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Happy New Year

Happy new year! 2012 is here and we’re already half way through!

 I have started well with an exciting audition for a brilliant play at a great theatre. The play is one of my favourites, which is perhaps more commonly known as a Marilyn Monroe film. The part is fantastic, a real showcase of my ability and also a chance to show off my American accent. It’s a nice run and the money is good and also with a very up and coming director. It pretty much ticks every possible box!

 The audition was last week and I think it went really well. I had worked with the director before which is always a bonus. We had a nice chat beforehand and each spoke of what we have been doing since we last saw each other. I was relaxed and enjoyed the audition. I should find out this week – at least if I get a recall and I am already frantically checking my phone. I don’t want to check my emails, if I get an email from my agent it will be a no, a phone call and the news is inevitably good!

 I have had the usual positive, motivational start to the year that most people have. I have started on my fitness regime, going for a run yesterday and starting back full-time at the gym today. I am also looking into dance lessons. I am not sure which style to focus on yet but after a weekend of old-time movies I really want to look at tap dancing. The only problem with this is that my BF has very sweetly offered to accompany me and I don’t think tap was what he had in mind! But any dance class is good so I shall have a look around!

 I had a call from my commercial agent last week about an advert for Clio, which was great money and a fun part but you needed a driving license and I don’t have one. She was not pleased to discover this…. I have booked in for two lessons and hope to have my license by March. This may seem ambitious but I can technically drive, just not yet legally!

 On a slightly separate note I am also considering cooking lessons….They say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach, may be worth exploring that angle with directors….

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Dear Santa

This will probably be my last entry of 2011 and I want to end on a positive. The last week has been a little tough and I didn’t want to post until I got out of my slump, which I always do one way or another.

I found out that I didn’t land the film role, which I think I already knew but when you wait to hear back you can’t help but hold out hope. Personally I am surprised at the choice; I don’t think the actress is right for the role. She is a great actress and I like her work but I just can’t see her in this part. Maybe it’s because I felt it was so right for me and she is very different to me that it has thrown me. When you go up for a role which is so close to you in “real life” when you don’t get it, it can be soul destroying. After all who else can play yourself better than you? In this case this woman apparently! Anyway after the initial anguish and disappointment I have once again pulled through.

The recording for the HBO show went really well. Bless my BF we spent pretty much the whole night doing it but it was definitely worth it and as he loves the show as much as I do I think he was quite excited to do it.

It’s my last day at my “day job” today, at least for this year and I am off back to my parents this afternoon so my body is already starting to relax and my mind to unwind. The year has been tough but I have survived! I have had work, albeit briefly and I have met casting directors that I hadn’t met before. I think I have settled in to my new agency now and so I am ready to hit 2012 running. I do hear nearly every December that next year will be my year but I am going to say that next year really is. I turn 30 then (sob sob) so this blog will need to change, I will no longer be on the right side of 30!? My aim has always been to “make it” by the time I’m 30 and so it shall be!

I had a message recently on twitter by a lovely girl who asked me how I do it. How do I keep going when it seems nothing goes right? And well I guess I just do. There is no secret or formula it’s just life and you deal with it. I am lucky enough to be able to follow my dream, it doesn’t always go the way I want it to but I’m still doing it. Giving up is not an option cos what then? I have a great life, my work is not easy and I certainly don’t look forward to getting on the tube to go to my city job everyday but it could be so much worse! I have the support of friends and family (and lovely strangers on twitter!) and I know it will pay off. One day this blog will be turned into a book and sell millions….. at least that’s one of the things on my list to Santa and he nearly always delivers.

Merry Crimbo everybody and here is to an amazing 2012 x

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Ho Ho No?

Well it’s nearly crimbo and the break couldn’t come quick enough, I literally feel like I am running on added time. I am, for want of a better phrase, so over 2011. Although the year has been exciting with new agent and exotic work placement it has been slow and a little disappointing.

I think I just got far too excited and complacent about what was going to happen. I though this year would be the year when I could finally throw in the day job. Which right now I think has the potential to send me loopy, the point when I might actually hurt someone – to be more specific my boss.

