Thoughts from my brain onto your screen…

Archive for May, 2012

Photo of the Day: 31st May 2012

Today I’ve been filming…the crew got to throw paint at me…twas awesome fun!!

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Photo of the Day: 30th May 2012

Lunchtime break in the sun… Please stay out Mr Sunshine!!

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Photo of the Day: 29th May 2012

Working today by the lovely Spinnaker Tower. Oh Portsmouth you are pretty in the sun…

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Photo of the Day: 28th May 2012

Afternoon “tea” at sketch with Lauren and Mummy Hollowood!

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Photo of the Day: 27th May 2012

(Hot Fuzz Accent) “My perfect Sunday….” ice cream, river view and wine time with Azbo!

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Photo of the Day: 26th May 2012

Sun + Picnic + a lovely walk = a very good day!!

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Photo of the Day: 25th May 2012

What a welcome gift!! I finally made it to loughborough after years of promises and this was my greeting. I’m a lucky lass to have friends like these…

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Photo of the Day: 24th May 2012

London is both baking hot and covered in flags everywhere you go. A classy touch at London bridge though…

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Casting Directors – The 1000 piece puzzle (almost) solved! Part 1

I’m not claiming that I have all the answers or that I know exactly how to “nail” an audition! However, over the last year I have taken to being the “other side” of the camera and played the role of Casting Director on several occasions. I cannot stress enough how invaluable this experience is for a performer! Not only do you get to see things from entirely new perspective, you also get to watch all the “classic” audition mistakes which we all fall foul to from time to time. Sometimes to witness a mistake is the only way you really understand why it is wrong. You can also flip this too; sometimes to witness someone doing it right is the only way you understand why it works. So I’ve come up with my Top Five Tips which should give you the best chance possible no matter who the Casting Director is. Some of it may seem obvious, some of it you may practice and some of it you may think sounds crazy. However, I urge you to have a read of each point and be really honest with yourself about the way you approach your career.

  1. It all starts before you walk in the room. How many of you out there apply for work yourself and send out a generic email to everyone that kind of fits what “they” need across the board? Well stop. Keep your emails short and to the point but make sure it is 100% tailored towards the role you are applying for. This IS time consuming. This IS boring. This IS worth more than you know. Obviously the Casting Director knows you are always actively looking for work. However, they don’t want to feel like 1 in 100 and this email has been fired out over and over for all sorts of roles. You need to get yourself through the door so being interested in the project, the role and indicating that you’ve got passion and an extra “spark” can do you no harm.
  2. Stop being so desperate. This is possibly the hardest one because most actors are desperate. We want to work, we want to perform and we need to earn some money. However, desperation is like fear; you can smell it. Being over-the-top polite and overly smiley and overly, “Yes Sir, no Sir” is actually doing yourself a dis-service. Firstly, you are not being yourself therefore, the Casting Director doesn’t know what it would be like to have you on set and secondly, it looks as if you never work which instantly turns off anyone before they’ve even watched your performance. I’m not saying be cocky, but be cool, calm, collected and confident. If you believe in yourself and the Casting Director can see that, they start the process expecting the audition to go well and pay extra attention to your performance.
  3. Don’t be lazy. If you are sent the script and sides. Read them, learn your lines, know your character. Look at the context of your scenes and know the relationship your character has with the other characters in the scene. You don’t always get the script but you often get the sides and you should try to become as familiar as possible. There is no excuse in the eyes of the Casting Director.
  4. Enjoy the audition. Be at ease and relax. The more relaxed you are, the more the casting director gets to relax and enjoy your audition too.
  5. Post-audition – don’t chase. They won’t forget about you and you sending an email just to say, “thanks for the audition”, doesn’t really serve much of a purpose. Just believe they will come to you.

Photo of the Day: 23rd May 2012

Apparently my needs are known too well… How lucky am I?!

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Photo of the Day: 22nd May 2012

Summer has finally arrived!!! After work street drinking is in full swing :-)

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Photo of the Day: 21st May 2012

Harry Potter Magical Wonder Day!! Lauren and I ate cake, geeked out over Potter knowledge and snapped, snapped snapped pictures!!!

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Photo of the Day: 20th May 2012

Sneak peak of our shoot! I didn’t stop laughing ALL day!!

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Photo of the Day: 19th May 2012

This guy!!! You can’t see sadly from the picture but..he was smoking the fattest cigar I’ve ever seen! He had the waiter pour his wine into a decanter and read his book on a Saturday night out in soho. What an absolute “try-hard”!

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Actors: Something to Ponder…

If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t…erm!?) then you’ll know I was recently speaking to an actor friend about how I am continually amazed by the lack of support actors receive from other actors. Sadly, it seems it is so rare to find other actors who, more often than not you know in “real” life, that want to support your work.

Although I understand the acting world is a competitive one; surely if, for example, I am a woman and you are a man, then we are not really in any direct “competition”.

