Reelscape Workshop – Week 7: Bringing in the cast. By Reelscape Volunteer Zach

Once you’ve got your script, set, crew, cameras, sound and lighting, the one big thing you are missing is the cast – the actors who are bringing the characters to life, putting faces to names.

In today’s workshop Becky Adams and Director Brenda Lee introduced the actors behind the father and daughter roles of ‘Fortune Cookies’.

Fiona Rene plays the defiant Susan. Fiona grew up in Austin, Texas and while at school she was heavily involved in plays and musicals, however she moved to London four years ago to develop her acting career. She has recently been filming commercials. She spoke about the importance of gaining credits..

Daniel York plays the strict father, Cyril. Daniel was recently in Hollyoaks and Casualty. Daniel grew up in the West Country and plays guitar in a band: he says it’s what he’d do professionally if he wasn’t an actor.

Both the actors gave advice to the aspiring actors in the room; Daniel says it’s a career you have to be serious and determined about “in a world everyone is always saying ‘no’”. Fiona says comedy is the best way of surviving the tough world. She recently auditioned for an advert but was told her arms were too fat! She said, “you just have to laugh your way through it”. Fiona rounded off with saying “surround yourself with people who will let you create. Stay in school! But don’t get involved with the wrong crowd or people who laugh at you.”

Afterwards, the group moved into the ‘Fortune Cookies’ set, the home of the Lee family, where the group began by watching the father/daughter act out variations of one of the scenes. Seeing this, the group took it in turns directing and acting out the scenes – working out how the scene should play out. Questions were raised: which direction should Susan exit from? Where should Cyril be sitting? Should Susan move closer or away from Cyril? Answers to questions were being found through everyone getting involved with suggestions and improving scenes.

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