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British Film Interview: Angela Peters, an actor for actors!
When Angela Peters, founder of the UK Actors Tweet up, started the event a few years ago to meet, exchange ideas and catch up with all the actors she knew, she had no idea it would be so successful. However, along with her partner, producer Andrea Farrena they have seen the Uk ActorsTweet up’s followers swell.
Britflicks' Jane Foster thought it was time to find out some more and so spoke to Angela and Andrea a few days after the last tweet up on May 7th.
J: So, nothing like starting in the present – what was last night like?
AP: It was awesome! We had Manuel Puro, a casting director who used to work with Jeremy Zimmerman, and then was head hunted to work at ICM - amazing credentials, he’s so lovely - he really cares about actors, and has pages on his website, telling them what they should do to find work – so it was really nice – really intimate and useful.
J: D’you think it’s the great speakers that make the Tweet Ups so popular then?
AP: Yes… As it’s evolved we realised that the connections being formed were growing organically, so we realised there was no point in getting just anyone to speak – We wanted producers, directors etc to benefit too – And we realised as we went on that there wasn’t anything really like it, where actors just get to hang out, and yet Directors, writers and producers felt relaxed too.
J: It’s clear you like helping other actors, why is that?
AP: That’s a great question!… I studied psychology! So I must’ve loved people. My parents always laugh because, as a teenager, I used to bring stray friends home when they were having fights with their parents because I loved helping people, ‘it was like, ‘can they stay over??’ (laughs) Then born from that was a love of character and acting – and, to help actors.
J: Even with the internet, d’you think it’s still just as tough for actors?
AP: It’s tougher – These days some acting schools are even taking less girl students because there simply aren’t the roles – and casting directors are saying that although at one time they would know most of the actors around, now, they are getting thousands of actors submitting for jobs.
J: So, the internet’s made it easier to get into acting, but harder to find work?
AP: Exactly. That’s why, Andrea and I have been really excited to see actors getting work and opportunities through the tweet ups – and having Andrea on board has really opened my eyes – she sees it more as a producer, whereas I will always see it as an actor! It helped get some clarity on what would benefit actors, and Directors, producers, etc.
J: So over to you Andrea, how did you meet Angie and what made you decide to join forces with her?
AF: I met Angie at the Cannes Film Festival a few years back. She had a role in a feature I was working on - Tangled up in Blue ( Dir. Haider Rashid). We hadn't worked on the film at the same time, but the director introduced us and we hit it off straight away. Angie was already running the Tweetups, and it became a regular thing. Then, as Angie and I spent more and more time together as friends, she mentioned that she was looking for a co-host for the events. I offered to help without thinking twice. There's nothing else running like this in London.
J: D’you think the event has seen more steady growth since you came on board: Two being better than one?
AF: When I joined I brought in a lot of my contacts and once there were two of us working on the event that freed up more time for pr. I think over time events like this grow naturally… Our main aim is for it to remain word of mouth so only recommended people attend. Once I joined, I guess there was, just double the people talking about it :)
J: Well, and this question is to both of you - The UK Actors Tweet up is clearly growing - Where can you see it going from here?
AP: We are tackling that at the moment, we have some really exciting stuff coming up with another group, which we can’t talk about at the moment – but watch this space! However… next month, Andrea and I have been invited by ‘feast on film’ to host six of their films and invite speakers along.
AF: We hope to grow our membership base this year, we've got over 530 signed up to our database and nearly 3,400 on Twitter but we want more :) We're looking for more of a cross-section of roles as well; more writers, directors and producers would be great.
AP: but the venue won’t change – we’re still going to cap each speakers’ event to 40 people to preserve the intimacy and give everyone a chance to ask questions.
J: So to finish up – Angie, what’s happening with your career right now?
AP: I’ve just finished a couple of paid shorts, made by a couple of great new directors. It’s been a good year, and I’m waiting for a few bigger projects to get going.
J: As an actor who actually makes most of their living form acting, where does most of your commercial work come from?
AP: It varies, sometimes it’s VO jobs, which are good – smaller roles in features, and roles in commercials – One year I spent several months presenting which gave me half my salary for the year!
J: And Andrea?
AF: I'm doing more development work on scripts, finding the right directors and good homes for them with production companies - so I'm sure this will continue, alongside my full-time job as a producer for a commercial and online production company - which I love! I'm sure I'll still be working there as we're a boutique agency and I hope to grow the company with my team to include more long-form content.
Tweetups are a networking nights for entertainment professionals, on the first Tuesday of every month from February to November in a central London venue. Regular guests include Directors, Producers, Casting Directors, Actors, Writers, Composers and more…
To Find Out More Visit www.ukactorstweetup.com
Angela Peters IMDB Page
Andrea Farrena IMDB Page
Interview By Jane Foster
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