My Book ‘How To Be a Successful Actor’ Is Out Now

•June 25, 2014 • 1 Comment

This post is a very special one. After years of work my acting book, How To Be a Successful Actor: Becoming an Actorpreneur, is finally out.

Cover by Steve McAleavy

Cover by Steve McAleavy

I am very proud of the book. It has already sold some copies, climbing to number 5 in the Kindle chart under Stage & Theatre. It has exclusive interviews with casting director and industry professionals. Including some really great advice from Spotlight’s Emma Dyson and casting director Amy Hubbard.

I have written down everything I have learned from over ten years in the industry and it is the book I would have wanted to read when I first started out, and even after acting for years. It covers everything from casting sites, auditions, self tape auditions, accents, drama school, acting anecdotes and words of wisdom from famous actors like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney.

I hope you will take a look. It is available here.


2013 In Review

•December 31, 2013 • Leave a Comment

2013 In Review: Another brilliant year. Here is what I got up to. Let me know how you got on. Happy New Year.

Passed driving test
Went to Paris on the Eurostar for the first time…
And got engaged.
Started planning a wedding
Got the lead role in horror film Divided Soul.
Took part in the Girls On Film talks at the Underwire Film Festival
Moved house.
Was honoured at the Pre-Cannes film festival and presented for my work as an actress.
Had an amazing press trip to Toulouse. A wonderful experience with great people, reviewing Toulouse and the restaurants and landmarks within it. Flew business class with BMI to Toulouse. Was completely spoiled.
Went to a lot of amazing events and London Fashion Week (twice, as I do every year)
Built my online magazine, Frost Magazine, up even more. It is now a thinker’s lifestyle magazine that has reached well over a million people.
Had fun at Glamour magazine’s Michael Kors event.
Went to the launch of The Socrates Project and had a great chat with the author, Daron Sheehan.
And the launch of Nicholas Lezard’s new book.
Went to the opening of The House of Peroni – a great night.
Damaged my back, leading to endless MRI’s and physiotherapy. ;-(
Lost over a stone in weight. (which I put on because of the back injury. Grr)
Saw The Book of Mormon. An amazing show that everyone must see.
Went to the Google offices in London to learn all about Google+
Had lots of fun at the Girl’s Night Out to raise awareness for cervical cancer
Had a chat with Giles Deacon at the launch of his new jewellery range for QVC at The Ivy
Went to a great non-fiction seminar, ‘How to Create A Non-Fiction Bestseller’, at RADA thanks to Handpicked Media. I learned a lot.
Got a preview of Superdry’s Timothy Everest collaboration at their headquarters. Lots of fun.
Was lucky enough to get a preview of the new Kobo. Kobo were also generous enough to give me one.
Added beautiful jewellery to my collection after going to the launch of Pandora’s new store on Oxford Street.
Learned a lot at the Innocent Inspires event.
Gave up sugar for a month with the Mentor Me Off Sugar programme.
Went to the Sure Improve Rooms with my friend Holly. Met inspirational people.
Went to the Fashion Fabulous book launch.
Got a preview of Jaeger’s new collection.
Saw Sleeping Arrangements. Enjoyable play.
Went to Birmingham for the first time.
Enjoyed total decadence, and 24k gold lips at the opening of Bar Chocolate.
Wanted to spend lots of money on the clothes at QVC’s fashion show in September.
Made an effort to take advantage of the amazing museums in London. Therefore leaving 2013 much more cultured than I went in.
Tried anti-gravity yoga and barrel ballet.
Had some very exciting meetings.
Saw the return of Spamalot. Warwick Davis was great.
Walked down the red carpet during the amazing and glamorous 21st Raindance Film Festival. Went casual in jeans and a T-Shirt.
Wrote a short film script and a feature-length script.
Wrote over 1000 articles.
Now have 32 credits on IMDB.
Got a preview of the brilliant film Easy Money at 20th Century Fox.

Some of the restaurant’s reviewed:

Charlotte’s Bistro
Claude’s Kitchen
The Anthologist
Big Easy
Spice Market
Grill on the Market
Honky Tonk
Snog (paid)
Bar Chocolate
Le Secret Des Rotisseurs

Talking at The Underwire Festival 2013

•November 22, 2013 • 2 Comments

Tomorrow (Saturday 23rd) I will be speaking at the Underwire Festival as part of a panel discussing the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I am really proud to be part of a panel that includes Simran Hans, Kaite Welsh, Laurie Penny and Sara Pascoe. I wrote an article about women being portrayed accurately on film for the Huffington Post.

