Rising Music Star Charlie Howard On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry

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You can learn a lot more from failure than you can from success so embrace it. Acting is about the journey not the destination so trust you are where you need to be and enjoy the process.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Charlie Howard.

Charlie grew up in Bath, England where he initially pursued a professional rugby career playing at Bath Rugby Academy throughout school. It was his time at Millfield School where he began to take acting more seriously joining the National Youth Theatre and eventually going onto study Drama at The University of Exeter, where he achieved a 1st Class Degree. During his time studying he was cast in multiple plays at the famous Northcott Theatre, Lord of the Flies and The Great Gatsby, as well as short and feature lengths film; Sticky Toffee Pudding an independent film which was released on Amazon Prime and Keep off the Grass which premiered on Film 4. Charlie was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at The British Independent Film Festival for the latter. Through a wish to improve as an actor and get out of his comfort zone, Charlie moved to New York September 2021. He completed the One Year Conservatory Training at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. He was cast in 4 plays: Bent, Eurydice, Twelfth Night and Saint Joan. It was during his “standout” performance of Saint Joan that saw Charlie get scouted and subsequently signed by Matt Delpiano and Cavalry Media. This year he is premiering his original play “Jock” at the Playwrights Horizon Downtown, as well as taking on the role of Claudius in Hamlet at the Flea Theatre in May.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Thank you for including me! I grew up in Bath, in the same house my whole life. I love having all these memories from my childhood being under the same roof. It feels quite special. I have two old sisters and incredibly supportive parents which I am extremely grateful for. When I was 14 I went to boarding school on a rugby scholarship. I loved my time at Millfield School, the facilities are incredible and they had a brilliant drama department, which is where I started to become curious and passionate about acting. I think living away from home at a young age can be challenging, put it pushes you to be independent and take control. I felt very inspired by that and I wanted to make the most of the opportunity I was given.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always been captivated by the idea of performance. I saw the Nutcracker ballet when I was three and I was on the edge of my seat throughout. As a child I loved putting on a show, impressing people and being watched. I think as I grew up I became more serious about it. When I selected for The National Youth Theatre that really opened my eyes to the craft of acting and how professional it all was. That’s when I decided this was what I wanted to do as a career.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I was in a production of Saint Joan directed by Geoffrey Horne and Shakespeare Downtown. I invited over 100 agents by email, not one replied. However, one night I was approached by a famous actor after the show and he was impressed by my performance and offered some great advice. He has been a fantastic mentor to me, incredibly generous and I have since been signed by his manager. I feel incredibly grateful for his support. So thank you!

It has been said that mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The first play I did at school, I walked on stage sat down and waited for my scene partner to enter the stage and start the scene. Time went by and no one came on stage. I was left alone on stage! I panicked and didn’t know what to do. So I started improvising to the audience about how she is always late and spends too much time in the bathroom, I think we got away with it! It taught me to be free in acting, never anticipate, be open to receiving anything so you can be inspired to create something truthful in the moment.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am working on my original solo play “Jock” which is being performed at The Playwright Horizon Downtown in April. It explores topics of toxic masculinity, sexuality and lad culture within a rugby society at University and asks the question: “what does it mean to belong?”. With suicide rates and mental health in men being at a high, I believe this can be a challenging piece of theatre which can provoke an audience and create discussion.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

You can learn a lot more from failure than you can from success so embrace it. Acting is about the journey not the destination so trust you are where you need to be and enjoy the process.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Film and Television is at its most powerful when it holds up a mirror to society, it reflects the world around us. This gives us a chance to connect to one another, stop and think. We have to have diversity represented because these stories need to come from the teller, the one who knows the truth and should be given the platform to share it. I think we would realize we are all the same and maybe understood one another better. This would create change and offer a hopeful future. That would be nice.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

Be patient. At first I was so desperate for the end goal, especially in training, it takes time.

What you put in you get out. I had to really challenge myself to work hard when no one is looking and for that you’ll be rewarded. Listen. I spent a great deal of time pretending to listen, but if you really listen it can do so much for your acting. It is also important in life. Be curious. I think I thought I knew everything when I started but that isn’t the case. You never complete acting, so remain a student and stay fascinated by it all. Keep learning. Lastly, be kind to yourself and to others. It is tough industry so don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go your way and if you treat everyone with respect people will want to work with you, it goes a long way!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Focus on the work not the result. How can you continue to grow as an artist? I try to block out the external factors and avoid comparing myself to others. Instead I focus on what I can control. I think making your own work is important as you don’t need to rely on anyone else and it keeps you creatively fresh. That was what inspired me to write my play.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Expressing how we really feel. I think if we are able to talk comfortably and openly about ourselves that would be of enormous benefit. I think men are particularly bad, we hide behind our emotions a lot of the time, it would be great if we didn’t feel the need to do that and instead were honest. I hope my play can shed light on this.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I would like to thank my acting teacher Geoffrey Horne. He has taught me so much about the art of acting and life in general. He is a fascinating person, with an astonishing approach to life. I have great admiration for him and I extremely grateful for the way he allowed me to learn more about myself. I also want to thank him for giving me the opportunity to be scouted and signed with my manager.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My Dad told me when you’re young you are always worried what people are thinking about you. As you get older you realize no one was thinking about you, everyone is too busy worried about themselves. It sounds morbid but I think it is true. I use to make decisions based on what others would think and it gets in the way of ambition. I have learnt to let go of that, be bold and follow my path.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Paul Mescal for sure! He is my favorite actor right now and a huge inspiration for me. I love the career choices he makes and he has such wonderful sensitivity on screen. I would love to chat to him about his process.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram: @charliejhoward

Website: https://cjhoward75.wixsite.com/mysite

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Rising Music Star Charlie Howard On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.