Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Actors Profiles

Both actors play major parts in some of the most successful film franchises of all time. But age isn’t the only thing that sets Robert Pattinson and Ian McKellen apart; they also took very different routes to end up in their successful career path. This blog will delve into the pasts of these celebrated actors, highlighting their training and best work to date.

Sir Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen realised he was good at acting from a very early age. He had a fascination with theatre that developed in early childhood, and led to his first Shakespearean role at 13 playing Malvolio in Twelfth Night. He was fortunate enough to attend schools that gave him great performance opportunities, such as Bolton School where Ian acted in the annual classical play in front of an 800-strong audience. He also attended summer performing arts camps in Stratford-upon-Avon to build on his skills.

Also a strong academic student, at the age of 18 Ian McKellen secured a scholarship to read English at Cambridge University. He took part in many undergraduate productions and mixed with other influential performers, and on graduating decided to abandon his scholastic studies and follow his dreams to become a serious actor.

In the years to follow, Ian appeared in countless West End productions and performed on stage with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He became a well known and respected theatre actor and was knighted in 1990 for his contribution to the arts.

More recently Sir Ian has swapped the stage for the silver screen, appearing in three of the biggest film series’ of our times – The X-Men movies and Peter Jackson’s trilogies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, for which he was the only actor to receive an Academy award nomination.

Robert Pattinson

Born in London in 1986, Robert Pattinson was always born to be a performer, but he was first a talented musician before he found his aptitude for acting. He plays the guitar and the piano, writes and sings his own songs and his material has featured in the films he stars in.

It wasn’t until Robert was 15 that he decided to join a local drama group. He had admitted to never taking up drama in school, and learnt everything he knows from his extra curricular activities. He has actually been quoted in saying he owes everything to the Barnes Theatre Group which he attended regularly as a teenager. After just two years of learning the craft and performing in amateur productions, Robert’s acting career took flight as he was cast in a TV movie, Curse of the Ring.

After an exceptional performance in the fourth Harry Potter film, Robert quickly evolved from TV appearances to Hollywood in a matter of months. He beat 3,000 people to the role of Edward Cullen in the cult teen movie adaptation of the Twilight books. Apart from finding fame and being adored by millions of girls worldwide, starring in the blockbuster series also cemented his well deserved place in the acting world, and Robert has since took on a variety of different roles to showcase his versatility.

The two actors are at very different points in their career, yet they share one similarity; they did not attend a formal drama school or have any full time training. Collectively they have appearances in 5 major movie franchises under their belt proving that with natural talent and determination, anyone can succeed as a successful performer; these men are a great inspiration for young budding actors.

For more information of drama training visit

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Summer School Drama Workshop Rickmansworth

Stuck to know how to amuse the kids this summer?

Then fill their days with Singing, Dance and Drama at Blag Youth Theatre’s Summer Drama Workshop in Rickmansworth.

Summer holidays are fast approaching and if you are one of the many parents in a dilemma as to how to fill the days then take a look at what Blag Youth Theatre Rickmansworth has to offer your child this summer.

Blag has been running Hertfordshire’s biggest and best Summer Drama project for 16 years.
Each year around 85 children flock to Chorleywood near Rickmansworth for the best two weeks of their summer holidays.

For two weeks from July 29th to August 10th they will sing, dance and act between the hours of 10am-6pm. On the final Friday they will transfer to the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham to put on a full scale Musical production of ‘Mary Droppins’ The script has been specifically written for the children and there are parts for all. The plot entwines Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and even has a bit of Sound of Music thrown in!

At Blag each child has a chance to shine and is involved in the whole show keeping them on their toes during the days and fast asleep at night, totally exhausted and exhilarated by their experiences.

Ricky Beaumont who runs the Summer Holiday Drama workshop in Rickmansworth alongside a team of carefully chosen professionals said ‘It is always such a wonderful experience to witness how each child progresses, not only does their confidence improve dramatically in the presentation of their work, but also in the way they relate to the other children around them.’

The summer holidays are a great time for kids to meet new people and at Blag Youth you can be sure they will have a ball and produce a really great show.