 I felt I had served my time, put in the hard graft to make me worthy of a career but alas it would appear that I am not there yet. I have not really got an outlet to vent either at the moment. It seems like some people’s patience has run out with regard to listening so I am forced to pour out my  frustrations on here. I would go and see someone but that requires money, which requires work and these are two things I don’t have right now. To clarify the office job doesn’t count as work, it’s more a form of torture.

 Anyway.. I have an exciting audition coming up for another HBO show. Not one I have auditioned for before, and honestly not one that I thought I ever would but I LOVE the programme, and although I don’t think I am right for the character it’s still an opportunity to be seen by them which is amazing. It would mean 9 months filming in New York so pretty much all of next year in work and out of the country. I cannot explain to you how perfect that would be, however I know this role is not for me but they could potentially see me for something else so fingers crossed.

 I am still waiting to hear back on the film audition I had a few weeks ago which has had some cast announcements already and its much bigger than I thought it was. The names attached mean this would have a huge cinema release so would be a big break for me. My agent is still optimistic but I can’t help but think I would know by now if it was good news.

 So as you can tell I am not feeling too positive right now. But I think that’s ok. I am allowed to feel like this every now and again. This is a hard profession, the term emotional roller-coaster is never more apt when it comes to acting. The problem comes when you try to repress it and then it all builds up and comes out in one almighty explosion and that’s not something I want to experience thank you very much.

 I am looking forward to a Christmas break of eating and drinking too much, being with loved ones and most importantly presents!! No just kidding… I won’t eat too much, I’m an actress after all and we’re not allowed to do that.

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Go on holiday now, there is nothing going on anyway….

I have had quite a good few weeks, it seems the jobs and auditions have suddenly flooded in.

I was up in the north of the country for a couple of days last week, filming a short scene on a kids show. This was a favour really to the producer as I have worked with him before. I got the impression someone had dropped out or was no longer available at the last-minute and they needed someone quickly. It was definitely done for the money. I did find it hard though. It felt like a step backwards. I couldn’t help but think “what am I doing here” and when some of the crew and cast asked whether I had worked for HBO before I was tempted to lie. I couldn’t have of course as they clearly knew I had otherwise why ask? But from their responses I knew they were also thinking “why are you doing this” But you know it’s Christmas there are parties to go to and presents to buy and I need the cash.

On Monday I got asked to attend a script reading. It was for quite a big American show and often when it comes to read through’s the cast don’t attend. They already have the part and it can be too time consuming so they ask actors to fill in and read on their behalf. This is a good opportunity to meet producers and directors etc. and can also be like an audition for any parts that haven’t been cast. And it is also paid so again a nice little bit of spending money before crimbo.

I have also had some exciting auditions. Mainly for a feature film, shooting for three months Jan to Feb in a nice part of England. It’s a big project and the part I went for is small enough for a relatively unknown like myself to play but also big enough to be remembered for. So it would be perfect. There is some nudity in it but compared to what I did for HBO its nothing!! The first audition went really well, the casting director clearly liked me and I was certain I would be called back. I was and this time it was with the director. Alas this did not go as well. It wasn’t that I did anything any different it would just appear that the CD liked what I was doing more than the director. It has been nearly two weeks now and I still haven’t heard. However as it is a recall we will hear either way, so I suspect that it’s a case of the CD trying to convince the director I am right. It’s so difficult not to get your hopes up, as I have said many times before, but the longer the wait the less hopeful I become. Who knows, fingers crossed.

I would usually say it will be quiet now on the lead up to crimbo but it seems I have been busier lately than I have all year so will not jinx it by saying too much. Perhaps all the “young” actresses out there have already headed off to start their festivities, either way let the good times roll!

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How important is food? Really?

I recorded for the cartoon which was so much fun. When I turned up there was a guy still in there finishing off and as I was listening to him I have to admit it was making me panic a little. He was extremely funny, I mean everyone was cracking up, that is not an act I wanted to follow. It’s good for the cartoon of course; we want it to be funny, just not before I go on!! I wouldn’t say comedy is my forte, I love it and I don’t think I am completely without wit – ahem –  but this guy was pretty much hilarious.

