This week Casting Networks spoke with the ladies who created Surviving Actors, a wonderful networking event that takes place annually and offered to actors for free. It’s a chance for them to find out more in various parts of the industry. To mingle and to meet other fellow aspiring actors.
Casting Networks: Firstly, what is Surviving Actors?
Surviving Actors: Surviving Actors is essentially a big networking event where actors can come along and network with the industry to pick up various information and resources to help them develop their career.
CNI: Can you tell us how Surviving Actors started and how long it’s been going for now?
SA: We are now 8 years old and our first event started in the basement of a night club (oh the glamour, I know!) Founder Felicity Jackson had the idea of offering a careers fair to help actors seek out survival jobs for financial support. That was the initial idea but it quickly grew arms and legs to encompass a wide range of support elements for those pursuing a career as an actor.
CNI: For any actor who is just starting out, why is it so important that actors get along to events like this?
SA: It’s an opportunity to see what’s going on within the industry, what current trends and expectations are, networking with other actors, casting directors/agents and seeking out alternative sources of income which always comes in handy in the early stages of your career.
CNI: And do you think Surviving Actors is still really useful for established actors as well?
SA: Absolutely as above it never becomes a given that one doesn’t need to network anymore or be up-to-date on everything. Actors need to know everything there is to know about their industry if they want to be a cut above the rest.
CNI: Over the years Surviving Actors has expanded further afield to include Manchester as well. Do you foresee the organisation also taking place anywhere else?
SA: Over the years we have done the event in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and New York. Next year will see our debut event in LA where we are known as Actors Pro Expo.
CNI: You have some amazing Casting Director, Agent and Director (and more) workshops on offer for actors. How did you get access to all of these industry professionals?
SA: This is something that we have built on over the years from our own networking efforts, building up connections and a reputable name for ourselves which has resulted in industry professionals always being interested and willing to take part in our events.
CNI: You have the Manchester Surviving Actors coming up really soon…can you tell us a little about what actors can expect to see?
SA: As at all our other events Manchester is no different. It will see a host of related service providers, seminars, 1-2-1 advice, an open casting call for paid roles in a feature film and new to the event this year there will be an interactive YouTube hub for networking and advice. To register for FREE general admission CLICK HERE.
CNI: And finally, what’s next for the SA team?
SA: Having had a busy year launching our book the ‘Surviving Actors Manual’ (read more here) and planning ahead for our debut in LA, as always it’s full steam ahead.
LIANNE ROBERTSON – Managing Director
From a small fishing town in Scotland called Fraserburgh, Lianne has always had a love for performing. She studied Acting & Performance at College then went on to gain her BA (Hons) Acting. Upon graduating Lianne went to work in Thailand as a Creative Arts specialist with disabled children at Rainbow House orphanage.
Some of Lianne’s acting credits include productions of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Road’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, various short/feature length films, extensive corporate work plus national and international commercial campaigns for brands such as Nintendo, Go Outdoors, The Famous Grouse, Gala Bingo, Nissan, RBS, NHS, Arnold Clark & the Commonwealth Games. Most recently Lianne can also be found on Sky channel Property TV presenting.
Lianne strives to make Surviving Actors bigger and better by using her creative skills and is proud to have developed the U.S version of the event – Actors Pro Expo.
FELICITY JACKSON – Founder & Director
Felicity Jackson, attended The Court Theatre Training Company, where she gained a BA (Hons) in Acting. After graduating, Felicity, inspired by her fellow thespians, founded Surviving Actors Ltd; an annual industry convention held in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and New York aimed at jobbing actors looking to develop, sustain and create opportunities within their career. Within a year of setting up Surviving Actors, Felicity founded Casting Days Ltd; a dedicated acting showcase company focusing on professional showcases for trained actors.
Felicity is most well known for her appearance in Series 7 of BBC’s The Apprentice, where she beat 72,000 people to reach the final 16 candidates. She continued to excel above the other candidates and was eventually ‘fired’ in week four.