One step forward, two steps back

June 26, 2012 | Filed Under Uncategorized 

So it’s finally the other end of The Play. There was much stress, much fun, much anger, much joy… all the usual, really. Made some friends for life, probably an enemy or two, and played the lead in my first play in eleven years. It was a timely and welcome reminder of what I’d been missing all this time, and further assurance that this is the right career for me.

We had three reviews, an overwhelmingly positive one here: The Vanity Case
An overwhelmingly negative (not to say excoriating) one here:  London City Nights
And one that read lukewarm but awarded four stars here: Remote Goat

I’m not even why I included the ¬†negative review; glutton for punishment, maybe. Anyway, for all that it seemed largely vicious for the sake of it, the reviewer did highlight some tonal inconsistency in my performance that I conceded was true and was something I could address, rather than something built into the play itself, and I was much happier with my performance after having addressed it.

Other things that happened: I had a seizure onstage during one performance, got up and did the entire rest of the play. And only cast members noticed. I was, and am, quite proud of that.

Sadly, however, things have gone a bit downhill since the play ended. An agent did come and see it, but told me that while they were very impressed with my performance, they’re simply not taking on new clients now. Since my old agent bit the dust three months ago (the agency, not the woman herself!), I now find myself entirely without representation, and because the play took up 8 months of my life, I’m really out of the loop in terms of things being produced. I managed to wedge in a couple of shorts, sketches and minor roles here and there, but nothing of any prominence. I got contacted to play an early 20th Century explorer in a documentary, but the part got recast when I was too busy to go and meet the director last week.

It’s a strange old business. Acting not only seems to attract the manic depressives, but to bring out the manic depression in people not usually prone to it. The thrill of coming offstage to rapturous applause is unrivalled – it feels like the whole world embracing you, and matched only by the hollow feeling of rejection when you’re cast and then dropped for something (with all the attendant fears about income, career progression, and that awful nagging idea that maybe you’ve made a dreadful mistake).

So, yeah. I came out of the play full of drive, but ten days of knocks and setbacks have left me a bit adrift. Any thoughts, advice, suggestions, recommendations, etc much appreciated.

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