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JULY 26TH 2018

Introducing Ella - Our Resident Actor-Director

otw, Hospitality, talent, director, actor, tips, advice, arts

At Off to Work, we pride ourselves on recruiting and developing the most multi-talented and diverse team members across front and back of house. Ella is our resident actor and director extraordinaire whose play 'JOY', has achieved international success.

We caught up with Ella, who joined our front of house team in 2013 after graduating from drama school. We spoke to Ella about her eclectic career in theatre, her artistic pursuits and the success of her play 'JOY', as well as her favourite memories with Off to Work. 

You’ve been with us for a while! Do you have any stand-out shifts or moments whilst working with Off to Work?

Yes, Off to Work has provided me with endless memorable experiences! I’m a keen horse rider and have grown up with horses, so every year I work the Kensington Olympia Horse Show. For 5 days before Christmas you’ll find me in a private box, giving my all to our guests and in return immersing myself in a sport I’m passionate about. Watching John Whitaker, an iconic show jumper for whom I have great respect, from one of the best positions in the stadium was amazing. I then I realised that it was his family and coworkers I was looking after for the evening and he joined us for the latter half of the show! Being able to him pour a glass of bubbles and pass on my congratulations was a real highlight.

How has it been to balance your working life with your artistic pursuits?

I’ve found working on a flexible agreement has been instrumental in my development. As every freelancer knows, you need to take things week by week - you have to be open to quick changes and new directions. Freelancing is stressful, unpredictable, and economically unreliable but at the same time you need to be open to whatever it throws your way.  I do believe you get what you put in and I have always worked hard for any shift I do with OTW. In return I have been able to rely on them to find me work, relieving financial stress, and have been flexible enough to help keep myself on track and moving forward in my career. It’s liberating to know you can say yes to any meeting, audition, tour or opportunity without the stress of being fixed into a rota or having to leave a job.

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Tell us more about your theatre background; how did you get into the arts and do you have any favourite experiences?

I joined OTW after graduating with an acting degree, and I know I’m not the only one! I worked as an actor for 2 years before taking a masters degree in Text and Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and Birkbeck University, where I was able to explore a much more analytical way of approaching theatre. I graduated in September with a Distinction grade and the play I wrote for my final dissertation was awarded the Oberon Publishers Prize for Best Playwriting Dissertation. I got to meet with Oberon and Bloomsbury Publishing houses and speaking with professionals about my own writing was an exceptional feeling. Acting can leave you feeling like you don’t have much control over yourself or your work, so knowing I am capable of taking charge of my own creative process is a great feeling.

Congratulations on the success of your play ‘JOY’. Can you tell us a little more about it - from its inception to having it performed at various festivals?

'JOY' was born out of an improvisation exercise. My colleagues and I improvised around the classic play 'Miss Julie' by August Strindberg. We have always been interested in the dichotomy between the classical and the contemporary, and the final piece explored intimacy and rejection. We’ve had an amazing year playing in London, Prague and soon Norway. Travelling for work has been a very special experience!

From your experience, have you made connections through Off to Work that have helped you to progress your career?

I’ve met some exceptionally talented people at Off to Work. The trailer for JOY was filmed by an amazing videographer and played a significant role in the success of the show, which was a connection I made through another filmmaker at Off to Work. The company attracts artists and working around artistic, passionate people inspires me in my career. We support each other’s projects and I have seen some extremely high standard work from colleagues I have made lasting friendships with.

What key advice would you give to young actors / directors starting out in the arts industry?

All I can say is...don’t be afraid!



38085024_10157577404072738_254449238597959680_n.jpg'JOY' performed in Prague.

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