look at everyday to remind yourself what you are working towards
Take a day for yourself if your feel overwhelmed, not everyday will be a good day and there will be set backs, but having a day for yourself to recoup and rest will help recharge your motivation.
Although the Pandemic has cut off lots of ways to network, from going to events, meet and greets etc. However, the online world is not something to take for granted! Many organisations, courses and film festivals have made it easy for you to access all this straight from your phone or laptop.
Raindance Film has an abundance of resources/course, networking sessions and ways to help you build your filmmaking career straight from the comfort of your own home
LinkedIn: Don’t have one? Get one! It is a professional site, but if you are looking for a job or want to meet new creatives in your industry – get connecting. You never know who you’ll make an impression on. Just make sure that you what ever you post is kept professional and respectful.
Facebook Groups: Do you have a passion or interest in something? Well, there is probably a FB group for that! Becoming part of a community of people that are interested in the same things you are is a great way to meet people and collaborate on new projects or ideas.
Don’t give up!
The number one thing to remember – DON’T GIVE UP!
It’s so easy to quit, to throw in the towel, but then look at what your are throwing away – your dream! I have wanted to be an actress since I was a little girl. I was the so shy, hated performing in front of people, but I knew that one day I wanted to be on television or on broadway. My journey has been an abundance of small steps. From singing on the coffee room table in front of my dad to get my confidence, starting dance so I could perform in front of people with out talking, acting classes in front of camera, etc. Am I an A list actress yet? No. But I know that everone’s journey is different and I am buildning my confidence and talent to get to my ultimate dream.
So don’t give up. Believe in yourself so others can too.
Hello! Hope everyone is staying well in this second lockdown and you’re not getting too bored, or ran out of shows to watch yet. I have to say, the last couple weeks have been very busy because of my new project Physique and a few other film projects I am working on, but that is not to say I don’t love my down time to catch up on a few Disney Plus.
So, if you are struggling to find something new to watch, let me share a few that I’ve been binging lately in my free time.
Disney Plus Recent FavouritesTop 3
The Right Stuff – I got through this series SOOO fast and I am ready for more! It is a scripted drama surrounding the events of the space race and getting the first man up before the Soviet Union did. I use to live in Houston, TX, where the famous NASA is stationed, and have actually been there to tour around for a day. I have always been fascinated with space and have a love for TV and Films that surround the topic. If this is something you are interested in, I highly recommend starting. Although some events and situations are heightened for dramatic viewing, it may spark an interest to learn more about the subject and learn something you may have not known before!
Inside Pixar – Okay, I just recently started watching this one and I really like it. The series, The Making of Frozen 2 (also on Disney Plus), pulled me into another world of what really goes on behind the scenes to make these beautifully animated film we all love so much come to life, that has made me want to see more of that content. Lately, I have found that I have a hunger for knowledge and knowing how things get done – but I also think that is because I am becoming more and more emerged into the industry myself and am very interested.
Becoming – Have you ever wondered how your favourite celebrity got their start or what their journey was? This is a fascinating series about just that! With each episode highlighting someone different, you will see that no ones journey is the same and we all have that special moment where we come into the spotlight. As an actress myself, it can feel that everyone is booking this and that, so it is nice to see that every has their own way to whatever their success may be.
There you have it – my top 3 recent watches. What are yours? I’d like to know, so be sure to comment below.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week and be sure to follow or like for more content! Follow me on Instagram : Jennifer.james16 or Twitter jennjames22