From Michael McIntyre’s Manager To App Creator: Interview with Paul Duddridge, Founder at Entertainment Coach

Entertainment Coach is UBER and Airbnb for performing arts coaches.

After scrolling through the coaches profiles, skills and availability, learners book a session for receives an invitation to a live video chat at the appointed time.

Via the built-in video chat, it connects anyone wanting to learn skills with those wanting to share skills, using face to face video chat on their laptops or via the IPHONE / ANDROID  app. Like UBER the sessions can be one-to-one or ’shared rides’ i.e. groups.  EC connects industry professionals – in real time – with anyone wanting to improve their performance skills. In fact, it’s for every branch of the entertainment industry, Dance, Music, Stand Up, Writing, Podcasting, Instagram, Business even Magic and Circus skills.



How did you come up with the idea for the company?


I came to Los Angeles in 2007 having worked extensively in UK comedy management and TV production. It was immediately apparent that there are two entertainment industries in Hollywood :

1. Making movies and TV shows

2. Coaching actors to improve their chances of getting into those movies and TV shows.

I started an entertainment industry coaching business in 2010, aiming to give artists real-world insight in to show business so they could maximize their chances of success. In 2020 the pandemic ended the performing arts industry for everyone. There was no Edinburgh Festival in 2020, Broadway announced its closure until July 2021 at the earliest.

Tens of thousands of skilled artists were instantly unemployed. They are unable to earn a living from their professional skills.  Their knowledge and talents have been benched for the foreseeable future. Coming along there is a whole generation of new artists who are not able to benefit from the experience of working in the industry or learning the ropes from battle-hardened professionals. I created the Entertainment Coach platform to connect those skilled performers with the stars of tomorrow.



What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?


Be clear about your goal: what problem are you trying to solve?

Learn to take risks, realizing that the sky doesn’t fall in when you deviate from the norm is a good lesson. Under promise and over deliver. Don’t spend one penny unless you absolutely have to. Place a higher value on negative feedback more than praise, use it as an exercise to challenge yourself. Keep control of the vision, literally make sure that even if you take advice from a huge team you have final say on any decisions. A play works best with one director.  Accept that failure means you did it wrong, learn from your mistakes.


What can we hope to see from Entertainment Coach in the future?


In the long term, even after the end of the pandemic, EC will be the leading global platform to connect showbiz coaches and students internationally. We intend to grow the database rapidly in order to carry content, streaming and advertising.

In the short term after this launch we will be using our live technology for multiple industry sectors. We have a cooking Spplication based on the same template, connecting home cooks with currently unemployed chefs via our video chat . Then accountants, lawyers, doctors, psychics, fashion stylists. Any sector traditionally requires an in person meeting we’ll be tailoring to our live platform.