Let’s Begin the Interview
The Worlds Times:Explain your background and your Company in detail.
Jay Singh:I am a computer studies graduate from London South Bank University where I chose to specialize in computer systems management and programming (Coding): Cobol (for business), and Prolog (for artificial intelligence). I later taught myself computer games programming and developed a selection of card games and arcade games. Despite the computing background, I started a career in sales and marketing in the travel industry. I worked for Uniglobe, a travel agency franchise organization, and some leading corporate hotel chains such as the Hilton and Intercontinental group (including the Mayfair Hotel).
After five years, I decided to break into the IT industry. I worked my way up from an internship in database programming to a Sage Line 50 and Goldmine CRM developer at the London Computer Centre. Within two year’s I was promoted to Head of IT, where I was responsible for managing a team of web designers, software developers, and corporate sales reps.
Freelancing seemed to be the next logical step. Thus, I took on several software development projects and internet marketing consultancy roles. I single-handedly developed several software applications including a school admin system and property management system. My internet marketing skills and consulting enabled the London School of English & Computing achieve £1 million within its first year of trading. Some of my other clients included a Thailand detective agency, and some celebrities such as a world-famous sportsman, a tv presenter and a Bollywood actor. Non-disclosure agreements were signed in most cases. Web portals I developed and monetized from included Easy London Accommodation, Easy London Booking, and London Course Finder. Mobile App development was a direction I contemplated having succeeded in developing a native mobile app for android.
However, I always had a true passion for helping job hunters and sharing my knowledge of unique job-hunting strategies that I formulated. Thus, I self-published several Books on job hunting (under my pen name Jas Gates). I even applied to the Guinness Book of World Records for the title of “Securing the greatest number of job interview appointments within an hour from cold calling employers”. My application may have been declined because it would’ve been too problematic for the officials to monitor the event.
Coaching became the natural career move for me, so I started working as a job interview coach and a business startup coach for online ventures. LinkedIn marketing proved to be highly effective for gaining traction.
During the pandemic, I founded a small online charity (Job Aid) that the board of trustees ran for three years to help the unemployed in the UK get back into work.
My sales and marketing career enabled collaboration with several actors who were taking on sales roles as side hustles in between acting jobs. My ambition then was to help new actors kick-start their careers, hence I gained inspiration to launch LONDONACTOR (under Search Advertising Ltd). London Actor is a platform for aspiring actors (including background actors) to advertise their profiles and increase their online exposure to casting directors, producers, screenwriters, talent managers, and agents. It is a one-stop-shop for students wanting to pursue an acting career. The team consists of acting course providers, photographers, videographers, fashion stylists, and renowned acting coaches such as Jack Ryder (Eastenders and Holby City) and Jude Alderson (Founder of the Sadista Sisters).
The Worlds Times: What are your goals?
Jay Singh: One of my current goals is to finish recording the audio book “How to Break into Acting” which will be available to download from our website. In addition, I am also working towards creating an online course for student actors who are new to the industry. This course will provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the business side of acting, as well as the necessary steps to become a successful actor. I am also focused on training acting students on effective self-marketing strategies, regardless of whether they have acting credits or not. Having effective job-hunting skills is critical for the actor to survive and thrive in this competitive industry.
Another exciting opportunity for us is our collaboration with a creator of a superhero comic, who has already been interviewed by the BBC. If we can secure financing, I plan to participate in developing the comic for film and television. By then, we will have built a substantial roster of actors and background talent, enabling us to conduct auditions and potentially fill many of the roles from our own talent pool.
The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of LONDONACTOR Right now?
Jay Singh:We have developed a highly effective coaching programme to assist individuals in breaking into the acting industry. Additionally, we offer a unique approach to helping actors find suitable work opportunities and secure representation with a reputable agent. Through my research, I have found that no other talent manager currently offers a comparable method for finding both work and representation in the industry.
The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
Jay Singh: A BSc (Hons) in Computer Studies, which I have utilized throughout my career in various roles. I have a wealth of experience in business development and have been recognized as the top salesperson for several companies. I have also honed my skills in delivering persuasive sales presentations and enhancing marketing strategies. These skills have proven valuable in the realm of job hunting, as I have been able to effectively apply them to the job search process. Additionally, I have developed a deep understanding of show business (the business side of the entertainment industry) through my work in the field, which has allowed me to help aspiring actors navigate the complexities of the industry.
The Worlds Times: We saw that you have helped several people thrive through your coaching skills. What gives you inspiration for this?
