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Looking to Give the West End a Try

Leading_Man
Swing
joined:5/11/04
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joined:
5/11/04
Looking to Give the West End a Try#1
Posted: 6/14/09 at 11:37am
Hey There West Enders!
NYC actor here! I really want to give the West End. I am a singer/dancer/actor. Any suggestions on how to get started? Anywhere, where I can meet casting agents? How to get seen for productions?
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Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
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1/26/06
re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#2
Posted: 6/14/09 at 2:15pm
Most people get agents, but them most agents only pick from people who trained at the top schools by seeing them in showcases.
exedore
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/05
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#2
Posted: 6/14/09 at 4:27pm
Get an agent and a sugar daddy - nothing outside of the West End pays a living wage.
Leading_Man
Swing
joined:5/11/04
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#3
Posted: 6/17/09 at 10:14am
Are you serious?
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lovepigeon
Broadway Star
joined:7/31/08
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#4
Posted: 6/17/09 at 10:18am
Marry Andrew Lloyd Webber. He's a nightmare to look at but it did wonders for Sarah Brightman.
JIJane
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joined:7/30/07
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#5
Posted: 6/18/09 at 6:38am
Are you able to get a work VISA through being partly European? If not, it will be very hard for you to get a working VISA for Europe (UK) and without one people will not consider employing you even if you do audition succesfully.
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MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#6
Posted: 6/18/09 at 6:49am
My Oh My!, years ago it would be just easy to say get a copy of 'The Stage' but not theses days.
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lovepigeon
Broadway Star
joined:7/31/08
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#7
Posted: 6/18/09 at 11:08am
I still like The Stage. So much more cultured than regular loo roll.
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hotjohn
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/08
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joined:
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#8
Posted: 6/18/09 at 6:10pm
You gotta get a gimmick!
BoTheMusical16
Swing
joined:11/4/07
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#9
Posted: 6/19/09 at 12:27pm
Wow.
Never thought people would be this rude to someone just trying to seek information.
exedore
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/05
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#10
Posted: 6/19/09 at 12:33pm
I'm not being rude, I'm being quite serious. Finding work in the industry in London is brutal - I've got friends with West End credits and TV exposure who haven't had a paid acting job (or ANY acting job) in over a year. There's a fair bit of work but most of it is on the fringe and doesn't pay or it's student films that MAYBE give expenses. Add visa and union issues and you really can't make it without a good agent and someone paying your bills so that you can keep your training up and hit auditions nonstop.
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Scripps2
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joined:1/19/08
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#11
Posted: 6/19/09 at 3:20pm
So, as the West End board's resident American, tell us about your Sugar Daddy Exey?

Seriously though, I can't offer any advice as I don't work in the industry but I can point out that Americans have been able to find regular work in the West End: David Soul, Kim Criswell, (the late) David Healy and Matt Zimmerman are resident aliens whose contribution to the West End and regional theatre has been welcomed by this theatregoer.
Updated On: 6/19/09 at 03:20 PM
Leading_Man
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joined:5/11/04
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#12
Posted: 6/19/09 at 5:26pm
Yes, by the fall I will have my dual citizenship with the US and the European Union. Are there any to meet casting agents/agents. Is there a "backstage" newspaper that lists auditions? How about some classes/showcases that agents attend.
exedore
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/05
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joined:
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#13
Posted: 6/19/09 at 5:53pm
Scripps should be ashamed of himself: A real Englishman knows not to enquire about the personal finances of others, and he is a cad and a bounder for doing so.

To answer his depraved question, however, I managed to stretch a student loan cheque out for the first six months post-university and have been decimating my savings since although I get enough writing work on a regular basis to pay for some of my smaller expenses. The show on Sunday is financed entirely out of my pocket, which only goes to discourage further work.
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Weez
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joined:9/16/05
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#14
Posted: 6/19/09 at 6:35pm
There's something incredibly cavalier and not a little arrogant-seeming about the thought of "giv[ing] the West End a try". Not "working hard to break in to one of the major theatre capitals of the world", but just "having a go", like it's a merry little jaunt that simply everyone should try at least once, even if it's just for a laugh. That could just be me though; I do so like giving the words on the screen a bit of personality, and the words themselves are all I have to work with, so it could just be unfortunate phrasing. ^_^

As you wouldn't be going to drama school, one presumes, you're not going to find it so easy to showcase yourself to agents. Drama school grads get that wonderful end-of-whatever showcase; agents are busy people who are reluctant to attend much else. Your best bet would be getting involved in whatever theatre you can find - and there's plenty of amateur and fringe - then finding out which agents are amenable to the idea of visiting productions that aren't drama school showcases, and bombarding (in a nice, persistent way, not an annoying, pushy way) with offers of free tickets to see you at work with a view to possible representation. It *can* work, but it's not guaranteed and you really need to be willing to keep pushing at it. Find what opportunities you can, and keep doing as much theatre - most probably unpaid - as you can. Partially to keep your oar in, and partially to give you more productions to invite potential agents to.

The Stage is our major publication, but http://www.artsjobs.org.uk/ is worth a look too.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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joined:9/28/08
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#15
Posted: 6/19/09 at 11:47pm
Who the hell is being rude?

Leading_Man
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joined:5/11/04
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#16
Posted: 6/21/09 at 9:21am
I truly appreciate all your advice. I do want to give it a try. I used those words because, I would be coming to London in the late fall for a few weeks to get a look at things. Just want to see what the jest of things are. It seems to be very different from Broadway/NYC (were I live and work). I am making the transition from ensemble/dancer to playing roles and thought West End might be a great change of pace.
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MamasDoin'Fine
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joined:9/28/08
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re: Looking to Give the West End a Try#17
Posted: 6/21/09 at 6:03pm
GO FOR IT!