Hi readers! My name is Amanda and I blog at Rhyme & Ribbons. I’m originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but I’ve been living in England for several years now (coming up to my 5th consecutive Thanksgiving in London!). Most of my time has been in London, but I also spent over half a year living in Stratford-upon-Avon.
I like to think that I blog about an eclectic mix of things - pretty much about anything that interests me; from London attractions, to recipes, to fashion, to just plain silliness!
You moved to England to study acting. Does the system of teaching that craft differ from the US?
Definitely! I studied abroad during university at a drama school in England and after that I knew that if I was going to pursue a graduate education in drama I was going to do it abroad.
Unless you’re going to a conservatory or very specific program in the US, drama training is a lot more theoretically based. There’s a further difference in drama training versus acting school. Most American “acting schools” are focused on one particular practitioner or skill, for example Meisner or Improvisation and offer weekend and evening classes. Drama school is a full-time degree based experience where you learn a whole range of things like movement, body and voice work.
The biggest reason I chose to train abroad is that the UK tends not to train actors with a focus on one specific acting technique and that’s what works best for me. Other actors are completely different!
In your travels, what would you say has left the biggest impression on you?
Well, I can never tire of returning to Paris. Every time I visit it’s just as surprising and interesting as the very first time! But I think the trip that’s stayed with me the most was one to Turkey. I was only there for 9 days, but I constantly think about going back!
What is England like for a working actress? Is it hard to get roles as an American?
It’s hard working as an actor anywhere. But as a non-famous American it can be really tricky to get work. Some people can get quite set notions about American actors and won’t hire them even if their English accents are flawless. On the flip side, I’ve been told be casting directors doing American pieces in the UK that I don’t seem American enough!
Where do you see yourself (and your blog) in 10 years?
Well, most people who quit acting don’t do it because they aren’t talented, they do it because they need to have more financial security in their lives or get tired of the constant sacrifices (missing weddings, family events, etc). So there’s never a guarantee that I’ll still be working as an actor. I’ll always love acting and I’ll always be involved in a creative industry, but I’m absolutely not opposed to the idea of teaching theatre one day! Luckily I have the luxury right now of a flexible lifestyle so I don’t have to make those decisions anytime soon!
Hopefully, Rhyme & Ribbons will still be around. I really love it. If it grew to be a sustaining part time job, I absolutely wouldn’t be opposed to that :)
What are your favorite travel or writing resources?
I can get really sucked in to Lonely Planet or Fodor’s but Rick Steves seems to know all. I also read TripAdvisor recommendations and reviews at a fiendish pace before traveling! In terms of travel bloggers I love Aspiring Kennedy’s photos!