How do I get work as an actor on radio?
There are numerous ways, but the most likely are the following:
- Your work might be heard in the theatre, on TV, in film – and you might be cast in a radio play on the strength of that performance
- You may have auditioned for a role in a specific project (though Radio rarely holds auditions for casting unless producers are seeking specific dialects or vocal ranges)
- You may have attended an actors’ workshop run by Radio Drama and been recommended on the strength of your performance at that
- You might have sent the department a voice reel which has been heard and sufficiently well-liked that it is remembered when producers are casting and looking for new voices
N.B. We are no longer accepting hard copy voice reels on CD.
We ask actors to add voice clips to their Spotlight CVs. You can email the link to the Radio Drama Company Co-ordinator, Clare Ewing at Clare.Ewing@bbc.co.uk, who will then be able to circulate the info to the wider department. This will ensure that producers have access to all your details in one place.
Please do not attach MP3 clips to emails, as we have limited email inbox space.
What should I include on a voice reel?
Most actors’ voice-reel showcase the range and versatility of their voice.
If, however, actors want advice on how to put together a reel, Radio Drama suggests the following:
What will happen next?
The timing of your email can be crucial: if you are about to appear on stage, in a radio production or on TV, it is possible for Radio Drama to flag that fact and to encourage producers to see your performance first-hand.
- select no more than 8 pieces, each approx 1 minute long
- make sure they’re contrasting
- make sure that they cover a range that, where possible, includes some demonstration of all or some of the following:
- Classic drama
- Contemporary prose
- Native accent or dialect
- Something from contemporary theatre
- You may wish to include a poetic reading
- Include any accents/dialects with which you are comfortable
- We will direct programme makers to your Spotlight page
- Producers may then consider you for future roles
- Submitting a voice reel is NO GUARANTEE that it will progress through a casting system
What could happen if my voice reel is well received?
- You could be invited to an actors’ workshop
- You could be invited in to meet a producer who is casting in your voice range
- You could be asked to come in to audition for a role in production
What are Actor's Workshops?
Radio Drama holds these as required throughout the year.
Workshops are held in a BBC Drama studio (where possible) and the sessions recorded for private audition
Copies of the workshop recording may be circulated after the event to other Drama producers.
Workshops usually focus on a specific voice range, e.g. a workshop for older character actresses, young male voices that can range from teens to late twenties, etc.
Attendance is through invitation. This might arise from any one of the following:
- A producer has worked with you and recommends you to others
- A producer has heard your work and wants to see how your voice would work on Radio
- You’ve submitted a voice reel that has been well–liked
- Your work has been seen on TV or on stage.
- You might be offered a freelance engagement in a radio play
- You might be offered a contract with the Radio Drama Company
- Your workshop recording will be available to other Drama directors in the department
ATTENDING A WORKSHOP DOES NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE RADIO WORK
Updated January 27th 2014.