One step forward, two steps back

June 26, 2012 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on One step forward, two steps back 

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.



Hitting the ground running

January 4, 2012 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hitting the ground running 

Have begun a new showreel edit for a new year – tentative first effort available here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38305794/Showreel%2001-2012.m4v

Agent has put me up for a small role in Hollyoaks, if you can believe that.

Got a recall for an audition I did at the end of last year – may be able to squeeze a short film or two in before The Shadow Formula kicks off rehearsals in a big way.

Should hopefully be getting a new headshot – with moustache proudly displayed – in the next week or so.



End of 2011, start of 2012

December 29, 2011 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on End of 2011, start of 2012 

Well, I’ve just reached the end of my first calendar year of acting. In total, I’ve been at it for fifteen months. A timeline:

October 2010: quit my job; audition for, and act in, my first student film; audition for a second, and get offered the lead. ADR on Hugo. Get a close-up in War Horse, still no idea if it survived the edit.
December: Do my second student film; audition successfully for my third.
January 2011: Do the third student film; successfully submit my first taped audition, get the role;  fail my first professional audition.
February: Do my first semi-professional short; Attend a week-long acting workshop. Run out of money.
March: First successful professional audition! An ad. Start freelancing at my old job to earn money.
April: Second successful professional audition! Another ad. From which I am later dropped before it is shot. More student film auditions. ADR on Screwed.
May: Dropped from first professional ad; two more student films.
June: Another professional audition. Called back, but don’t get it.
July: Most recent student film is chosen as best in its year. Work and auditions dry up. Start to write a feature film.
August: publish my showreel; record two voice reels; get professional headshot taken – and promptly grow a moustache, so it looks nothing like me.
September: another ad audition. Turns out they already knew who they wanted before auditions are held – and it’s a friend! Hard not to be a little bitter.
October: Another ad audition – for movie director Jared Hess! Callback,  much enthusiasm from Mr Hess, but no job. Back at the BBC for freelancing.
November: more student/amateur films. First one that pays money, turns out to be the worst yet. Audition for my first play in 11 years – and get offered the lead! Small feature in comedy sketch show.
December: so much writing. Helping to rewrite the play; rewriting my film script; writing shorts; making plans for three more feature scripts, three more shorts, and a sketch show.

All in all, despite the knock-backs and the continued obscurity, things are actually really looking up. I’m slowly getting attention, this play could raise my profile significantly with the right amount of publicity and exposure, and the essential pieces I ned to sell myself are coming into place. My magic/cabaret background is helping me stand apart from the crowd, and gives me a lot of unique skills. I’m feeling good about 2012. I hope you are too.



Procrastination

December 9, 2011 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on Procrastination 

Another day, another audition for another unpaid film. Hey ho. At least this one looks ripe for physical comedy potential, which I’ve wanted to do on film for a while. Didn’t get either of the hit man roles. Not fussed.

So I received my script for this play – The Shadow Formula – two weeks ago. The first read-through is next week. I have yet to read it. I mean, it’s not that urgent – it won’t be on until April! – but I would have expected to be more driven. I read an interview with Gary Oldman yesterday, in which he said that he didn’t really enjoy the script pre-prep, but preferred what happened on the day of shooting. That’s going to be my excuse for the moment. Yeah.

I’ve also got a gig in Utrecht in February, for which I have to buy a plane ticket for myself and for the lovely Honey Wilde, who will be assisting me. I have not yet done this. At this rate, i won’t actually make any money from the escape, having spent it all on travel. This seems to be the shape for all my gigs in the Netherlands, despite their proximity.

This is the career I have always dreamed of, and for which I have put my lifestyle and self-worth on the line; so why can I not get motivated some days? I was supposed to have recorded a voce sample for an audiobook company over a month ago, but life and everything else always gets in the way. I need more discipline. Maybe I will look into learning a martial art – but I’ve got no time to at the moment…



A good week

December 1, 2011 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on A good week 

There are those weeks when you wonder why you ever made the decision to chase your dreams; weeks when all you see is bills and stress and worry, and feel convinced that you’re going to end up on the streets, or doing exactly the sort of awful grind you gave up to pursue that dream, but this time with the crushing knowledge that your dream was not worth the chase.

Then there are weeks like this.

On Monday, I got asked to do a voice-over (unpaid, of course). I also applied for a role in a short film, and was offered an audition within two hours.

On Tuesday, I had a recall audition for a play called The Shadow Formula, and before it was over, I was offered a part. The first play I’ve auditioned for in eleven years, and I’m playing the lead. I then got invited to a BAFTA advance screening of the new BBC version of The Borrowers, which is largely good – especially Christopher Eccleston, Victoria Wood and Aisling Loftus. I also received an e-mail from talkback Thames who wanted to talk about my escape work.

On Wednesday, I auditioned (ultimately unsuccessfully) for another student short, and was offered guest passes to the Chap Magazine Anarcho-Dandyist Ball this Saturday. I was knocked back for another student film, but am not too fussed about them, as my showreel is solid enough at the moment not to worry about finding more work.

So far today, I have been contacted by a film director who wants to do a film which relates directly to my escape work.

I don’t know what the remainder of the week holds, but I am feeling very positive at the moment. I hope you are all experiencing similar uplifts, or if not, you’re bearing up under the strain. There will always be better times around the corner.



Finally, a quiet moment

November 28, 2011 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finally, a quiet moment 

it’s 11.35am. in the last three weeks, I have had two days off, both of which were spent doing chores. The rest of the time has involved either doing some freelancing, appearing in some comedy spots, or lurking in the background of Anna Karenina. So far today, I have applied for two jobs – one unpaid v/o role, one paid role on an advert.

It is time to make some tea, put my feet up, play some Chopin, and do nothing but read scripts for tomorrow’s audition. This is what a proper day off feels like.



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