Many Welsh or Wales based arts graduates are finding this current period especially difficult. Their usual opportunities to meet agents, prepare for final year exhibitions or productions may take place later in the year or sadly not at all. To raise awareness of the diverse talent graduating this year GTC is offering any Welsh or Wales based graduate the opportunity to be showcased on our website. If you are interested, please do get in touch.
Hi Lewis great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?
Hi, thanks for giving me this opportunity. I really appreciate it. I was born and raised in the South Wales Valleys in a little village called Cwm which is near Ebbw Vale. I’m just wrapping up my university degree now which is at the Atrium studying BA Theatre and Drama.
I was meant to be performing Frankenstein in May as a final show where I would be playing the role of The Monster but due to obvious circumstances that got cancelled. The creative team that I was working with on this project was a team of talents that I’ve known throughout my time at the university and I would definitely be interested in still doing this show as a non assessed piece. I have a Youtube channel that I share with my brother called ‘Silent Valley Productions’ where we upload projects we’ve worked on.
We are currently working on a 5 episode web-series thats been in development now for over two years, a very long process but one I’m sure that will be worth it in the end. I also love helping out with the media students with their projects, even though the budget isn’t Hollywood level, they’re all capable of making interesting and engaging stories, and that’s always fun to be a part of. I performed my first musical role in 2018 when I played Mr Sowerberry in Oliver with the theatre group i was with and had to perform my first live song. I also love playing on my PlayStation 4 in my spare time.
So, what got you interested in the arts?
Ive been acting now for about 4-5 years now. it was always a subject I got on well with in school and was really the only lesson I looked forward to. My drama tutors always saw something in me and encouraged me to take it further in my career, so without them I don’t think I would be where I am now. I was, and still am, a huge fan of Doctor Who and growing up I always wanted to play The Doctor and hope that one day i have the opportunity to fulfil this dream or even have a role in it. I always had a imaginative childhood, to this day I still have school friends come to me and say to me how creative I was and I think all of this put together is where I get my passion for it from.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
It really depends on what kind of project im working on. If its an acting role then I always find it easier to create a scrapbook and look for other characters that could help shape the image that I have for the particular role. I keep a scrapbook in my room for characters that I think are unique and ones that I think could be useful in a future project, so there’s something I always have to go back to and reference to if needed.
As a young Welsh artists graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?
I think the support has been really well all round on my behalf, with organisations like yourself giving opportunities which are really useful for people who are graduating to introduce ourselves to the rest of the industry. This situation should be taken to learn a new skill or start something you didn’t have the time to do in the past. At the moment I’m learning to play guitar and really pushing the pre-production for the series I mentioned earlier. I think it would be helpful if we used this opportunity to share these ideas and have different eyes review it.
A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?
I’ve seen quite a few opportunities arise on Twitter especially. Its My Shout is something that people should look into.
Normally filmed in the summer but now would be a good time to send them monologues and try to apply for their scheme. I’ve been gathering a list of agents from different companies like United Agents and Regan Management. Going back to what I said earlier I think creatives should also take this opportunity to look into uploading auditions and show reels on You tube. Most of what you see on YouTube don’t really have a budget or if they do its minimum, and they get 20 million views due to the entertainment quality. Its a site that hasn’t reached its peak yet and with projects getting 20 million views, I believe it’s the perfect opportunity to show off your talent. Now is the perfect time to start looking into it too.
If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?
Off the top of my head I can’t really think. Amateur productions are something that I think should be given a bit more of a funding as the copyright for a lot of shows are really expensive which then makes the budget for the set, theatre booking and costumes a lot more tighter than would it could be. I would like to see some kind of better funding go towards people who want to make short films too,Having known people being in that position, I understand it can be difficult pulling off projects with such small budgets. Some of the ideas I’ve heard of in the past have been really fascinating to hear about but due to the funding, they’re either put on hold or cancelled which is a bit disheartening, especially for the people in that position. So some kind of better funding to help those guys out.
What excites you about the arts in Wales?
The future of Wales is looking bright for sure! with massive Hollywood films like ‘Dolittle’ with Robert Downey Jr and ‘Infinite’ with Mark Wahlberg, it looks like Wales is finally getting noticed.
Along with the talent, schemes and ideas in Wales, the overall future is bright and I can’t wait to see what opportunities the future holds!
What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?
There’s a few things that come to mind. I’ve seen quite a few live TV recording’s of ‘The Big Six Nations Kick Off with Gabby and Gareth’ I got the male lead to ‘A Vampire Story’ which was my first time doing a lead in a show. But what stands out the most to me is when I went to New York to see the musical version of King Kong, going to Ellens Stardust Diner, and looking at some of the incredible views from the skyscrapers!
I also went to the Welsh BAFTA’s where I got to speak to quite a few big producers, actors and actresses like Ioan Gruffudd, Eve Myles, Catrin Stewart and Mark Lewis Jones, so that was a pleasure to meet all of them and hear what successful professionals had to say.
Thanks for your time Lewis
Thanks for the opportunity.