Last Update: Saturday, 7 September, 2013 4:40 PM




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Angela Peters - Actress

Angela Peters
Actor + Founder of UK Actors Tweetup



Interviewee: Angela Peters
Job Title: Actor + Founder of UK Actors Tweetup
Credits Include: Feature films including Tangled Up In Blue (directed by Haider Rashid, festival awards), The Pharmacist (directed by Patrick von Boetticher). Short films. Theatre. TV credits include being face of Queensland's Best Living for Channel 7.
Interview Date: September 2013

Q. Hi Angela, give us a little background on yourself before you became an actor (degree, relevant work experience, interests, etc)
A. I was working in the corporate industry in Australia, while studying Psychology at university. And I guess I loved rock climbing, sport and running. I was always passionate about acting, from age 21, but I was so happy in the corporate land I didn’t focus too much on how to create a future for myself as a full time actor.

Q. And how did you first get into acting?
A. Very accidentally. I was writing lyrics and wanted to improve my singing voice. Randomly, a friend suggested I check out the full time acting course he was doing. To this day I will never know why I did, as I had never considered acting as being a career I might want to pursue.

Q. You did a lot of drama school and training across the globe, where did you study and what courses did you do?
A. Ha ha yes I did. They do say antipodeans love their training. After the three-year advance diploma in method acting, I went over to Paris and did a month intensive at Ecole Philippe Gaulier. It was incredible! I heard Gaulier is one of the last people alive to have been taught by Lecoq himself and I found him a delight to learn from. And then upon finishing the course I went back in Oz and had private lessons with a NIDA teacher for the next few years to hone my skills.

Q. Is drama school a help or a hindrance? Or a bit of both? For example is there a danger it will teach out an actor’s rawness?
A. Personally I think any drama school or training is what you make of it but I do believe that some type of training is helpful, and almost essential. There are skills and disciplines you learn that help you when you first get out there and audition, first step onto the stage or get in front of a camera for the first time. You make it harder for yourself if you haven’t had some type of formal training. And yet, having said that, I’ve seen some stellar actors who haven’t done any [training]. Maybe I just needed extra help.

Angela Peters - Actress - Headshot

Q. You’re originally from Australia, why did you choose to move to the UK and not LA or stay in Australia?
A. I always wanted to live abroad and London appealed because it has a ‘big town’ feel but with a culture that feels more closely aligned to Australia. And LA, well to be honest, that’s always where you want to end up as an actor, but I wasn’t ready, and I didn’t have the right visas or paperwork to allow me to even consider going straight there.

Q. Is the industry any different between Australia and the UK?
A. How long is a piece of string? I guess it feels like there’s more work here but you’re also competing with thousands more actors (and that same can be said of LA). Oh and if I were still in Australia I would hardly ever need an English accent.

Q. You’ve been both a TV actor and TV presenter, is there much cross over between the two roles or are they two completely different skills?
A. For me, I believe acting and presenting are totally different. Acting requires you to immerse yourself in a character, find their voice, walk and way of being. But presenting is just a bigger version of you that is typically all shiny and bright. You make sure you’re constantly switched on and don’t lose your upbeat personality so the audience is always engaged. But as an actor, it’s about being whatever is truthful to that role, and sometimes that means being dark and mysterious, and not always being likable.

Q. What’s your top tip for learning lines?
A. Years ago a wonderful teacher of mine suggested I tape my scene partners lines onto a smart phone or device, and to practise my lines over and over neutrally. By not making a conscious choice about how to inflect each line, or lock in a certain rhythm and way of saying it, then you’re more able to change your delivery when responding to your scene partner on the actual day. My iphone is still my best friend when I’m doing line learning.

Q. Should actors ever accept unpaid or below equity minimum roles?
A. This is a tough one and I often see this topic bantered about on acting bulletins and noticeboards. I found my way and built my showreel when I started out by accepting unpaid / below equity work. I found that by working on low budget or unpaid work at the beginning, I could really hone my skills and learn all the things you need to know before your first big job. So my personal thought is that unpaid work can really benefit an actor starting out. But each to their own. If you only want to do paid work, then that is also your choice. But I imagine every young director also started out making indie shorts and you never know who might be the next Woody Allen or James Cameron. It’s worth paying your dues.

Q. Where do you find most of your auditions and roles?
A. It’s a mix really. Nowadays I get more work via my agent than elsewhere, but also through referrals and through people I’ve worked with before. I guess that is similar in any industry. The longer you’re in it, the more people know about you.

Angela Peters - Actress

Q. What is the best preparation an actor can do for an audition?
A. Learn the lines and allow plenty of time to get there. The two things that will leave you less confident that anything else is being late to an audition, which means you’re already apologising before you’ve even started, and not knowing your lines. Everything is so much easier when you can take direction, look your scene partner in the eye and respond earnestly, rather than the director seeing the top of your head the whole time because you are reading off the script.

