Tag Archives: God

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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I predict a feast, I predict a feast!

It’s been a strange few days since my last post, what with all the riots and madness which has spread over the country I have been somewhat preoccupied. I can’t believe what has been going on and was saddened by what I was watching. But as I have said before this is a blog about acting and nothing more, so my lack of comments in relation to the current state of affairs is intentional.

 Well I still have had no word from the previous auditions – although I knew the advert one was a no after a few days (you usually hear very quickly when it comes to ads) – I still hold out hope for the big one. I know it doesn’t start filming till the end of the month and as we are not quite half way through yet I think I still have this week at least. So I can postpone the probably inevitable disappointment for a few more days at least. Yay.

 I had an audition for a comedy series at the end of the last week in which I had to dress up looking very Shoreditch. For those of you not familiar with Shoreditch it is a part of inner city London,  known for its “too cool for school” fashion and attitude. Personally I am not a fan. But I pulled something together and tried my best to seem like I was “cool” with it. I think that’s what they call acting….

 Anyway I get there and I am faced with another actress who has the same first name as me which seems to have thrown the CD a little as we have both been called at the same time. Just another joy of being an unknown, I am sure this would never happen to Sienna or Kiera. Although saying that I can’t imagine there are many other actresses out there with their names, excuse me if I am wrong. So anyway here I am face to face with the other actress who then proceeds to give me a hug. Ok, slightly overly friendly but perhaps this is just some sort of banter with the whole same name thing. So I hug back and then she says “this is funny isn’t it”…. Urm yeah, I guess?? Not that funny but ok, I’ll go with it. Then she says she feels like she knows me. Now I’m thinking I’m missing something here and then the CD comes out and the actress says “I was just saying how funny it is because we are always at the same auditions! Not only do we have the same name but we appear to have the same look too. We feel like we know each other”… Mmm, that’s not really true, she feels like she knows me but I have absolutely no recollection of her.

 Anyway she goes in first and I start looking over the lines. Then her audition starts and it’s like she is in the room with me. I can hear it clearly word for word. This in my experience is never good. It may seem like you have an advantage that you can see which way they are going and work around that, but it’s definitely a disadvantage. Especially when they are taking a totally different approach to you! It’s like she is reading for a different character but the lines are the same. This is a nightmare, I try to block it out but it’s impossible. Thankfully though I don’t think she’s very good, it’s not right for the character at all and the CD doesn’t seem to be too enthusiastic so I relax a little. Silly me. When I go in and do my read it doesn’t work at all. I didn’t’ get a chance to practice this with anyone and sometimes when you hear something out loud it sounds very different to what you heard in your head. I try to adapt but then it just seems like I am doing a very poor imitation of the girl before me. Disastrous, I leave deflated and also still have no idea what that other actress looks like. Why can’t I remember her face?! Oh well, I’m pretty certain I’ll see her again!

 I had another comedy audition this week for an extremely popular show. I had practiced a lot (this time out loud) and was feeling confident and excited about the meet and then the riots kicked off. The audition was slightly later in the day and in an area which I couldn’t’ be certain was safe so I backed out. I asked if we could rearrange but it looks like it was cancelled and I missed out. The fact that there was no trouble in that area was ridiculously annoying. Like visiting a doctor and being told nothing is wrong, you seem to feel annoyed that you had wasted your time. So I missed out on that and now the only thing I have on is an audition for an advert this afternoon. I never get excited about these as in all my years of work I have only done two…. The odds are not good.

 So like the weather my mood has turned miserable again… I feel no desire to riot you’ll be pleased to know, smashing up the town I live in and stealing from JD sports is not something I would do to cheer myself up, but hey that’s just me. I think it’s time for a pizza, and maybe some chips, I’m a little mental like that.

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Why fame is important.

