Welcome to DIARY OF A failed ACTOR
My name is, John Pirkis and welcome to, DIARY OF A 'failed' ACTOR.
Four years after I graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, I was visiting friends for a Sunday lunch. Their daughter, Sarah and a chum of hers were home for the day from boarding school, and joined us at the table as my host, Blythe was carving the roast beef. My hostess, Mary, introduced me to Sarah's friend, "This is Johnnie. He's an actor." The words had barely left her lips, when Sarah's friend piped up with: "Oh, my Uncle's a failed actor like you!". My hostess laughed politely, Blythe chortled, Sarah giggled, and I forced a smile, and laughed nervously.
Since then, I have had an acting career spanning over 30 years on screen and stage, both in the UK and internationally. I co-founded, Theatre 503 in London, which at the time was described by Lynn Gardner of The Guardian newspaper as, 'Arguably Britain's most important theatre!', and for which I was acknowledged as one of the top 100 people to have contributed the most to British Theatre at the start of the Millennnium in The Stage newspaper's first Top 100 List. Theatre 503 continues to grow and prosper.
Along the way, I have made mistakes, had my fair share of 'failures', picked myself up, brushed myself down and carried on my merry old way. I lived and worked in Los Angeles the past four years prior to my East Coast management's insistence that I move to New York, where I have not stopped taking meetings and booking jobs.
What is 'Success'? What is 'failure'? They are very subjective terms; one person's 'failure' is more often than not, another person's 'success'. I have created this Video Blog as a guidance to those, young and old, who may be thinking of becoming an actor, about to step out into the big, wide world as a professional actor or maybe a well seasoned actor seeking to re-invent themselves or simply take a fresh tack. It may also serve as an introduction to those not in the profession who want a better understanding of what it entails to be an actor.
Together, we will look at where one starts if you have decided that an actor's life is for you. Do you go to drama school or do you not! What happens once you have completed your training or if you have chosen to forgo training! How do you go about acquiring representation? Do you go with an agent or a manager? What are casting directors looking for? How important is theatre versus tv and film!
In some editions I will be joined by special guests; working actors, casting directors, agents, managers, directors and other industry professionals to help point you in the right direction on your journey to become an actor. Also, if there is any particular part of the journey you would like me to focus on or something I have omitted that you would like to see included, then feel free to put in a request, and I will do my utmost to include it in a later edition. Equally, if you have any questions, pop 'em down on the comments section here, and I will endeavour to answer them.
The content of each edition comes from my experiences on my own personal journey as a professional actor. They are tips, hints, suggestions, all entirely subjective from my own chosen path in the industry. What I offer up is not 'writ in stone'! Some of what I proffer may not be applicable to you. It is for you to be selective in harvesting the 'wheat' from the 'chaff', taking what is pertinent and serves you and dismissing the rest. As in everything in life, it is about making choices.
My choice throughout my own personal journey, give or take a few hiccoughs, has been to follow my heart in the pursuit of doing what I love, and having fun in the process.
Thank you for joining me on this big adventure...........
DIARY OF A 'failed' ACTOR.
by John Pirkis