Q. How important is it to have an agent? Do you really even need one?
A. Agents help you to get access to work and roles that you are very unlikely to get seen for if you are hustling alone. I think in the long run you’re always better with an agent than without, but only if they’re a good agent.

Q. If actors have representation should they accept roles outside of that relationship?
A. That’s up to the actor to negotiate and discuss with the agent. Some agents will let you and others will frown up it. You want to have an open relationship and not hide anything from them so it’s best to discuss that at the onset of a partnership. Remember, as an actor you are also interviewing the agent (and vice versa) so this is something you should ask about to ensure they’re the right fit for you.

Q. Which movie role do you wish you had played?
A. Naomi Watts in 21 Grams!

Q. How do you choose who to work for? Script, money, people, a mixture of all, other?
A. A combination of all of those things. I won’t accept work I don’t believe in and have turned down paid roles before because I honestly didn’t understand the story. But I particularly love it when the script is excellent, the people I am going to be working with are immense and I’m getting paid. I guess that’s my acting trifecta?

Q. Have you ever turned down any roles and why?
A. Yes, I have turned quite a few down over the years. Usually it’s because I didn’t understand the story and figure “if I don’t get it, how will someone else understand it”.

Q. Which directors would you most like to work with?
A. I know I would definitely include Woody Allen in the list as he is one of the masters of cinema. He just keeps making what he wants to make and doesn't subscribe to a certain type of "Hollywood" or franchise. Other directors I'd love to work with include Kathryn Bigelow (wow!), Matthew Vaughn because he made two of my favourite romance and action movies (Stardust and Kick-Ass), Drake Doremus because he really is the master of slow sexy cinema, and Cate Shortland because she would be my dream director from Australia to work with one day (oh and Baz of course). Wow. I think I actually have an endless list, because these are just my favourites at the moment, but it's terrific to see so much talent out there at the moment.

Q. Hollywood or Broadway?
A. Hollywood to get known and then Broadway to do what I love…tread the boards.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of being an actor?
A. The uncertainty. Just as quickly as you are booking work and are getting paid, the role finishes (unless you’re a long standing series regular to television) and you’re back looking for your next job. I think not knowing when you’ll be working again is one of the hardest things.

Q. What is the most frustrating aspect of being an actor?
A. Trying to get seen for a role that you know you’d be perfect for. When a casting director is going through thousands of applications and they haven’t met you before I can be hard for them to know you are perfect for that particular role! I just want to ring them up and yell ‘you need to see me for this role’ but it’s just not the best way to get business done.

Q. There is a perception of acting that it is very glamorous, is it?
A. Ha! Absolutely not. The only glamorous parts are the red carpets and the occasional fabulous party. But even then you are still ‘working’ really. Most of the time you are sitting about on set reading a novel while they get the lighting just right.

Angela Peters - Actress - Cannes Red Carpet
Angela Peters - Actress

Q. How important are networking and contacts in the industry?
A. I think the age-old adage ‘it’s who you know’ is truer in this industry than in any other. You can work successfully as a doctor your whole life and only know a few people, but in this industry, the more people you know, the better your chances are of at least getting seen for a role. And on top of that if you meet people to make a genuine and honest connections (rather than schmoozing for all the wrong reasons) then those contacts can last a lifetime and you can help one another in all manner of ways in this industry.

Q. People often say the film industry is a small world, is this really true?
A. Absolutely! I can’t believe how many people know one another. It’s pretty hard in London to talk about actors or directors without someone knowing one of the people you are chatting about. And it’s a great thing. The smaller the world the easier it is for me to get to Eran Creevy or Ben Wheatley, right?

Q. If you are a great actor will you always make it?
A. I can honestly say I have no idea. A great friend of mine who is very successful in this industry (not as an actor) once said to me, “just know it’s all luck”. And now, with more experience, I tend to agree. Some wonderfully talented actors never get the recognition they should, and some dreadful ones appear again and again in the cinema. But I’m pretty sure that happens in all industries.

Q. How do you know when you’ve made it?
A. You have to be honest with yourself about what you want to go for but also set yourself small goals along the way. The one thing I would hate to be is someone who spends so much of my time “trying to make it” that I don’t enjoy the journey. You want to make sure you take the time to enjoy all the little wins, all the little jobs, all the little moments on the way. Acting is so fun. Just by being an actor aren’t we already making it?

Q. What defines success in this industry? Winning an Oscar? Making a living as an actor?
A. My personal take on this would be making a living as an actor, but again it’s different for everyone. I don’t begrudge anyone. Some actors just enjoy participating in amateur theatre gigs every few months and that’s still technically acting by definition. Me, I want the Oscar.

