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June 15, 20190

act up is 20 years old this month, that means I have been working in the acting industry for 20 years, technically 28 if you include my time at The Almeida Theatre, insanity is a word that springs to mind. In that time I’ve met some amazing people and let’s say in that time I’ve met some ‘interesting’ people and overall have been consistently supported by the most incredible actors that have worked alongside me running all the courses and workshops, I can never thank you enough… all of you.

When I started act up I used to hilariously get a lot of fruity voices phoning up claiming they were interested in the courses, one was brave enough to say he was running something similar and was appalled I was doing the same because I wasn’t an actor….

I like many other women I am sure have continually had people phoning up to speak to the boss and really disappointed when the boss was a bird.

I have learnt a lot and continue to, I continue to work in different mediums including Love Art and currently operate out of Tooting Market. Some don’t get my need to work in different mediums, some have not understood that I am the same head if I worked in a shiny Soho office as I am in a market but I am someone that cannot pretend. I thrive amongst chaos, down to earth people and everyday life, shove me in an office and I’d last a day… shove me in an chaotic environment and you’ll get the best of me.

Like anyone, those that get me really get me and what I have and am doing with act up and those that don’t turn away and run.

I have cast, I have produced, I have run an extensive outreach programme for one of the drama schools and I have facilitated many, many workshops but rest assured I have never actually taught an acting workshop. Currently I mainly focus on the corporate side of act up and the agency but I am always open to new ideas so write them on a paper plane and send them down Tooting way.

Currently the difference between the olden days of act up and now is that when I had my daughter Inca I had to pretend she didn’t exist to get work, I never came across people with children and often questioned what I was doing but the culture is very different now and I am out and out open about the babe Kamsicho, as people phone me up they can hear him in the background and I make no apology and if I call a casting director I can often hear their children in the background and very recently had a very long chat with a director as we both had babies of the same age, we suddenly remembered we were meant to be talking about one of the actors in the agency.

So a big cheer and a thank you to everyone that has utilised the resources of act up and a special big cheer to the actors I have and do work with and all the actors I currently represent, I think you are all incredibly brave and brilliant… but I am waiting for my yacht so hurry up with winning those auditions. XXX

May 31, 20180

act up fiercely believes that the arts should and can be available to absolutely everyone and we’re at it hammer and tongs to spread it’s power far and wide.

April 14, 20180
After having recently witnessed someone dramatically embellish  their CV presumably to increase the chance of fame, I cannot understand why else they did it.  It’s made me question again the reason why some people decide to follow the acting path in the first place. At the end of the You Want To Act? course I ‘deliver’ a long speech about the truth behind the acting profession and what it really entails.  I encourage everyone to climb up their metaphorical tree and think long and hard before they embark on their journey.  My usual quip is, never do it because you want to become rich and famous, you have more chance of your fifteen minutes of fame if you ran stark, bollock naked down Oxford Street. Acting is an art form, it’s one of the most creative fields and it should be a calling.  It should be something you know from your guts that you have to pursue without possibly a logical reason behind it.  And of course it has to be something you enjoy.  To all the actors I represent I remind them and they remind me that we are all in it for the long-game and we’re in it because it’s what we’ve chosen to do with our lives. I have seen incredible things happen to incredible people that have attended act up courses and I have seen people enjoy the courses but think that life as an actor isn’t for them, both are very valid, of course.  And overall I notice that those that do go on to make a career as an actor are doing it for themselves.  You can’t pursue a career as an actor if you’re doing it to impress others, to give you more street cred, to look ‘different’ infront of your peers.  It has to be your choice and yours alone and then you’ve got to go at it all guns blazing. So I say again, what is it we all want, we all know which way Oxford Street lies or we perhaps all need to climb up our trees for a tiny bit longer than usual. Overall, please look after yourselves – you all deserve long lasting happiness.


April 14, 20180
A practical double workshop for anyone that would like to produce a play run by myself Gemma Lloyd. I’ve produced in theatre, film and dance and describe myself as a front-line producer. I’ve produced on the London Fringe and in venues like JW3,  the Bush Theatre and Sadler’s Wells, I’ve been runner up for the JMK award with director Roy Weise and currently working on Yolanda Mercy’s one woman show On The Edge Of Me and Daniel York’s the forgotten of the forgotten. In film, a short I produced No Love Lost has won over 18 world-wide competitions and recently I promoted the feature STILL, starring Aidan Gillen and Amanda Mealing and now working on Tree Tops, the latest feature film by Blunt Stuff. So you want to produce a play will cover: Working with a writer. The relationship between you and the director. Seeking funding, there is still some about including the Arts Council and crowd-funding. Choosing and winning a venue for your production. Gathering the most effective creative team around you and casting your play. Finding and targeting your audience. Marketing your play. Inviting the critics. And keeping going. The next date is Saturday 18th March 2017, times 11.00am-6.00pm each time and it will take place at Theatre Delicatessen, Canary Wharf, London. The cost is £70.00 in advance or £120 on the door. I am limiting the places to 10 and you don’t need to have had previous producing experience to take part.


