The Fifth (Five - We're flying!) of our interviews with actors who left drama school without representation but have gone on to achieve incredible things is with the brilliant @jamesjmarlowe
Name: James Marlowe
What is your current/ most recent credit?
I’m currently appearing in Touch at the Soho Theatre.
How did you find leaving Drama School?
I found it pretty difficult to be honest. One minute you’re smashing it in school and the next you feel like you’ve failed as you haven’t got an agent. It feels like a real value judgement when it actually isn’t. Thankfully, the further you get from it, the easier it is to put that difficult period in perspective.
What was your first professional job?
My first job out of school was The Captive at The Finborough.
What’s been your favourite job so far?
Tough one! So many of the jobs I’ve done have a real place in my heart. Primetime at the Royal Court, Blue Man Group and The Play That Goes Wrong were all incredible experiences. My favourite character would be Liberty Valance in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
What is the advice you would offer to young people leaving drama school over the next few weeks or the advice you’d give yourself looking back?
Haha, wow there is so much! I’ll try to focus on a few points related to unrepped graduates.
- Get over your White Horse Syndrome as quickly as possible. This is the idea that someone is going to ride in on a white horse to save you, and say “Follow me to the career of your dreams!!!”. As an unrepresented actor it’s up to you to graft your way to the career you want.
- Stay strong. You’re likely to feel a combination of anger and huge devaluation if you have left without an agent. Both of those are natural and will subside, remember this is a long game. Put that energy into creating projects and staying tenacious. Be happy for your friends who are doing well.
- Be an indispensible badass – Without representation you rely heavily on your reputation. Be early, be prepared and be awesome. Make sure anyone who you work with, would want you back for their next project.
- It is possible to work without an agent! It’s hard work but it is possible. You have to make realistic targets and stay involved with theatre including a lot of Fringe work. You will be writing letters to get auditions (you’ll have to write a lot of them), and it’s much easier to do that when you genuinely love the work they do AND HAVE BEEN TO SEE IT.
- Approach agents in the right way – The last thing you want to become is that harping voice at an agents ear all the time. Don’t be scared to write, just be smart. From an agent’s side, they want some momentum so they can get you through the doors of casting rooms. So write when you have a show in an accessible location, a really solid show reel or something they can use. Also read up on that agent – on their websites there is often info about their preferred method of contact, is it email or hardcopy? Are there any articles online about them and their advice to people? What is their name, specifically why them? Etc. Then whatever you do, don’t put the letter in the wrong envelope!
What do you think of (RE)PRESENTED as a project (is it something you’d have gone for)?
This is a subject I feel very passionately about. It is very easy for really solid, talented graduates to slip through the net and end up struggling for work so I think it sounds like a really interesting and important project. I would have jumped at it as a recent graduate.
James is now represented by Sally Hope Associates.
You can catch James at the Soho Theatre in Touch until 26th August 2017. For more information or to book tickets click here
To apply for (RE)PRESENTED please click here and fill in the online registration form. Applications are open until 1st November 2017.