Actress Kate Marie Davies, creator of #ShowreelShareDay
We are delighted to be able to fire some questions at Actress, Kate Marie Davies, who has starred in a host of feature, short and web projects including Deadman Apocalypse , The Antwerp Dolls  and Horizon. Kate recently established social media hashtag #ShowreelShareDay to showcase actor's work and is also trending with #katedaviesforbatgirl.
Hi Kate, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Before we get into it, what is the #katedaviesforbatgirl all about?
Hiya! Thanks for taking the time to take an interest in my adventures! So the #katedaviesforbatgirl is a hashtag that I started to gauge how much support I could gather in being seen for the casting of a very desirable and popular role. Joss Whedon recently announced that he was looking to cast an 'unknown' actress for the role and it didn't take long for some of my incredible supporters to suggest that I take a stab at it. Obviously it's nigh on impossible to even get on the radar when it comes to such castings but I figured I may as well see if I could use my social media powers to put my name on the grid. Many friends and followers quickly responded by helping with retweets and so on - all I can really say is that it's had a bit of a snowball effect - I appreciate it, but totally unsure whether or not it will reap any rewards. I'm just not the type of person to sit back and expect good things to come to me without seeing what I can pursue for myself.
Did you always want to be an actor? Can you tell us a little bit about your career so far?
I wasn't someone who 'always wanted to be an actor' as I actually wanted to make video games or design game characters up until I was about 18. However, I always had a thing for playing characters, I was known for it back at primary school. I was always dressing up as Supergirl, Robin Hood, pirates, you name it. I just enjoy creating characters and playing the part. When I was 18 I instantly fell in love with acting after playing the role of Anita in a college production of West Side Story. I never looked back. I finished my A-Levels in art and English then went on to study drama, musical theatre and performing arts for five years. After studying I was fortunate to be accepted into a professional touring theatre company, which thoroughly cemented my love for the craft. I spent the following 10 years or so dipping in and out of acting work (while working as a support worker for students with special needs and disabilities). Then I left that job (which I loved) and moved to Spain for three years to tour with educational touring theatre companies teaching English and Drama to people throughout Europe. Once I came home I decided I either wanted to join the police force or continue acting, so I opted for becoming a primarily a film actress and personal trainer - which is what I now currently do. Acting is the love of my life and I know I made the right decision. I am so excited about the work I have coming up and also the people that this career has connected me with.
You have set up the Showreel Share Day, which allows actors to post their work – how did this come about and have people managed to get work on the back of it?
#showreelshareday happened almost by accident on a day when I was sharing my showreel on Twitter. I had finally made myself a reel that I was happy to share (I’d always been very insecure about sharing my acting work) but on this occasion I think I'd figured that after all of the work myself and the filmmakers had gone to creating it that it deserved an audience, but I still felt a little awkward about just putting it out there for all to see. So I tried to make it a little more inclusive by inviting friends and followers to join in with the hashtag #showreelshareday. The next thing I remember was friends saying to me 'do you realise that your tag is trending on Twitter?' I couldn't believe it! Thousands of actors were coming together to join in. It was brilliant - actors, agents, casting professionals all joining forces in sharing and watching each other's work. It generated a real positive energy of creativity and I loved every second of it.
So with that in mind I've since done two more, each one more successful with leading agents and even some celebrities taking part and tweeting about it. I have penned in another one for 19th July this year and I'm collaborating with several production companies who have agreed to primarily use #showreelshareday for casting their TV and Film projects, which is sensational, I'm so excited. I have also heard directly from agents and filmmakers that they've recruited using the hashtag. Hopefully this will continue to be a success in the future! At the very least it's amazing to flood social media with 'unknown' acting talent for the day, giving a little bit of power to my peers. Today I am working with my business partners BB88Films/Bird Box Entertainment in getting a dedicated and more professional site set up to make sure everyone understands how to get the most out of #showreelshareday and to make it more accessible to everybody.
Exit 6 is very much about showcasing short films created by emerging talent. You’ve starred in several short films, do you think this is a great way to start as an actor?
I would always suggest that actors with a passion for screen acting try their hands at starring in short films. It provides a beneficial playground to explore new roles and the intricate acting style required for film acting (which is very different to theatre acting). It's also a wonderful means of gathering valuable showreel material and experience of being on a set, no matter what scale of production. It's also a great way to build contacts and discover the filmmakers you enjoy working alongside. It is also an opportunity to get submitted for awards and to have your work seen by other industry professionals.
What other advice would you give to those just setting out to pursue a career in acting?
Find a way to practice, meet people and take a genuine interest in the work of people you wish to work with. Be tenacious but have a fun ride, take on board feedback but don't be consumed by criticism. Keep working at it, find out where you fit in the industry and above all else, find your own way of what works for you. Don't be put off by other people's stories. If you love your career you owe it to yourself to try out every way of hitting your goals. Don't give up.
How do you find your projects – is it a case of people coming to you based on your experience, or do you also seek out projects that look exciting?
I am utterly honored that these days (after 17 years of hammering away at it) I am manly in a position whereby people approach me for film projects. I have some roles written for me or I at least get invited to come in to some castings. I occasionally seek things out myself, usually if there is a filmmaker on the radar or whose work or genre really appeals to me. I make it my business to meet with them and ask about work. I have some very exciting projects coming up this year and once things are announced and 'in stone' I shall be talking to agents or managers to see who wants to team up with me and deal with my schedules and further opportunities. I am also keen to be seen for TV work so will need the right type of agent for that too.
You’ve been in numerous different genres of films, which is your favourite and is there a particular genre you haven’t been in yet that you would love to have a go at?
I guess I seem to fall into a lot of horror work (as I am great friends with many horror filmmakers) but in all honesty I much prefer thriller to horror (Silence of The Lambs for example) films that are scary but in a realistic and psychological way. I enjoy drama, action, Sci-Fi (I love playing tough, action roles) but recently I tried something a little different by combining horror with gothic period drama in 'The House of Violent Desire' (which we shot in a stunning castle in the South of France). I would happily play an array of roles and genres, I rarely say no without having a good read of the role first. So long as I find the character interesting I am usually keen.
Can you tell us a little bit about your future projects?
I have a minimum of five more films to shoot this year (as well as getting married in June and getting #showreelshareday set off again) so I am anticipating being beautifully busy. I can't say too much about the projects that I am really excited about as many are unannounced (also I don't want to jinx them). What I can say is that I am set to be working with and alongside a few idols this year and without any disrespect to my previous works - I feel like I'm climbing up the ladder a few notches. Very exciting things in store, which I will announce when I am allowed!
You can follow Kate on Twitter at: @RealKateDavies
You can learn more about #ShowreelShareDay at Kate's official website.