Our Acting Diploma tutor, Anna Dawson is testament to our belief it’s never too late to follow your acting dreams. In our spotlight feature she shares her passions, advice and favourite TV moments.
What is your current day job and role with YAFTA?
At YAFTA I wear a few different hats. For the academy I teach on the Acting Diploma courses, cover evening classes when needed and assist with the general administration, planning, organisation and marketing. I’m also an agent tasked with the day to day running of the YAFTA Talent Agency.
In addition to acting and YAFTA I work with horses and as a writer.
What was your first job in the industry, was the acting industry always the plan?
My acting career began in theatre but my first job in the film industry was a short in which I played both Mother Earth and a cave woman! Three years later one of the other actors recommended me to the director of a full length film they were in and that’s how I made the move into features.
I always loved acting but didn’t have the confidence to pursue it at 18. Instead I studied Politics, worked as a model and took a full time job in Marketing & PR. After a ‘is this my life?!’ moment I decided to become self employed, began applying to drama schools, undertaking different types of training and auditioning for all kinds of acting work to build my experience and showreel.
What is your favourite/best TV moment?
The BBC Pride & Prejudice was my go-to comfort watch when I was ill as a kid but in terms of a single moment it would have to be when Tom appeared in the final episode of Spooks! I love it when an actor returns to a show no matter what they may have moved on to since. It shows appreciation for where they’ve come from and really solidifies the world of the series for the audience.
What one piece of advice would you give to those starting out in the industry?
Enjoy what you’re doing. Of course you’ll enjoy the times when you’re on stage and on set but remember to enjoy auditions too – they are opportunities to do what you love – and enjoy what you are doing the rest of the time. Very few of us will get to act full time so it’s really important to enjoy the other parts of your life and the other work that you do.
If you could invite three dinner party guests from the world of screen – dead or alive, who would it be?
Judi Dench, Pierce Brosnan and if casting directors count then Nina Gold!