22 March 2016

Industry Professionals

“I found working with the Ascend Actors Group to be a creative, stimulating and rewarding experience. Their approach is ethical, professional and imaginative and the interaction thus possible within our workshop was of a high calibre.”
Jonathan East (Director- Beowulf/Downtown Abbey/Stan Lee’s Lucky Man)
“It was such a pleasure doing a workshop for Ascend Actors Group, whom I admire hugely. Great atmosphere, beautifully organised, really felt we all learnt something from it. I look forward to working with Ascend again.”
Steve Finn, Director (Eastenders, BBC)
” It was great to find a group of like minded individuals with whom to share experience of the industry, learn and grow. Ascend’s attitude to working in this business is very similar to my own and I also learned a lot from the high calibre of workshop participants”
Alice Purser, CDG – Casting Director/Casting Associate
” Stephanie runs the whole operation with great warmth, enthusiasm and professionalism. The actors are receptive and responsive and really seem to relish the workshop environment.”
Louis Hammond CDG,(Young Vic, Royal Court)
” Ascend Actors Group has a loyal and diverse following.  The actors worked hard and listened carefully during my recent film workshop.  It was a rewarding time”
Simone Reynolds, CDG – Casting Director/Career Consultant
“I had the pleasure of working the Ascend Actors Group recently. A fresh and exciting set-up driven by actor Stephanie who constantly pushes to open doors for new, young actors or established industry names. The level of professionalism is second-to-none and as a practitioner and an actor, I cannot recommend them highly enough.”
Simon Naylor (Head of 1st Year BA Acting a Italia Conti, 2010-2015)
“I ran a workshop for Ascend this month and I was so impressed by the high standard of the participants.  I found dealing with Ascend nothing but a total pleasure -they are a very professionally run outfit and really care about the development of their actors.”
Lucy Jenkins CDG,(Jenkins McShane Casting)
“The actors I’ve met at Ascend workshops are professional, attentive and engaging. It’s great that Ascend provides an on-going training programme for actors to learn and refresh their skills.”
Gemma Hancock CDG, (Hancock Stevenson Casting)
“It has been a pleasure to work with Stephanie and the Ascend Actors Group. The actors that attend the workshops are eager to learn, hardworking and committed to their craft.”
Christiana Ebohon, (Freelance BBC and Film Director)
“Being one of the industry professionals invited to work with those attending the Ascend sessions has been exciting, inspiring and a practical source of talent. Leading a group workshop (in this instance exploding various ways of approaching Shakespeare’s text), networking and having the chance to combine learning and sharing towards greater career development. I ended up casting one of the group in a play I directed at Theatre 503 so the session proved very beneficial for me. “
Anthony Lennon, (Freelance Director and Assistant Director – RSC and National Theatre)
“I loved working with Stephanie at The Ascend Actors Group. Stephanie’s incredibly, passionate and organised. There needs to be more people like Stephanie genuinely helping actors in and out of work across the industry “
Jo McInnes, (Freelance Director – Royal Court, Soho Theatre, National Theatre)
“I was delighted to be invited to give a workshop to the Ascend Actors Group. Their overall ethos and commitment to their work meant that the workshop was full of enthusiastic, prepared participants and led to a really rewarding session. I found it stimulating, engaging and inspiring and am full of admiration for Stephanie and the members. “
Virginia Gilbert, (BAFTA nominated and award wining Film and & TV Director and Writer)


“After doing my very first workshop with Ascend, which was such integral learning, Stephanie (head of Ascend) put me forward for a paid commercial she new was being cast. I fit the brief and got the job. My acting talent was reconized within the workshop environment by a person I didn’t think was paying any attention. I’ve never known paid work to come from workshops before, couldn’t be more overjoyed! “
Melissa Dean (Line of Duty, Eastenders)

“Not only is Stephanie a lovely person, she’s a feeling person, and when she finds something that she knows will make other actors feel good she creates a workshop and – bingo. Yesterday everyone in that room with Jon East was tingling and feeling connected: learning together in a safe, warm environment and they were all there because of her.”
Roseanna Frascona (LAMDA graduate)