Hear what some of the parents are saying…

The Blag Summer Project is a fantastic way for children and teenagers alike to spend 2 weeks of their summer holidays.

Blag Summer Project has become an integral part of our family’s year, to the extent that we are embargoed from summer holidays during that time!  It has been an invaluable experience for those who take part and provides skills which are taken on into their futures.
Ingrid Blake Rickmansworth

"My children are seven years apart and loved the Blag summer project in totally different ways. At eight, Millie was one of the youngest and enjoyed having a speaking part in a proper show in a real theatre, learning dance routines and queuing for ice pops at the daily 'tuck shop' run by Ricky during breaks. At 15, Harry had a principal part which was challenging and funny. Both made new friends and gained in confidence. They can't wait to do it again this summer."
Diane Jamieson Pond Watford.

To join this year’s exciting project please call 01923 772320 to request more information and registration forms.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Summer Schools and Drama Workshops

Summer Schools and Drama Workshops can boost your child’s confidence. 

Treat your child this Summer and give them life skills they can take into their adult life.

Summer Schools that run Drama and Performing Arts classes are lining up to offer your child a superb variety of essential life skills that will benefit them as they mature into an adults and has over 100 summer schools and Drama Workshops in the UK to choose from.

Drama, dance and singing skills are a great way to develop your child’s confidence and in an environment of fun, energetic creativity, they will be guaranteed to have a wonderful time and make lifelong friends at their local Performing Arts Summer School.

Summer schools and Drama Workshops give your child an exciting new dynamic which stimulates their minds and occupies them in a very positive way.

Many of the Summer Schools and Drama Workshops in the UK culminate in either a theatre performance or a display for parents and families.

The excitement and great sense of worth this gives your child is immeasurable.

Lynn Beaumont who has been running her own Summer School  for 16 years said.

‘It is always such a wonderful experience to witness how each child progresses, not only does their confidence improve dramatically in the presentation of their work, but also in the way they relate to the other children around them.’

Putting your child in an unfamiliar but safe environment is a great way for your child to move forward and make the changes the long summer holidays afford.

The summer holidays have long been recognized as the a bench mark for growth in both height and mind and as your child returns to school in September an inch taller and sporting a brand new blazer they will take with them their experiences and life skills they cultivated during the long summer.

To find out where you can find your nearest Summer School and Drama Workshop is please visit

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Improvisation classes are a must for any actor

Why impro

Impro is probably one of the most useful tools for an actor.  Always having something to say and being able to react appropriately are two great skills you can quickly develop by taking regular improv classes.

There are lots of classes to choose from in and around London and once you have developed your impro skills there are plenty of opportunities for performance.

With a few lessons under your belt you will also find auditions a lot less stressful, as very much like an athlete, you will be ready for that all important event when they ask you to improvise on the spot.

Lots of actors I know cringe at the thought of even taking an impro class but believe me it is a necessary part of your continual training. Just like a vocal warm up and the great thing is, once you become proficient at it you will be able to start creating your own work.

At my drama school all my kids classes do a heavy amount of impro and I am delighted to report that as they reach their teens they are able to produce their own material and compile their own shows. So if you haven't done any yet now is the time to start, don't delay find a class and get cracking. Who knows it may be the beginning of a brand new show and a trip to the fringe festival in Edinburgh .

If you need help finding a class visit our website and we will be pleased to help.  Impro classes should be part of your everyday training as  actor

Monday, 22 October 2012

Well here we are and would you believe its Monday again, after a busy week and an even busier Saturday I am not too sad to be glued to my office chair and in front of my beloved website! I think Richard is beginning to lose interest in me as all I yabber on about is Google, updates and Rankings. Whilst he on the other hand blabbers on about Panto Gags and who is doing what in our Christmas Show.

The last week has been once again a very full one, we even managed a trip en famille to Bristol and whilst Charlie was busy working for a living we read through the Christmas Show and timed it. I am pleased to report we do indeed have a great show, so all the people who have already brought their tickets and paid for them you can relax; there will be a show to watch! And what’s even better it’s funny, original and all written by the lovely Richard.

