Category Archives: Networking and Parties

We’re pleased to tell you the bad news

Not a great deal of news. The theatre audition which caused much dread and endless nights of doing Shakespeare in front of the mirror was a no. Well I never actually heard a no I just received an email telling me the “exciting” news of the winners! Me not being one of them. I guess that’s a more positive spin on receiving just a no….

The TV audition went well, as they always seem to. I turned up with a fairly small bit of dialogue prepared and the casting director said he was desperate to get me involved so gave me some more to read. Not as desperate as me I thought!

I had my appraisal at my day job and received a letter saying they were “pleased” to tell me my salary was staying the same. I’m not sure if that qualifies as a positive spin or rather a typo; either way it did not bring any happiness. When I was asked what my goals were for next year I thought, Hollywood, LA, Broadway, west end, any thing that’s not here, but when I opened my mouth I said to learn more and progress my way up the company. Best bit of acting I did all week.

So the blues kicked in. No pay rise, no acting jobs and a lack of auditions I was ready to head home and wallow. Then I got an invite to a screening of a horror promo I shot last year and it was brilliant. The event had no red carpet but we (the “stars” of the flick) were treated as if there was. The promo looked great, I had to do an American accent and it was the first time I had heard myself on-screen and I was convinced. There were a couple of words here and there that may have given away my true nationality but nothing a voice coach couldn’t correct. We had the usual after screening drinks and natter and I managed to “work the room” quite well. The exec producer was there and by the end of the night I think I had well and truly ingrained myself into his memory so hopefully when the money comes through to make the feature he will take me with it!

I have another theatre audition coming up at the weekend with quite an interesting script so that could be promising.  I do think as we are now approaching April it’s really time I got something. I will be hitting Cannes this year and plan to make the most of that venture. Mainly sunning during the day and “networking” in the evening…. I know, it can be tough.

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Merry Christmas!

Well the years nearly over and time to reflect. It’s been quite a good one for me, considering the times we’re working in at the moment. I’ve had some good jobs cash wise… one in particular paying for my new set of nashers. I’ve had good jobs experience and challenge wise and I’ve made some good friends and contacts. I have also changed agents. Yes, my amazing, lovely and supportive agent, who became one of my dear friends, is now no longer representing me. It was a difficult decision and a very hard one but I felt it was time to move on. I was with her for three years and they were three great years, I gained some invaluable experience and had some good times! I will miss her, she was very patient with me, I tend to be a little persistent and also worry about what’s going to happen next! I think on average I probably emailed three or four times a week, I also had her mobile number and totally abused that privilege. But if you want to get somewhere you have to push it sometimes. I am often told not to “bother” people or make a nuisance of yourself and I would like to say to any new actors out there that that’s rubbish! I didn’t go to drama school so I had to work hard to get people to take notice of me. I knocked on doors and if they didn’t answer I just knocked louder. I wrote letters and followed those up with phone calls and then emails until someone answered. And now I am with an amazing agent, one I never thought I’d get to be honest. I didn’t go to drama school, like I said, I don’t have connections so to speak in the industry (my mum and dad have “normal jobs”) and there was no easy way in for me. A very talented actress friend of mine once told me there are two types of actors in the business, jumpers and builders. They both end up in the same place they just get there in different ways. Well I am a builder and it’s been bloody hard but I wouldn’t swap it for the world. I know what its like to be desperate for work, depressed at not getting anywhere, worried that “its” never going to happen, and now I am so grateful to be where I am. I actually wrote to the agent I am now with a few years a go and I got a very nice rejection letter. I kept hold of that letter and it is currently stuck to my fridge. If at first you don’t succeed then just keep bugging!

