To be an actor of success, the talent and looks are not enough. In fact, one of the most important and distinguishing features that agents look at on a performer’s curriculum is the ability to speak accents. As banal as it might seem, it is something that could be decisive when the director needs to choose between two actors for a role.
Within the film & television industry, performers have won huge awards for playing a character with an accent. Some iconic instances are Meryl Streep playing the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady, Florence Pugh and Saoirse Ronan with a Southern American in Little Women. Of course many of our beloved characters like Idris Elba in The Wire and Benedict Cumberbatch's Dr. Strange brought the British performers' skills of accents to beloved hits.
BBC (2019) reports that, those who hear the actress speak for the first time after seeing her in the series, are shocked by her strong native Liverpool accent: ‘fans were shocked to hear Jodie Comer’s Liverpudlian accent in real-life after getting to know her as that show’s vocally chameleonic assassin Villanelle, who switches between Russian, French, Italian and German’. In an interview for Grazia Magazine (2019), after being asked how she is so talented with accents, Jodie explains that switching up accents was a game she used to play with her dad, and that it is essential in order to bring to life authentic roles: ‘when I’m doing my own accent I find it harder to separate myself from the character’.
What do casting & production need for accents?
Accents are skills that take time and practice, but now is the time to get started! With the world on hold, actors have the chance to develop their skills and update their CVs with new experiences even at home! Pick which accent you want to learn and get started!
Need help in starting Your Acting Career? Or need Advice in getting to the next step in your Career? Join IPM Acting Academy today on the button below and work with our Industry Professional Team today!
On numerous occasions, I was lucky enough to step up and become the 3RD AD which involved some of the following responsibilities:
ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO THOSE GOING ON SET FOR THE FIRST TIME
1. Be early! It always sets the best impression. Production companies have complex schedules to film specific scenes at specific times. Make sure you have enough time to get to the film set and don’t rely on internet route finders for accuracy. If using public transport, check the timetables and catch the earlier bus or train to be a step ahead of delays.
6. Always smile and stay enthusiastic. Filming days can be long and hard but everyone is in the same situation so stay positive and animated and the people around you will be sure to acknowledge your energy.
But most importantly, make sure to HAVE FUN!! Being on set is an amazing opportunity and an exciting experience. It’s a brilliant, cool industry to be a part of!
Want to be prepared for your first day on set as an Actor?
With many ways to stay connected, knowing which app to use and manage them is very important. The top to be sure that casting is a priority are the following:
You can go further to use platforms like Linkedin in addition to your Actors CV. Utilising all these platforms' uses of tags, hashtags etc. put your posts in front of the right people. Look at trending tags to keep your posts current. You can even post to multiple sites at once when things are synced to save you time!
Our casting team has seen it many times, people using their social media as a part of their CV.
Your Acting CV or Spotlight profile should be maintained at all times, but so should any social media that you have linked to your CV. The question to ask is:
Are the posts on this profile relevant to what I want to do with my career?
If your Instagram is filled with pictures of your cat or what you have had for lunch, it may not be the best for your professional career. An actors profile is something you can do to keep your personal and professional posts separate for industry peers, directors and casting directors to view what they need to see from you. I you have lots of images ready, then start a NEW page with all the great content you have ready to go!
Find the Right Online Communities
Facebook has a multitude of groups, pages and forums for actors to keep connected with other actors! Share with one another and keep each other connected during these times. We are all in this together, and the industry will be back! So keep those communication lines and new connections going during lockdown!
Need help getting your Acting CV or Profile Started or Updated? IPM Acting Academy's ONLINE Private Sessions can help get everything prepped! Find out more on the link below!
Just like actors, crew members gain experience through training on various projects and work experience opportunities in the film industry! Over the next few weeks IPM Acting Academy's team member, Emily, will share what she's learned from her time as a part of #TeamIPM!
