A Kirkstall Road-based drama studio has announced it is to audition a raft of Northern actors next week for a new class starting in October.
N:DAS (Northern Drama Acting Studio) is headed up by Pudsey-based casting director Jo Adamson-Parker, who has worked with Sir Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Alan Rickman, Christopher Eccleston, Brian Blessed and Kelsey Grammer.
“I started out at the West Yorkshire Playhouse almost 20 years ago. I’m a very proud Leeds lass so it was a real pleasure to be part of the Yorkshire theatre scene and it got my career off to a flying start.”
Jo moved on to work in London on the long-running TV police show The Bill which was renowned for casting new faces alongside very well-known ones. She added:
“I really loved that way of working and I met so many wonderful people doing it but it was during this time that I realised there was little support for actors outside London and many felt isolated, so I moved back to Leeds with the aim of doing something about it.”
She used her contacts and experience to develop a series of one-to-one consultations offering actors high quality training at affordable prices. With her informal approach, and a focus on getting more from the actor, she quickly gained an excellent reputation in the acting and casting world and so as more actors returned for more sessions the genesis for N:DAS was born.
“Actors benefit hugely from classes like this,” Jo added. “It’s a positive place not a competitive one; it is a group of like-minded professionals who share stories and ideas. We encourage honest and constructive feedback that helps address technique, get rid of bad habits and build confidence; we discourage sycophancy – it’s not about back-slapping, it’s about giving people the best chance to get the job they want.”
Now at its new home on Kirkstall Road, N:DAS is in its seventh year and is attracting industry names to host sessions for its actors. Previous classes have been led by writers, actors, directors and producers including Kay Mellor, John Godber and Oscar-nominated director Jamie Donoghue .
Its patrons are actor Brian Blessed, BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, actor Steven Waddington and associate director at Liverpool Everyman, Nick Bagnell.
Actors have gone from N:DAS to Coronation Street, The Old Vic, The Bush, Northern Broadsides; to film, children’s television and musical theatre and many still continue to attend class between jobs.
“It’s hugely important to me that talent in the North is recognised, celebrated and encouraged; actors and creators shouldn’t have to move to London to be seen.
“It is my aim to make N:DAS the place that film, TV and theatre-makers come to when looking for Northern or Northern-based actors.”
Auditions for N:DAS take place at the N:DAS Studios on Tuesday 26th September from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. More details from Jo@northerndrama.co.uk.