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Always work with animals

So the week has kind of come down a bit in terms of happiness. One of the big negatives about this profession is the mood swings. According to my boyfriend who is, unfortunately for him, witness to it 24/7, it’s bad enough that I’m female but add to that the fact that I’m an actress, and it can be a challenge! He is no Neanderthal and he is in the biz himself so he is more than equipped to deal with it. We actually met on set, quite a sweet story really. He was directing a film and was looking at a few actresses from the HBO show I was in that he was interested in working with. He tried to contact several agents but had no luck and pretty much gave up. He then received an application from me as I had seen his casting on an acting site and was interested. Unbeknown to me at the time when I turned up to audition I had pretty much got the part already as he was a fan of the show. He hid it very well, there was no lack of professionalism and I had no inkling as to whether I landed the role. I remember entering the room and thinking he was pretty gorgeous, in fact exactly my kind of guy. My agent called to ask how the audition went and I said I had no idea but I though the director was hot so I was hopeful. She promptly told me to be professional and forget that straight away. Well I got the part and flirting on set was kept to a minimum – there was of course some. After the shoot he contacted me to see if I wanted to “discuss how the film went”… the rest is history. We are a walking cliché I know but it works.

Anyway, I went to a screening last night for a show I filmed at the start of the year which is out soon. When I did it then it left me quite depressed as I was basically a glorified extra (I mentioned it in Is Hawaii Enough?). The screening made me feel even worse. There were several roles which I could have played and watching all these other actresses doing it was hard. Can’t help but be jealous and miffed at the fact that you’re not them. I’m glad I went, showed my face which is always important, but it was difficult to stay bubbly. The actress that had got the role I initially auditioned for was there and full of beans, I did want to lock her in the toilets but that would have just been childish and quite frankly weird. I left a little flat and so the downward spiral began. My agent called this morning to say I had received yet ANOTHER no from HBO. The character I went up for is being re written and no longer suits me. But the director is apparently keen on having me involved and is definitely familiar with me now so he assures us he will get me in again. I think this is a show which will have many characters so I’m still keeping the faith…. just. At least I have some filming to do at the weekend so I know that my mood will be up by the end of the week, just got to ride out the storm. Oh why couldn’t I have just been a vet.

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Look at my mate again, I double dare ya to look at my mate again!!

I had an unfortunate incident the other night involving a divo. A divo is the male equivalent of a diva. I can’t say for certain whether he was a performer in the professional sense but I’m certain the majority of his life is quite a show! I was on a night out in Soho – which I have to say is beginning to tire; I really don’t rate it that much – with a close friend of mine. We were strutting our stuff, singing quite merrily when a chap walks past and knocks into me. He was quite a large guy both physically and, in his opinion, mentally. Anyway I tutted, reasonably quietly, but my friend had a momentarily lapse in judgement and shouted “urm excuse you!” Immediately the guy stops in his tracks, turns on his heels and says “you what?!” Shit. I immediately turn to my friend and tell him to keep walking, he agrees that he shouldn’t have said anything and too picks up the pace. Alas this does not put this charming individual off as we can hear the insults getting louder, he is in pursuit. I immediately dive into the closest pub and my friend stands his ground. And bravo to him, he is a musical theatre guy, predominantly, pretty and although fairly tall, I don’t think he would win this particular battle. I cower inside the pub but close enough so I can listen and if needs be shout fire!! Just a pointer here, I heard recently that you are more likely to receive help or some kind of reaction from passers-by if you shout fire than rape. Not that I expected my friend to be raped but I assumed it applied to most cries of assistance. Anyway the gentleman reaches my friend who I believe here is acting his butt off as there is no sign of what I later discovered was absolute fear. He says that he barged into his female friend and he found it rude and the guy replies, “she barged into me mate, I mean, does she think she’s famous or something?!”….. pause…. and then my friend replies “well actually, a little bit”… Before he is able to respond a bouncer appears (apparently wondering what the hell I am doing hiding in the corner like some kind of hobbit), and the confrontation abruptly comes to an end. This made me realise that often the best way to diffuse an argument is to tell the truth. I hate any sort of confrontation, especially in public, it can be so embarrassing. I hate watching it and am even more mortified to be involved in it. Often the insults become ridiculous with comebacks like “yeah well so are you”, or a classic that I was witness to. Girl number one says “oh go away, this is boring me” girl number two replies “you’re boring”, good one… I was once called a “coked up anorexic bitch” none of which were true I might add, I’ve always preferred lemonade to coke and food is pretty much my favourite thing. But when you take a step back and actually think about the ridiculousness of the actual situation – which granted when drunk is not easy – it seems pointless to continue it. The best example of this, which gave me an insight early on as to what I had to come, was on one of my first nights out. I was about 15 – how I managed to get into the club is beyond me I must have looked about 12 – and I was just bopping along to some tunage, minding my own business when a girl walks up to me and pushes me. Stumbling back I regain my composure and ask what’s going on. She says something about staring at her friend and “giving it all that”. I am partially deaf in one ear – got kicked in the ear drum whilst learning to swim as a kid, so I have no idea what she’s saying and ask her to repeat herself. The friend I have apparently been staring at then marches over and says, and I quote “you’d better stop cutting your eye at me bitch”…..?? Urm, bit confused, so I reply (bear in mind I was 15, at a fairly sweet and well-behaved girls school at the time) “I beg your pardon, cutting my what??” The girl bursts out laughing, shakes my hand and walks off. I still have no idea what happened but I honestly didn’t understand her comment, so instead of a come back I just told the truth and she was gone….Nothing seems to have changed much, except when they find out I’m an actress, it seems to get worse. “What think your something special do ya?” Not really I just like acting, what do you do?… I don’t usually get a response to that.

