Graduating from BA (Hons) Acting course in 2010 Kevin Leslie, 26, stars as Reggie Kray in Rise of the Krays, a film about the younger days of the notorious East End gangster brothers.
Kevin tells us how he has made his own luck:
“My first professional job was the pantomime in Wimborne at the Tivoli theatre. I then moved to London in the New Year and the hard work began.
First agenda was to find myself an agent but one that knew what they were doing and not a rogue, because you do have to be careful there are lot’s out there, not all good. Best way to tell is ask what clients they work with and where are the people on their books working i.e. The National, HBO etc – Then you know they have good contacts. I managed to secure a place with an agency due to my Showreel, this is very important in this industry because people want to see what you’re able to do.
Whilst at the AUB I made very good connections on the Film Course and worked a lot on student films outside of course time which meant when I left I had a good Showreel and a platform to show what I could do. That’s the amazing opportunity you get at AUB – the ability to work with other courses to collaborate on projects and make connections because this business, as sad as it is to say, is about who you know not what you know. Making connections early on with people that are also going to go into the industry is only an advantage. If you’re open and willing to learn the AUB provides phenomenal training due to the experiences of the members of staff from training with le Coq, appearing in Hollywood features to working with Harry Enfield. They have all had successful careers themselves so their advice and knowledge is invaluable.
I’d say I wasn’t an actor until my second year when I was working on the Shakespeare/Greek tragedy unit because that’s when something clicked for me and I realized this is exactly what I want to be doing and I wouldn’t have got to that point without each individual member of staff and their consent dedication and passion towards the lessons.
I’d say my fondest moment as an actor to date was the final night of ‘Blue Stockings’ at Shakespeare’s Globe where we ended the show to a standing ovation and roses being thrown onto the stage. I’d also advocate creating your own work with the people you meet whether it be film directors, other actors, photographers etc because you shouldn’t sit back and wait for someone to give you the opportunity to work they might not, so go out and create the opportunity for yourself; whether it be writing a film and producing it or putting a play on in London fringe. All will build your C.V, Skills and experiences. ’30 Seconds 2 Late’ is a film I co wrote and entered into Virgin Media Shorts.
If you have a dream go for it! Don’t let anyone stop or get in your way but you must be prepared to work for it and when you think you are working hard, work even harder. It won’t be easy but when you are doing what you love there is nothing sweeter. You’ll realize it was all worth it.”