Lectures and Workshops

John Byrne is a compelling speaker on a wide range of topics related to building a career as a professional actor, drawing not only on his own extensive expertise but also well over 1,000 in depth interviews with theatre and film professionals as well as direct involvement in the careers of several successful performers in the acting, musical theatre and opera field.


Sample Session Topics:

Creating a Business Plan for Your Acting Career

Practical information helping actors develop awareness of themselves as a business, and apply business planning methods to their career goals in an easily understood an effective way.

“I found the idea of sort of managing your own business and being essentially your own businesswoman was really helpful.”

— Emily Thompson, acting student, London

Devising and marketing your one person show

For actors in today’s market being able to make one’s own work is an essential skill. Having worked with many performers on developing individual projects for Edinburgh Fringe, TV and Audio pilots and short films, this session offers practical advice both on selecting topics and formats which will work from a marketing and budget point of view, but also on making them real in a way that will complement and showcase each individuals unique strengths as an actor.

Effective Communication and Media Skills for Actors

From writing to agents and casting directors to using social media effectively, from dealing with press interviews to securing coverage for individual shows and performances, the ability to communicate as effectively offstage as on has become an increasingly vital skill for today’s actor. Drawing on over 30 years of press and media experience this session equips the actor to communicate professionally, successfully from the beginning of their career.

“The more knowledge you have the better; the more you get realistic about your own type and your own talent and the industry.”

— Renate Morley, actress, Bournemouth

Each lecture/workshop can be tailored to individual audience and curriculum needs, as well as to time, venue size and other relevant factors. Practical activities, Q&A sessions and panel discussions can also be arranged.

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‘’John Byrne has the enviable ability to wear his wisdom lightly, and to pass on information and tips without making the audience feel that they are being spoken down to or blinded with jargon. Byrne’s advice is practical and applicable: you can’t magically make a career, but if you keep hold of the things that you can control, then you will feel more secure about the things that are outside your command. There is a focus on pooling the information in the room; Byrne is refreshingly ego-free and keen to encourage his audience to share their experiences and advice, too. He shares his expertise, and is gently but persistently persuasive. He not only takes questions from the floor but also allows the audience to talk to each other, building a sense of camaraderie in the room – more of a sense of community and less of competitiveness. ”

Eleanor Turney, A Younger Theatre