Hi my name is Emily and I am a casting assistant at IPM. My time as a Casting Assistant at IPM started in November 2019. Within the first couple of weeks of interning, I spent my time getting to know IPM’s talent. Through studying CVs and watching each actor's showreel, I was able to understand: the way in which each individual performed, their strengths alongside which roles might be best suited to their skillset.
I was introduced to Spotlight, a platform that connects performers with roles in theatre, television and film productions around the world. By reading exemplary material, it allowed me to understand what casting directors are looking for whilst also helping me to develop my own creative, persuasive writing style, in preparation for submitting actors for roles on Spotlight. Using Spotlight has taught me a number of things. Not only has it allowed me to understand the importance of casting and how competitive the acting industry is, but it has also broadened my knowledge and understanding of casting briefs, character breakdown and typecasting.
Spotlight has opened my eyes up to how specific a director’s vision
is from the very beginning of a production.
is from the very beginning of a production.
It is very interesting to consider the range of productions that are advertised on Spotlight; whether it’s a casting call for the lead roles in the next series of Peaky Blinders or a listing for a minor role in a student short film, Spotlight has it all.
Attending IPM Acting Academy Sessions
Another part of the training involved attending a series of the acting academy classes. This allowed me to get involved in helping my mentor plan classes, activities and have a hand at directing/interacting with some of the talent. I found it interesting watching each individual develop a character over the course of a number of weeks and react to given scenarios accordingly. Observing the switch between each artist's actual personality and their given character was intriguing to say the least. As I grew as an assistant director, I was able to watch the essentials group grow and progress as performers; something I found quite fulfilling. One thing I will take from attending the acting classes is that improvisation looks unbelievably difficult!
An example of a scenario where I observed how the actor successfully executed the change from being themselves to someone completely different was when I watched Andy (one of the class members) transform from his loud, bold, masculine self into the role of a homosexual recluse who’s anxieties have prevented them from leaving the house for a number of years. I'm sure from this example you can only imagine why I find the transition between an individual and their designated character entertaining to watch!
For IPM’s casting team, I also had a hand in assisting with marketing and social media. Not only have I written blog posts for their website, but I have also frequently managed the Instagram page; gaining followers, taking pictures, editing and writing content for online purposes. This has given me a broader knowledge of how marketing works in regard to reaching large audiences and targeting specific clientele. I also had a hand at creating some promotional material for IPM and Rossi Pictures, improving and perfecting my Premier Pro skills by editing together video footage and adding relevant graphics where necessary
My casting training has been insightful, fun and taught me a lot about the early stages of the production process. If you’re interested in a career in casting or production management, this internship is for you! I have come away from IPM with a greater understanding of the industry and valuable admin skills that I can depend on throughout my working life.
There are many things to learn for the Television & Film Industry. Get Career Advice and Knowledge for your Acting Career with IPM Acting Academy today!
Our team at IPM have seen many actors ask what it is they can do to keep themselves ready for the first audition call during these unprecedented times. Our training actors have taken our advice and have kept their creativity flowing by doing monologues, keep their training going and even writing for our blog! Take a look at Academy Member, Harrison's journey as an actor!
'Since I was really young, I have always taken a real passion to films, theatre, TV and anything to do with acting. I have and always will love everything about this profession'
I would like to say that my acting journey began where I was cast in a major movie, but that kind of stuff doesn’t even happen in fairy tales. I started acting about 9 years ago, it was mainly based around the theatrical side of acting (which I personally don’t prefer to screen acting) but I instantly knew that this is what I want to focus on and pursue as a career. After my first performance at my stage school I felt incredible, when I had finished I knew that I had given it my absolute best and with this being topped off by the applause of the audience, there really is no better feeling than that.
Luckily, I have extremely supportive parents so when I told them that this is what I want to do for a living, they didn’t even think twice or take into consideration I was only a little lad, they put me forward for an acting agency linked with the stage school and started looking for places where I could improve my skills and achieve this dream of being an actor. When I was accepted into the agency, they constantly put me forward for many things and I had many auditions and the result of nearly all of them was a no. At first, I didn’t know how to feel because it is upsetting when you have worked hard to perform for someone and these people just to tell you no, especially being young.
