Showreels for Stage and Musical Theatre Actors Making the Transition to Screen
The UK is steeped in a glorious history and tradition of theatre, and most of the training in this country for actors is still based around that very thing – the stage.
As a result, screen acting is daunting for many upcoming actors. After graduation they find their opportunities to be mostly on the stage — but even as they climb the ladder (stage-wise) is soon becomes apparent that a demo reel is important.
What actors begin to realise is that a showreel can be as integral to a stage career as it can to the screen. Casting Directors, in whatever format they are working, like to get a sense of who the actors are – and a well put together reel is the best way to see that.
But that’s what’s daunting about it. Most of these actors have no screen experience. And those that do often only have the traumatic memory of a 2 day ‘screen acting workshop’ that was hastily bundled together by their drama schools – the results of which are normally poor and leave actors with absolutely no screen experience whatsoever.
Which explains why so many of the actors who walk through my office door are hugely talented stage actors but look quite traumatised when I mention the word ‘screen’. Their confidence is shot, they have the drive and the ambition to do screen, but don’t quite have the self-belief. Their inner critics kick in to gear and explain they want to act for film but are terrified of ‘over-acting’ and ‘doing too much’.
I totally understand what they’re talking about. The camera is unforgiving. Everything you do, it picks up. I am lucky in that, although I was never the most technical director (if you ask me about lenses you will get a blank expression from me), I do understand actors. I understand their fears and concerns when it comes to screen, and I admire that despite all this they are still determined to do it.
Stage is actually not all that different to screen – it’s just that your audience is different. On a stage, you’re talking to hundreds of people, on the screen, you’re talking to the person next to you. There are many tools for making a stage-experienced actor good on screen, but the main thing is to help the actors be themselves; to strip away the rules and the ‘acting’ and just get them being a convincing human being on screen.
Showreel I Created for Natalie Russell
That old joke from ‘Friends’ about Joey getting turned down for a role because he was “not convincing as a human being” is not all that silly after all, it’s the thing that actors fear the most.
But that’s why I’m here! I work with actors of all experience levels, many of whom are skilled on the stage and are making that transition. I am confident I can help you be comfortable on screen, and together we can create an acting reel that shows your talent for the screen as well. Get in touch if this interests you!