Featured Artist Series: Showcase Winner Florence Howard

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 4.22.21 PMAt the end of the day, the most important advocate you can have as an actor is yourself. One of the hardest things about this business is maintaining your optimism and drive in the face of a seemingly endless onslaught of rejection. But the right attitude is key to setting yourself up for success. Recent showcase winner Florence Howard has worked to keep her head above water and her eye on the prize. Crafting that purposeful idealism has started to pay off.

Even when not currently immersed in an acting gig, Florence Howard keeps her perspective positive. She lives in London, where she juggles odd jobs to support her acting career. Though that may sound to many of us like a tediously familiar story, Florence takes a brighter view. “I love it though,” she counters, “it means every day is different.”

“Apart from a brief stint in my childhood when I wanted to be a vet’s assistant,” acting has always been Florence’s career goal. But it wasn’t just a hobby or idle pursuit. A savvy businesswoman from an early age, she recalls spending most of her childhood free time with her Dad’s camcorder, corralling her parents and their friends into screenings, and even charging for the pleasure.

After such beginnings, drama school was a natural next step. Florence did not take her training lightly. After graduating Bristol University, she continued to pursue her studies in Drama at Oxford School of Drama.

It was when she began to branch out on her own, professionally, that a friend told her about Cast It Talent. Florence dove in with enthusiasm. Of the site, she says, “while I am UK based, I would always keep an eye on it to see what was going on. That’s why the showcase is brilliant because no matter where in the world you are from you can get a look-in…Cast It Talent is a wonderful tool for actors to keep in the loop. In an industry that can feel quite closed off, Cast It Talent opens some doors to you.”

Naturally, Florence did her own part opening those doors.. She participated in the Cast It Talent showcase, going on to become one of our showcase winners! When asked, she asserts she never thought much about winning it, seeing the opportunity more as motivation to work on her craft. She cites the win as “a lovely and unexpected surprise.”

Of course, for every showcase win, there are hundreds of little rejections. When asked what keeps her going in the lean times, Florence jumps right in with, “A sense of humour! And to keep feeling inspired. Go watch and read as much as you can. There is so much time in this job and when you’ve had a quiet patch for what seems like forever, just reading a really good play or seeing a brilliant film can give you the energy to keep going. But most important is a sense of humour. I think you really have to have a sense of belief in yourself and your ability. There are so many knock-backs in this industry, so the ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on striving is key. Really work out why you want to do this and realise that it will be tough, but also brilliant and amazing and can make you more happy and alive than you ever imagined.”

A sense of humor and self-confidence go a long way. Though rose-colored glasses are often dismissed as frivolous or naive, a purposefully positive outlook can help you take advantage of opportunities others might miss. The right attitude is motivating and healing. It leaves behind a good professional impression. And of course, it takes work. Florence knows how to keep her head above water. Her reminder is one we could all stand to hear more often.

 

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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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