Emma Chelsey is an actor that wants more from her industry and rather than sitting around with her fellow acting colleagues and talking about it, she did something about it. Emma started Actor’s Resource, a website and Facebook page dedicated to sharing industry knowledge. She noticed a trend in our little, competitive theatre industry was that artists were individualistic in their approach to their craft. It was something they did for themselves and by themselves. Actor’s Resource seeks to unite feisty, passionate actors to join their energy together to share knowledge and grow as CEO’s of their own business. After a year of operation, we spoke to Emma about Actor’s Resource’s achievements and ambitions heading into a new year.
What is Actor’s Resource?
The Actors Resource is an online community. It has interviews, a talent directory of services, industry news, and a public forum to promote your own work whether you are an established artist or a newcomer to the industry.
The focus is to encourage artists to build their own careers.
What inspired you to create it?
I was frustrated with the lack of communication among the industry on public platforms. I realized that due to the industry being so small, a lot of people tend to go towards an every man-for-himself type of mindset, rather than banding together.
My good friend and creative partner (of The Actors Resource) Amanda Worthington Browne is an Aussie living and working in the States and we spoke about the differences between the two markets. She was immediately on board with The Actors Resource.
I couldn’t find a resource anywhere online that had what I was looking for all in the one place. I wanted to find a place where artists can connect with one another, promote local productions and motivate others to collaborate and create their own work. We all have a story to tell.
How did you go about taking those first few steps?
It started as a Facebook group posting helpful articles and moved onto a blog. From there came the Facebook page and website with a directory of services (listing industry professionals), interviews with established artists such as casting directors, directors, actors and agents, and it has grown from there.
What have you learned along the way about creating a new network from scratch?
The network started small with local artists I knew and it grew as we reached out to the Sydney community, then the wider Australian community, and we now have followers in the States too.
What are your ambitions for Actor’s Resource?
We want to build a safe space for artists to create work and hang out and support each other. We want to provide a platform for creating new work. We have a few exciting things coming up so stay tuned!
How does running Actor’s Resource feed into your career as an actor?
The reason why we have such valuable information is because we are constantly researching and staying up to date with what is happening in the industry both locally and internationally. We are really interested in industry trends and want to improve our local industry, look for ways to support artists, create our own work; thus generating more opportunities and work for everyone.
Acting is a business, and it requires having a business mind sometimes. You are the CEO of your company and brand and you have to take control of your career and we are encouraging others to do the same.
What’s the 10 year plan? How will you balance the acting career and the business career?
I am a big believer in creating your own work so I will continue to promote that. I have a TV series currently in development and would love to create some theatre in the near future. As for The Actors Resource, I would love for it to become a safe, creative space where people can come to work and create and bring the community together. The two feed into each other. The 10 year plan would be working internationally and in Australia and have The Actors Resource functioning overseas too!
Emma Chelsey is a WAAPA acting graduate. She made her professional debut in ‘Pornography’ at the Malthouse Theatre and was most recently seen on stage in Sport for Jove Theatre’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘The Crucible’. She is currently in development of TV project ‘Belle Vue’. She will be seen next on screen in the feature film ‘Zelos’.