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Top 5 tips for getting into the showbiz industry

17th July 2014
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Jo Hawes

Is a life in the theatre your true calling? Do you want to see your face in lights? Or be the person controlling the lights? 

There are many opportunities in the showbiz industry but where do you start? 

Jo Hawes is a good person to ask. 

Jo has a long career history in the theatre and is now the most respected young person’s casting director in the UK. 

She has worked on some of the most famous and successful  productions in West End History including  Les Miserables, The Lion King, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver! Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Miss Saigon.

Since becoming a Children’s Casting Director 19 years ago she has worked on over 75 productions – mainly musicals in the West End and on tour – for all the leading theatrical producers.

She clearly knows her stuff and in 2010 launched her ‘The Art of Auditioning’ master-classes . Her book Children In Theatre was published in 2011 by Oberon Books. 

Jo is also a guest teacher at Westend Stage

We asked Jo for her top five tips for getting into the showbiz industry:

  1. Good training in all disciplines.
  2. Having a good agent who has a select list of clients and good contact with casting directors.
  3. Good audition technique which must include meticulous preparation.
  4. Essential attributes for survival are determination, drive, flexibility, reliability, punctuality, versatility, passion (not necessarily in that order!).
  5. It is an uncomfortable truth that in our profession we work when other people want to play – all social events must come second – sometimes family life also.



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