Q. Is it possible for the majority of actors to make a living from acting alone or do they usually need other forms of income?
A. Many of my friends in the business here, in LA and Australia, have other forms of income to help keep them afloat. Perhaps if the higher end jobs paid less (i.e. not millions per role) then we could more evenly disperse the payments and get more actors making a living out of acting. But I also don’t begrudge those earning the millions. Well done to them for getting the big jobs.

Q. In today’s world should females be referred to as ‘actors’ or ‘actresses’? Or does it not matter?
A. I really don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule. It’s funny though as my business card says actor and that’s usually the first thing someone asks me. “Why actor?”.

Q. The internet has changed the industry over the past 15 years or so, how important is it for actors to self-publicise themselves and have a social media presence or is all publicity best left to your agent?
A. Very important. You want to be searchable just in case a director or casting director or producer is trying of find examples of your previous work. And also, it goes without saying, your fans want somewhere to find you one day when you’re a big enough star.

Q. As someone who is very hot on social media, which sites or apps are best for actors to be on?
A. I recommend Twitter for anyone who wants to get the low down on indie films, directors, celebrities and casting directors. Facebook is great if you are already really established and have a fan page that is being managed for you. But I am less inclined to look at Facebook pages unless there is actually content I want to know about. And from a work perspective IMDB is also wonderful – It’s always exciting when you get your first credit on there.

Angela Peters - Actress
Angela Peters - Actress

Q. To promote yourself as an actor you have your own website ( with your headshots, still, showreel and news updates - should every actor have their own website? Does it bring you much work directly or is it just a tool for promoting yourself and raising profile?
A. That’s a great question and one actually talked about recently in my B.A.B.E. blog as I did a series for actors on branding. I asked a few casting directors whether they ever look at websites and they said very rarely (they don’t have enough time). But I have had directors view my site before and tell me which ‘looks they’ve liked’. When that first happened it made me realise that as a work tool, having your own website is very useful. And then of course, it gives people a place to find out more about you if they’re tracking your career.

Q. You write an excellent and regular blog called B.A.B.E. Blog (, what does B.A.B.E. stand for and why did you decide to start blogging?
A. Oh thank you, that’s really sweet. B.A.B.E. stands for ‘Begin Acting. Believe Everything’. The aim is for it to inspire new actors to find their positive side to acting, rather than believing all the negative thoughts in their head that make them think they can’t do it. I find that most blogs focus on an actor themselves who writes the blog, so what I like to do is flip that over with B.A.B.E.. Instead of being about me, this blog is about a general message or lesson or reminder for that week that I might have come across that relates to acting. I try not to be too self-deprecating, but I definitely don’t ever want people to think it is all about me. I’ve got enough time for that on set? (kidding).

Q. And does blogging bring you many new contacts, opportunities and acting roles?
A. Not really but I didn’t really start it for that. For me it was all about sharing. It is a lovely feeling to give to others and to share experiences for the benefit of many. I get such a kick when someone tells me they enjoyed a blog, or that a particular topic I spoke about helped them with their own personal journey.

Q. Through the B.A.B.E. Blog website you also offer a mentoring service – how did this come about?
A. Well long before I started acting, I wanted to be a psychologist and actually did a BA in it. And I used to mentor younger staff in corporate land. So years later when I realised that I actually do a lot of informal coaching and mentoring, I thought how wonderful if I could actually do this as a side to my full time acting. I get to help others create and shape their own personal acting journey. And it’s pretty fun to be on the mentoring side because I’m always learning from my clients too.

Q. You founded UK Actors Tweetup in 2010 - what is it, who is it for and why did you set it up?
A. To me, that old dirty word networking is one of the key parts of this industry. I was getting a bunch of industry mates together every few months for informal drinks – usually at my favourite bar in London, Gordon’s – so once I met the guys running the LA Actors Tweetup, I had a chat with them and founded the UK contingent. And now I co-run it with a wonderful producer named Andrea Farrena. It just makes sense to have a place where actors, writers, directors, producers and other industry folk can meet informally and chat on a regular basis in a positive way. The most exciting thing has been hearing about collaborations that have taken place as a result of the Tweetups, including paid opportunities. Actually I even made a short film years ago with a few ladies as a result of meeting them at one of our Tweetups.

Q. Whats the main piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to become an actor?
A. Be absolutely certain it’s what you want to do because if there is any other profession you enjoy more, it’s probably worth jumping ship immediately. Acting is for someone who is in it the long haul. But know that it is probably the most fun you can have at work while getting paid, with the exception of being a tour guide. I imagine that would be a brilliant job too.

Thank you Angela, we look forward to seeing more of you on the big screen, good luck with UK Actors Tweetup, see you soon!


Angela's Contact Details:
Twitter: @angiepang
Blog: B.A.B.E.

UK Actors Tweetup Contact Details:





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