I can remember thinking “Why won’t they pick me?” “Am I not good enough?” “Am I just setting myself an unrealistic goal of being an actor?”, it made me feel awful at first and I will admit it, I did cry quite a few times. But these thoughts in my head just fuelled me to get better and keep pushing to get this goal that I so badly want. I said to myself “If they think I’m not good enough. “Am I just setting myself an unrealistic goal of being an actor?”, it made me feel awful at first and I will admit it, I did cry quite a few times. But these thoughts in my head just fuelled me to get better and keep pushing to get this goal that I so badly want. I said to myself “If they think I’m not good enough then I’ll train and improve until I’m better than just good enough and they might not pick me right now but they will all want me someday” and I’m happy I did because it motivates me every day to hopefully one day catch my ‘big break’.
The more I worked for and performed under the stage schools the more I realised that theatrical acting wasn’t for me and I was not liking it as much as I used to. Thankfully, my mum had found a local place that did screen acting and I’m so happy that she did because this place re-sparked the passion I have for the art of acting. It is called IPM (Imperial Personal Management) Acting Academy in Leeds and it has really improved me as an actor over the 7 years I have been there, and I can honestly say it is the highlight of my week. I have learnt so many skills and techniques when it comes to performing and I enjoy going to every lesson and socialising with everyone and learning together as a collective. IPM's agency put me forward for lots and lots of opportunities and I have gained a vast amount of experience with them. I feel at home when I am on set like it is where I am meant to be. I enjoy focusing on the character’s life, story and meaning in the scene as I feel like I can forget who I am, become this different person and see the world through their eyes. I still hope to one day get that one shot at a major roll and prove to myself and everyone else that I can make it.
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Obviously in the current lockdown with Covid-19 it may seem difficult to be an actor, however I am still pushing through and working on myself as much as possible. The weekly classes are now online so we don’t miss out on our teaching during this tough quarantine time. Also, all the free time has given me the chance to record myself act a scene or monologue at home and criticise myself to improve my performance.
I definitely know that I am not perfect, no one is, but I am working as hard as possible to make sure that I can achieve the goals I have always dreamed of. I want to take this small part of the blog to thank my very supportive parents and IPM for being there for any help I need and assisting me on my journey as an actor. One day all the hard work will pay off and my dream will come true.
Harrison's training has led to shortlisted opportunities with beloved series like 'Fantastic Beasts', CBBC's 'Jaime Johnson' and BBC's comedy 'Ladhood'. His film work has won multiple awards for awareness in Domestic Abuse alongside the many commercial roles with Harrison's name attached!
Auditions are Still Happening Now! Be ready for your next Self-Tape or Online Audition with Group or Private ONLINE Sessions with IPM Acting Academy!
When news came out about Tom Hanks being positive for Covid-19, his light hearted positivity gave way for many celebrities to bring their personalities to the world in helping us through this new world we are living in.
We are all experiencing a new world with isolation, social restrictions and waiting for that next filming day to start! Though many may have a touch of the blues, taking a minute to appreciate the little things in life is important at this time. Thankfully with Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok, our favourite musicians, comedians and actors are keeping our hearts filled with music, love and laughter!
Here are a few of our favourite Celebrity in Isolation Social Media posts from the last few days!
Conan O'Brian Toilet Paper Life Hacks
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With the sudden craze for buying multiple packs of toilet roll, supermarkets are slowly seeing the impacts of this with many stores rapidly running out due to panic buying. But, fear not, Conan O’Brien has the solution, and it’s just as ridiculous as you’d expect...
Looking after our mental health is vital whilst this pandemic grows and continues; certainly a key component to getting through this crisis. With this in consideration, US singer, Lizzo invited fans to indulge in some musical meditation.
The session began with the signature sound of the Grammy-winner's flute before she delivered her soothing mantra, exciting listeners and encouraging them to stay for the full video
Music Mindfulness with Lizzo
"When I got back to LA I noticed that the fear was heightened here. So I wanted to empower everybody and I wanted to let you guys know that we have power, you have power. You have power to eliminate fear."
