Performers across the UK are being urged to benefit from FREE online masterclasses and workshops from industry experts.
Launched by casting directors Pearson Casting, the Collective Creative Initiative (CCI) is bringing performers and industry experts together while they are unable to work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
And since its launch in June more than 50,000 hours of classes have already been viewed while almost 4,000 people have signed up to the initiative’s dedicated YouTube channel.
The simple concept, fully funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, provides up to six hours of classes a day streamed five days a week on YouTube, and features workshops, industry Q&A’s and masterclasses for aspiring performers and those already working in the theatre, arts and entertainment industry.
The whole programme is delivered by West End and industry experts across theatre, TV, film, legal, accountancy and mental health.
Classes range from acting advice and tips, singing workshops, dance and exercise, to legal issues, accountancy and wellbeing. An online library of the classes is available for one month after broadcast and currently includes more than a hundred hours of sessions ranging from Writing a Solo Show, Looking at Performance in Shakespeare, Guided Meditation and Essential Accountancy, to Contemporary Dance Improvisation, Film, Commercial and TV Casting, Vocal Warm-Up sessions and dozens of Q&A’s.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response so far,” said James Pearson, of Pearson Casting.
“When we put the plan together for CCI we really didn’t know what sort of response we would get from the industry but we have been blown away by the number of people who are taking part – whether by offering their services in the form of classes or those who are watching the different classes daily.
“It’s a great way of reaching people who are unable to work at the moment and we hope it is really helping those people get through these very uncertain times for the entertainment industry.”
Innovate UK has initially funded CCI for six months until December and James and partner Rosie are now urging performers aged from four to 104 to benefit from the classes as they look at plans to expand the programme into 2021.
Rosie added: “Our ethos is simple. It’s about creating equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of economic circumstances, age and training and it doesn’t matter whether individuals are professionals, aspiring professionals, or performing is their hobby.
“These classes are 100% free for everyone and we feel this is the perfect time to do something that not only benefits people who are already in the industry, but also those who may not normally have access to performing arts experts.”
And with celebrated choreographer and legend of British Theatre and TV, Arlene Phillips CBE, writer and composer Toby Marlow and writer and director Lucy Moss of Marlow and Moss, creators of SIX The Musical, as official Patrons, CCI has received an industry seal of approval.
Arlene said: “CCI is reaching out with support for everyone involved in the arts, to advise, teach and guide those who need it most, whether they are students new to the industry, or professionals who find their lives turned upside down, and the future looking bleak. Never has a project been so timely and I’m proud to be a patron of the CCI.”
CCI online classes are updated weekly and available via YouTube here (https://www.youtube.com/collectivecreativeinitiative)
To find out more about CCI go to: https://www.collectivecreativeinitiative.co.uk/