“For my first workshop with Ascend, I’m very pleased to say that I really enjoyed it. A great opportunity to meet some very talented actors and also learn more about your craft and yourself from the wisdom of Nadine Rennie. A have double thumbs-up!”
Kevin Mathurin (BBC2)

“Everything I wanted from a workshop: fun, insightful, challenging, and a great opportunity to be seen by one of the leading casting directors in the game. Flawlessly organised and professionally run.”
Sam Benjamin (Peaky Blinders BBC, Fresh Meat E4)

Lauren Douglin“Your workshops are the ones I feel I most develop in – and I do A LOT.”
Lauren Douglin (The Five, Sky One)

Deli Segal“The myth that casting directors are cold and inapproachable was successfully deconstructed by Alice at this fantastic workshop. She was so warm and friendly, and took the time to get to know every one of us, flagging up potential pitfalls in TV castings in response to our performances. I’m so glad I went – thank you Ascend Actors!”
Deli Segal

Ben Alminta“Thank you for the workshop with Virginia Gilbert. It was one of the most informative workshops I have been in, over the past couple of years. There was a wealth of information about analysing scenes, auditioning and general common sense approaches that I thought were really helpful…Thanks for the information provided, great collaborative environment, relaxed setting and help…”
Ben Altimira

“I really enjoyed the workshop, it was very well done. Nadine made everyone feel relaxed and comfortable but kept it very professional. I’d highly recommend a workshop run by the Ascend Actors group to any graduate, professional or experienced performer.”
Simon Hubbard (Doctors, BBC)

“I really enjoyed the workshop with Nadine Rennie. It was very informative and inspirational, especially for someone like me who has just left drama school as is trying to find their feet. I left with many nuggets of wisdom!”
Kelsey Short

“Such an amazing workshop – really fascinating and revealing – I’m still getting revelations from it! Another useful piece of kit for the acting tool box and life in general that I’m hoping to explore further. Thanks Ascend Actors for a great workshop!”
Ellie Bateman

“I had an amazing time at the Ascend workshop with Casting director Nadine Rennie. I felt very comfortable and relaxed within the group, and was very grateful for the amazing advice and tools that Nadine bestowed upon us. I found the feedback from the texts we performed extremely useful, and will most certainly make use of it for future castings. What Ascend are doing is great, and I look forward to joining more workshops in the near future.”
Chinwe A Nwokolo (I Still Do – Film)

“Thank you so much for letting me into the secret life of the casting director. The workshop was very helpful, great tips, and it was so much fun! Oh how we laughed!!”
Laura Simm

“Ascend created a relaxed and safe environment for us to tackle audition technique. Nadine’s feedback was clear, concise and wholly constructive. It was fantastic to learn through watching the other actors work and to see how they engaged with different texts. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with bold new writing and be part of something special in the room.”
Evie Lockley (The Park Theatre, The Almeida Theatre)

“I really enjoyed the session, Nadine was cool, professional, honest, realistic and hopeful. Even though I’ve had a fair old journey with theatre, it’s still an exciting place with lots to learn & great talent. I saw all that last night, Thank you.”
Charlie Folorunsho (The Trail, The Young Vic)

“The class with Nadine Rennie was really insightful and beneficial. A great opportunity to meet a casting director with this experience and knowledge and to get her views on auditioning today.”
Nancy Sulivan (Harry Prince:Ghost Hunter, ITV

“In an industry where we can’t always do what we love as much as we’d like, Ascend’s workshops allow us to do what we love more often and learn from each other in a safe environment, as well as the opportunity to learn from different casting directors and other people in the industry.”
Rosa Coduri Fulford

“Ascend’s Casting for Screen workshop was the tonic I need to reignite a dying flame. A small group that meant we all got time and attention from Gemma Hancock and at three hours for £32 it really was value for money. I learnt invaluable lessons from this and will definitely be booking more with Ascend!”
Lloyd Thomas (Macbeth, The Globe Theatre)  

