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DIARY OF A 'failed' ACTOR. Ep.11. British Actors vs. American Actors.
I am very grateful to my friend, Sabra Williams for requesting that I look into what it is about British acting talent that is causing British actors to be in such high demand in Hollywood, whilst understandably creating not a little irritation and concern amongst the American acting community.
American actors are being very vociferous of late with regards British actors coming over to Hollywood and taking their jobs, but that is far from accurate. The fact is British and Irish actors, and Australian are booking the jobs back home before coming over to the United States to do the work.
Yes, there are undeniably droves of British actors migrating annually to Los Angeles in search of the Hollywood Dream, but for them without the support and back up that the fortunate few back home have, their struggle for recognition is as tough and challenging as for the U.S. talent.
With even closer scrutiny you then discover that the 5 top tier Talent agents and the 5 Theatrical agents in the next tier down in both the U.S. and the UK between them represent all of the world's leading acting talent, and a large chunk of its emerging talent. The job offers therefore are going out long before anyone else gets to hear of them regardless of who you are or where in the world you are residing.
"Foul!", I hear you cry. "Insider trading!". I say, " Welcome to the real world!". Now, that's Hollywood.
That said, still Americans can't understand why so many American roles are going to British actors, and the answer appears to be a very simple one, and one that could be easily remedied. Don't get mad! Get even! Raise your game to meet the demand.
In an excellent article published in the ENTERTAINMENT magazine earlier this year written by an American journalist, the findings transcribed make for very interesting reading indeed. The bottom line would appear to come down to the differences in our training, which I go into in greater detail in the Vlog.
There was a time when the training philosophies of each respective Country were very different; British drama schools focusing on the Classical style, and American training on the Method style. In the 21st Century, actors training in the UK and the U.S. now adopts both philosophies. But, it is the intensity and duration, and level of training that is the marked difference. Most British students are prepared to go the distance evidently, undertaking two year and three years' training, whilst American students largely want 'sounbites' of training or forego training altogether and get straight into the business, as stated recently by the C.E.O. of The Maggie Flanigan Studio here in New York. Though, I also believe that mindset to be prevalent amongst wannabe actors in the UK and elsewhere.
In the ENTERTAINMENT article, I quote; James Lipton who hosts INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO thinks it's geographical. While American actors generally have to chose between going to New York to work in theatre or settling in Los Angeles to find fame in television and the movies, the British acting community have all three mostly centrally located around London. "The English have the advantage of being able to go back and forth, from DOWNTON ABBEY to a West End production."
Also in ENTERTAINMENT, Avy Kaufman who cast, David Oyelowo in LINCOLN, and discovered, Andrew Garfield for Robert Redford's, LIONS FOR LAMBS says this: "It's not that all these actors are better than the American actors, but I think we're just opening up to more...and we're all excited to find something new and different," she says. "LINCOLN was a very American story, but I just felt like I should say, 'This guy's the best for this.' It doesn't matter that he's not American. He's got the accent down. May the best man win."
So, it's not who you are or where you are from that counts at the end of the day, it's what you bring to the table in skill-sets that matters. Surely that is the same in any profession the world over.
DIARY OF A 'failed' ACTOR
Directed by Cécile DELEPIÈRE