He really should write more he is such a great writer, I sometimes despair at some of the writing we see on so called ‘sitcoms’ It is truly shocking, Friday Night Dinner, to mention no names is a pretty good example of some poor writing and what is so sad is that their first series was hilarious. Maybe they need Ricky to inject a bit of laugh out loud comedy in it.

Thursday evening we had a ‘Blag’ rehearsal, as this weekend we are doing a charity slot at the local Theatre to celebrate their anniversary and we were invited to join in the fun. So we will be resurrecting a section from our parody show’ Entertainment …My Arts’. I am actually really looking forward to it as both Bobby my son and Charlie B will be joining us up on stage. We’ll be like the Von Trapps except there are only four of us and we’re not Austrian! The section we are doing will be from Les Mis revolve and all!

Saturday was once again filled with lots of excitement among my little ones as now they have accepted that they will be playing animals, they are quite frankly over the moon and far away. We did a fair bit of character work in class and now I am pleased to say they are all very enthusiastic. It’ll be just a matter of weeks before they will be convincing me they need to rehearse every week in full costume!

All my 11:30am Class got on splendidly well with their duologues and I think it is going to prove quite challenging for them as they will need to be very disciplined to work independently. We work shopped a few blocking techniques this week and demonstrated it with a few of the pieces; I seem to have a really great mix of pieces so it will be exciting to watch them come together.

The Elders also had a good week, it’s a difficult class for commitment as they are all doing either GCSE or As levels so they have so much school work to do but the majority do their best to come regularly.
As I said last week, the comedy that they produce is outstanding and this week the boys once again did an amazing Video Games sketch as well as another group doing a superb skit on Harry Potter. Who knows, they maybe writers in the making.

My little Blaggers class last week was a bit on the thin side but quite frankly they are so lovely and I quite enjoy the fact that you can spend one to one time on them. So even though I am running at a loss it’s still a lot of fun. When did money ever motivate me?!!! They even brought me a fortune cookie this week and you’ll be pleased to know the future looks rosy. So bring on some more Little Blaggers.

The other thing I am pleased I managed to do last week was to book a venue for next year for Ricky and I to do the two hander play that the lovely Joan Greening has written for us. This of course fills us both with dread; I mean can we actually learn that much dialogue? Well I am sure we will find out soon enough. Ricky has suggested that it may be an idea to secrete the lines around the set and costumes, I’m not sure he’s joking.

The week rounded off nicely with a private showing (Well us all bunched round the computer) of Charlie’s movie she did last year with the rather muscular Jean Claude Van Damme. The film ‘Six Bullets’ has a very similar story line to ‘Taken’ and was really quite scary, several times Charlie and I ended up with our jumpers over our eyes, it reminded me of watching Doctor Who when I was a kid. I thought she did a cracking job and considering it was her first lead I think she should be very proud, I was but then I’m her mum. I was proud of her when she used to spin on her arse in her ballet class when she was four, bless!

Well I think that’s about it for now, it’s nearly time for my first lesson. So hope you enjoyed the read and I’ll be back here soon, see you then.

Oh by the way if you fancy a Christmas show that’s a bit different join us at The Pump House Watford. 15th-22nd December Box office 01923 772320. You can then judge for yourself if Ricky’s writing is funny. Cheerio.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Lynn Beaumont's Saturday -13 October 2012

I have just finished teaching at Blag Youth and am enjoying a well earned cup of tea and some chocolate! In fact if I am truthful it is actually more than one bar! I know its poor show but it was a very long morning/afternoon.
Today at Blag we had a very productive session, my first class started work on a group piece which is an adaption from 'Wind in the Willows' and although I was first met with cries of 'I don't want to play an animal' they quickly came round to my way of thinking once they had read it and I had shared a few stories of how Richard and I played the Rabbits at the Vaudeville Theatre in London shortly after we got married. Sadly no pictures, goodness knows what happens to all the pics we take, I do know though I have a bag of disposable cameras lurking upstairs that probably have some good ole memories on them, but can just imagine the cost to develop 50 films! I 'll trust my imagination and leave the films for another ten years.