“It was an extremely valuable and timely workshop. I had a meeting with a new agent and was able to let her know about meeting Gemma Hancock and she was impressed and signed me up 🙂  I have an audition on Monday out of that, and I’ll be prepared in how to present myself as a result of the course.” 
Douglas Mcfarlane

“The workshop with Nigel Douglas was excellent.  Informative and fun. It was an extremely insightful session into realising the pitfalls actors can fall into when analysing a tv/film script and useful in receiving first hand knowledge and tips from such a renowned director.”
Miriam Babooram

“Thank you Ascend for the opportunity to work with Nigel Douglas last night. The Workshop was really enjoyable and it totally changed the way I will approach a script especially audition scenes. I would 100% recommend to anybody who is considering attending.”
John Shevlin 

“This was my first workshop with Ascend and a TV director and I it found exceptionally useful and engaging. Lewis wanted to get to know us as people as well as actors. The advice was honest and refreshing and all the practical elements made sure everyone was always involved. Thank you team.”
Lauren Douglin (The Five, Sky One)

“Cheers Steph! Thank YOU for organising it. Another Ascend success!
Lewis is brill!”

Sam Benjamin (Peaky Blinders BBC, Fresh Meat E4)

“The workshop with Lewis was fantastic! It’s amazing how much I learnt from just three hours! I felt a LOT better as an actor after hearing Lewis’ tips and advice. His feedback on the scenes we did was incredibly encouraging and opened my eyes to a new way of working and understanding a scene. Lewis’ advice on auditions and booking the job were brilliant. I have started to look at my career as a business now and I really can’t wait to return again soon!”
Tina Mander

“Really interesting evening. Gave me lots of pause for thought moments, in fact still thinking about it ( in a good way)!”
Corinne Jordan (Holby City, BBC)

“I had an amazing time at Lewis Arnold’s workshop amongst such great talent. A supportive, safe atmosphere was created where us actors were able to do what we do best – play. Thank you Ascend Actors “
Kike Brimah (Doctors, BBC)

“A very professional workshop, I loved the warm-up at the beginning. We came to work and learn not only on ourselves but also through watching others in the class. We used every minute constructively. Cheers!”
Chris Rochester (Queen Pokou, The Albany Theatre)

“I loved tonight, and it inspired me.”
Dalina Pop – Mason

“Thanks so much for the workshop yesterday. I really enjoyed it and found Louis’s advice invaluable.”
Suzy Whitefield (RICHARD III, RSC / Leicester Square Theatre),

“I had such an amazing time at the Louis Hammond workshop. It was a very informative and fun workshop and I took away some useful tips I will be using now in my journey as an actor. Thank you again for an amazing experience. I look forward to many more.”
Isaac Sosanya

“Thanks for an informative and fun workshop.”
Leejay Townsend

“Thank you for putting together another great workshop; as always, I learnt a lot and it really left me inspired!”
Tina Mander

“The workshop yesterday was so wonderful and such a great learning tool for how to be prepared in the industry.”
Roseanna Frascona 

“The workshop was amazing! It rejuvenated me as an actor in a way I didn’t realise I needed. I spent the three hours excited and energised as well as feeling honoured to be part of this group of actors on this amazing journey! I defy anyone not to have had an amazing time.”
Jackson Pentland
“Thank you the workshop with Anthony was one of the best I’ve had. I feel like it affected how I view my acting life as well as tackling text. Brilliant! Also your Agent List has become invaluable, saving much needed time. Ascend has become a resource I go to first.”
Hayley Powell
Lottie Finklaire“I really enjoyed the workshop, sometimes it’s just so great to know that you’ve had more or less the right idea about how to do it all along.”
Lottie Finklaire

Amer Patel“The workshop was great. The chair chat was something new for me, but it was a new audition technique tool which helps you relax before you jump into the audition. Look forward to more workshops and intensives in the future.”
Amer Patel

