‘Searching for Harriet’ poster – Goldenway Media Films, Maria Johnsen

OK, my picture isn’t on the poster, but my name is! And I am hugely excited to see how it turns out, when it’s all edited, the music and special effects added etc and the final tweaks done. The script is great – I loved it from the moment I read it – there’s a twist! And it unfolds really nicely too. On the shoot, the crew knew what they were doing 100% and the writer/director Maria Johnsen of GoldenwayMediaFilms is super multi-talented, hard working and efficient. We shall see! I will start picking out dresses for the premiere soon (meat dress anyone?)

It’s a departure for me, acting. I like it, I enjoy it, I seem to have a talent for it (people keep employing me to do it, paying me money, so I must be OK, right?) This is always my test for doing jobs: I’ll have a go and if it seems fun, I’ll keep going. Of course, I haven’t just turned up, Day 1, and had a go. I have done some training, some acting courses. I have worked for nearly five years as an extra/Supporting Artist (SA) on TV productions, films and commercials. I have watched the main cast, the stars, the actors, the directors, the crew, to see how they create the magic. I recently did a student film (as an SA) and was able to watch all the interaction between the main cast and the director – fascinating how he spoke to the actors separately to get different dynamics in different takes. Then in the editing, he’ll see which version he likes best. It may be a look in the eyes, some body language, the tone of voice. I am no expert, but the director seemed to think, hey, I have these actors here for 12 hours, let’s see what different effects or moods we can create, instead of just taking the first take (which was good, these were professional actors after all).

I would love to do more acting training – there’s so much more I don’t know about the art, the craft. But I would say my background as a TV News presenter is helping me. To a large extent, it’s about performing. You can be a great journalist, but not a great BROADCAST journalist, if you lack that performing element (and you see this, and hear it on radio, when print journlaists are interviewed – they have the analysis, ideas and opinions, but not necessarily the fluency in delivering them). Plus, I have always been a bit of a raconteur, storyteller, comedian, mimic, so that helps in delivering a dramatic part.

For now I am combining the acting with journalism, media training, presenting, corporate hosting, webinars etc. So I am very lucky to have the best of all worlds. “Variety is the spice of life”, as they say. Also “a change is as good as a rest” so I am stimulated, challenged and keeping the grey cells sparking (if that’s what they do?) Long may it continue.

And I’ll post a picture of the meat dress when it happens. Or maybe a variation. Whelk trouser suit, anyone?

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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