The Luke Westlake Scholarship, is an award designed to provide an actor with financial and developmental support worth over £4,000 in their final year and as they graduate from university or drama school, and begin to navigate their way into the industry. The scholarship was established in 2019 when the team behind JAM realised many actors were being priced out of their career once they left training. After spending upwards of £30k to learn their craft, actors need to purchase union membership, database subscriptions, materials for marketing themselves, and more; they often work zero hours jobs so they can duck out at short notice to attend auditions and can lack the contacts to get their foot in the door. The acting industry frequently notes the lack of working class talent, but without support it is near impossible to get started. By reaching out to contacts and industry organisations JAM is delighted to continue to build the scholarship with yet more partners and prizes, to alleviate the financial and artistic burden and set another graduate up on a stronger footing for their first year in the industry.
Madison Stock won the first ever JAM scholarship in 2019, recently graduated from ALRA and has just finished shooting a guest lead on television series Holby City for the BBC. Last year’s winner Ayomide Adegun recently entered into his final year at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and says of the experience “The Luke Westlake Scholarship has helped me incredibly in the past 9 months. Financially and resourcefully, I feel on par with everyone that has come from a better social standing as me.”
Luke Westlake was a friend of the founding members of JAM, he trained with co-artistic directors Kristian Wall and Kyle Rowe at ArtsEd and had begun a good career with string of television credits including Luther and Dark Heart. Sadly in June 2020 Luke passed away. A diligent, fierce, working-class actor, he represents everything the scholarship stands for and JAM are very grateful to his parents, Bridgette and Lee, for giving their blessing to continue to run the scholarship in his honour.
Lee & Bridgette Westlake, parents of Luke Westlake, said: “We are delighted that the scholarship so kindly dedicated by MAD to the memory of our son Luke continues to grow from strength to strength. It is an amazing opportunity, and we urge all those eligible to apply. We look forward to seeing another excellent field of candidates and this year we hope to meet in person to celebrate the fantastic talent that we know will come forward.”
Scholarship Co-founder Kristian said: “We are delighted to be able to bring the scholarship back for a third year. We will continue to be the backbone for working class artists in the industry and thank all the actors who take part in our workshops and courses, as well as our scholarship partners, who help us provide these opportunities”
Just Add Milk Theatre Company’s (JAM) mission is to make the industry more accessible for actors. They provide affordable workshops with Agents and Casting Directors, produce new writing for unheard voices and actively develop the next generation of actors through their scholarship. An ArtsEd Graduate company, JAM was originally founded by three working class actors during second year. Their first show, Year Ten, opened at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2016, transferring for a sold out run at The Tabard Theatre that autumn. In 2018 Liam McLaughlin joined as producer and developed Digging Deep, a play about male suicide and men’s mental health, which premiered at VAULT Festival 2019 in partnership with CALM, Lambeth Council and The Waterloo Barbershop, followed in February 2020, by a sellout run of Who Cares, also at VAULT Festival, in association with Muscular Dystrophy UK. JAM are dedicated to hosting accessible, affordable workshops with renowned industry professionals for actors. As of September 2021, they have hosted over 500 workshops, seen over 6000 actors and have given away over £2,500 worth of free places to those who need it. Previous workshops have been hosted by Casting Directors Lucy Amos and Sacha Garrett (Nina Gold Casting) and Faye Timby (The Witcher, Netflix), writers Simon Stephens and Philip Ridley, and agencies Curtis Brown and CAM. In response to their work during the pandemic, JAM were awarded the Best Establishment Award at the Industry Minds Awards 2021, as well as the Most Accessible Company award at the Southern Enterprise Awards. In March 2019, JAM spoke at Lambeth Council’s Lord Mayor’s Suicide Prevention Event, talking about how to use theatre as a platform to discuss men’s mental health and male suicide. JAM was one of the New Diorama Theatre’s Emerging Companies for 2019/20.
Actors currently in 2nd year at drama school or University are invited to apply to the scholarship via the JAM website (www.justaddmilkjam.com) and fill out the application, including a statement on what winning the award would mean to them and a 2min self-tape monologue. The shortlist is selected from all the applicants based on their answers and performance and shortlisted applicants then work with casting director Faye Timby on a second self-tape, which is then presented to a panel of industry figures who vote on a winner.
The panel includes Ian Aryeh (Resident Director for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Showcase), Jaz Hutchins (Company Director of GoHub), Scarlett Maltman & Mary Burch BME (for Industry Minds), Liam McLaughlin, Kristian Wall & Kyle Rowe (for Just Add Milk), Faye Timby (Casting Associate for Sophie Holland Casting) and Luke Westlake’s parents Brigette and Lee Westlake
The full list of prizes are:
Tax For Actors – 1yr free accounts and tax return upon graduating
Spotlight – 1yr membership
Spotlight’s Emma Dyson – Two 1-to-1 sessions with Spotlight’s Performer Careers Consultant
Olivia Bell Management – Agent meeting
42 Management – Agent meeting
Martin Poile (RSC Casting Assistant) – 1-to-1 meeting
Amy Jackson (Amy Hubbard Casting) – 1-to-1 meeting
Rob Kelly (Rob Kelly Casting) – 1-to-1 meeting
Faye Timby (Sophie Holland Casting) – 1-to-1 meeting
Guy Michaels Voiceover – three voice over career coaching sessions
Yellow Belly headshots package
A True Edge – Standard Level Stage Combat course
Flairbox – 1yr free subscription to premium service
£500 towards rent upon graduating
6 JAM Casting and Agent workshops
£100 Nick Hern Books voucher
Park Theatre – 2 pairs of tickets to 2 shows in 2022
Applause for Thought – 3 professional development coaching sessions and coach matchmaking
The Stage – 1yr subscription
With all shortlisted performers receiving:
Workshop with Casting Director Emma Sylvester (Holby City/Doctors, BBC), GoHub Workshop with Jaz Hutchins, and an Agent Q&A with Oliver Campbell (BWH) & Max Latimer (JAG)
Applications open 27th September and close 25 October 2021. The shortlist will be announced on 1st November, and the winner will be announced at a live award ceremony at a venue in London on the 5h December 2021. https://www.justaddmilkjam.com/scholarship/2021