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February 25, 20200


The Oxford School of Drama in partnership with Oldham Coliseum Theatre are running a free weekend workshop for anyone interested in seeking a career as a professional actor.

It takes place on Saturday 7th (11.00am-6.00pm) & Sunday 8th March (11.00am-5.00pm) at The Coliseum, Oldham.

You must be 18+ and must be able to commit to both days.

It is a great opportunity to get a taste of Drama School training with two of the teachers from this outstanding School.  The weekend will include acting, voice and movement sessions to support you in considering a career as an actor.

We will then be offering a first round audition into the School on Saturday 2nd May, starting time 10.30am at Oldham Library

As it’s funded there is some criteria to meet before we can offer a free place, for further details please contact Gemma on

gemma@act-up.co.uk or 07976 909043.


January 8, 20200

Are you a professionally trained actor? Are you passionate about running workshops for adults? Do you want to work with an established arts organisation?

act up was established in 1999 by Gemma Lloyd.   We run acting, voice, corporate workshops, masterclasses and produce films and theatre.  To celebrate our 21st anniversary we are offering acting and voice courses for the community in South London where act up started back in 1999.

We currently have brilliant actors that run our acting, voice and corporate workshops. We would like to expand our pool of workshop leaders and meet new actors who would be interested in being part of act up’s teaching community. The role will involve running acting courses in South London starting from April 2020.

Essential experience:

  • Five years or more professional acting experience
  • An interest in working with adults who have no previous acting experience
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to keep the workshop participants engaged
  • A passion for sharing your skills
  • Availability and commitment to running a six week course
  • Ability and confidence to run the course solo
  • Self-employed status

Desirable experience:

  • Running workshops for adults
  • Previous teaching or coaching experience
  • South London-based

Please email info@act-up.co.uk with a covering letter outlining why you are interested in the role, what skills and experience you can bring to act up.  Please include a link to your Spotlight page.

The role is paid at currently £25 an hour and may potentially lead to further workshop teaching with act up.  The closing date for applications is 1st March 2020.

We look forward to hearing from you!

act up


December 4, 20190

2020 is all change for act up and we can’t wait.

We’re going to be running a lot more acting courses and workshops aimed at everyone within the community, they’re going to be much more neighbourhood lead and we’ll encourage everyone to get involved.  Gemma is going to be joined by actor Laura Carey to help woman the helm.

Laura participated in many act up workshops, went to drama school, came back and has assisted Gemma in pretty much all of the producing work that act up has done. Laura will be cooking up new ideas and working with Gemma on everything when she’s not acting.

The first courses for the New Year will be aimed at anyone 18+ who has always fancied trying out acting classes just for fun. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore your creative side, meet loads of new people and we promise you it’s nothing like school.  All of our courses are now in local neighbourhoods so the first ones will be running in Tooting and West Norwood in South London.

We’ll also be running short courses for anyone that is possibly a bit stuck as to what to do in life, maybe left school early, maybe not in full time employment and will be aimed at anyone aged 16+.  Again it’s a great opportunity to be listened to, to get creative and develop your confidence.  This course will be subsidised so it’s affordable for everyone.

All details will be listed in a new section on our website that will be coming soon.

In the meantime, any questions let us have them.





December 1, 20190

Brilliant Adrian Fear, some of you will know him very well will be leading this exhilarating workshop.

Adrian is excellent on all things voice and has run many, many courses and workshops for act up over the years and so really chuffed he’s said yes again.

“In this two-hour workshop we’ll go back to basics to look at how we can effectively use our voices in an expressive and sustainable way.  We’ll explore the relationship between the body, breath and the voice and having practised these fundamentals we’ll apply the principles to text in performance.”

The date is Saturday 22nd February (3.00-5.00pm) 2020 at Harry’s Chocolate Emporium in Tooting all for £28.00 if you pay in advance or £35 on the door.

Places are limited to only 6, if you would like one please contact us here.

Suitability; as it says in the title, it’s aimed at those entering the profession or those going back into it. As you know, we like questions so do ask away.


November 24, 20190

How to survive the acting industry – a practical two hour workshop for professional actors.

A hands on session for any actor at any stage in their career who feels they need a bit of support and morale boosting. 
Gemma, owner of act up has worked as a casting director, producer and agent and has herself survived in the industry for over  20 years.

She’ll talk you through the whole process of the industry, remind you of the hidden truths behind it all and offer advice on how to seek work, look for an agent (if applicable), and how to market yourself more effectively.

She’ll switch your way of thinking, so you see it from an employers point of view as well as from an actors.  The workshop will be tailored to suit the needs of the individual participants, so do come armed with lots of questions as well as your CV and headshot, please keep them digital.

So the date is Saturday 25th January (3.00-5.00pm) 2020 at amazing Harry’s Chocolate Emporium in Tooting all for £19.00 if you pay in advance or £25 on the door. Yes chocolate, so as we talk you’ll have plenty of opportunity to tuck into cake, chocolate and more chocolate if you wish, this will be an additional cost between yourself, Harry’s and your appetite that day. 

If you would like to book a place, email act up and payment can be taken via PayPal or a BAC transfer. There are only 10 places available so get going if you know you want to enrol.  

Any questions, let me have them and Harry’s is very close to Tooting Bec Tube Station. 

“Brilliant few hours spent talking all things acting. Thanks Gemma! @actupcourses #actinglife” Anna Bolton


P.S. Gemma has two children, a 14 month old baby and a 14 year old scary teenager, we will touch on having children and maintaning a career, again if relevant to any of the participants.


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.

August 23, 20160

So I haven’t been an agent for that long in the grand  scheme of agenting..  that’s a new word by the way but I have seen a lot happen to my very lovely clients in that time.

I’ve also seen the prejudice and I’ve seen the political moves made by a very bizarre industry on countless occasions but I’ve also witnessed some genius directors and casting directors who can see what I can see in all that I represent.

And overall the moral is keep going, hang on in there as you never quite know what’s around the corner.

And to my clients, I think you’re all wonderful, brave and a lot more patient than me.



March 18, 20160

The beginning of this year I got a call from a gentleman called Roi who runs Tooting Market, a unit was available did I want it?

Of course I did.  After a month of hard graft and a hell of a lot of help from some amazing people Love Art has a home.

Love Art runs art classes for children and adults, sells affordable prints and beautiful things, I run it with Claire Rudkin who also designs in film and television.   The Market houses me pretty much everyday.  I run act up from it, I run the agency from it, I produce from it and I meet and greet many incredible people each day.

My ambitions are to run a huge arts centre, so I figured I needed experience in pretty much every field of the arts.

Also I can only do down to earth, the acting profession can get very intense and very boring for the rest of the planet who have no interest in such a strange hybrid.  I figured if I worked amongst everybody it could only do good and it’s already paying off.

So if you want a bit of everything, come and find us down the market, you might be surprised what you find. X


January 8, 20160

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.


November 10, 20150

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.

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