Lizzo’s wise words are definitely one to hold onto in these times of heightened anxiety!
Lizzo’s wise words are definitely one to hold onto in these times of heightened anxiety!
Simon & Nick returned to the screen together in recreating their work Shaun of the Dead in an PSA to follow the guidelines set by the NHS. Having a bit of a laugh themselves in the shortage of toilet roll and how to keep social distancing as a part of our lives, we are thankful for such teams like these lads keeping a smile on our faces!
Simon Pegg & Nick Frost
Fortress Building with Lauren Conrad
Being confined in a family home often means one thing; kids becoming bored and irratable! If you have kids of your own and have started to run out of cookie recipes to distract them with, take a leaf out of The Hills alumni Lauren Conrad’s book and persuade them to make a fort. I know she’s set the standards high.. but make it their challenge to create an even better den (if that’s even possible).
There are countless new videos popping up from our favourite Celebrities, this is just a few that IPM found to be very fun, light hearted and keeping our spirits high during uncertain times. Remember to stay creative and keep your mind on the positives!
IPM Acting Academy is a brilliant way to keep your acting career at it's best!
With Group and Private Sessions ONLINE. Take a look at the latest offers we have during Covid-19 to keep you creative and bring a social opportunity to everyone, beginners & professionals!
Thinking of ways you can work at home as an actor? With the recent government guidelines posted with advised social distancing and in some cases quarantining oneself, the profession of acting feels like it may be at a bit of a standstill at the moment.
But here at IPM we’re not letting these uncertain times catch up with us just yet! With more productions being postponed and castings turning to online and self tape auditions, this just leaves actors with chance to hone their skills and emerge better than ever.
Here are some practical things you can be doing in making the most of staying at home to be ready when the fast paced industry we love is back in full swing.
Get things done!
Tackle that to-do list! Start ticking off the jobs that have been slowly growing since New Year and feel the pride of accomplishing even the smallest of jobs. Remember, a tidy house means a tidy mind and now is the time to get cleaned up. Alongside organising your personal space, organise your CV.
Make sure all your new experience is listed and that the next casting director to see your CV knows all what you have accomplished. Make sure you outline everything you want accomplished during this time and set yourself a schedule. This will keep you on track and make the most of the down time.
The beauty of acting is that all that is required is you! You are your own tool and can practice anytime. Block out the time and dedicate it to getting under the skin of a new character. Find the script of your favourite film and give it a go! Or master a new accent! Anything you do in this time will all come in hand down the line. Remember to film yourself and watch it back – you’ll see what you need to improve and more importantly how far you’ve come. Make the most of your free time and all the resources at hand. Websites such as Youtube can offer simple tutorials on accents or make use of IPM’s private classes for a range of character techniques or tailored sessions. These can be done through skype for comfort and safety during this time.
What a better time than to let the imagination go! To be a better actor, is to be more creative. Whatever you chose to pursue, pursue it with curiosity and enjoyment. During this pause, there is no pressure to perfect the art, just have a go. Try your hand at writing and get into the head of your next director. Or pick up a pen and paper and get drawing – be it a still life of your desk or a dreamscape. This can not only help with your acting, but give your hands something to accomplish.
DANCE IT OUT!
Take some advice straight from Christina Yang and dance it out! This can be a frustrating time, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it get to us. Blast out your favourite music and let it go! Weather you’re practising a routine or just throwing your arms in the air – get to know your body with some moves! Remember, self isolating can be the most responsible thing to do but it will pass. Look after those you can and most importantly, look after yourself.
Get in touch with the team at IPM Acting Academy - Keep your Acting Career at it's best during this unique time!
Join one of our Group Session NOW ONLINE or book a Private ONLINE Session today on the link below!
