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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.


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.

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.


December 31, 20150

So are you going to finally take the plunge and take the acting course you’ve always wanted to try, are you going to finally own up and declare to the world that you want to work as an actor or are you going to finally take the bull by the horns and really push forwards your acting career?

I’ve always felt funny about making New Year’s resolutions…  it’s like setting yourself up for inevitable disappointment because following a list never tends to work in the end.

But, and it’s a big but, if you really want a new and improved you then you’ve got to make yourself do things you’re not normally comfortable with.  Charge at the things that fill you with fear, try the things that you’ve always wanted to do that the ‘control’ has always finally prevented you from doing in the past.

You’re capable of doing anything you put your mind to.

I’m in correspondance with lovely people that want to take the courses but admit they’re too scared to take the plunge.  We all understand that and as I say to everyone, the scariest part of any of our courses is the first journey to the first class, after that it’s going to get easier and easier and better and better.

2016 for me involves setting up a new business, yes you’d have thought I’d have learnt by now, running your own business is hard but I hate the idea of not giving it a go..

So are you going to join me and give what you’ve always wanted to do a go?

Have a lovely New Year and as an encouragement to your 2016 we’re offering a 30% discount on all our January courses. Just type NEW YEAR into the coupon box when you check out on New Year’s Day.

Gemma X











December 2, 20150

It’s very easy for all of us to wallow in the familiarity of our everyday lives, we know somewhere inside that we should be challenging ourselves but our overriding sense is to keep on the tracks we’ve always known.

If we really want to push ourselves then we are going to have to be prepared to jump into that void, the void that could mean we could end up falling off the tracks and falling flat on our arses, but so what we haven’t really lost anything by bumping down to ground.

I find in the current climate, people are incredibly reluctant to step out of line; stand up for what they really believe in.  A culture of fear has been orchestrated and we’ve all bought into it.

So next time we see something that we have secretly always wanted to do, don’t hesitate but run fast towards it.  Stand up for what you believe in and is it a deal, shall we challenge ourselves to do something different every day?

Let me know how you get on.



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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November 2, 20150

I am obsessed by Fear, I see it all the time and it’s something we’ve got to learn to embrace more and more.

Without Fear there is no impetus to continue driving forward and if you work as an actor that’s something you’ve really got to do.

That’s the positive side of Fear the negative side of course is something that can eat you alive it’s also something that continually frustrates me.

I regularly see people that are desperate to engage in courses both with act up and Love Art that don’t because that voice in all our heads start to talk too loudly.

“You’re only going to look stupid”

Really, you want to do that course, how do you know it’s any good, looks too expensive to me…

“YOU, you think you can be an actor -Ha.”

“Draw, you can’t draw, everyone is clearly going to be better than you’.

So of course I am going to say ignore it, but what I also see is that children simply don’t have this voice, they are happy to jump into everything and I so wish we were a all a little bit more like children.

The best things always come out of leaping into the unknown, so I say embrace that FEAR and dive in, what’ve you got to loose?


September 10, 20150

1 – Keep going, it is one of the toughest industries going, but I see too many people give up too soon.. so hang on in there, you never know what might happen.

2 – Straddle your day job and your acting by giving an equal balance of energy to both. It’s incredibly hard I know, you have to keep down a full time job as well as being available for acting work all of the time????

Indeed ??? is the right answer.. if you want it bad enough you’ll find a way. Get into a routine where you spend at least an hour a day looking at all the on-line casting services you subscribe too and if you have an agent they’ll be doing their bit too.

3 – Most important thing an actor should possess is a brilliant photo. Don’t make it fancy, don’t try and project certain characteristics towards the camera, let the photographer find you and that way you’ll ensure the photograph will represent how we see you, you want it to be you warts and all.

4 – A showreel, a lot of actors find it frustrating ‘obtaining’ a showreel.. However you do it, please make sure it is real work and not you and a mate in a studio. Frustrating because of lot of being an actor is chicken and egg. But if you consider the ‘other side’ they need to see what you like on camera before they pull you in.

5 – How do I find work?
It’s the million dollar question, part two of this I’ll give you more clues.

But do let me know if you have any questions, or let me know how you’re doing with it all.