I caught up with Harry just a few weeks before he embarks on the three year BA Acting course at LAMDA. Working with Harry was extra special because I had auditioned him at Drama Centre a year prior and he was so memorable and so talented that I really championed him to go forward but he didn't quite make it to get offered a place. I thought he was an incredible talent so was delighted a year later when he contacted me for help with his pieces and even more delighted after working together when he phoned me this summer to tell me he had been offered a place at LAMDA. His number one choice. It was his fourth year auditioning. Here we find out how he is getting on..
Hey Harry, what are you up to at the moment?
Hi Lee! Just moved down to London so I’m just getting settled in and meeting new people.
Congratulations on getting into LAMDA this year! What are you doing to get yourself ready?
Wasting my student loan. No, if I’m honest not too much. I’ve tried to distance myself from the work a bit. I know the training will be intense so I’m taking some time to relax and getting to know my housemates. Also trying different places to eat. Love that on my road I can find food from so many different cuisines. One of the things I love about being here.
You got in on your third year auditioning. Looking back, what did you feel changed this year for you, if anything? Or what did you do differently?
Yeah it was my third year at LAMDA and fourth year overall. If I’m honest I think it’s hard to see your own progression. I’m definitely more comfortable in my own skin now which meant I was more comfortable in the room. Looking back, I had preconceived ideas about what 'good acting' was and that really held me back. Crying during a monologue seemed like the pinnacle to me! It’s almost cliche but the best advice I had was just to “trust the text”, when I eventually got in, my mindset was that the writer had done the majority of the work for me and my job was just to say the lines as truthfully as I could. Of course working harder helped, but luck played a MASSIVE part.
What advice would you give any Actor who is thinking about auditioning for drama school?
Different things click for different people. What always helped me was an attitude of 'it’s not brain surgery so who cares if you mess up'. This helped ease the stress as I can be a real perfectionist and this was a real block for me when picking and working on speeches. Don’t take rejection too personally, It really is part of it, and if I’m gonna fail, I’d rather fail spectacularly being me than whilst trying to impersonate someone else.
For anyone that wants to train to be an Actor, that are working hard but not yet getting offered a place, what would your advice be to them?
There is a lot of luck involved unfortunately. I also think every actor in the industry had dealt with this at some point. You’re probably not as far away as you think, sometimes it’s as simple as a bit of self belief. Knowing why I wanted to be an actor helped me a lot. I always felt that when I was in youth theatre or acting at school that I had a space to be myself despite being quite shy and insecure. The chance to create something that I connected with gave me a determination to keep going during all the setbacks. Also, try not to take the well meaning advice of friends and family to heart. You’ve got this! I really love the advice from Alan Rickman as well, to paraphrase it: 'take a step away from acting. Develop your own tastes, go to a museum, read books, know what’s going on in the world. This perspective will serve you well when you tackle a script and you can bring something to it. Will make you more interesting to interview as well'.
Who inspires you as an Artist?
Paul Ritter (Friday Night Dinner, Chernobyl) is fantastic. A comedy genius and I was talking to a mate actually because every role he takes on is so different and when I was watching Chernobyl i was so invested I didn’t realise it was him. Working with David Lynch is a bit of a goal as well. His work is offbeat and wonderful.
What are you watching at the moment?
Nothing too hard. Just things I enjoy. Recently been watching Buffy the Vampire slayer and The US Office. One of my housemates is really into his anime, I’ve started watching Seven Deadly Sins on Netflix. I love stand up comedy as well. I’ve been watching Bill Burr, James Acaster and Dave Chapelle’s specials on Netflix. I also watched a socially distanced Macbeth at LAMDA, fantastic to be back watching theatre again.
Where’s your happy place?
I love walking. So anywhere in the countryside is fantastic for me. Back home, I love walking in Alderley Edge and grabbing a scone and a coffee with my family.