5 Tips from Jacob Sparrow (National Theatre Casting)

Be yourself and keep going!

With iconic performances from Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Anthony Hopkins and more recently Helen McCrory, Adrian Lester and Benedict Cumberbatch - the National is an inspiration for all actors.

One of our Mandy Surgeries was co-hosted by Jacob Sparrow from The National Theatre casting department. His 1-2-1 sessions aimed to provide our members with tailored advice on how to prepare for auditions, contact casting directors and how to find creative inspiration.

5 Top Tips from Jacob

  1. Graft! Keep busy by going to the theatre and getting inspired.
  2. Know the text and the character well.
  3. Don’t be afraid to invite casting directors to see your work.
  4. Really study the text before an audition and do research to help with character development.
  5. Be yourself and keep going!


Here's "The Magnificent 9" shortlisted from over 1000 applications sent by Mandy Actors:



Read what they had to say:

‘I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Jacob. A lovely guy who made me feel very comfortable throughout.’
- Josh Harper

‘Love it! Jacob was great to speak to. He made me feel welcome and gave some wonderful insights.’
- Sean Rhys-James

‘Very helpful. What a lovely, lovely, lovely welcoming man. Thank you so much for the opportunity.’
- Hannah Timms

‘Really enjoyable, relaxed and productive. I loved reading with him. What a smart man!’
- Emmy Happisburgh

‘Very helpful - great advice about showreels and headshots. Really friendly informative session.’
- Ieuan Coombs

‘It was lovely to have the chance to meet Jacob in a really friendly relaxed environment and to get honest feedback on a reading. Very helpful and encouraging session.’
- Lily Howkins

‘It’s a joy to do scenes with a casting director and get good constructive criticism and feedback. Also he’s a lovely bloke to chat to which is a bonus!’
- Ashley Gayle

‘Wonderful. Sooo interesting and great to vent my thoughts and questions and have the other side respond.’
- Maisie Greenwood

Keep an eye out for more Mandy Actors Surgeries like the one with Jacob. If you're looking for acting & audition tips, check out our Guides page.