Well it’s not been the best of starts to the week. I had to get on the tube this morning during rush hour, which isn’t nice at the best of times, but today this actually led to injury. There were major delays and not many trains running due to “adverse weather conditions”. How this affects the tubes I don’t know. They are underground for one and it’s like a sauna down there so I can’t believe it’s to do with the cold but who knows! Anyway as I get on I can see it’s rammed so make the error of walking down the escalator. I should have stood to the right and waited. As I am walking down I get knocked from an impatient rush of people and ended up sliding down the stairs. The metal segregated edge stairs and scrape my knee. I am wearing tights and I can feel the material sticking into the cut. I won’t go into details but it has resulted in me having a burns plaster put on to allow the wound to heal without it being exposed. This reminded me of a frustrating incident last week. I had a commercial casting and the women behind the desk had spelt me surname wrong, no biggie I just told her and she wrote it out again. I see the new sign and again my name is wrong. So I go back and tell her it’s still wrong and spell out the name. She writes it out again and STILL gets it wrong, so I say again, with as much patience as possible and when she writes it for the third time and again gets it wrong my patience flies out the window. I’m beginning to wonder whether she is now doing it on purpose so I take the pen from her and write it myself.

As I felt that day and this morning I couldn’t help but think, soon I pray to the lord that people do know who I am, not for credibility but for the sake of my sanity. If I was recognised I would probably have to avoid the tube, or not have the need to use it and this bloody woman certainly wouldn’t get my name wrong. A diva moment you may think but at this point I don’t care. DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO I AM?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mmm, where to spit? Where to spit?

Hey peeps, how are things? As cold with you as it is here? I am happy to say our boiler is working again and I had possibly the hottest bath in the world last night. God I love a good bath. Anyway… another quiet week for me, hence the lack of posts. I only had one audition on Friday for a fast food advert and I didn’t go. I am not a fan of fast food (except dominos, I friggin love dominos) so the thought of being the face of it is no appeal. It was for the one I hate the most out of all of them too so there was even less incentive to go. The money wasn’t great and after careful consideration I passed. I was also slightly hung-over… well extremely hung-over actually. I met up with some old Uni friends who have all been successful in their own right. One was my casting director friend who I mentioned in “Oh So I Should Know You” And the other is a writer. He is actually bigger in the states now than he is here and we’re all very proud of him. So we do enjoy meeting up every now and again and giving ourselves a little pat on the back. That sounds far more pretentious than it actually was, I am aware it is slightly self-indulgent but when weeks are slow, you need that little pick me up. We went to Soho house, which I love, forgot the time and ended up spending far too much money, especially for someone who had just turned down an advert, and drinking excessive amounts of wine. The following day was a wash out, I didn’t start feeling normal again till about 2. I was slack with the gym as well so I have a lot to do this week! I saw a programme last night and there was a guy on it who was talking about an old high school coach he had. He was rowing very early in the morning with class mates and his coach screamed out “ I don’t know if you are doing better or worse but you sure as hell aren’t staying the same”. Interesting. So I thought today, am I going to be better or worse? Well I am updating this blog which I didn’t do, so already I’m doing better.

I have been asked a question – thank you….. It always helps to be given some ideas when I have sod all to report back on. What is the worst and/or funniest experience you ever had with an extra on set? Well, there are a few actually. One moment and this has always stayed with me was a job about three years ago. I hadn’t been working in television long so was still getting used to it all and taking everything in around me. We had just finished shooting a scene and had run over into lunch, 40 mins to be precise. When we came round the corner to the food truck I noticed a long line of people just standing to the side. So I got in behind them and waited. I was quickly collected and taken to the front. So I asked what all those others were waiting for, assuming they had already eaten, and was told they were extras and didn’t eat until the main cast and crew had had theirs first………… Now, in my experience extras tend to spend more time standing and waiting around than anyone else. They don’t usually sit off some where in between takes and are certainly not offered drinks and a chair. I get that this is the norm, there are so many it wouldn’t be possible and they also don’t have as much to think about it and are, to be blunt, easily replaceable. But still, this seemed a little brutal and the walk past them all seemed to take forever as I could feel all their eyes boring in to me. NEVER BE AN EXTRA!! Unless you already are and enjoy it then fair enough. Another amusing experience was actually on the HBO gig, it was my first experience of “stand-ins”. A young lady walked past me with a sign around her neck with the name of my character. I then watched as she stood in my place whilst the lights and camera was set around her. I liked this very much, made me feel extremely important. It’s funny how you grow accustom to these things though and you do begin to understand why there is so much diva behaviour. I am not saying that I think its ok. I remember one horrific statement from a fellow actor once. I had to eat something during a take which was particular vulgar and shoot it several times. In-between the first take when the director said cut, I looked around for some tissue to spit it out into. Within seconds at least four pairs of hands came out of nowhere for me to spit in to. This was not going to happen, so I spat it in to my own hands and then took a tissue. At this point the other actor in the scene with me lent over and said, “You don’t need to spit into your own hand that’s what they’re here for”. Needless to say at that point I was very tempted to spit somewhere else! There was also a time when I was shooting a period piece and there were well over 100 extras in front of me all in the appropriate attire. Then when the director shouted cut, at least half of them all got out their mobiles and started filming or taking pictures, it was quite surreal and very amusing. I don’t think it went down particularly well with the director but still worth seeing.

