'The Coffee House Sessions' (online)
- one to one online actor support conversations -
What are they?...
These are free (donation based) online (or in person if you are in the Plymouth area) sessions to support actors at different points in their career, in particular new and emerging actors. An opportunity to talk to industry professionals, ask questions, and get advice and support.
The Wheel often have young, emerging actors, or those considering a career change into acting, contact us: asking about a range of things related to the acting craft, training and industry. Our first response is always an offer of ‘let’s have a coffee and chat so we get to know you a bit.’ There is no one way to get into or navigate the acting industry; so getting to know the individual is fundamental to us. Augusto Boal said ‘whenever a dialogue turns into a monologue, you have an oppressor and an oppressed,’ dialogue is fundamental to communication and progression. Authentic dialogue is the foundation of all The Wheel’s work, and it is important to us that we start all of our relationships this way.
The team behind the Wheel have worked in a variety of training contexts; when we worked in a building training actors we ran a very successful open door policy allowing the training actors and graduates to pop in when they needed or wanted, for advice or guidance. These sessions were often about core actor training, but sometimes became an opportunity to ask logistical, industry specific questions, and often led to more ‘actor life coaching' work. These were always ad hoc in nature allowing the training actors to be in the driving seat and seen as part of our offer to train the whole person, not just the actor’s craft.
Through lockdown we have realised that video call platforms like Zoom offer us the space to continue this work. So we are offering our free ‘open zoom door’ policy/offer to actors and performers across the UK.
How does it work?...
For us actor training goes beyond the job of acting. Navigating the industry, whilst sustaining our mental well being and managing the life style of an actor, is an area of acting that is often overlooked. From our experience this needs guidance and nurturing at a range of times throughout our careers, but is particularly vital for the new, emerging and early career artists. It’s an opportunity for a career chat, for you ask any questions you like about how to survive and live as an actor. We will always be open and honest in our responses, and if we don’t the answer to something, we’ll say. We’re offering our experience both as professionals working in the industry, and as experienced trainers and coaches, our aim is to support you as best we can. We always want to meet more actors and we believe actor training is a life long process.
Why is it free/donation based?...
We are not a regularly funded organisation and this offer is not funded, but we are also aware that often the power balance involved in training and the industry is unbalanced, and tricky to navigate. We are always looking at ways to redress the balance, and as such we offer these sessions for free, to remove any monetary value and expectation. Without the pressure and expectation that monetising a service brings, we can talk freely, offering our thoughts, experiences, reflections and questions in an open manner. After the session if you feel that it has been useful for you, then we ask that you consider making a small donation of the amount you either think the advice is worth or what you can afford, with absolutely no pressure to if your skint or you didn’t value the session. We will send you a follow up email with further information about how you can continue to engage with our work should you wish, and an equality/diversity monitoring form, which we’d appreciate you filling out, to ensure our work is reaching as many people as possible.
Examples of how people use the sessions...
Here are just some of the ways that actors have engaged with the sessions and questions they have asked.
Some are more practical and logistical . . .
How do I hold down a job and manage castings?
Advice on show reels, and headshots
How to find and apply to jobs?
Do I need more training?
Whilst some are more personal . .
How to manage rejection?
Questions of self esteem, confidence
Dealing with imposter syndrome
These have often led to more continuous ‘actor life coaching’ to help identify and navigate both personal and professional blocks and hurdles.
How do i book one?...
Drop us an email, to say hi and that you would like to book in a session, easy as that!. Feel free to email either of us directly if you have a preference to who you would prefer to chat with (you can look at our personal credentials on the creative team page and contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ) or if you have no preference email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll get back in touch to confirm a time convenient to you and send you a zoom link.
After the session we’ll drop you a follow up email, and if you would like further chats in the future we can book in then.