Introducing... Paul Holliday

Posted on: 31st May 2017 at 00:00
Posted by: PANDA
Location: UK
Discipline: Theatre

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Paul Holliday, PANDA member, writer and performer talks to us about his journey into the arts, making films and developing as a writer. Read on to get introduced to him...

Who are you and what do you do?

I am an actor and writer from Liverpool, based in Manchester. I am currently coming to the end of my two-year writing course with the Liverpool Everyman, whilst training at DNA acting on an acting for camera module.

How did you get here?

After studying acting for four years at Liverpool Community College I took the move to Salford, and studied at the University of Salford for a further three years in Drama & Theatre. During my time in Salford I managed to gain a place on the Royal Exchange’s Young Leaders programme, which meant I was involved within the theatre, made my first connections, watched more live theatre, but also enabled me learn more about the arts and how it interacts with the community. Once I left university I earned a place on the Foot In The Door programme with 24:7 theatre festival, and joined the Lowry Membership scheme, and this made my choice to stay in Salford simple.

What have you been up to?

This year has been a big one for me personally, as a film I had written won ‘Best film’ at the MAP48 film festival at 53two, which was a film festival where you were put in a team and had to write, shoot and edit a film within 48 hours. The winning film was shown on the big screen in the Odeon at the Printworks as part of the MIF film festival, and so something I had written I was allowed to view in a cinema, which was an amazing experience.

Shortly after this I was cast as Eric in a short film called ‘Eric and the Barbarian’ after completing two successful audition rounds. The film features names such as Brian Blessed and Diane Youdale (More commonly known as Jet from the Gladiators), and is being produced by Envelope Films. It is a really exciting, and ambitious project that I’m thoroughly made up to be a part of.

I also performed in a short play and wrote another for The Pensive Federation at 53two, as part of their Significant Other show. I have performed and written for The Pensive Federation before, including shows in London and Oldham, and fully recommend any aspiring actors or new writers to keep an eye out for them next time they are in Manchester.

And last but not least, I recently signed with Jane Hollowood, after she came to see me in the Significant Other play, to make this a really great year so far, with hopefully more good news to come.

What’s next?

Who knows, anything is possible. I am currently in line to perform at the Manchester monologue slam finals on 15th June, after making it through the audition round, which I’m really excited about.

And I am currently writing a one-man show, via my Everyman Young Writers course, which I am hoping to hold a scratch night performance of and then move on to finding a venue to perform it in when it is ready for the public.

What would you say to someone trying to make it in the arts?

I would say first and foremost, persistence is key, never give up, you will find a way. Always continue to learn and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, surround yourself with like-minded people, and be as supportive of those people as you possibly can, even if they are going for the same things you are going for. The arts is a community, and we need to work as a community to help it grow.

Why do you do what you do?

I do this because I simply love telling stories, whether it be writing them or acting in them, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Every day is different as well, you meet different people, you never know what is going to happen next, and I don’t feel there are many jobs in the world that can give you that.

Why are the arts important?

With austerity on the rise, and more cuts to come, the arts are more important than ever, because it is a hugely supportive community and we need this platform to express ourselves, otherwise we would just be robots. I work two zero hour jobs for income, and I have had many jobs since leaving university to keep the rent coming in. I wouldn’t be able to do those jobs if I didn’t have art to escape to at the end of the day, or in my time off. I hope that one day I won’t be working on those zero hour contract jobs and will instead create my own source of income through art.

What’s your relationship with PANDA?

PANDA have been with me right from when I left university, I joined them when I was given a place on the Foot In The Door programme, and every time I have sought advice they have helped me on my journey. Through the Foot In The Door programme I was given a work placement with Box of Tricks theatre company, which was quite daunting at the time, as they are a fantastic theatre company, championing new writing and have a great reputation, and PANDA where there for me right throughout that process. When I needed guidance on my writing, they set me up a meeting with writer Chris Salt, who is now my writing mentor, I have had further careers advice sessions and workshops along the way.