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Oh, so I should know you….

Well the inevitable happened, I received a no. It was on one audition that I had that I was fairly confident about. Not the main one but still a job I was keen on. The production team behind it were great so would have been a big opportunity. I decided I would tell the guy I snapped at last week, as a kind of peace-offering. I told him as soon as I heard anything, good or bad, I’d let him know and so I did. Five mins later he offered me a tea so … every cloud. Should hear on the other one this week but keeping silent about it, I’m hoping people may have forgotten. I have another one today and I haven’t told ANYONE so I am getting better. The weekend was eventful. I had a friend over to stay, he had an audition and as he doesn’t live in London I’m the best hotel around. We’re very reasonable and often throw in breakfast for free. Not sure how many more times this can happen however, before the very patient boyf starts to feel like it really is a hotel. I’m hoping soon, one day, he’ll come over when he doesn’t have an audition so I’ll have more weight to my argument! To be fair though he did bring cake, it just so happened that my boyfs piece ended up in my mouth too….

I met up with a close friend on Friday night who I haven’t seen for ages which was lovely. In fact I think the last time we spent any time together we were in New York. She is a casting assistant at a very prestigious theatre in London and one of her shows had transferred there so she went over to see how it was doing and took me along. It was great. We went back stage after for her to catch up with them all and me to say my congratulations. We left through the stage door and as we stepped out the paps were ready and we were blinded by the lights. They soon stopped when I heard one photographer shout “Stop it’s no one”… Well, that’s a little exaggerated, clearly we were SOMEONE just not THE one. I bet they didn’t save those shots, silly really, soon they’ll be worth loads…. Anyhoo, we met for dinner and we gossiped about everything and nothing, it was great. The next evening we went to a lovely little theatre further out in east London, as one of his friends was appearing in it. It was a great show and if this blog wasn’t anonymous I would be telling everyone about it. It really was a powerful piece, helped in large by the writing, the script was incredible, but the cast were also pretty fantastic. There were tears at the end, (although they were also a little bit for the wine I had to leave in the foyer as drinks weren’t allowed into the auditorium, tres annoying!). We hung around afterwards to say hi and congratulate her on a great performance. She seemed really nice and I enjoyed chatting to her, I wish I could say the same for the other girl who came to see her…. Wow, she really was in class of her own. Also an actress, and one with a massive chip on her shoulder. Conversation started as, funnily enough, my friend had seen her in a show last week. Well I say he’d seen her… she was talking about what she’d done (all certain actors ever do, yawn) and he said, god love him, “I saw that last week”… Oh well I was in it she said. Pause, nervous smile, and then a less than warm laugh from her. There was no real recovery from it, he had basically told her he’d seen the show not too long ago and did not recognise her from Adam. He did remark on her wearing a wig but I think the damage was done. So conversation changed to a recent awards ceremony she’d just been to. Yes, we did talk about her ALOT, and considering she wasn’t even in the show we’d just seen it was a little boring. It was for quite a successful TV programme she’d been in. They didn’t win. One of the others in the party asked her if nominees were told beforehand whether they’d won or not, and she said sometimes. So I asked, and I still don’t see how this could have been taken offensively, if she was told they hadn’t won, and she snapped back. “No of course not, why one earth would we have gone if we weren’t going to win”… That’s the spirit, yep, she was a treat! So we didn’t stay much longer, mainly because it became apparent we were in a mine field and also, I really fancied pizza.

