Interview: Actor Expo’s Remi Bailey the ‘tradeshow geek’

The biggest tradeshow for actors, the Actor Expo, is returning this Saturday 3rd October.


The event is the main place where actors can come and meet companies who can help their careers, meet agents and casting directors, audition for films and roles, attend industry led workshops and seminars, even perform live in front of a large audience and meet other actors in which to rehearse with and connect with. It's the one stop shop of the UK acting world.

Remi Bailey, Director and owner of Aim High Events, the company producing the tradeshow, talks to The Drama Student Online about the exciting day ahead.

Remi, give us a history of how the Actor Expo was born?

RemiActor Expo was born out of my love of the acting industry and of trade shows. I suppose I'm a bit of a tradeshow geek and love the vibe and buzz of going to tradeshows and all that they encompass. People are always happy at tradeshows, have you noticed?

About 5 years ago when I was being made redundant from working at the BBC, I knew I wanted to work for myself and I knew events were my passion… I wanted to try to find a niche area where I could make a real difference.

After much to-ing and fro-ing I realised there was no one doing a trade show for actors and performers in the UK. My research led me to find a similar concept in America and so I flew out to America twice to research and see their version of the actors tradeshow I had in mind.

At the start of 2008, I took a leap and decided to simply go for it.

When I saw it I knew instantly I could produce a similar thing in England and produce an event that would genuinely help UK actors. I spent 1-2 years talking to industry people about the idea and talking to actors to see if they would come to a show of this nature and doing the ground work.

At the start of 2008, I took a leap and decided to simply go for it.

I also decided to contact another trade show organiser who kindly offered to support and mentor me through launching this tradeshow… and the rest is history.


You launched last year and the day was an instant success. Why do you think that was?

I think it was because something like this has never happened before and is also well needed in this industry! Acting can be a very individual and sometimes lonely profession and this show brings people together and offers a support network.

Last year we had groups of people who hadn't seen each other in years from when they trained organising and making a real day trip of this event.

The show brings together the leading industry companies face to face with actors and performers in the working industry. The show also gives actors a networking opportunity like no other and allows friendships, working relationships and new affiliations to blossom.

Simply put, the show brings everyone together.

You took the Actor Expo to Edinburgh earlier this year. How did Scotland react?

It was the first time a show like this has happened in Scotland before and it was well received. Attendance wasn't as high as the London show but this being a smaller region we didn't expect the same volume of visitors. Feedback from the visitors has been really positive and there has been a lot of interest for us to bring the show back again next year and we would love to.


Are you excited about the new venue this year?

Very excited. Goldsmiths is a tremendous location for this show. Besides the stirling reputation that it has, the exhibitor hall is gorgeous and the venue allows us to run even more workshops and seminars than last year. Goldsmiths also houses a cinema and a theatre which is more inline with what actors need. This year we are running theatre workshops and showcasing short films made by actors who attend the show.

We are also for the first time holding auditions for panto providing real work from those who come to the show!

And we're bringing back the £20 actor headshots at the show that sold out in 15mins last time!

For a performer attending the event, what can they expect?

So much!! Workshops, master-classes, seminars, live performances, great exhibitors, networking and they can even watch a short movie!

So many of last year's visitors contacted us after the show…. with a new agent, which they never would've got had they not attended the Expo

Great discounts on offer from many of the leading companies, open auditions for pantomime. They can also expect acting classes and workshops at ridiculously cheap prices and face-to-face opportunities with casting directors and agents. So many of last year's visitors contacted us after the show…. with a new agent, which they never would've got had they not attended the Expo.

What's the main bit of advice you would give a performer attending, in order for them to really get the most out of the day?

100% without fail they must take a master class or seminar!

There's so much value in that and they are so cheap. We have brilliant agents coming this year – get in there and ask them whatever it is you need to know!

We have some of the countries leading teachers attending the show and it would a pity to not participate in a class at the show.


Finally, what does the future hold for the Actor Expo?

It's simply going to continue to grow and grow and deliver great career advice and support for thousands of actors and performers.
We also are moving more towards getting as many jobs for actors – i.e for real roles taking place at the Expo. We are also looking to expand the show to other countries that need a show like this.

The Drama Student Magazine
Our team will be exhibiting at the Actor Expo, giving out thousands of complimentary copies of The Drama Student Magazine on the day. So make sure you do not miss this event, come and see us, take part in the many activities on offer, meet other exhibitors, network, have some fun, and come and see us again!

Actor Expo 2009
Goldsmiths, Lewisham Way, New Cross, London. SE14 6NW.
When? Saturday 3rd October, 11am – 6pm
Book ticket:

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