April 14, 20180
In a unique collaboration between Love Art and act up, we are running a self-portrait drawing class for actors. Drawing is such a natural process that we have and do engage with all of the time, but have you ever stopped to consider who you really are? Drawing from life can be challenging in a brilliant way, look once and you think you’ve captured what you see, look again and the whole image has changed again.  Drawing from life requires focus, discipline and determination, sound like anything else? Drawing yourself is a very revealing process and I bet you don’t know what you really look like until you sit down and really face yourself with a mirror, a  paper and a pencil. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never formally drawn before, it’s really true that everyone can draw, we’ll prove it to you and towards the end of the class all the portraits will be proudly hung on the wall and you’ll increasingly see the similarities between being yourself as much as possible as an actor and really proudly knowing who you really are. The 2-hour class runs on Saturday 5th December, midday-2.00pm at Route To Juice in Tooting.  All materials will be provided and you’ll be under the professional guidance of artist Claire Rudkin, who runs Love Art with Gemma Lloyd who will also be discussing the need to be yourself as much as possible as an actor in the casting process towards the end of the workshop. All for just £16.00 and you’ll also of course get to keep your masterpieces. Draw, enjoy, be creative and understand yourself even more. To enrol click HERE and hit the £16 button let us know if you have any questions.


April 14, 20180
act up has been running it’s courses in the same fashion for sixteen years and it’s time for a change. In the last two years I’ve noticed a real difference in how people approach life, I could surmise a lot of reasons for this but that’s a discussion for another time. The upshot is that act up is going to be offering a lot more creative courses to a lot more people. They’ll run as one offs, or as a weekend of fun. They’ll also run around the UK and not just in London. We won’t have so many acting courses but those that we do run will continue to enable people to find their confidence, to trust themselves more and to really understand that acting comes from ‘within’, I’ve never believed anyone can teach anyone to act. The new courses will include, film-making, producing, MMA fitness, writing, spoken-word, movement, the voice, pilates, talks and art classes in the guise of my true love Love Art that has already started, for both children and adults. If there’s anything else you’d like to see, do let me know.. all of this is for YOU. act up has always been about showing people a good time.  To enable many people to indulge in the arts and for me to prove how brilliant they really are.  We’ve had some incredible success stories and I am very proud of many, many people. And of course, I bow down and thank absolutely everyone that has participated in the courses over the last sixteen years, whow that’s a lot of amazing people I’ve met. act up was also born to challenge the inequality in the arts, it is still so exclusive and this is my main drive and I admit my main fear about losing the ‘old’ act up. In it’s time, I have encouraged so many people that normally wouldn’t have got a ‘look in’ to try acting that are now working successfully as actors.  I am hoping that I will still have the opportunity to meet these very raw and talented people, after all I need to keep my actor’s agency well fed. So let’s all embrace fear, I have always been fascinated by fear and have always seen it as a positive thing as it drives us all forward. So, are you ready to change too, take the bull by the horns and leap into the unknown? I hope so – see or meet you soon down the arts. Love Gemma XX P.S. The last two courses of the ‘current’ act up start this Saturday 6th June, act for screen run by brilliant film director Jesse Quinones and the act for course that starts on Saturday 13th June, aimed at anyone that wants to become a professional actor.


April 14, 20180
1 – When did you first know you wanted to become an actor? I first knew I wanted to be an actor after a few weeks of wanting to be a vet, then a footballer then a pilot. I realised I was interested in the variety of different people and their lives. The second time was performing two lines in an amateur production of half a sixpence. Those two lines were met with riotous laughter every night and from that moment I was hooked. 2 – What did you first do about it? I took every class I could and aimed myself at London and an established drama school to surround myself in the industry and like minded people. 3 – When did you first call yourself a professional actor? I first called myself a pro when I signed with my agent off the back of my drama school showcase. 4 – Has it met your expectations being an actor? It hasn’t met my expectations because if it does it stops you being hungry for it. There is always a new goal, something new to strive for. And I guess, I didn’t know what to expect in the first place! 5 – What are your hopes for the future of the acting profession? My hopes are for the industry to keep telling important stories, silly stories, funny stories, but stories of quality using people of quality regardless of class, creed, age or gender and that it is driven by talent not by privilege nor quota.