Tag Archives: Interviews

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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I’m only interested in permanent markers

It’s been a quiet few weeks, hence my lack of posting. I never want to write just for the sake of it but felt it was best to post something so you don’t think I have gone AWOL. After my last confession of being on a major come down I can see the potential for people to think I may have gone mental. Well I haven’t, not quite.

I have had a couple of auditions, not as much as I’d like, but some at least. One was for a tour of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which is an amazing play but the destination of some of the theatres weren’t too appealing so in truth I don’t think my desire was there. I was also late. This had nothing to do with a lack of desire more to do with a lack of decent public transport. I really hate the tube. They were understanding and fortunately the director had also been effected by the disruptions but nonetheless it’s not a great start. It went ok but they only got me to read once and unless they say, “wow, that was amazing, prefect, I really don’t think we need to hear that again” I don’t think it’s ever a good sign.

The other was for an advert, sweet gig, four days filming in Berlin with just under £15,000 for your troubles. I got pencilled, not heavy pencilled, pencilled and so deep down I knew I wouldn’t get it. I wish they wouldn’t call unless I’m penned!! Well I waited until the day before filming started still thinking that the pencil may change into a pen and then my agent emailed with the sad news that the pencil had been removed. Erased, rubbed out, over. So that’s that.

I have had a few people ask me over the last few days how “it’s” all going and I have said to everyone without hesitation that it’s going well. That I am on target. That this time next year I will be a full-time actress, not temping to tide me over. I think it is important to have these goals, as long as you’re flexible. I have in all honestly hit the goals I have set myself so far. When I first started out I wanted representation in a year, and I got it. Then I wanted a personal agent by the time I was 26 and I got one and then I said I wanted one of the top agencies by the time I was 30 and I am well ahead on that one, ish….

So now the next goal has been set and I think as long as I keep willing it to happen I’ll get there. This is however quite a big goal, and not much time to achieve it in but I have to stay positive and focused. Jeeze if I had a penny for every time I’d said those words I think I would be able to afford to just be an actress!

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Just smile

What a few weeks it’s been! Kate and Wills are married, Obama has killed Osama and Wigan won a game…. Seriously though, I want to say now I am not going to comment on the Osama incident, this is a blog about acting and I think its best if I keep it that way. I have had messages on previous occasions when there has been some global catastrophe or world event asking me whether I had seen the news. Yes I read the news and yes I am fully aware of what is going on in the world but I am going to stick to what I know and that is acting….

I had lunch with my agent a few weeks back, which was nice. She allayed my fears about being dropped and assured me that it was only a matter of time before something comes along and they were all really pleased with the feedback they’d been getting. I wish the feedback could have been a touch more positive and they had actually gone that little bit further and given me the job, but one step at a time I suppose.

When I turned up to meet her I had made sure to look the best I could without it looking like I had tried too hard. I also had planned all the issues I wanted to raise as I know these social meets may be a rarity. When I saw the menu I was immediately drawn to the fish finger sandwich and chips but conceded that would not be a wise choice for a young ambitious health conscious actress, sigh. As I perused the options of lentils, beans, leaves and general rabbit food I found it increasingly difficult to pick anything appetising. At that point she told me I had to try the fish finger sandwich as it was amazing. I knew I liked her. This was the first time I had seen her since she signed me in January and although we have regular email contact its nice to meet in person.

We discussed how it was going, what the plan was etc. We also agreed that the sooner I get new headshots the better. They have been booked in for Friday and I pray to god it works out. I am also going to Cannes this year. My boyfriend is working out there and I am going along for the ride. I was dreading “net working”, as I would be doing it solo and I always find it a struggle but thankfully she told me not to worry about that. Everyone is out there for their own projects so she just told me to enjoy myself, always look nice, smile a lot and see what happens. Sounds good to me!

I have had a few good auditions since I last wrote and they have all gone really well. They’re all for big stuff and great roles but alas it seems that it’s just not happening at the moment. But I am hanging in there. I think a few days dressing up and smiling in Cannes will help immensely!

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Know your audience!

