One of the things I love the most about London is its international vibe. Since I moved here, I’ve met artists who came to seek their luck in this city of opportunities from all over the world. Even though the times now aren’t the happiest and London might not be what it used to be, in my eyes it is still the place to be and to make the most of it.

It can be quite overwhelming, in both a good and bad way. On one side there are all these options: so many places to train and meet people, so many websites and books offering advice on ‘how to make it’, all the events and so on. It’s like a treat you were waiting for your whole life, yet it’s a trap that can consume you at the same time which is the other side of the coin. Personally, I had to learn the hard way a couple of things that I wish someone had told me before. One of the trap effects is the “where to start?” question and the “I want to be everywhere and do everything, because now I finally can” problem. But over the time I realised how important timing and careful research are, and probably the biggest change in my mindset came when I accepted that acting is a journey, not a race. It takes time to dig your feet into how things work in a certain place, so taking the time to properly start off over there might just make the difference between the person who works their way up and the one leaving disappointed and broke.

I found it extremely helpful to start with networking. Not only in person, but on Twitter as well. Talking with people and reading about the places to train, drama schools, events worth attending, people who are a ‘must’ to meet and places to check out, all gave me ideas about what is out there. However, I felt like I needed a plan and set priorities, otherwise I would end up aimlessly running around and splitting my focus too thinly.

After finding out what was out there, I had to learn how it all works in the UK. New country equals new rules. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a year and half in the USA, and living in L.A. particularly has taught me a lot. Coming to London was not such a big shock as it seems to me that it is similar to L.A. in a way, whereas Czech Republic where I come from is quite different as it it such a small market. Yet I noticed one slight difference between the USA and UK: how training is perceived over here. It seems to me that all places have certain reputation and having them on your CV speaks about you. Also, it appears to be harder to work your way up not having gone through drama school, but of course it is not impossible. It’s quite frustrating having training and experience but learning that my experience is looked down upon due to not being from ‘over here’.

I understand this view in a way, of course, but I think it’s important to not let it bring you down. I try to see it as a challenge to be accepted and a chance to test and prove myself – if you really want something there is nothing that can stop you. Everything you’ve done and experienced plays an important role in who you are as a person and an actor. Starting out in another country might make you start in a career-vice, but it won’t take your personal experience away from you. Conversely, it could help you work your way up faster and your international flavour just might make you stand out.

Image by Lenka Šilhánová