My 11.30am class were beside themselves with excitement as today I gave out duologues to the majority of the class. This was quite a challenge to come up with, I needed 12 duos that were age appropriate and that didn't involve animals. Also the fact that it was a class of teenagers meant that the material also had be fairly current. Luckily for me they all seemed quite happy with my choices and went off clutching scripts with loud cries from me pleading with them not to forget them next week. As if they would!

My Elders continued work on their own show, 'The Noughties'. This is a devised show which will focus on the last decade. They basically , under my guidance write their own show. The show will include sketches, facts, songs and probably a lot of buffoonery but will make for a very entertaining evening for mums and dads and hopefully their friends. It always amazes me the talent that is lurking, especially when it comes to comedy. Past pupils have gone on to devise their own shows and also had great success with them. I currently have a little group of three lads who are really excellent, their sketches are original and current and I can see a bright future for them. Its so brilliant when you see a spark, that little something that makes you sit up and take note.

So here I am now writing a Blog, I know I haven't been about for a bit and I changed the name of the blog but the important thing is I am back and going to try and do this once a week. So watch this space.

The website is my second passion and continually amazes me how much work I have to put in to it, the great thing is I love it and I hope that others do too. We have quite a collection of schools now which is good, so hopefully it gives a good choice for those looking for classes. I always say if you can't find what you are looking for, please do get in touch, I am so happy to help.

Richard, (Husband, business partner and best friend) is busy writing our Christmas show and is getting near the end.Thank the lord, we start rehearsals in just a few weeks time so he had better get a move on. The show this year is going to take a slightly different format, we had both got a bit tired of trying to rhyme things with tinsel and Balls! So this year it is the A-Z of panto, all the tricks of the trade and facts you didn't know, a real xmas treat. To be honest I have been so busy with dramaclasses and teaching I haven't had time to perform anywhere else this year so it is time to brush of the cobwebs from my vocal cords and whap out a few songs.

The other exciting thing is daughter 'Charlotte' has been busy building her career too and quite frankly it looks like shes doing a pretty good job of it. (Better than her Mother) She is busy filming the ITV Drama 'Broadchurch' and is having a wonderful time despite the fact she is doing her A levels and in the process of learning to drive and as if that wasnt enough she then announced yesterday that she will also be taking the part of 'Eponine' in the Boys school production of 'Les Mis'. Really! She has assured me it will give her the motivation to study!

So with my Saturday night drawing in (Xfactor and a take away just a couple of hours away) and Charlie to ferry to a party I will sign off  but I will be back with further updates on my life. So hope to see you here.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Edinburgh Festival 2012-Classes and Workshops for Actors

Surviving Actors is set to debut in Edinburgh this year during the Fringe Festival. After many successful events in London and in Manchester. The day will take place at Our Dynamic Earth 112-116 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS.
The day will host an array of Seminars|Classes on industry hot topics, Industry related exhibitors, One-to-one advice sessions with Spotlight, Workshops|Classes in Stage Combat an Open Casting with Sell a Door Theatre Company, Guest Casting Directors and Agents.
The event welcomes jobbing performers, drama school graduates and provides the opportunity for them to research opportunities to help them develop their craft, create new opportunities within their career and sustain their bank balance in between jobs. Surviving Actors is ‘free’ to attend you can register for a complimentary e-ticket @
''An event like this is great because the industry is so unpredictable.'' The event is an opportunity to network with other like-minded performers, gain contact with companies that can assist in your career, and participate in Classes|workshops and seminars aimed at professional actors.
To find drama classes or drama schools in Edingburgh please search our list of classes.
Where & When
Saturday 18th August 2012
9am - 4pm
Our Dynamic Earth
112-116 Holyrood Road
Surviving Actors Ltd
Telephone Number: 07950925810
Email Address:
Web site address:
Twitter: @survivingactors
Facebook: Surviving Actors