So I am up and go for it and it’s like a sauna in there! I mean I am sweating big time, and it looks like this is through panic and distress but it is genuinely boiling in there. So I take off as many clothes as possible without it looking weird and try my best to cool down. I take a large gulp of water, clear my throat and go for it and well, it’s really bloody funny. It’s at that point that I realise that it’s more about the writing, I mean obviously acting does come into play a little and there were a variety of accents that I needed to pull off but I don’t think I was any less funny than the other guy. Saying that the cartoon is not out till September 2012 so there is plenty of time for things to be cut and voices to be replaced…. I hope this is not the case but we shall see, the cutting room floor is not something I am completely unfamiliar with!

I went to theatre last week with a friend who is part of a theatre company I worked with last year. Going to the theatre always makes me hungry for work, especially if the play is brilliant and there is an actress in it that’s close to my age, and this play ticked both boxes.

After the show we get a wine and chat about it, me gushing about how much I miss it all and that I need to do something creative soon before I explode, and then she offers me three fantastic parts. She wants me to take part in their Rep season. No audition just straight in, with three highly sort after parts for an actress my playing range.

I am delighted, it would be for three months so it would mean giving up my day job AND the money for this is poor. Really poor. There is a small sum and then profit share, and that’s always a gamble. But after a few more glasses of wine and sitting in the theatre bar I have talked myself in to it. So I will be broke for a few months, I don’t need to go out, don’t need to travel that much, don’t need to buy things…. I head home ready to debate it out with the boyfriend. He is the sensible one in the relationship, the one who thinks logically and doesn’t get lost in the fairy tale of it all.

So I have my argument ready, how my soul is being crushed in this corporate world, I need to spread my creative wings. I AM DYING!! There is a bit of a pause before he asks me if I am ok and would I like a glass of water. I say I am fine and sit down. Realising I have been shouting at him for about half an hour in something close to pantomime. But he says he agrees, that I should go for it, that I am wasting my talents behind a desk. So what the pay is not great, he’ll help me out and when it’s over I’ll just get some bar work or cleaning somewhere, whatever, we’ll work it out.

Well this is not what I was expecting but it’s amazing. I am going to do it, throw caution to the wind and really live the actor’s life of struggle and sacrifice! Then I email my agent. She calls me, immediately. “Darling, really? I mean I see your desire to do it, I completely understand they are great roles but let’s think about it carefully” She then highlights all the negatives and unfortunately there are a lot. Not just the money but the time involved, three months is a long time to be out of action. After a thorough but fairly short discussion I am not doing it and I am back in the office…..

It’s depressing. Well not depressing really that’s a little extreme, but I did like the idea of it all. However I do have to be sensible and if I want things to move forward I need to pick my jobs carefully and in the meantime just bloody hang in there!!! I am recording the music video on Monday so that should be fun and I have an audition for a play on Thursday which is a good part, so there are things in the calendar. At least now I can afford to buy things again, and you know, eat. I guess that stuff is kinda important. Sigh

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Patience is definitely a virtue

It’s been an interesting October, consisting of travel, lots of “firsts” and finally “knowing” some people.

 Firstly I went away for the weekend to warmer climes and appeared in a short film. It was with a company I worked with two years ago and stayed in touch with. This was a new challenge for me as it was a short film in a foreign language. The character I was playing was English – funnily enough – but would be speaking in this particular language… at least that was the plan.

 Now I would like to say I spent three weeks practicing – that’s how long I had the script for – but that would be a big fat lie. I procrastinated, big time! I do have a habit of this when it comes to lines, but only because I tend to pick them up quite quickly and I always want to avoid the over rehearsed! I needn’t have worried about that. It was not a language I had studied at school, and apart from the usual hello, good-bye, can I have a drink please? I knew nothing! So when I finally got round to learning them I struggled!

 By the time of the filming however I thought I had it pretty much down. Mmmm, this apparently wasn’t quite the case. My pronunciation was off. So they decided to film it more like line for line and I would be aided by the crew before each take. This however did not work either, because now I sounded too perfect, not an English girl speaking in a foreign language. So in the end the majority of the piece was done in English. I personally think this was better any way and to quote Jessica Alba “Good actors, never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.” I think I have made my point

 Also a first was bringing my boyfriend along. As it was going to be nice and hot and I wouldn’t be working all weekend I thought it would be a good idea if he accompanied me. He also came on set. The best way I could describe that experience would be like having a kid in a car on a long journey. They get bored, hungry, and fidgety and constantly ask “are we there yet”, except he was asking “are you finished yet?” A lot of acting involves waiting! Waiting for makeup, hair, camera set up, lights, director notes…. and many more variables. I was actually filming for around 30 mins and I think we were there for about 7 hours so to be fair it was a long day for him but I think we both learned a valuable lesson!

