8th January 2019


Let’s get the heavy stuff out of the way – tax return is coming up in January. If you are self-employed, this can be a daunting time of year, especially for those of us who have always been bad at math and economical logic. It is unfortunately a necessity, so here’s a few tips and articles that can help you out. 

  1. Get QuickBooks Self-Employed! Most self-employed people swear by this app, that for only a few quid a month gives you a platform that is linked to your bank account where everything can be sorted; mileage, keeping photos of receipts, sorting out what is personal and business. In the end of the year it will be a helpful tool in preparing your self-assessment. (Side tip: the app also allows you to split your bills, for example if you work from home twice a week. You can split rent, heat etc by percentage into business and personal).
  2. Keep your receipts if you don’t take pictures of them and don’t claim every single meal as a business meeting, because people do actually get caught and it’s just not worth it. 
  3. Check if any of your other work is already deducting tax at the source. No need to double pay it!
  4. Some things relating to your career can be deducted, some can’t, it’s a fine and confusing line. But here’s a list of deductible things that help a bit: https://www.gov.uk/expenses-if-youre-self-employed
  5. Your personal allowance this year is £11,850. This means you can earn this much before paying income tax (you still have to pay national insurance tax, which will be £153.40 a year for most self employed people). Make sure you set money aside every month to pay your taxes as the basic income tax rate is 20%. 
  6. There are plenty of help to get out on the big wide web. This article for example, explains quite well how to get started with taxes for actors: https://uk-taxreturn.co.uk/index.php/tax-guide-for-self-employed-actors/. And you would be surprised how good www.gov.uk can be, mainly if you call them up, they’re super nice and helpful.
  7. If you have the finances to hire an accountant, there a plenty that can magically fix all your taxes as a one-off fee. They can be a bit pricey, but if you’re okay with getting an online accountant they can be as cheap as £80. On QuickBooks Self-employed there is a directory of accountants that do free advice as well. 
  8. The deadline to complete your tax return is 31st of January 2019! 

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8th January 2019

The LIAR #005 – London International Actors Recommend

The Dialects Archive

The Dialects archive is a great tool to help actors improve accents and dialects. Enya Hendrics is recommending this website, as it is different to other similar websites in the way that you can choose which specific gender, age, profession, area and background you want to read out the text to you. This ensures you listen to someone as closely to the accent you are trying to portray as possible. Say you need to touch up on your German accent; it has 25 different voices reading several minutes worth of speech. If you need a 33-year-old female German accent but with an ancestry of Russian and Venezuelan, it has that too!
There’s so much to get started on, but we suggest this tool is ideal if you need a touch up on very specific accent. There’s so much more to explore on the website, and it is free! In case you work better with a teacher present, the Actor’s Centre offers private, half an hour accent workshops every Saturday for the mere price of 25 pounds.


The Vaults Festival

If you’re in the creative industries, you probably know about the Vaults festival. But in case you don’t, the Vaults Festival is a massive fringe arts festival that runs in the beginning of every year since 2012, this year between 23d of January – 17th of March, Wednesdays to Sundays. This year it features more than 400 shows from more than 2,000 artists, so it’s safe to say it’s London’s biggest festival for arts and mainly theatre. If you haven’t been before, make this your year. There are numerous shows that celebrates new writing, cabaret, circus, comedy, drag, late night events, immersive theatre – there is something for everyone!
The Vaults is based in Waterloo, in an underground space of disused railway arches, so don’t be alarmed if you hear the trains during your show – it’s part of the experience. You’re even likely to see some of our very own Play Actors performing there.

The Vaults Festival 2018

Donmar Warehouse

The Donmar Warehouse always aspire to put on world class theatre and they’ve done it again with Sweat. The play, based on endless interviews with the people of a small town in Pennsylvania, is written by Pulitzer prize winner Lynn Nottage. It really captures the misery in a country that inevitably leads to the election of Donald Trump – although it doesn’t take a lot to realise the message is global. This show is remarkable because of its fantastic cast and impeccable acting. But hurry, it’s only on till the 26th of January.
Another thing to note about the Donmar Warehouse, is that if you are under the age of 25, you can sign up for the YOUNG+FREE. They want to encourage young people to engage with them and therefore they ballot a certain amount of free tickets every month and you could go see great theatre – completely free.

Sweat at the Donmar Warehouse

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