For me, delivering awesome assessments to our clients boils down to just three things: assuring the client, curating the talent, and navigating the project.
Assuring the clients it is all about sharing with them the possibilities that working with professional actors can offer. I often talk about the realism it creates, the consistency it provides, and the adaptability it offers. However, assuring the client is more than just emphasising how great we are. It’s also about building trust. Stakes are high in the world of professional licencing exams. And when things go wrong the fallout can be substantial. Both financially and reputationally. So clients need to have the utmost faith that we can and will deliver.
Curating the talent is where the alchemistic power of process comes in. We transform actors into highly skilled assessment actors. Our actors can come fresh out of drama school, or with decades of stage or film experience. But all of them go through our teaching program, which we have refined over twenty five years. We take all their skills. Their ability to learn, to retain lines, to portray complex emotions and feelings, to be perceptive to changes, and to improvise. And we amalgamate all of them with attributes from the world of fast-paced and high-stakes licensing exams. This turns them from performers of a character into actors within an assessment. Our actors are always able to think on their feet and be truly perceptive to what the candidate is saying, all whilst being absolutely consistent. This means, they give each and every candidate the same ‘performance’ within the confines of the brief. No easy task! And of course we make sure they are able to shrug off any onsets of divaism. An even harder task! This is incredibly challenging and technically skillful work – and they will never get an applause.
And last of all – navigating the project. This can be akin to navigating a tanker through a narrow straight. Many actors, often over 100 a day, have to be slotted into specific roles, briefed, rehearsed, calibrated, reassured, and sometimes even cast at a very short notice due to brief changes or illness. And this can go on for several weeks at a time. Behind the scenes a team of seasoned Alchemists make sure that on every single one of these days, the right actors show up at the right venue, at the right time, with the right preparation, the right outfit, as the right character, with the right attitude. A job which always gets an applause from me at the office.
Assessments have been a fundamental part of Alchemist for over fifteen years. And Magnus has been working on them that whole time. There is no one who understands them better than him. In fact, only Magnus could turn Alchemist’s busiest and most intense couple of weeks each year into a fun little three paragraph article. But what’s nice about the assessments we do is that often the work we provide to a client has a lasting change that we are not often privy to seeing. However, when it comes to assessments, especially for GPs, whenever Magnus, or any of us go to see one we always take a tiny little bit of credit if the experience is a good one.