The Coach

Martin Harris - the audition coach
Martin Harris – the audition coach

I’m Martin Harris. I’m the audition coach. I’ve been advising actors and directing their audition pieces in private one-to-one sessions for over 15 years with hundreds of clients to date. In recent years I have also taken on a number of business clients who benefit from the transferable skills associated with public speaking and presenting.

My professional career began when during my A’levels I worked part-time as a puppeteer for a children’s theatre company. I then worked for 2 summers as a holiday camp entertainer and in between time took on a number of supporting artist roles on television and toured around Yorkshire playing the baddie in a ‘back of the van’ pantomime. Those jobs were hard work, badly paid and a great introduction to the business. When I entered drama school I was one of only two students in my year who had both professional experience and membership of Equity (the actor’s union).

I trained as an actor on the 3 year accredited course at Birmingham School of Acting and upon graduating was lucky enough to go straight into a job touring the UK for nine months and playing at some of the largest theatres in the country. Since then as well as acting I have also worked as a director, producer and tutor.

Since 1995 I’ve been the artistic director of Rocket Theatre, producing over 25 productions to date, including: I Licked A Slag’s Deodorant (City Life Theatre Production of the year), Cornered (Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best New Play), A Skull in Connemara and Dealer’s Choice (both nominated for Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards).

More recently I adapted the Oscar Wilde short story Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime into a two man show.  I also play the part of Lord Arthur in the production, which has been performed in over 100 venues throughout the UK.

Between Rocket commitments I have also directed for other theatre companies and educational establishments and have run workshops at the Northern Actors Centre, North West Playwrights and various youth theatres and adult drama groups.

When industry newspaper The Stage did an article about acting coaches I was selected as one of the two experts to give advice. You can see that article by clicking on the image on the right – the article does mention that I’m Manchester based, but I’ve moved to Merseyside since then. I continue to make my living producing, directing and acting within the industry and am pleased to be able to pass on some of that knowledge and expertise in group classes and private one-to-one sessions.

Reviews of productions I’ve directed:

“A rare combination of directorial skill and first-rate casting.” – The Stage (Dealer’s Choice review)

“Director Martin Harris has created a stylish production which uses a thumping soundtrack to fine effect. He teases out strong performances from the two actors.” – News North West (Cornered review)

“Audiences who’ve seen Rocket productions like Howie the Rookie or Shamer will already be aware of his directing ability and Rocket are now firmly established as our best independent company.” – City Life

“I Licked A Slag’s Deodorant was excellent – A terrific script, fine performances and deft direction combined to make this a really outstanding production.” – Arts Council England (Drama Officer)