Whether you are starting your career in production with apprenticeships, or looking for a new start in a new sector, Leeds has countless opportunities within the Television & Film Industry! With Channel 4's move to the north, our team has seen many great job openings and training programmes
ScreenSkills has some incredible opportunities to start your Film & Television career! Be a part of one of your favourite Netlfix productions!
ScreenSkills will hire 20 people as apprentices on fixed-term contracts of between 14 and 17 months. During that time the apprentices will do a mix of work placements with Netflix and the WarnerMedia group alongside training with specialised training providers. This is part of a new scheme supported by the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that aims to help more people get into the film and TV industries without having been to film school or getting a degree. Click here to find out how to apply!
Want to be in front of the camera? Join IPM Acting Academy today to start your screen acting career!
The nominees for the RTS awards, one of Britain's most prestigious, have been announced - and it's a strong night for comedy, with all three of those nominated in the Breakthrough category being so for comedic performances. If you seek inspiration and motivation, just look below for our rundown of the comedy awards.
Irish actress Aisling Bea is up for the Breakthrough Award for starring in (and writing!) in the series This Way Up, a series showcasing the trials and tribulations of a a young English teacher in London. The show takes a hilarious yet emotionally-affecting look at the ways in which city life can wear down even the most stubborn and motivated among us, maintained by Bea's heartfelt and honest performance; the actress and writer has never been ashamed of wearing her heart on her sleeve, understanding that laughter and tears are close bedfellows.
American comedian Tim Renkow, also up for the Breakthrough Award, has propelled himself into the list with his starring role in the gut-busting and deeply uncomfortable Jerk, based on his own experiences and stand-up comedy; a series which turns stereotypes and representations of disability in art on their head by portraying Renkow himself, who has cerebral palsy, as a truly horrendous man, always looking for ways to use his condition to his advantage (usually to the detriment of others). Not for the feint of heart or humour!
The second series of BBC's Motherland, now in it's second series, is up for multiple awards, including the final Breakthrough Award nomination for Tanya Moodie and a Best Comedy Performance (Female) nomination for Diane Horgan. Motherland concerns the bitter social warfare that happens between a group of working mothers; Moodie plays Meg, a high-flying business executive who releases the stress of a busy worklife and busier homelife through explosive partying, while Horgan plays Liz, a blunt figure of chaos who proves unpopular with the more successful mothers. A rowdy, raucous experience.
Also up for multiple awards is Channel 4's Derry Girls, a sitcom set in an unlikely time and place - Northern Ireland during the most intense period of the troubles. The daring series follows Erin Quinn, played by Saoirse-Monica Jackson (another Best Comedy Performance (Female) nominee), a girl with a dark sense of humour that often comes at odds with her conservative and fraught environment. The uncompromising humour of the series with regards to a situation that doesn't seem to have much to laugh at has earned the series a Best Scripted Comedy nomination.
Derry Girls has tough competition in both of these categories, however; Fleabag, written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, now world famous and writing the next James Bond film, has also been nominated for both Best Scripted Comedy and Best Comedy Performance (Female). The series barely needs introduction, but if you've been living under a rock, Waller-Bridge...in fact, we won't tell you. You just have to see it for yourself.
Rounding off the Best Scripted Comedy nominations is Stath Lets Flats,a family sitcom about an inept letting agent trying his hardest to work with his father, who makes him look positively competent by comparison. The nominations for Best Comedy Performance (Male) are going to Ncuti Gatwa for his endearing performance as Eric in Netflix's brutally honest coming of age comedy Sex Education, Youssef Kerkour for his role in the social satire Home as Sami, a Syrian immigrant discovered hiding in the boot of a middle-class family after a holiday in France, and Alex Murphy & Chris Walley for their trouble-making double act in the dark yet heartfelt Irish teen comedy The Young Offenders.
Whew! With a line-up like this, it'll be difficult to choose the best of the lot - and this is just the awards for comedy! Good luck to everyone; we'll be watching with attentive eyes, for sure.
Want to be a strong screen actor like these nominees? Join IPM Acting Academy today to get your career started in the Television & Film Industry!
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