This month the Actors Centre features two members who have both been nominated for Off West End Theatre Awards. Julia Effertz and Vinta Morgan are nominated for Best Female Performance and Best Male Performance respectively. You can vote for them until the 14th of February here.
I am a latecomer to the acting profession. Although I had worked as a voice-over artist in my native Germany throughout my teens and subsequently did a 1-year course at drama school in Paris, I first pursued a career as an academic.
When I decided to take the plunge as a professional actress 2 years ago, I wanted to work straight away and not go through formal drama school training again, so when I found the Actors Centre in 2009, it was exactly what I was looking for, and I hit the ground running. I have since taken a variety of courses to polish and complete my skills, from Shakespeare to screen acting to getting my RP accent right.
A big step for me was the Chrys Salt showcase course, thanks to which I found my agent. I enjoy working with Bathsheba Garnett, whose challenging course "Simplicity" has helped me progress immensely in my work. I am also a great fan of the Meisner technique, and whenever I can, especially between acting jobs, I do the weekly Meisner class to stay sharp and remind myself of staying truthful and honest in my work.
Apart from the excellent classes, I like spending time in the Actors Centre's café and socialising with like-minded creatives, which gives me a sense of support, community and collaboration in an industry that can be tough at times.
In terms of career highlights, I am still a relative newcomer to the industry, and therefore feel deeply honoured to have been nominated for Best Female Performance at the Off West End Awards 2011 for my performance in "Secret Boulevard", a contemporary play which recently finished an acclaimed 5-week run at the Courtyard Theatre.
You can vote for Julia in the Off West End Awards 2011 here.
Vinta Morgan was recently nominated for the award of best actor( for his role in, In The Blood) for the 2011 Offies, London's Off-West End Theatre Awards.You can vote for Vinta here.
Where did you train as an actor?
I trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and EAST 15 acting School
What has been the highlights of your career this far?
My highlights so far would be playing a lead in the West End musical 125th street ( it was such a great company and Rob Bettison and Alan Janes are great producers), working on a film with Harvey Keitel and Micheal Madsen, Red Light Runners and of course, all the classical work I've done for the RSC and others, especially playing Othello for Icarus last year.
How do you stay sharp between your acting jobs?
Its always important to be positive and keep in a state of readiness because an opportunity can arise at any time. The motto I live by now is practice makes perfect, so I continue to work on Shakespeare, sight reading practice and I find watching shows very inspiring.
How has the Actors Centre helped you develop your career?
It is important to have a place where you can go as an actor to keep your self plugged in to new possibilities and continually challenge yourself to improve because the margin between getting or not getting the job is usually very small. The actor centre provides a space where you can keep stretching yourself!
What courses would you recommend to others at the Actors Centre?
I would recommend 'Simplicity' a class by Bathsheba Garnett 'A simple discipline that empowers an actor', Terry Bessant 'Dialect Coach' the guy is brilliant, he can teach any accent you'd like and John Melainey's classes are of a high standard for TV auditions simulation.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the business?
Some doors close, others open. Practice,practice,practice!