What can you tell us about your company Northern Star Acting, and
the philosophy behind it?
When I set up Northern Star Acting, I wanted it to be more than just an acting
class. I wanted to bring people together. I wanted to create a tribe where
people can really belong. I also firmly believe that to sustain a long term career as an actor takes so
much more than just knowing how to act. It takes great acting skills, business
skills, a strong mindset and good health.
It also takes focus, determination and hard work every day, not just during
class, which is why we offer training in all of these things, and a lot of our
work is actually done outside of class.
What inspired you to open your own acting school in the first
This is actually my second academy. I lost the first
after putting my heart and soul into it for two years and it was
heartbreaking, but I'm so glad it happened now, because then Northern Star
Acting was born and now, I am literally running the business of my dreams!
Sometimes when you think things are falling apart, they are actually
falling into place J
In your eyes, what sets Northern Star Acting
apart from other acting schools?
The fact that we are a
tribe who work together to support each other and to make things happen.
Also, the fact that we focus on developing business and mindset skills and
are constantly working outside of class time. People can choose to do as
much or as little as they like outside of class, but those who work hard
get rapid results!
Northern Star Acting
focuses on acting for film and television first and foremost - so what's
the idea behind this?
Strangely enough I come from a
musical theatre background but when I first played a role in a film (A
Father for the Dead, which would later become part of The Eschatrilogy -
Book of the Dead) I became addicted! There are many stage schools around
which is great, and I encourage our actors to also train in theatre, but
film is what ignited my passion.
Do talk about your and your
staff's approach to teaching acting for a bit?
We all have
a very positive attitude, though we will always say what needs to be said
if it'll help people to move forwards. The whole team genuinely care about
the tribe and are so enthusiastic and full of energy.
words about your current staff, and what made them perfect for their jobs?
hard behind the scenes are my two fantastic PA's Lucy Hird and Ellie
Starbuck [Elizabeth Mae
Starbuck interview - click here], event organiser Sharon Spink, copywriter Rachel Brownstein, and
Cameron Prudames, who does everything on the technical side of things as
well as filming and editing- there's nothing this guy can't do!
Leading the classes in Leeds and North Yorkshire at the minute are Carl
Backhouse and Molly Blaise. Liam Rooke is taking a break at the minute but
I wanted to mention him as he's played a big part in getting a lot of the
Leeds tribe to where they are today.
In London, we have Luke Bailey (Casualty's Sam), Eddie Bammeke
[Eddie Bammeke interview -
click here] and Layla Randle-Conde [Layla
Randle-Conde interview - click here].
The whole team are high energy, forward thinkers and are a huge asset. I
couldn't have got this far without them and I appreciate them every single
Star Acting isn't limited to acting classes though, you also offer
other activities like actual film shoots, showreel shoots, headshots and
the like - so do talk about all this "extra-curricular" stuff
you're offering for a bit!
We make student films as part of
the course and they are graded on them for their assessments but every now
and again, we make professional projects alongside ESG Media LTD, which our
tribe are obviously first for!
Other things we offer outside of classes include themed summercamps for
kids, badass actors' bootcamps for adults, showreels and headshots. The showreels and
headshots are essential to an actor's tool kit and the
camps/bootcamps are designed to propel them to the next level at lightning
speed while having a lot of fun and amazing experiences.
You might also want to talk
about Northern Star Acting's attached agency for a bit?
want to give our tribe a step up into the industry and so decided to run
an agency alongside, which enables us to put them forward for professional
roles on film, TV and commercials. It's such a buzz when the tribe are
called for auditions and even more when they actually book the work!
can you tell us about the beginnings of Northern Star Acting, and
its growth over time? And some of the highlights over the years?
The Night Monica Came Back
it or not, Northern Star Acting only opened 16 months ago. The growth has
been off the scale! Highlights would be working on projects like Talk of
the Dead with Hollywood actress Lynn Lowry, and The Night Monica Came Back
with Human Centipede 2's Laurence R. Harvey [Eirian's
The Night Monica Came Back interview - click here]. Also the red carpet awards
nights, filming in Las Vegas, the horror camp and bootcamp... I could go
on. There are just so many!
have only very recently opened a London branch - so do talk about that one
for a bit?
Saturday was the opening and we met some very
talented actors with fantastic attitudes. This is what makes it all
worthwhile - when you meet people you instantly click with and can't wait
to work with! As mentioned above, we have an incredible team rearing to
lead our new tribe members into the acting world with a bang.
Any future projects concerning your company?
And where do you see Northern Star Acting in, let's say, 5 years
Why yes, funny you should mention that because we
are actually filming another film starring the awesome Lynn Lowry in
November. It's called First Impressions Can Kill, is written by...
you actually... and is bloody hilarious!
Where do I see Northern Star Acting 5 years from now? All over the
world... My aim is to help as many new actors as possible to gain
confidence, find their awesome and blast their way into this crazy
So where can Northern Star Acting be
found, both physically and on the net?
Physically we are in
Leeds, London and North Yorkshire in the U.K. BUT people can apply to join
us from anywhere in the world as we also offer online training.
What are you
actually looking for in your acting students, which qualities make a good
actor in your eyes?
Attitude is everything to me. We can
work on skill if they have the drive, determination, a positive attitude
and are just... well, cool... But I wouldn't work with anyone whose
attitude stinks even if they are amazingly talented.
Besides "join Northern Star
Acting", what's a piece of advice would you give an aspiring
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
As well as continually honing your craft, you need
to be working on your mindset, developing your business skills and looking
after your body. You can be a highly skilled actor but if you treat your
acting as a hobby, hold yourself back due to blocks and limiting beliefs
or keep getting sick, you will struggle to sustain a long term career in
acting. Also... whenever you walk into the audition room or into the scene, just
think 'FUCK IT' and leave your inhibitions behind, act on instinct and
give it your all. An actor's biggest regret is what they DID NOT do, not
what they did.
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Yes, keep an eye out for Talk of
the Dead which has just been accepted by the San Diego FANtastic
Horror Film Festival and Fright Fest in Kentucky and is currently nominated for not one but 13
Thanks for the interview!