Actor Life in the US vs. the UK (with Harry Waller)

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This Wooden O

This week, Daniel and Monty discuss similarities and differences of life as a working actor in the United States and across the Pond in the U.K. with intercontinental special guest, Harry Waller!

Topics include:

  • Bard City‘s most recent “Shakespeare in a Week” production of Troilus and Cressida.
  • The surprising clarity that can be discovered in a short rehearsal process, and the constant yearning for more time in a rehearsal process regardless of length.
  • The thrill of getting to play roles cast non-traditionally and play parts you never thought you’d get a shot at.
  • Working with Christopher Luscombe on The History Boys and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s productions of Love’s Labours Lost and Love’s Labours Won (or Much Ado About Nothing).
  • The importance of and differences between the respective acting unions: Equity (UK) and Actors Equity (US).
  • The brutal nature of the E.P.A. (Equity Principal Audition, or a union-run open call for union members in the US).
  • Legal and professional differences between non-union and union acting work.
  • Self-submission services like Actors Access or Backstage in the US or Spotlight in the UK.
  • The difficulty of accessing for auditions for non-union actors in the US and for actors without agents in the UK.
  • The “illusion of openness” in the US industry vs. the closed nature of the UK industry.
  • Being overwhelmed by the number of people auditioning for a given role in New York vs. in London.
  • The huge differences between the typical audition in the UK and the US.
  • What’s actually going on in our minds when we’re auditioning actors and how different it is from what we assumed when auditioning for others.
  • An important campaign to get Monty on next season of Living With Yourself using hashtags #CastMontyInLivingWithYourself and #LivingWithMontyself

This week, we introduce a new segment at the end where Daniel and Monty each share a recommendation from the past week for something to watch, read, or listen to. This week, Daniel suggests Living With Yourself on Netflix, and Monty suggests the podcast Knowing: Robin Williams from Macmillan Podcasts.

Music is by Kara Arena, Master of Music for Rude Grooms. Follow us @thiswoodeno on Twitter and Instagram, visit us on the web at, like us at, or support us on Patreon ( to join the conversation during livestream broadcasts of every episode.

This week’s shoutouts & further reading include:

This Wooden O is a production of Rude Grooms. Learn more at or follow us @rudegrooms on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

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