Photo credit: Steve McAleavy

Photo credit: Steve McAleavy

I will be talking about my experience as an actor and also as an actor/writer/director. More and more women are making their own work due to a lack of roles, which is a very good thing. There are only a few tickets left so get them here quickly.

I will recap after the panel to let you all know what happened.

The Best Way To Improve Your Acting Career: Make Your Own Work

•September 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

There is a new wave of actor. A new triple threat: writer/producer/actor. Sick of waiting for the phone to ring, actors are doing it for themselves. And with great results. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck may have started their careers by writing an Oscar-winning script but now even more people are breaking through with the force of sheer talent. I wrote an article about this in my online magazine, Frost.

I was interviewed about making my own feature length directorial debut, which I also wrote and starred in, Prose & Cons. I made this with my filmmaking partner, Steve McAleavy.

Prose & Cons, Catherine Balavage, actor, actress, writer, director

We have another three films in the pipeline and some documentaries. I am pretty excited about it. Watch this space for me, and click trough to the article on Frost for some inspiration.

New Interview: I Tell Matt Horn All About Prose & Cons

•June 6, 2013 • 1 Comment

I have been interviewed by prolific film blogger Matt Horn. In the interview I talk about my first feature length directorial debut, Prose & Cons. My film making partner, Steve and a lot of other cool things, and even cooler people. Have a read here and let me know what you think.

My First Horror Film

•May 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

A lot of exciting things have happened since I last posted. I want to apologise for the lack of updates, a lot has happened and I have been lucky enough to be busy. I will catch up with my blogging and tell you all about it.

It is not a lesbian horror film, promise.

The first exciting piece of news is that I not only did my first horror film, Soul Divided, but I was also the lead. In every scene apart from two. I have been the lead before and it is always exciting. It was an honour but it was also exhausting. To play the lead in a film is an amazing thing. You really get stuck into the character and you get to shape the film. I play Marina who, in the words of the Die Hard movies, is about to have a very bad day.

Catherine Balavage Horror actress

I have to admit that I don’t watch a lot of horror films but they are fun to make. I have been covered in blood, ran through woods while being chased by demons and stabbed someone.

The film was made by BHM Films who made the cult urban drama ‘Circle of Revenge’. I was directed by J. Valentine and was only cast after a four hour audition in which I had to go mad, cry and then kill myself in the space of five minutes. It was certainly an experience.

The film was produced by Darren Baba who is the incredible guy who cast me in Downton Abbey. (see, it is all about making connections) Darren, Valentine and DOP Derrion Adams are incredibly talented. I really enjoyed working with them and hope to do so again. I will keep you informed on the progress of the film. The team are very talented and I think it will be amazing.

What’s Your Number?

•February 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

385709_10151132366557093_466875987_nVanity Fair brought out their annual Hollywood issue this month. Along with some great pictures and interviews with the good and great of Hollywood, they also had the number of credits each person had near their photo. Personally, I found this fascinating.

Olivia Wilde has 28 credits, Eddie Redmayne has 12, Kerry Washington has 33, Jim Sturgess has 17, Tom Hanks has 55, Dakota Fanning has 27, Halle Berry has 30, Johan Hill has 28, as does Amy Adams, Benedict Cumberbatch has 20. The excellent Jack Huston has 17, Michael Douglas has 42, while his father, Kirk, has an impressive 86. Brit Marling has done 6 and Liam Neeson 62. Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth has 9.

I think their credit system went off IMDB. While IMDB is brilliant, sometimes an actor has more credits than it lists. It also only lists film and TV credits. So no commercials or music videos. Every single credit is impressive no matter how many there are. It is hard to get cast in a TV show or a film. You are up against hundreds, if not thousands of people. Wentworth Miller said in an interview: “You might look at my CV and see I’ve had 12 jobs, but I’ve been to over 450 auditions so I’ve heard ‘no’ a lot more than I’ve heard ‘yes’. So if I go in looking only to meet my own standards, then that will make taking that rejection a little bit easier. And when I do get that job it will seem like icing on the cake.”

So what is my personal number? Before I saw the list I was not happy with how little I feel I have worked, but afterwards I felt a lot better. I have a healthy 31 credits on IMDB, and over 80 on my actual acting CV.  (which I do tend to cut down) Not bad for someone of my age.

What is your number?



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