Actors Interviews

Lee Preston ~ Scams, Networking & Hugh Jackman

We met Lee last year at a headshot event arranged with Northern Star Acting.  Since then his career has really taken a positive change so we got back in touch and had a great chat about what his hopes were for the future.

Anthony: Tell me about your journey up until the point we shot your headshots.

Lee: It started off on Starnow, applying to every job and agency going, I did some research on loads of agencies and enquiring to them.  Of course, being new and naïve to the harshness of the industry, I got scammed…a lot.  I paid to join fake agencies and worst of all; I paid £1,000 for a portfolio, which wasn’t even good enough for actors headshots.

A year later and a little wiser, I reached a milestone by working with the real professionals.  I had learned what to look for and what to avoid, something, in my opinion, you only learn by going through the worst.

© Anthony Farrimond

More recently, I’ve been networking like crazy and am making a presence for myself on Facebook especially, I’ve now got some amazing friends internationally that are all helping me out and I’m now getting some awesome role like a lead in a feature up in Darlington and a speaking role in an awesome American feature too!  I’ve got some amazing headshots which may of just got me some more work just thanks to them alone!

Anthony: Who are your favourite actors and why?

Lee: I  have a few people who I follow, one is Hugh Jackman, an amazing actor and all around fantastic guy. In fact I even had an audition for the film ‘Pan’ which he starred in. There’s also Brad Pitt, for 2 reasons; the first reason is that he plays the roles I’d die to play as I get older and he is much more renowned in the industry. I’ve actually had an interview and questioned the ‘discoverer’ of Brad Pitt, Billy DaMota.  Finally, a new girl in the industry who I follow and look up to a lot,  Amy Kinder and I’m sure many of you have heard her name crop up here there and everywhere,  she’s doing absolutely amazing and inspires me to keep pushing for my dream.

Anthony: What’s your dream role and why?

Lee: I have a soft spot for war films personally, I’d love to play in a mid-war themed storyline, play the new kid who is in the small group who grow close, he becomes wiser and stronger, eventually becoming the hero of a team, think ‘Fury’… yes starring Brad Pitt.  Of course, I’d love to play the man in charge of the group, the leader as I get older.  However, I’d love to play a romantic, kind caring man in love. A role so powerful and relatable to so many which would be an honour to play. I guess I’ve got a lot of roles I’d love to try out, these 2 in particular would really make my world.

Anthony: What advice could you give to someone looking to get an audition, how should they prepare?

Lee: Well, I’d say that the best way to get an audition is to network.  It’s true what they say ‘people hire people, especially if they know you’.  So get yourself out there and known.  Also, this way you create bonds with so many more people and that’s what this industry is about.

To prepare for an audition? I tell myself not to think about it.  Learn those lines, consider eye positioning and make your decisions so precise and detailed for yourself and make it ingrained in your memory, then relax. For film and TV, the best thing you can do, is act like you’re not acting!  Don’t stress, keep calm and be you!  That’s said so often people don’t think about what it means to be you, but it’s genuinely one of the most important things you can do.
Anthony: Thank you so much for sharing some of your knowledge, its fascinating getting an insight into how your journey has started out and seems to be rocketing!  Before we finish tell us a fun fact we might not know about you!

Lee: I bet that most of you don’t know that I was actually a division 3 teenage European line dance champion. I’ve danced for 11 years and my mum is actually my main teacher. So I guess I’ve been a performer at heart all my life!

Anthony trained as an Actor at one of the North's most prestigious theatre training Universities Bretton Hall. Having a successful career Performing, Producing and Directing Theatre, Musical Theatre and Theatre In Education, he went on to follow another passion as a Headshot Photographer however his heart truly remains on stage.

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