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Aren’t you that actress from….?

I arrived into work this morning and it would appear my desk has gone. I don’t mean literally, it’s still there, but there is someone else sitting at it. I have been informed that I am now “hot desking”, which basically means that I don’t have a particular desk; rather I sit wherever there is a space. So my carefree days of updating the blog, checking my website, reading heat, and generally surfing, have abruptly come to an end. Darn it! I am today cushioned between “Crane Neck” and “T.C”, I won’t explain those nicknames, you’re a clever lot I’m sure you’ll work them out. What it means is this won’t be as easy as it used to be. But I like a challenge so bring it on. The reason for this inconvenience is due to new members joining the team, which means more people asking about my career. One guy recognised me from the HBO show and seemed really disappointed in me for working here, so that’s nice, I do hope we get to work together more. Apart from that rather shocking start to the day it’s actually been quite pleasant. I arrived to find an email from a guy who I auditioned for nearly a year ago. He was a young director who previously had one television credit for a show I quite enjoyed. He was casting for another show and offered me the role. It was a great programme and went on to do rather well but I had been offered another job, which I had accepted, in between his audition and offer, so I had to turn it down. Anyway, he is now casting for a feature film and wants to get me in to try out for the lead. So I have forwarded on to my agent and she is on the case!

The weekend turned out quite fun considering my apprehension. The wanky networking party actually turned out rather enjoyable, and not too wanky at all. I must admit, pretty much as soon as we arrived I slowly moved away from my boyfriend as he chatted shop, avoiding eye contact with those concerned. I searched out and started conversations with, anyone who looked to be as uninterested in all that stuff as I was. So all in all a nice weekend. Now today is a day of actually doing some work, shudder, and hoping that one of those many auditions I had last week will turn into something more. Gotta go, Crane Neck’s having a field day and may actually dislocate something if he’s not careful, and TC is being such a C its driving me to distraction…. I think they may be on to us………

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Santa Claus and chocolate

Well another disappointing week, not one audition, although I did receive a letter from Michael Grandage, which is pretty much like getting a Christmas card from Santa. And I mean the REAL Santa not his “helpers”. It was really nice and actually quite long. The short of it being that he liked what he saw (that could be read in the wrong manner, and I will clarify that he was referring to my acting ability) and he will consider me for all future roles I may be suited to. So that was nice. I had a busy social weekend. My friend from Australia, I believe I mentioned her early on, came back on Wednesday and we all celebrated her arrival on Friday. I got suitably merry, ended up crying and then arguing with my boyfriend so I believe that ticks all the boxes for a drunken Friday night. Saturday was a wash out and then on Sunday I went to ANOTHER wedding. Not any celebs this time but equally as fun. I managed to avoid the hangover by sipping water in between the wine and champers, clever girl. And now I am back at work, what a joy. Wow, two weeks without an audition really grates, I can feel my blood pressure rising and I am definitely not in the best of moods. I should think this has something to do with the rather highly fuelled alcohol weekend but I can definitely say if I was on an acting job now and not in the office I would be feeling considerably better! This actually brings me nicely into the questions that have been posed this week… Not planned at all.

