Rehearsals have now started on Seven Songs of Love – Rough Magic Theatre’s upcoming show, which combines storytelling, shadow puppetry and english folk song into an immersive exploration of infatuation.
I’m working as a performer, puppeteer and co-director on the piece, with an initial scratch space showing for bookers and audiences on the 16th and 17th of July at Beverley Puppet Festival (beverleypuppetfestival.com)
We’re testing out prototypes and making changes to puppets in this first week so it’s a very busy time, now that we have our rig and space up and running! We’re also in the studio recording a couple of songs (most will be performed live but there are a couple of shadow plays that won’t allow it).
It’s a busy month and a fantastic show to be collaborating on.
If you want to see the scratch space show, pop onto the link above and search for “7 Songs” for dates, venues and times.
As 2014 chugs merrily on, I’m encouraged by the opportunities that are springing up – some on the acting side, some on the writing and some on the Dramaturgy.
I’ve recently started working with a company in Lancaster on some medical roleplay for the local hospital. It’s a fantastic way to keep your “hand in” between stage and screen roles and the people involved are marvelous. It’s also nice to see employers who are still pro-active in employing local actors – it’s a frequent complaint that I hear in my position at my local Equity branch: why do many Northern theatres and TV producers mainly audition for performers in London? Why does this still happen when there are so many talented performers right next door? Are the actors in London better? In most cases, the answer is simply “No”. Yet it happens.
Sorry, bit of a rant there.
Writing plans are a touch hush-hush but things may pan out in very interesting ways as the year goes on. Keep ’em peeled!
What I can say is that I’ve a radio drama script in contention at the Beeb – it’s a play that I wrote from my previous experience as an ambulance call taker and dispatcher. Feedback has been positive so far but you can never tell; the commissioning structure at the BBC isn’t the most straight-forward process in the world.
I was down in London t’other day (as a Dramaturg) to meet with Puppeteers and producers about the process of writing for puppets. It was a fantastic event that threw up a bunch of interesting questions. I’ve written for puppets quite a bit and it’s great to be able to share some of my experience. If you’ve a puppetry play that you could do with a little feedback on, even if you’ve not started scripting it yet, do drop me a line – email@example.com.
Back to the acting: last year was a slow year, with many other concerns (a lot of them to do with feeding myself each month) distracting me from pushing hard on the acting side of things. I’m determined that this will change in 2014 and, to help myself capitalise on my experience and ability, I’m drawing up a plan.
If I could give one piece of advice to new-comers to the acting biz it’d be to plan. What are the types of shows that you’d like to do (be specific!)? Who makes them? When will they be most open to hearing from you and what’s the best way of getting in touch? How can you be seen by them in performance? If you’ve nothing coming up, is there a way of making some work of your own in their area?
All these questions go into a year planner on my wall. A career is a career, after all: Acting is not a hobby.
So I’ll end on a question – just pop your answers in a comment, below. How do you plan out your acting career and what kind of actor do you want to be?
Hello all. Yes I know that it’s been a while but I’ve been awaiting the contractual ink to dry before announcing some very exciting news!
In June, I’ll be starring in a brand new stage adaptation of the multi-million-selling children’s book “Officer Buckle and Gloria” by Peggy Rathmann.
Premièring in the last week of June at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley and City Park in Bradford, West Yorkshire, “Officer Buckle and Gloria” is a new commission produced by my long-term collaborators at Rough Magic Theatre.
It’s the story of an American cop who travels between schools to give dull and largely-ignored safety talks. Things change when his bosses give him a Police dog called Gloria to accompany him,… a dog with a surprising talent for show-biz!
Gloria will be a full, Alsatian-sized dog puppet and is currently under construction in the Rough Magic workshop. Boy is she cute!
I’ll be back with more details very soon, along with exciting news of other projects that are still on the QT.
Don’t be a stranger!
Tim Austin is an actor, writer and dramaturg based in North Yorkshire, UK. Take a look around the site to find out more.