Interview: Felicity Jackson of Surviving Actors Convention

Tell us about the UK's first actor's convention, Survivng Actors. how did it come about?

It all came about with me constantly seeing actors struggling to survive in London, and struggling to finance themselves between jobs. Also seeing lots of actors taking long breaks to make money and then it's really hard to get back into. So I thought of an actor's convention, that would be a great chance to show actors how to survive real life, no talk of Hollywood, fame and fortune. Just really how to survive in the industry. There are so many opportunities out there to make money whist in-between jobs. Even though it might not be the most fantastic jobs, you can still do it.

And what's the main purpose of the event?

To help actors survive and introduce them to various opportunities that are out there. It's also to guide actors towards quality companies that are genuine and away from the phoney companies that are out there. It's really important to mention that the people who put this together are actors themselves. So we've made sure that every single company that's invited and everyone that is speaking at the seminars are people that we would take advice from, and that we would use ourselves.

And what would you say is the unique thing about surviving actors?

It falls into three different sections which are to Develop, Create and Sustain. For the Develop section, we've introduced different companies such as photographers, showreel, voicereel and casting companies that can help develop people in their acting career. The Sustain section, we've invited lots of different promotional companies, also companies that are looking for entertainers at birthday parties and even children's theatre companies who are looking for teachers. And the third section will help actor's create their own jobs and productions, so we have the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and other companies which will give advice to those who wish to take control of their career and make it happen for themselves. They will be running different seminars, which are completely free to go to.

What will actually happen on the day?

There will be four different rooms open on the day. The main room will be the exhibition room with lots of different companies to give advice and obligation free information about what they can offer you as an actor. There will also be a career's advice room, which you will need to book in advance for on our website. The bar area will be open for networking opportunities and will also have different singers and performers showcasing their work. And the seminar room, to get advice on casting and creating your own productions, which you will also need to pre-book on the website.

We've made sure that every single company that's invited and everyone that is speaking at the seminars are people that we would take advice from, and that we would use ourselves

What companies will we be able to meet at the event?

Companies that help you develop your career such as Casting Call Pro and their sister website Promo Jobs Pro. Hot Reels, MAD Photography, PCR. Also in the Sustain section we've got promotional companies like Sugar Dools and Promotional Support, also Create Theatre School and Perform who will be able to offer different work opportunities for 2010. And to help you create your own opportunities, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sell a Door Theatre Company and the new London Festival Fringe.

Who should attttend surviving actors?

We are expecting professional actors, singers, dancers and performers still in training. The one important thing is that it is an over 18 event as the venue is a licensed premises. We welcome actors who have been out of the profession for a while and want to get back into it, to network with others in the industry, or just to get advice.

So how do actors attttend the event?

Go onto our website, click on register and fill in their information. They will be sent an email to verify their information, and then they will receive their e-ticket. It's quite important to bring your e-ticket along, as we are expecting a large number of people. With your e-ticket you can get straight in and not have to queue up. So really it is worth going to our website and registering in advance.

So it's a completely free event?

Absolutely. Completely free. You can come along, gain entrance, attend a seminar, get career's advice and not have to spend a penny.

As proud sponsors, The Drama Student Magazine is really excited to be involved and looking forward to the day. ●


Surviving Actors will be held on Saturday 30th January at Sway Bar in Central London. For more information and to register visit

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