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Actor Callum Scott Howells: 2023 RWCMD Associate

Congratulations to award-winning actor and grad Callum Scott Howells, who has just been awarded an RWCMD Associateship. He came back to College to receive his award and share his experiences on stage and screen with acting and musical theatre students.

The College awards Associates each year, celebrating music and drama graduates who have made a significant contribution to the arts in their chosen field. You can read more about our 2023 Associates at the end of this post.

Callum with the second year acting and musical theatre students, and Director of Drama Jonathan Munby

Over the next year the Associates will come back to the College to mentor and talk to students. 

This term we welcomed 2020 grad Callum, who hasn’t wasted any time making his mark in the arts industry. He filmed Channel 4’s ‘It’s a Sin’ while still training at College, (and winning a Royal Television Society Award and a BAFTA Cymru for Best Actor), and wowing audiences and critics alike in the West End as the Emcee in the multi-award winning ‘Cabaret’ (designed by fellow grad and RWCMD Fellow Tom Scutt). 

We caught up with Callum on his thoughts on actor training and what it's like working in the industry straight after leaving College.

Industry standard training

Callum has already appeared in many different roles on stage and screen, and he credits the College’s industry standard training with helping him develop ‘the muscularity to be a complete actor, ready to start my career.’

‘Acting is such a multi-faceted job and what the College does so brilliantly is to get you to immerse yourself in it all - working with so many specialists, from radio to screen and everything in between.'
Callum Scott Howells

Why is actor training so important?

Callum was already working professionally before he came to College, performing at the Menier Chocolate Factory. After taking time out from College to film ‘It’s a Sin’ he came back to finish his degree. So why is training as an actor so important?

Callum Scott Howells as Colin in Channel 4’s It’s a Sin

‘When I talked to other actors about this they’ve said that before they trained it felt like you were ‘just making shapes.’ That there was no real substance or connection with what you were doing – almost like it was an impersonation. 

Training gives you that depth, and the chance to discover yourself as an actor, connecting with the emotion you’re trying to convey.

I chose RWCMD because it’s the best school! The College was doing things I wanted to do and had great grads like Anthony Boyle (Olivier-winning actor of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’)'

Acting graduate Callum Scott Howells, Motortown, Autumn 2019

'I wasn’t ready for London. It felt like too much and I didn’t feel the need to be there. 

Cardiff allowed me to breathe and focus on my training - knowing that all that world would be waiting for me afterwards.'

What were some of the key moments of your training?

'Some of the biggest impact was early in my training. Eye contact work was a massive deal, learning to be in the moment with another actor rather than just ‘making shapes.’ This was huge. I’d never known what that was like before.

I think that’s what makes a professional actor -it’s all about the connection with other people. Then you add text to that, and then focus on all the new things that come from that process.'

Callum as the Emcee in the West End’s Cabaret

What advice would you give your RWCMD student self?

'Enjoy the moment, don’t worry about the time when you leave. Just enjoy the fact that you’re with your amazing year group and enjoy the learning and the performances.

Be ambitious and be hopeful – but don’t bank on anything happening. You’re not necessarily going to get what you’re expecting. But don’t stress over it as there’s no logic to how it works.

Do make sure you look after yourself – mind and body. Start now and it’ll take you through the tough times.'

What about when you leave College?

'Look after yourself. Get into a routine, with rhythm and structure. Continue to put in the work as that makes the difference. I do lots of reading, over and over again – and then new things and connections come, which help to keep it fresh, especially when you’re doing eight shows of ‘Cabaret’ a week.'

Diolch, Callum. 

We look forward to seeing him back again at College soon. But in the meantime look out for him in upcoming films ‘The Beautiful Game’ on Netflix about the homeless world cup, and TV series ‘The Way’, directed by Michael Sheen. 

His next project is as Holly Johnson, the lead singer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, in the biopic ‘Relax’.

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