Jay Singh:It’s great to follow established entrepreneurs on social media and find inspiration in their endeavors to help others succeed in the entertainment industry. Witnessing the positive impact of my coaching sessions on my clients’ lives can give you a sense of achievement and fulfillment. The opportunity to make a lasting, positive difference in people’s professional lives is incredibly gratifying. It’s essentially a life skill that my clients are being trained in and can develop and refine over time, contributing to their long-term growth and development.
The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey as a coach?
Jay Singh: The pandemic posed a significant challenge for using social media marketing to attract more clients, despite the surge in social media usage. Then there is the rise in cost of living, so people were spending less, making it even more challenging to generate new leads. Retaining existing clients also proved demanding, but owing to my sales skills, I was able to navigate through these difficulties and eventually succeed in keeping my clients on board.
The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.
The Worlds Times: What do you value the most about London Actor’s vision?
Jay Singh:Our ability to give guidance to individuals who may not have believed a pursuit of a career in acting was possible. While our target audience is currently focused within Greater London, we are exploring the possibility of launching a new brand to expand our services and cover the entire UK. With our established contacts in Bollywood, we may even consider expanding our reach internationally. This is especially relevant given that some Bollywood movies are filmed in various locations across the globe, including the UK and parts of the continent.
The Worlds Times: Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Jay Singh:Ironically, finding an agent requires actors to employ their acting skills, to approach potential casting agents successfully. It’s a sales process and the actors need to display charisma, in other words actors must learn to sell themselves to agents or talent managers to get their foot in the door. Jordan Belfort, famously known as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” teaches selling techniques and how to be more charismatic.
While many sales professionals consider cold calling to be outdated, proper training in this technique can produce far more impressive results than other means of communication such as texting, emailing, or social media messaging. However, social media is an effective tool for lead generation.
The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the challenges in your path? Tell us something about a memorable incident in your leadership?
Jay Singh:Communication and innovation are fundamental values in running a coaching business, or any business for that matter. It’s akin to playing chess – you need to make the right moves. You must know when and where to advertise (advertising costs can be remarkably high) and ensure that your sales and marketing communication is of a professional standard.
Innovation often requires taking risks (which is inherently a gamble), and without it, success is less likely in the business world. As such, being able to take calculated risks is essential.
Several years ago, I produced some footage to showcase my talent in combat because I was temporarily interested in stunt work (it was just a phase). I hired a film crew together with six novice actors. I came up with the ideas, scenes, venue, trained the other actors and edited the final footage using professional video editing software. My leadership and management skills were without a doubt the reasons for a successful outcome.
The Worlds Times: How do you see LONDONACTOR changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Jay Singh:We are confident that the online acting course we plan to create will be successful at helping students break into acting and kick start their acting career. Once we receive countless positive testimonials, we may explore the possibility of launching our own online acting school. With some of our business associates being potential investors who have already shown interest in our business plan, we don’t anticipate financing to pose a challenge.
The Worlds Times: What benefits are people getting from your Coaching in this competitive world?
Jay Singh: Our coaching helps actors to develop the skills necessary to effectively sell themselves to potential employers, agents, talent managers, screenwriters, producers, and casting directors. Having a strong actor profile that sells itself online, consistently submitting oneself to relevant casting calls, and mastering good audition techniques are all essential to being offered the part- it’s not just about having acting talent.
The Worlds Times: How many people are getting benefits from your Coaching?
Jay Singh:Throughout the years, my job interview coaching has helped over two hundred job hunters, while my business startup coaching has assisted others in launching their own online ventures. More recently, over fifty students have benefited from the acting coaching.
The Worlds Times: Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?
Jay Singh:With the right coaching, training, and mentoring, almost anyone can pursue a career in acting. Once you can showcase your acting talent via a monologue on your show reel, the next challenge is to secure ongoing paid acting work. This is more achievable if you learn to effectively sell yourself and stand out from other actors when approaching talent agents or applying to advertised character roles.
In summary, you can expedite your journey to becoming an actor through our services.Practice and improve your acting skills regularly so that it becomes second nature and learn various acting techniques to ascertain which one works best for you. Some of the popular acting techniques used by renowned actors include the Stanislavski Method (used by actors such as Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman), the Method Acting Technique (used by Charlize Theron and Robert De Niro), the Meisner Technique (used by the late James Gandolfini), the Chekhov Technique (used by Johnny Depp and Clint Eastwood), and Practical Aesthetics (used by Jessica Alba and Elizabeth Olsen) and so on and so forth.
ChatGPT is an AI chat bot application that the entertainment industry uses to enhance storytelling in film and TV. From helping new actors with monologue ideas to assisting screenwriters in generating scripts and suggesting screen locations, the possibilities are endless.
Connect with Jay Singh on LinkedIn (search for Jas Gates) to learn more.