The Actors Centre

Shauna McLean – Winner of the Alan Bates Award 2016

3 June 2016

The actor experience...

Shauna McLean & Juliet Stevenson    Shauna McLean & Kazia Pelka        Shauna McLean & Paul Clayton


We asked this year’s Alan Bates Award winner, Shauna McLean from Italia Conti to discuss her experiences of the audition process and what winning the award means to her.


Shauna McLean on her Alan Bates Award experience:

I remember waking up that morning feeling very nervous and excited. I walked to the Actors Centre thrilled to meet other actors that were in the same position as myself; leaving drama school is a very daunting experience, so it was nice and calming to meet fellow actors in the same position. The audition process covered everything from contemporary to classical text, movement, improvisation and also screen tests; which was great as it gave all of us an opportunity to show our ability in different styles and techniques. Throughout the whole process there was such a fantastic and electric atmosphere in the room, plus, having industry professionals on the different panels was amazing as we were meeting people we wanted to work with! 

In the final audition round there were just six of us left and as we waited in the award ceremony suspense was high! The lovely, Juliet Stevenson ran through the runners up and finally, came the announcement of the winner.

I’d won! She called out my name as the winner of the Alan Bates Award 2016. I was so overwhelmed with emotion. Winning the award is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

The Alan Bates Award is a brilliant platform for graduating actors to get involved with. The Award has enabled me to leave drama school with a great kick-start to my career. It literally means the world to me and I feel like I have gained so much more with the support and guidance of Actors Centre Chairman, Paul Clayton and my new mentor Kazia Pelka, as well as the staff at the Actors Centre becoming my new family. This Award is not like any other because not only do you win the status of being the most promising actor graduating from drama school, but also an array of prizes that will help boost my career and will give me the much-needed exposure.

The Actors Centre is a family, a tribe and my new base! Whether you win the Alan Bates Award or not, taking part still enables young graduating actors to network, meet and work with others. I can honestly say that throughout the whole audition process I learnt so much.

The main thing the award process has taught me is to be myself. There is only one you, and as an actor, that is what makes you unique.

Shauna McLean – Actor and winner of the Alan Bates Award 2016


The Alan Bates Award showcases the very best of young British talent. The future of the Award now relies on personal and corporate donations and/or sponsorship, if you are able to support please get in touch with us.

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