The early hours of this morning I look at my emails and spot this little howler from Casting Call Pro (an Actor’s website directory I am a life member of). It left me more than a little annoyed not only in the way they approached the subject and the way in which they informed me but also the fact such changes will effectively wipe out the information I placed there about my education and training. The replacement will in no way allow me to effectively market myself as an actor. More than a little annoyed here. Their email reads:-
In your Casting Call Pro profile you have listed the following information in the additional training and courses field:
MEISNER ASTERCLASS WITH MARTIN BARTER, ACTOR’S TEMPLE, LONDON
VOICE-OVER WORKKSHOP, CUT GLASS PRODUCTIONS, LONDON
THEATRE WORKSHOP FOR ADULTS, THEATRE NOMAD, LONDON
GREEN SCREEN ACTING WORKSHOP WITH TERESA GRIMSDITCH – LONDON
ELOCUTION SOLUTION CLEAR SPOKEN ENGLISHWORKSHOP WITH LUAN DE BURGH – SWEET ENTERTAINMENT, LONDON
NOSE TO NOSE CLOWN WORKSHOP WITH CAROL THOMPSON & PAUL MACDONALD
ACTORS’ JAM WITH ALISON BENNETT
IMPROVISATION WORKSHOP, SLAP IN THE FACE
BLACKING IAGO (A Shakespearean Workshop) WITH DR. BRUCE WALL
DEM COURSES IN LONDON:-
AUDITION MASTERCLASS WITH DAVE EDLER
SHAKESPEARE MASTERCLASS WITH CLAUDETTE WILLIAMSON
IMPROVISATION WORKSHOP WITH HELEN DICKENS
CAPA SCREEN ACTING COURSE, LONDON
PERFORMANCE MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME (PMP)
ROUGHCUT THEATRE, LONDON
SAVATE KICKBOXING, YOUNGBLOOD, LONDON
GUNS 4 PERFORMANCE, YOUNGBLOOD, LONDON
FILM/SCREEN ACTING COURSE
HENDON FILM/TELEVISION STUDIOS, LONDON
ACTORS’ THEATRE SCHOOL, LONDON
SIDEWINDER ACTOR’S WORKSHOP, LONDON
MEISNER METHOD, ACTOR’S TEMPLE, LONDON
PLAY/SCRIPT READING, ACTORCLUB, LONDON
ACTING EXAMINATIONS, LAMDA, LONDON
Towards the end of next week we will actually be removing this section and instead we ask that you input all your courses and training information using this form:
By putting your education, training and courses in via this section we’ll be able to link you with others who have taken similar courses, keeping you connected to the industry and also helping us to provide feedback on courses and training.
Use this section to add any courses you might have taken with:
The Actors Centre
The Actors Temple
The Actor Works
National Youth Theatre
The Method Studio
London Actors Workshop
The Actor’s Gym
Stage Combat Courses
Circus Skills Courses
You are under no obligation to make these changes, but at the end of next week the ‘additional training and courses’ section of your profile will automatically be removed.
Casting Call Pro”
My reply to the above piece of crap:-
Having read your email I can see no real reason for the changes you are proposing. You are assuming everyone has gone through the same method of training and will most likely attend the same institutions as everyone else. That is simply not the case! As you will see from my education and training as an Actor my journey along this road has been multi-faceted, varied and probably against the norm. I have been a member since 2004 the year you set up CCP and to be bluntly honest, I can see no reason for the changes you propose.
One of the reasons I became an Actor, was to avoid being pigeon holed especially in how I wish to present myself. The changes you propose and will shortly implement, will take away my ability to market myself effectively. You may not realise this but not all training via courses and workshops revolve around NCDT accredited institutions. Nor do they have a graduation process, once you complete the course and workshop. I have managed to have a career where I have worked on more than twenty-five films, about fifty television productions, as well as work in the corporate sector as well as theatre. All without the help or assistance from any of the institutions with NCDT accreditation. Simply put, I did some formal drama training and went out and pursued an acting career by getting out there, attending auditions, castings, getting the work and ensuring my career has been one of actual work and constant review and updating of my skills via various workshops and courses. This is the real world existence of a hard working, jobbing actor – My world! Your changes will take away that reflection of my history.
I am afraid that your interest in the ‘Old Boy Network’ of what school one goes to seems to be more important to Casting Call Pro that the actual journey an actor makes in the pursuit of their career. Why else the changes? Why try to fix something that is not broken? This may surprise you but despite and in spite of my lowly history of hard work and perseverance as an Actor, I actually managed to maintain and sustain memberships of Spotlight, Equity and BECTU/FAA. Would it surprise you to know that in my lowly non-NCDT accredited education and training I have to date had five agents, three of which still have me as a client on their books, the most recent one about a month ago when they were only too happy and eager to sign me up.
So having put my case against why I believe your changes are short-sighted, narrow in view, ill-conceived and soon to be implemented in a high-minded way, with last minute communiqué and no consultation to find out whether the membership approves of these changes, could you please explain how my training and experience fits into your ‘Brave New World’? Your changes will effectively wipe away a major part of my history as an Actor. This may no longer be important to CCP but it is important to me. It reflects who I am as an Actor, where I am coming from and where I am heading!
Daniel Jude Gennis.”
There is that old paradoxical saying that goes: ‘The more things change the more they stay the same’. It would be nice to actually deal with people and institutions that actually live and operate in the 21st Century. More than a little tired of dealing with people and institutions that still have a 19th and 20th Century attitude and approach to the real world.