 Coming up I will be recording for a cartoon. I am extremely excited about this as it is not something I have done before, the script is fantastic and it was written by one of my closest friends. Now I  like to think I would have gotten the part anyway but that would not be realistic so for the first time it was really a case of knowing the right people! Now don’t get me wrong I am going to do a good job, this guy would not jeopardise his project for a favour but still I am very grateful to him. I think the show is going to be a hit. He has some big names attached and there is a huge gap for a show like this over here. I do my first recording tonight; it’s not for a main character but for some smaller extra parts.  I am hoping if it goes well this may be something I get asked to do again. My boyfriend asked me if he could come and watch, I said no.

I will also be shooting a music video at the end of the month for a new artist and her first track and, she is another close friend. The song is really good and the concept for the video sounds cool so it seems all my “connections” are arising at once!

 After a fairly slow September this is a lovely boost as we approach the end of the year, a programme I filmed in June is also airing soon so hopefully that will bring some interest too. So to conclude, lessons have been learnt and spirits are running high, seems like Christmas is coming early for me 🙂

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Wish I had never asked

So September has been and gone and I seem to have completely forgotten to tell you about it! I think the sudden dramatic weather change threw me off a little and I forgot there was something besides sunbathing that I was supposed to be doing! So as the hot weather is now, I should think, definitely over, so is my hiatus.

Well, honestly it’s been quiet. I had some ADR to do at the start of the month for the program I did in June. That’s always painful, having to dub yourself not only in time but in the right tone and level to the rest of the scene is always a challenge. Thankfully it was one line, and for the amount they paid me I really shouldn’t complain about it.  

I also had a little reunion with the cast which was really nice. You form such a close friendship when you’re on set and working in what is ultimately a different world for a while but so often when the job is done so are the friendships. Don’t think this is going to be the case with these guys, at least I hope not. I actually just received an email from one of the girls who is now a regular on a popular show and has told me about a guest part which is coming up which she thinks I would be right for.  So I have emailed the old agent to see if we can get in there early.

I don’t think there is ever anything wrong with chasing your agent, no matter how big they are. Sometimes people seem hesitant to do this but I always think it’s a mistake. I popped in to see mine last week for a chat and it always makes me feel better afterwards. I have only had one job this year and as this agent is new I worried, but she put my fears at rest, we spoke about future stuff and I left a lot more positive than when I arrived!

I had an audition at the end of the month (like I said it’s been quiet) for a new movie with a top director and stellar cast and it was for a decent role. Was really excited about this, it’s with a casting director who is really good to me, always gets me in when I could fit the bill. Before I went in I chatted to the assistant a little bit. I have known them for quite some time now so it’s like catching up with a friend really. I made the error of enquiring about a role that I have been hoping for for a while, thinking there was still a chance I may get it and found out it was cast! This knocked me, not because I was certain I was going to get it but more because I was excited about the possibility. It’s always easier to keep going if there could be something on the horizon and this was my something. Then I had to go in and do my audition and I lost it. The energy dropped and I pretty much sucked. The CD was lovely as ever and I had several go’s and was told at the end that it was good but I knew it wasn’t…

I have some filming to do at the weekend for a short film which will take me out of the country for a few days which is nice but at the moment truly I am struggling to stay positive. It’s not that I would consider giving up, there is nothing I would rather do so it’s not an option really I just wish I didn’t want to do it. That is where I am at the moment, wishing I had stuck with my plan at 4 to “look after animals”… it may have been more exams and training but at least I would probably “be there” by now! Lots of programmes are coming out that I wanted or went for and that’s always tough and it’s just all a bit rough at the moment. But there are things on the horizons, it’s not all doom and gloom but like the weather, it really could be better!

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