+Tom Goodhead gave up chushy London based job as a media analyst with +Ford Europe to pursue a career in acting. Three months after taking the plunge we caught up with +Tom to ask how it was going.
+Happening London - How long had you been thinking about a career change?
+Tom: I always wanted to do something a bit more exciting than working in an office but it was only in the last 18 months that I thought it’d like to try some acting and comedy. It always seemed that I could do this at some point in the future but after a holiday with friends, who all seemed settled and happy in their lives and careers, and with my 34th birthday approaching, it suddenly seemed I needed to act quickly if I was going to ever pursue my dreams.
+Happening London - How much preperation did you do?
+Tom: Nowhere near as much as I could or should have done. I was too focused on the decision to go for a career change, and whether it was a crazy move, rather than actually preparing for it. I did a few acting courses, at +The Poor School and +City Lit, and also spoke to some actor friends but didn’t really start taking action until I left my job. With more thought I could have sped up and improved my chances of getting on Spotlight and an agent by getting involved in acting projects to give me useful experience and showreel footage before leaving. It’s certainly been a massive change and I’ve had to learn about the industry and being self-employed from scratch.
+Happening London - Do think you'll ever regret giving up a comfortable job with a steady wage?
+Tom: I’ve really been enjoying the change so far but there’s no doubt that it’s a lot harder making money this way. You don’t meet any actors who say that it’s easy and even with much more in the way of skills and experience you’re still far from guaranteed a reliable income. I had a good month in October in terms of making money from extras gigs and having a couple of auditions but in November I don’t have many guaranteed jobs so I have to start over in terms of reaching my financial goal for the month and also gaining experience as an actor. However things work I can’t imagine I’ll ever regret giving it a go and hopefully learning something useful along the way.
+Happening London - What are some of the highlights so far?
+Tom: The most interesting thing has been visiting all the different random and interesting locations used for sets and seeing how films and television series are actually made. On my first job as an extra I was given a line in a +Scope advert, which my friends & family found it hilarious when it came on TV. I recently did a scene on an up-coming show where I had to break into a garage near Finsbury Park to find a stolen car, it was fun and pretty cool to get direction from an Oscar-winning director.
+Happening London - Where do you hope to be, as far as acting goes, in two years time?
+Tom: My goals at the moment are to earn enough money to live on whilst gaining sufficient credits and experience to get on +Spotlight and get an agent. After that I need to put in a lot more hard work and hope for some breaks.+Happening London - Thanks +Tom and we wish you the very best of luck!
How about you? What do you dream about doing or becoming?
Let us know in the comments!