Theatre audition was a nightmare!! I went to a friend’s house warming party the night before and I had planned to get the last train home but obviously I missed it so I had to sleep there. Now when I say sleep I mean to lie in the spare bedroom with a pillow over my head trying desperately to block out the thud of the bass of the 90’s classics. My brother also ended up in the bed with me so I was really glad that I’d decided to stay….

After a little over two hours sleep I made my way to the audition, it was a Sunday so I’m sure I wasn’t the only one a little worse for wear arriving. I turn up early and just about manage to keep my eyes open. I do a fairly coherent reading considering, but I am not expecting the call to come through any time soon.

I had debated whether to go at all but I pulled it off and it’s always good to meet new faces. Took me at least a day to get over that night, clearly not as young as I used to be!

Then yesterday I got a recall for the TV job I auditioned for last week!!! SO happy about it. The casting director is a gem, really on my side. When I went for the first audition I hardly had anything to read so he got me to read another character too. I ended up being called back for that part!

I googled the director the night before so I knew a bit of info on him and then on the way to the audition I saw him outside. It was great that I could confidently say hi knowing who he was and introducing myself. I think that went down well. I then had 5 mins to chat with him and one of the producers so I could tell them a little bit about what I’d done etc. And that was all before I’d gone in.

It was because of that they then asked me to prepare for another character as well. Both characters completely contrasted and I nailed both. I also knew that the writers were in the room and were going to have a large part to play in the casting process so it was important to win them over too so to speak. So….. when I was reading the scene I had just been given and therefore not prepared I decided to flatter them a little. It’s a comedy and so during the reading I got the giggles because “it was just so funny”, they loved that. It is funny anyway but I played it up a little and it worked wonders.

There really is no better feeling than leaving an audition and thinking yeah I am ace at this, I totally ruled! Well… I guess getting the job feels pretty good too.

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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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To read or not to read?

I have finally got my two monologues together, it took me quite a while to choose them but they had to be right and I now feel happy with the result. I am going for the traditional route, one classical, one modern. The classical being Shakespeare and its one of Ariel’s speeches. It’s a good one and not commonly used.

I am going to point to a book which I found particularly useful with this actually. I tend to avoid mentioning individuals, or specific names, or places of events I am talking about, but feel this is worth sharing. It’s ‘Alternative Shakespeare Auditions for Women’ by Simon Dunmore, a good book which helped me a great deal when I was deciding on my speech. I will stress again that if you are choosing to select your speech from one of these audition books you must make sure you also read the play in full. But this advice is also given along with other pointers in that book… so there, the first and possibly only plug. If you read this Simon, you owe me. BIG.

The modern piece I have actually performed before, quite a few years ago, but I like it and I think it is an excellent contrast to the other speech, so I am set. The decision now is in which order to do the speeches. You are told to prepare two but there is always the possibility that you will only get to do one… so what to do….

The Shakespearean one is certainly more powerful, energy wise it would be hard to evoke so much in the modern one. As with all Will’s speeches it is extremely animated and powerful. However the modern speech is very intimate and subtle and can be quite captivating to listen to. So which one to go for? My slot is towards the end of the day, so I am certain that the auditioners would have seen quite a few auditionees by then so how do I approach this?

Do I storm on with the powerful words of Will and do my best to deliver an original and engaging Shakespearean piece – which is always challenging – or go in understated and natural with the modern text?

To be honest I have absolutely no idea. I have considered asking them, giving them the options and seeing which they would prefer, but perhaps this would be a little too pretentious and they may think, oh bloody hell just get on with it. I think I may try to gauge the vibe when I go on and hopefully the choice will be obvious.

Crikey, I do prefer screen auditions if I’m honest. Straight to camera, piece chosen, direction fairly clear, in out and done. I’m hoping I’ll deliver one and they’ll like it and then ask me to do the other. That’s the thing with having the two contrast so much, they highlight totally different skills. I don’t want to risk not doing one strong enough and them dismissing me before I’m given the chance to show off all I can do.

I haven’t even learnt the lines yet! You’d think it would get easier wouldn’t you??

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