Well they’re the main stories that spring to mind, I certainly do appreciate what extras do and definitely couldn’t do it myself. I guess everyone has a crucial role and in my experience extra’s do theirs very well. That’s all for now, better get back to the dreaded office work. Fingers crossed this week will pick up and I’ll have something exciting to report back on!

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A bit of murder at the weekend is always a treat

I am beyond tired; sitting at the computer screen with loads to do but my brain just won’t commute. Well this is obviously to do with the weekend filming I had, which was amazing. It was more than I expected, the crew were brilliant, the atmosphere great and the script genius. It’s for a horror, which is my favourite genre, and it’s scary!! The make up for the bad guy was immense. I wish I could expand more but it’s too much of a risk, myself and everyone involved is bound to a strict confidentiality agreement. Anyway it’s just the teaser trailer and there is no guarantee that I would make the actual feature but god I hope so. It was two long days, and although the director was originally hoping for 90 secs he thinks he has a good 7 minutes worth. He explained to myself and the other actress that he wasn’t holding out much hope as to the calibre of people (both crew and actors attached) and therefore did not think he would get any more usable footage than that. This was due to the lack of budget and the work involved, but the team was great. Extremely professional with fantastic experience and so the results were fantastic. There will be a screening in three weeks as they need to have this ready before Christmas to they can take it out to LA for pilot season. I know it’s going to do well, the script is spot on and the footage I did manage to see was gripping. It was great for me to practice the American accent (crucial to have) and also to get back in front of the camera again. My character comes to a very grim end and that was so much fun to shoot.

 Back to work today and trying to get focused again. I had a great audition at the end of the week for a Sky ad set to come out next year which will be a pretty big campaign and although it went well I would have heard by now. Always difficult then seeing those on TV as you immediately wonder whether you could have done it better. But all in all spirits are higher than last week and although there is nothing in the pipe line as such, auditions are picking up and I’m feeling optimistic.

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You mean I have to audition??!!

Last week ended up on an unexpected high. I had several auditions which all went really well, couldn’t have done better, and so I felt the parts were mine. I didn’t get any of them. Then on Thursday I received an email from a writer about a script he’d written which he was looking to film in March. It was a very detailed and exciting pitch. He already has an excellent DOP attached and an extremely experienced director. He knows of me through my HBO show and wanted to meet. Now, any work that is offered out right I am always dubious about. There always seems to be a catch, mainly, largely to do with my HBO role, nudity. I have pretty much decided against nudity from now on, unless it is absolutely essential to the script and they are willing to pay A LOT of wonga. I think I have earned that right. Also there are many newbie’s out there (this is the guys first script) who end up cutting corners and taking unnecessary risks, which I also want to avoid. So before I got carried away with it all I had my questions ready. Who was officially attached, what pre-production had been carried out already and what was left to do blah blah blah. When I arrive at the meeting, confident and prepared to grill him, I discover that not only am I NOT being offered the part outright, they are also seeing eight other girls. Fortunately, I did not give away the fact that I assumed the role was mine and managed to brush off this unexpected twist. But suddenly I found myself fighting for this role. I hadn’t thought for one minute it wasn’t mine so now all I can think about is not getting the part. It’s filming abroad in a country I have always wanted to go to, the production team attached are great and would be excellent to work with, I love the story and it’s for the lead. So I have gone from feeling slightly detached and hesitant at getting carried away, to falling in love with the job and desperately wanting it. Mmmm “you only want what you can’t have” springs to mind. I decided to not change my tactic however; I should still be sticking to my same requirements. He came to me after all and it should still be a matter of convincing me to do it. I know I can bring a lot to the film and would certainly do the part justice. So I remain slightly aloof. Asking questions and by no means saying I want the part. I am not sure if I had previously known that I was only being considered along with others that I would have played it this cool, but as I left the meeting I felt quite up beat about it. Usually when you are auditioning or meeting for a role you are selling yourself, showing or explaining why you should be given the role, but why not approach it the other way? Ok I’m not quite Hollywood status… yet… but I know what I can do so I no longer have to jump at every offer. Anyway it appears to have paid off, I will be meeting for a reading in a couple of weeks. It is unclear at this stage whether it’s just me or other girls as well but I am not going to give that any weight either way, I’m through the first round.

