How To Attract Talent To Your Project with Actress, Writer & Director Liz Garland

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Liz Garland knows about MAKING AN IMPRESSION - the do's and the don'ts - from all sides. Not only is Liz an actress, writer and director, but she also MAKES it her business as a presentation coach and communication trainer; to teach people HOW to confidently present themselves and pitch their ideas. 

With Theatre, Film and TV credits including Sebastian Faulks 'Birdsong', Gangsta Granny and The Sweeney - Liz knows exactly what kind of script ACTORS and DIRECTORS want to read! 

So, if you want to make sure you're putting your best SELF and SCRIPT forward, then look no further:

Give Them A Reason To WANT To Be Involved!

Nobody wants to take on a character or script if they feel the script is 'boxing' them in or limiting their creative input. 

SO STOP trying to control everything! 

There is no need for excessive stage directions or specific character details unless it SERVES the story. 

Let the script have room to breathe!

  • CHARACTER LED - An actor wants to see the connection between characters, especially in dialogue which they can either relate to or be intrigued by. BORING BACKSTORY need not apply!
  • A FLUID SCRIPT - Allow your script to be interpreted by any actor/actress of any ethnicity/nationality. This flexibility will elevate your script and allow for interpretations, creative decisions you may not have considered. Every creative wants to feel there's room to partner with the writer and add something to the project their work on. 
  • DON'T TELL THEM SO MUCH - The actor wants to play a productive part in your story, so let them do what they do best! Not EVERYTHING has to be written, if it can captured in a glance or movement instead. It becomes a more enjoyable read when an actor is able to visualise easily their take on your script, and easily able to immerse themselves in your world. 

CONCLUSION: The fundamental story should be solid, but there is always room to breathe and allow for the actor to make their stamp on it - ie. do not get bogged down in the unnecessary  superficial details (looks of a character, their accent etc) UNLESS it's relevant to the story.

Give it HEART

No matter what the concept - If you don't care about the character, then you don't have a story!

What is the CORE of your script and WHY would this interest the actor? 

Really think about this, and if you were given your script to read. Do those first ten pages really demand the full attention of the reader?

If it doesn't, then it won't attract the talent either!

Remember, not every character has to be like-able - writing realistic, flawed, raw characters are actually more fun to play with for actors. 

There's more emotional depth for them to explore, AND it's interesting for the actor to take on a role that is SO different to what they'd usually play, experience or read. 

CONCLUSION: Ensure your EMOTIONAL CORE is engaging enough for a director or actor to become hooked into the story quickly! Why do they care? Why would they want to tackle these characters and story? Make them not want to put the script down for that cuppa, make them want to keep turning to the next page!


It's hard, but you HAVE to trust the process and the people who will be involved. 


Once it's written, the script is not JUST yours anymore. 

Film is a collaborative medium - to take it to the next level, you have to come to terms with the fact that it has to be handed over to others. 

This can be a GREAT learning experience, and ultimately make the final result MUCH better having worked as a team.

When you're part of a table read in action - it's a great experiment which shows what works/ doesn't work, things you hadn't considered, a different take on your characters and their relationships.

That's when it becomes an EXCITING process! 

Actors ALWAYS want to hear from you - it's what they do best; bringing words alive. Giving your script a PULSE! 

Also, writers, actors and directors etc are all creatives that should be getting to know one another. 

We're in this together remember, who knows what opportunities may present themselves! 

CONCLUSION: It starts with you, but ultimately your script will become a VISUAL & EMOTIONAL venture as a team. 

You ARE Part Of The Package 

Remember, we only get one chance at a first impression - so make it a GOOD one!

EXPAND YOUR MIND - Get involved and meet people from ALL walks of life. 

BE SELECTIVELook for people who you genuinely could work with - this isn't about finding your best friend! It's about paying it forward, helping others, finding somebody who you could create exciting projects with. 

GET OUT AND HEAR DIALOGUE - Listening will give you the skill to learn  realistic vocal patterns and tap into different characters when writing your own projects. 

OBSERVE REAL LIFE - Be involved, watch as much as you can because that is what you're striving to create and connect with your audience. Allocate time a day or week to go to your local cafe with a notebook to observe/people watch, and see this as a WORK slot!

CONCLUSION: Don't be afraid to reach out and set up your own table read. It will give you a good idea of the strong and weak spots in your scripts. If the audience doesn't connect with your project, they will switch off (literally!) Don't allow sloppy dialogue to be their reason to. 


People nowadays DON'T HAVE TIME, therefore you must be able to sell yourself and your project quickly! 

People love to put other people in a box - for instance, if they know you, and what you do then they will be more inclined to refer to you in the future. Quit the waffling, keep it concise and be approachable. 

Don't see these introductions as ME, ME, ME! 

Ask them about their ideas, get them talking about what they're passionate about

Ask questions! An easy ice breaker as they'll be doing most of the talking, and it shows you're interested.

Don't ever think being a social climber, and going around collecting names/name dropping is the same as networking. It isn't. 

Networking is a skill - see it as LEARNING. People don't always remember what you say, they remember how you make them feel. 

Don't let them switch off, be interested. Leave them feeling GOOD after meeting and speaking with you. 

So, in short - Celebrate everybody's successes, your time WILL come, and never be quick to dismiss anybody! You just never know who you're going to meet!

Remember: There are times and seasons for everything. Surround yourself with people who are hopeful, that encourage and support your journey. 

If you'd like to find out more about Liz, her projects or presentation services, you can find her here

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