The team behind Showcase2020, actors Olivia Beardsley and Isaac Stanmore, have launched a new branch of their online initiative called the ‘Help Hub’.
Featuring leading industry professionals, the Help Hub supports further learning and understanding of the industry – bridging the gap between graduating and working at a time when ‘learning on the job’ isn’t possible. All in one place and all for free.
Tell us a little about Showcase 2020?
Showcase 2020 is a brand new online initiative set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a platform that allows 2020 drama school graduates further opportunity to showcase themselves to agents, casting directors and all industry professionals. It’s free to access, and free to use. We already Showcase graduates from over 20 schools and are adding more every day.
What inspired you to create the site?
As two working actors we already have contacts and networks in the industry which will hopefully pick up again when all this blows over. But if you haven’t had the chance to make those connections in the first place then starting out could be hard. We decided to make a platform that collected together all graduate Showcases in one place. A platform like this hadn’t been done, and we strive to make viewing easier and more equitable and create a new opportunity for graduates to be seen.
You’ve just added ‘Help Hub’ what will graduates find there?
In the Help Hub we chat to tons of industry leaders who give us practical advice and quick tips you can use the same day. Taking on the place of the graduate we ask the questions big or small that we all want to know the answers to when we graduate. Questions like: How should I format my Spotlight CV? How do I read a call sheet? What should I do on my first day on set? How big does my song repertoire need to be? How should I prep for an audition? We are growing the Help Hub all the time and have lots more brilliant people lined up to share their advice.
Why is the ‘Help Hub’ so valuable at this time?
We learnt just as much on our first jobs as we did at drama school. When you graduate and begin to work, more experienced professionals are there to offer you advice, answer questions and give you tips, be it off-stage or on set. We wanted to help bridge the gap between graduating and working at a time when ‘learning on the job’ isn’t possible. Full of practical and implementable advice and tips, it’s useful to not just those graduating now but for throughout their career.
How easy it was it to get people from the industry involved?
People have been incredibly generous with their time and willingness to contribute. We already have interviews with actors Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who), Alice Fearn (Wicked, Come From Away), Faye Marsay (Game of Thrones, Pride, Black Mirror) and casting director Kharmel Cochrane (The Lighthouse, The End Of The F***ing World); plus an exclusive web series by actor and author Paul Clayton (Peep Show, Wolf Hall, The Crown) and many more. We recently chatted to Benji Bower the composer and MD of A Monster Calls who gave tips on making your own music, how to MD and devised ensemble work.
Have you had any feedback from graduates using the site?
The response has been lovely, both from graduates and the wider industry, with many saying they were surprised something like this didn’t already exist. We know of many casting directors, producers and agents who are using the site already and we look forward to the day when we can see one of the graduates in a cast announcement.
What would you say to anyone thinking of visiting Showcase 2020 or the ‘Help Hub’?
If you are a 2020 drama school graduate – get in touch! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and all the information we need to get you on the site can be found at our website. If you are an actor at any point in your career then head straight to the Help Hub and just dive in to the trove of tips and to-the-point advice. And if you are anyone in the wider industry – directors, casting directors, artistic directors, producers, theatre companies or agents, head to Showcase 2020 anytime, anywhere, and view graduate Showcases from the breadth of the UK at the touch of a button.
Main Image: Olivia Beardsley and Isaac Stanmore