I would also like to address a question I was asked several weeks ago now, sorry about the delay, no excuses just forgot. This post reminded me of it. From a previous blog entitled Aren’t you that actress from, it was in reference to “fan enthusiasm” – and what is expected from you, the artist. I pick this up as I was contacted directly for this last job and not through my agent. Now I have a website where I can be contacted, there is no direct address or number so it’s still very much private but some of the “requests” I get are quite astounding. Working in this industry for around 15 years now (my first professional gig being in my early teens) the world of celebrity has certainly grown. I guess it seems a lot harder now to differentiate between a celebrity and an artist. All the horrendous “reality” programmes are not helping our cause, I feel strongly about the lack of credible drama on our screens today and frustrated by the amount of crap that’s shown instead. I should say at this point that I do love the X-Factor, it is my guilty pleasure and I know it completely goes against all I stand for but, for crying out loud, Simon Cowell is just so damn watch able!! Anyway, because many of these reality show contestants thrive on attention, they very much invite the public in, posing for paps, selling stories to papers etc etc.  So it becomes the case that the more you are gossiped about and in the media light, the more famous you become and the more work you get. Those who ignore fans, or not even ignore, but don’t throw themselves at them – much like your musical favourite Sia – suddenly become, arrogant, rude, ungrateful etc. It is extremely difficult to get the balance right and unfortunately it seems crucial. It’s not simply enough to be good at what you do but you need to be liked too. There are many out there who are quite frankly rubbish at everything, but the public love them.  I have not yet been in a situation when I have been face to face with any inappropriate behaviour or made to feel uncomfortable, but I have received mail from people which has been slightly awkward. Asking for dates, personal interviews, and some just ranting at me for not making myself “more available”…. In an ideal world our work would be the same as any other. You are praised when you do a good job and your personal life is nobody’s business but your own. But in the world of OK and Hello, WAG’s and Big Brother, I can’t see that happening any time soon. Perhaps one day I’ll have a more informed answer but right now I’m pretty much safe from intrusion.

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Romeo done

The show is drawing to an end already, can’t believe how quickly it’s gone. We’re not quite there yet but certainly in the home stretch. It’s been a success in my opinion. The audiences have been good, the majority of the reviews have been positive and I hope to have made some good impressions on a few influential people. Mostly though I have made some great friends. Alas, as it seems is always the case, I know some of them I will lose contact with. Not because I don’t like them as much as others. I can honestly say there is not one person in the cast whom I prefer to anyone else, I think they’re all great, but it is inevitable. Due to different work schedules, groups of friends, convenience etc. The cracks are beginning to show with our Romeo. He embarked on the dreaded showmance, (I briefly touched on the reasons why it is never advisable to get involved with a co-worker in Fact or Fiction). There was a lot of flirting and a seemingly blatant show of interest, but when the certain lady followed this up and suggested they take it somewhere more private he ducked out. It would appear that he wasn’t really interested at all, just enjoying the attention. For one reason or another I seemed to be the agony aunt to both parties and they each came to me with their own account of events. Fortunately they seem to have gotten over this blip but with a few shows still to go it could have been disastrous! Now when I am acting with him I am seeing more of a cocky boy to a sweet one, it would appear my prediction of him succumbing to the ways of the biz (which I mentioned in Directors and Dragons) is happening faster than expected, and so another one bites the dust.

Auditions have started to pick up again as the reality of my soon to be “resting” period is during closer and closer I am getting more anxious. You are never really able to completely enjoy a job unless you know you have something lined up afterwards. How long will it be before I get something else?? Not too long I hope, it’s such a drag when all I have is the office, and this contract is running out in a few months so god only knows what I’ll do then. Well that’s all for now, nothing too exciting to report yet, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say after the wrap party!

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