The time is at last here to meet the actors that make up the cast of the very first UK Emerging Actors Roundtable. But what’s so different about this roundtable, and why should you watch it?
Well, whether you like other roundtables or not shouldn’t be the deciding factor. This isn’t all Hollywood gloss and A-list anecdotes. If you want well-powdered famous faces discussing the struggles they overcame en route to their latest award nomination, honorary degree or lifetime achievement award, you might be disappointed. Not that I’m against a bit of powder or a few awards, it’s just that at some point early last year, it occurred to me that perhaps there was another way of doing the roundtable. Something a bit more ‘Honest Actors’…
The idea was to extend the Honest Actors project beyond those who are already working, and to give those who are entering the industry – or are just about to – an honest impression of what it’s like out there, and what they can realistically expect. And so, last autumn, I opened applications for actors who wanted to take part. The rules were simple: they had to be a) graduating from either drama school or university in 2017, or b) have entered the industry after January 2015 without training at an accredited school.
The final group of actors were chosen from well over a hundred applicants, following a selection process that involved not just a written application, but also Skype interviews and a lot of shuffling and reshuffling of headshots. My aim was simple, in theory at least: to find a group that reflected not just a range of back-stories, but also of starting points and aspirations. So difficult was the task, that I failed to make one final cut, ending up with a cast of seven rather than six.
The plan now is to meet these same seven again later in the year to see how things have progressed. For me, the project really only begins to work when we have seen how the same group of individuals progress over time. This is the very first stage of an experiment. As such, the results may differ from those anticipated, but that is a large part of the reason for undertaking the process in the first place.
Anyway, enough from me; it’s time to meet the cast…
The first episode of the Emerging Actors Roundtable series is available from 3pm today (in two parts) on the Spotlight UK YouTube Channel….