 Firstly, the “mad” remark…. Now, I agree to a certain extent, all performers have to be slightly mental to do what we do. When you think about it we basically have a range of personalities we jump into, and also we constantly have to be thinking a step a head of the game. By this I mean, who we are talking to and what we are saying. For instance how I talk about jobs and casting directors here I probably wouldn’t say to just anyone… in fact probably no one. You seem to all think I am a certain actress, and I can’t say I mind, but whatever your conclusions are I will never reveal whether you are correct or not and that way I can pretty much get away with saying what I like… there is no solid proof tying me to anyone!! Mwah ha ha ha… yeah you’re right, bit mental. Not sure that actually addressed that comment but anyway, to the questions. Firstly I would like to point out that I am going through a bit of a dry patch at the moment so can’t help but think perhaps my answers may be slightly affected by my state of mind. But in all honesty I think your current situation will always reflect in your response. At the moment I would be happy with anything, within reason, I’ll let you use your common sense on that one. There is most definitely a pecking order when it comes to jobs. This order may vary from actor to actor but there is generally a consensus. For example, T.I.E (theatre in education) is looked upon as a starting point for actors. You wouldn’t really find an established actor going to schools unless they had a passion for teaching as well. Similarly student projects and fringe work would also be considered as a tool for experience and to build on your C.V. The main “bad boys” of work would be… West end/Broadway theatre, TV and film. What order those would go in would entirely depend on your preference. For me I would like a balance of all three… I think most actors would agree that although they would have one medium as their preference it’s always nice to have a variety. There is of course, as you put it, the mountain to climb. The order you stated is quite correct, and to be honest once you have achieved “success” you can then have more options available to you. Theatre can be very elitist and there are certain actors, in my opinion, who only find themselves treading the boards because the public knows them and therefore will bring with them a certain amount of bums to seats…..The question of advertisements is a tricky one. Yes maybe five years ago or less you wouldn’t find many “successful” or at least known actors doing ads, many would call this a sell out, but its a very different story now. Many of the big names are doing ads. This could be for many different factors, the first obviously being cash. I think we have all been hit by the economy crisis of late and the more you have the more you spend so even the wealthiest of you could always use some extra cash. More money and effort has also gone into advertising now so some adverts are actually quite entertaining and not so tacky, and so it seems more acceptable now for all actors to take on.

I would LOVE a commercial right now; they are such good money I can’t begin to tell you. As I have just finished a theatre job it would be nice now to perhaps do some filming… but as you can see there’s no real pickiness going on. As far as the Megan Fox reference goes, that is a whole other debate which I have tried to be more careful with over the years. It’s never too good to moan about other actors, there will always be some that have the right contacts, were in the right place, blah blah blah. But I think this is true in most careers and is something you just have to deal with. It does take hard work and dedication for most of us but who am I to judge anyone that makes it another way? To look at it from the other side, there are many out there who have had that extra hand and perhaps found their feet quicker than others who will now always have that stigma attached to them about how they made it. They in some respects now have to work even harder to achieve that acceptance or respect. Would I like a helping hand? Sure. But would I want to be known for that? No way! So there are no real easy routes. As for the stress of getting to the height of fame and being in the spotlight well I don’t have much sympathy there I have to say. That’s the one thing you have to accept and know when you start out. This is an industry that is now more superficial than it used to be and you are often judged more on your personal life than your professional one. There is a thin line between success and fame. But believe me if you want to stay out of the spotlight you can. An actors PR team are paid good money for a reason, and those shots which catch the celeb unaware are very rarely that!! If an actor or actress wants to be seen they will be and if they don’t they won’t. I wouldn’t believe all the expressions and body language you are presented with. Don’t forget they are actors and if they want you to believe a certain image they can make that happen. I haven’t articulated all that very well I realise but I hope you get the gist.

The dream for me? No more “day job”, regular mix of Theatre, Film and TV and to definitely not fake it. If I’m happy I would invite the paps in and if not, well, chocolate, the sofa and probably lots of wine.

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