Alumni of The Impulse Company
Some of our talented actors, writers, and directors
Leilani Holmes, film-maker, writer & actor
Leilani trained in acting with The Impulse Company under the mentorship of Artistic Director Scott Williams and also studied to a lesser extent with teachers from The Actors Studio, New York and cult British director Ken Campbell.
Having spent the early part of her career on stage, Leilani applied her training to the wonders of film in and in addition to acting and screenwriting began directing and producing film. Her directorial debut Death of the Dinosaurs was nominated for a British Independent Film Award in 2006 and all her projects achieved success with film festivals and broadcast credits.
She is official blogger for the London Screenwriters Festival, a member of The Writers Building, an exclusive network of screenwriters headquartered in Los Angeles, British Equity and Women in Film and Television and a Cowbird author where she writes about her own human experience. When not acting, writing and directing likes street photography.
Leilani continues to act regularly for film and is currently planning her next screen project. All her work contains the principles and techniques she first learned at The Impulse Company and she is proud to call herself an Impulse Creative.
Junior Laniyan, actor
Junior Laniyan began his training at The Sylvia Young Theatre School, working on various projects such as Prime Suspect 2 where he played David Allen, Errol in If You See God Tell Him, the children’s show Bodger & Badger and the BBC period drama A Respectable Trade where he played Mathew. He then spent two years on the Channel 5 show Family Affairs playing Benji McHugh. Since leaving he has worked extensively in numerous television productions including Doctors, Rough Diamonds, and Holby City as Ric Griffin’s son Leo for the BBC, Stealing Lives for Channel Four and Twenty-Four Seven, Wavelength and Coronation Street for Granada Television.
On stage he has played Pete Spivy in Blues for Mr. Charlie directed by Paulette Randell for The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich and London’s Tricycle Theatre, Kamel in D’You Know What I Mean and Him in Fifteen Minutes Before, both at Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts Centre directed by Karena Johnson.
On screen he has played Private Bell in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and The Photographer in Gareth Maxwell Robert’s Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster, in the short film Isolation Room 9, directed by Jo Ho and It’s Been Another Week which was shot on a single Super 8 cartridge without editing and subsequently screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Junior is also an accomplished tap dancer and has used both drama and dance skills playing the title role in the touring show Master Juba for Theatre Is and as Mr. Wobble in the children’s show Mrs. Wobble The Waitress. He has also performed in Out Of The Blues as part of its UK tour, in New York on Tap, Cross Currents, Turned on Tap and Finding Synaesthesia - part of the London Jazz Festival and later the Salzberg Jazz Festival. He also had the pleasure of dancing the Mr Bojangles solo in Robbie Williams Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
“Since completing the Meisner course in 2012 I feel so much more open to the truth of what it is to be in the moment during my work.”
Sian Hawthorn, actor
Sian came into the acting profession fairly late following a successful career in community development and business administration. Retraining led to Sian's graduation in 2009 with a first degree and an award for Best in Year. Sian has broadened and developed her range with more recent training in the Meisner Technique at The Impulse Company. And just for fun she has overcome her fear of heights and raised money for charity by abseiling down built structures. Professional work has included corporate roleplay, drama for learning, theatre tours of schools, and live theatre. Most recent credits include Fay in Yolk (Three Muses, Ng Choon Ping, RADA Studios) and Baroness in The Bond (Foreign Affairs, Trine Garrett & Camila Franca, UCL) Now based in London, Sian is delighted to be living, working and adventuring in her chosen career. www.sianhawthorn.co.uk. Spotlight 0215-0190-3177 page 1658.
Prue Gillett, actor & tutor
On leaving East 15 in 2004, I was given a wonderful piece of constructive criticism. I was told to keep honing my skills and to concentrate in particular on 1. really listening and 2. trusting my instincts when I’m acting. Armed with this advice, I knew as soon as I saw Scott’s introductory course advertised at The Actors Centre that I had to do it. Before long I had embarked on Scott’s two-year conservatory course. I loved every minute of it and, on graduating from The Impulse Company, went on to specialize still further in the Meisner technique with the result that I’m now teaching a Sanford Meisner approach to acting at two studios in South Manchester.
Scott Williams is one of the most encouraging, affirming and brilliant teachers I have had the privilege and joy to study with. His knowledge of theatre is vast and he has a wealth of directing experience. He has helped me enormously and I wholeheartedly recommend his courses.
Currently represented by Stirling Management, I act as well as coach, working in TV, film, radio and theatre from bases in Manchester and London. Fluent in French and a former winner of the modern drama section of the Prix Supérieur de la Scène Française, I include in my stage credits parts as varied as Anfisa in Three Sisters and Lizzie Borden and Marilyn Monroe in Strange Bedfellows. I have also worked on feature and short films at home and abroad, notably in Paris, Berlin, Poland and Florida. Further details can be found at http://www.pruegillett.com
Vesna Vujat, actor
Vesna Vujat was born in Geesthacht (Germany) but spent most of her childhood in Gradiska, now Republika Srpska. She is fluent in Serbian, German, English and French and speaks some Russian and Italian. Read English, German and Drama at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen, Germany. Upon receiving a scholarship from the DAAD she moved to London to study English and German literature. Holds a Master of Arts degree from Queen Mary, University of London.
Stage includes lead roles in A Streetcar named Desire, The Beaux' Stratagem, Take the plug out, the kettle's boiling, An Ideal Husband. Screen includes Canoe Man (BBC), Sweeney Todd and several short films.
Vesna studied with The Impulse Company in 2009/2010. She says, “There was a lot of erring before I finally found the Meisner technique and The Impulse Company. One course after the other, workshops, short-courses – I had tried them all but simply didn’t find a technique that I felt was sustainable and that I could use day in and day out – for auditions as well as performance. The course was set up so well and we really had time to explore what acting is all about. Meisner, Scott Williams and Niki Flacks really changed my life – I finally got my confidence back (and started feeling that nothing is impossible).”