Alfie Turco“Hello there I found the workshop very helpful. Nicci and Marie were really thorough and bonding to my needs cause I have severe dyslexia. I went out of my comfort zone which was really hard but challenging I’m a positive determined focused individual who doesn’t give up easily. Thanks again. “
Alfie Turco

Lilly Driscoll“I loved the workshop with Jo; it was so in-depth and really, really helpful. It was great to just spend three hours with a really down to earth director. ”
Lilly Driscoll (Jekyll & Hyde, ITV Studios)

Lucie Regan“I really enjoyed the class last night. Jo created a very encouraging and supportive workspace. Her passion and insight is incredible. I came away with so many things to work on and a strong sense of ownership for my work. ”
Lucie Regan (In The Cafe – Short Film)

Richard Conrad“Thoroughly enjoyed the workshop yesterday and really love these opportunities that you guys are providing. ”
Richard Conrad (Guildford School of Acting – graduate)

Henry Heathcote“I really enjoyed Jo’s workshop last night. She seemed to care so deeply and had a lovely way of making everybody in the room feel important and supported. I honestly felt like she brought out some of my best work and I left the session full of renewed confidence and love for acting. I will be recommending her to other friends, so do try and line her up to deliver a future class! Looking forward to seeing what other workshops I can attend with you. ”
Henry Heathcote

Jackson Pentland“The workshop was great as it really opened my eyes to the way TV is cast and nothing is more valuable than being given the freedom to do what you would normally do then being given the gift on instruction of how to make it better. Nigel had so much to share, such insight and honesty is inspiring and gives focus to you moving forward. ”
Jackson Pentland

Lauren Douglin“Today was the most encouraged I have ever felt in a workshop. The attention to detail throughout, from the initial chat to analysing my preparation and research of the text as well as feedback on my performance, has given me a whole plethora of tools and knowledge to take with me to future castings, feeling positive and prepared. I highly recommend all Ascend Workshops to all positive, hardworking actors looking to not only improve themselves and their knowledge but to also feel part of a growing and supportive community. Your workshops are the ones I feel I most develop in – and I do A LOT.”
Lauren Douglin

Jacqueline Johnson“I had a fantastic experience, even though I probably talked too much irrelevant stuff. Thanks for giving me the opportunity – it was invaluable. Although I’ve been in the acting business a long time, I constantly crave more insight, advice and tools to better my performance and success and I always come away from the workshops feeling inspired and optimistic.”
Jacqueline Johnson

Selina Lumber“It was so much fun and a great chance to meet new people again and learn from each other. The setup was brilliant – just like and audition and Nigel gave us some valuable advice and feedback that I will definitely use! Great venue and such lovely and supportive people to work with. Will definitely keep going to Ascend’s workshops, they’re great!”
Selina Lumber

“Last night’s workshop was great and super useful! Will definitely keep doing them with Ascend! ”
Ana Esteves

The Agent List

Sapphire Joy“Precise and straight to the point. Helps you find talent agencies near your base and provides their details. Great for those looking for representation for the first time and those seeking new representation.”
Sapphire Joy (Casualty, BBC)

Hayley Powell“I think your list is very helpful. As an actor I’ve decided to focus on making my own work and developing skills, so I my time is becoming very valuable. You can spend a lot of time writing to agents etc, and this makes the effort worthwhile.”
Hayley Powell

Money Secrets for Actors Workshop

Lauren Banio“Thank you so much! The advice you’ve given me is invaluable. It’s such a stressful topic for most actors but I feel the power is back in my hands now. “
Lauren Banio

Andrea Aboagye“An invaluable workshop for the creative professional. It was relaxed and inclusive, and thanks for the snacks! “
Andrea Aboagye (Meet The Adebanjos)

Cheska Hill Wood“A very necessary and helpful tool for actors at any stage of their career. “
Cheska Hill Wood

Durassie Kiangangu“Dear Stephanie and Evelyn! Thank you for inviting me to this workshop. This is a brilliant, supportive idea and I have thankfully gotten a clear idea of how to think of my earning in the LONG TERM. And I emphasis long-term in capitals!”
Durassie Kiangangu

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