The ultimate survival guide for performer

We asked a selection of our best-loved celebs the same 3 questions. Here's what they replied...

1. What did you do to generate income between acting work before your career took off?
Su Pollard: I was fortunate in that I was a speed typist so therefore worked as a temp. Also I made sandwiches in a pub and worked at Godfrey Davis car hire cleaning the cars - a sort of valet service. I also cleaned houses - very difficult - no labour-saving devices. In short, I CHOSE to pay my rent so that meant doing any REASONABLE job I could find. 

2. At what point in your career did you get your 'break' and how did this come about?
Su Pollard: I was appearing in a Cameron Mackintosh production of Godspell and one night an agent came to see it. He was representing Jesus and had come to support his client. Afterwards the agent introduced himself, asked if I would consider representation and left his card. I was so elated. He was absolutely instrumental in getting me the part of Peggy Ollerenshaw in 'Hi-Ee-Hi', so really, I consider my first 'break' was getting represented by a well-respected agent who believed in me and my potential.

3. What do you feel would be the best piece of advice you could give to someone starting out in the profession?
 Su Pollard: Believe in yourself.  NOT COCKY. Just confident enough. Never expect, just HOPE, in being given a part. BE ON TIME!!! Punctuality is essential. It is a statement of intent, i.e. you are committed to the job and are respecting what is required of you. Respect your director and choreographer. Do not make the mistake of thinking they have to prove themselves to you. Remember, their experience elevates them. Respect them and they will respect you. You may even find yourself in more of their productions simply because of the 'P' word, PROFESSIONALISM.

An Actor Despairs
October 2005