First few months of being a professional Actor and Theatre Maker

After showcase finished and my dissertation was submitted I decided to go on holiday. I did debate the stupidity of spending money on a holiday after completing an expensive MA course, but one of the reasons I decided to do the course in the first place was because I decided to do more of what I wanted to do and not let money dictate my life so much. Plus I did feel like I wanted to celebrate the end of my life as an acting student and the start of my life as a professional actor.

Since being back, I’ve had a few interesting auditions: a theatre company producing new writing in a fringe theatres above pubs, a TV advert for a highstreet bank and today, a Theatre In Education Pantomime that will tour schools around London and the South East.

Before I went away, I decided to see what I could do day-to-day within the Theatre industry that might fit around going to auditions and developing my own work. I applied and was accepted for a job ushering at the Unicorn Theatre. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Unicorn Theatre produces and hosts theatre for and/or about young people and has had a purpose built home in London Bridge since 2005. I am thrilled to be working for such a wonderful theatre company as I was lucky enough as a young child to be taken by my School to the theatre company’s adaptation of Meg, Mog and Owl. I have some vivid memories of this production and am in no doubt that this, along with other early experiences of theatre, have had an influence in my choice of career going forward. More recently I went to see Monkey Bars; the verbatim piece written by Chris Goode, at the Unicorn Theatre. So far working at the Unicorn Theatre has given me some great opportunities to experience theatre aimed at young people while working.

I’ve also been volunteering at The Lab Collective doing everything from set painting, to show theme research, to researching and filling out funding applications. It’s been great working with an upcoming theatre company, supporting some really interesting new talent and getting an opportunity to learn about their theatre production process.

So all in all – exciting times! Here’s to my career as an Actor and Theatre Maker.

Post East 15 MA Showcase

So that’s it, Showcase is done and so ends my time at East 15! Will miss it but am also really looking forward to going forward and making my career!

At the open dress rehearsal in the Corbett Theatre on Wednesday night, all our showreels were screened. Here’s my scene with Heidi Goldsmith from Mike Leigh’s “Happy Go Lucky”:

The Showcase was also reviewed by The Stage who said “Ashleigh Loeb had a quiet authority as the teacher sent to find the giggling Daisy Boyden and Kelsey Williams in a playful scene from Teendreams by David Edgar.”

I’ve been so lucky to work with such brilliant Actors over this year. Hopefully I’ll work with many of them in the future as well!

Showcase and yet more headshots

CVs printed, headshot stickers printed, headshots ordered, business cards ordered.

It’s just under two weeks until the East 15 MA showcase At the Criterion Theatre on 18th September. Industry can book complimentary tickets on 020 8508 5983.

In the meantime – here are the finalised headshots with from my shoot with Ric Bacon:

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Victim Blaming

Criticise I’m too fast,

Criticise I’m too slow,

Criticise I said yes,

Criticise I said no.

When I went and thought too much,

When I didn’t think at all,

When I wasn’t brave enough,

When I just felt too small.

Too pretty to be smart,

Too ugly to be loved,

Sleeps around – just a tart,

Not enough – above it all.

Criticise I’m honest,

Criticise I lie,

Why?

THE project.

I finished up at East 15 on 11th July and things seem to be going quite well. I’ve had spits and spots of work, been attending some workshops and stuff, some of which through the fantastic IdeasTap site and seeing some great theatre. What I’ve really realised I want to do though, is create some new theatre.

The MAP (MA Project) work we did at East 15 was great, but no-one I worked with was particularly interested in reviving the piece. A shame as I think what we did was pretty good in the end. However, part of the lead-up to the MAP piece was to try out lots different ideas of pieces before eventually finding one to work on. One that I was particularly interested in that ended up being abandoned, was some verbatim work on Sex and Sexuality.

With the permission of those who were involved in the initial research, I’ve decided I’m going to pick up the batton. Yesterday was my first interview since the initial research and I think I got some good material. I very much want to wait until I have collated a bunch of interviews before even trying to hammer something together and I’m hoping to premier the performance at the next Queer Alternative Cabaret event (which we’re hoping will be some time in early November).

If you’re interested in being interviewed for the project and don’t mind being audio recorded talking openly about sex and your sexuality (don’t worry – the piece will perform the text so that the original speaker will be anonymous) then please get in contact! I will be blogging more on this project as and when it happens!

Another Round of Headshots

In time for the The Winter’s Tale which opens a week today! Don’t forget to book your tickets!

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The Winter’s Tale

From Cabaret straight into Shakespeare! My final East 15 show (before the showcase – which isn’t really a proper show) is The Winter’s Tale at The Cockpit Theatre directed by the fabulous Ben Crystal at 7pm on 28th June and 7:30pm on 2nd and 4th July.

The production is a 90-min version adapted by our company and I am telling you now: it’s going to a bit bloody magical judging from rehearsals. Not giving too much away but expect, candles, melting wax sculptures and snow!

It’s a real privilege working with Ben. He’s a leading light in the world of Shakespeare and has written a number of books including the highly recommended Shakespeare On Toast. As a dyslexic actor, I can honestly say that reading it was not only opened up the world of Shakespeare in an extremely accessible way, but was also a very entertaining read. Also, his rehearsals are just about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on!