I can only put it down to the threat of someone else “succeeding” while you are still struggling away. However, I always try to see someone else’s success as a beacon of hope that, I too will someday match their success. I too will be stood alongside them on the red carpet ;-) and I too will have rave reviews written about my performance! Because, yes the acting world is a competitive one, but really, we are all in it together! What is the point of being jealous? We could all look the same at an audition (and usually do) but if I smile a certain way or I wear a certain outfit, I could be the one chosen (or not) for the job. It is hard to accept but, a lot of the success or setbacks we have in acting are usually nothing to do with us as performers. It is to do with something far bigger than us and most of the time, it is luck.

Also, the success another person has does not take away from the success you are having, or will have in the future. The thing is, it isn’t a race which has a finish line. It is a career where, someone could be famous around the globe for a year and then never work again and another person could constantly work in supporting roles all their life but never be “known”. How do you measure their success?

Now, more than ever, networking is vital. It has always been the case that, it is not what you know or how talented you are, but who you know and how much they want to help you, which holds the key to your future.

The social media world is a diamond mine to all of us just trying to make our way and get ourselves and our work talked about. Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube now all feed into each other so harmoniously, no one you know and no one your friends know should miss what you are up to!  Connecting with new people, sharing work and supporting each other is the only way we can really play as a “team” as it is such an self indulgent, look-at-me, industry.

Plus, it has always been true that PUBLIC acknowledgements of work are far more meaningful in the long run than the “friend” who sends you a text trying to show they care but who doesn’t bother to share what you’ve done with anyone. To take the 1 second it would take to click “Retweet” or “Share” would mean the world to the person who created the work and I personally, don’t think is too much to expect. I see it as “poor sportsmanship” to not share work with your followers and friends. It is also dangerous, because people notice when you don’t and when it comes to you putting work out there, you’ll realise how much the support of those other actors’ matters.

Now, I’m not saying support work you dislike or don’t agree with but don’t decide not to support work out of your own frustrations. If I see someone has put a link up to their showreel or latest review, I will always share it, I don’t even think twice. I maybe no good to that person, but someone who follows me might click and think, this person is perfect for what I need! I may not even realise I was the link between the two but how wonderful if that is how someone got an audition?!

So why am I bothering to post this? Well because I was recently asked to find a girl and two guys for a really, REALLY exciting project I am involved in. The specifications were quite detailed but I certainly knew a person or two who I could recommend. However, rather disappointingly, I found myself thinking twice. You see, I recently posted a personal project and I couldn’t help but notice the lack of support from certain people who you’d almost take for granted as people who would share and retweet your work. Some people I have recently helped land roles in other things, people whose theatre performances I’ve atteneded and people who I have worked with etc. I found myself thinking, why should I hand them this opportunity on a plate when they can’t even be bothered to click a button to support me?! Is it childish, probably? However, I have had this work out there for over a month now and the support I’ve had from people has been amazing. Yet it’s mainly actors who only, “sort of” know me (however, not always the case and please note, I have noticed if you have!). Or who have watched it on other acting blogs and felt inspired that bother to comment, support and share. It is these people I felt compelled to contact, who I felt I owed the opportunity to.

I bet I’m not the only person who thinks like that.

Something for you to ponder Actors.


Photo of the Day: 18th May 2012

After the week I’ve had…hello Mr Wine!!!

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Photo of the Day: 17th May 2012

Hmmmmmmm …how long until the Olympics?!! Stood for a solid two mins waiting for congestion to clear… I sense disaster!!!

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Photo of the Day: 16th May 2012

Thoughts…? What was this guys “point”?!!

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Photo of the Day: 15th May 2012

Ice cream naughtiness with minxy Miss Misha

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Photo of the Day: 14th May 2012

Imagine my disappointment…I thought I’d bought a coke. It was only half way through I noticed it tasted…off! This. Sums. Up. My. Day!

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Photo of the Day: 13th May 2012

Tonight I went with my Journalist friend to the Gala Performance of Revolution – a dance show. My Mum always told me that if I don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. However, I must tell you, if you are planning to go…Don’t! Kimberly Wyatt (PCD) and Adam Garcia barely grace the stage and when they do, their dancing is SO dull! Kimberly spends the first half just dancing with her arms while her feet stay planted to the floor and Adam appears three times performing what seems to be the same tap routine. Also all the dancers just pull odd faces at the audience. Note: Pulling your sex face on stage doesn’t make for a “sexy” face. On top of all this, the dancers were constantly bumping into each other on the small stage and losing their balance. They would stop performing before even entering the wings, which is one of my biggest pet hates – WE CAN STILL SEE YOU! The best girl in it is a pocket rocket blonde who doesn’t even appear to be in the programme, and even she lost my interest at the end. Trust me, we all saw better performances from kids on this years Britain’s Got Talent! I can’t believe something like this gets funding…


A Very Public Breaking Point

Inspired by the response my last post had, I thought I share another, more hilarious audition tale with you. I like to refer to this one as, The Tale of the Exploding Man!

It was one of those castings where your agent calls you up, you look at the breakdown (character brief) and think…”Erm?! I don’t suit this at all”. It was for a commercial too which, as I explained in my previous post, isn’t always plain sailing! I went along thinking the chances of me landing it were about as thin as a model at Fashion Week and I casually chatted to the other actors around me and gave the script a quick read.

Very unusually for a commercial casting, we were actually sent the script the night before and I’d had a read to see that mainly the two male roles spoke and us ladies were…fillers! However, on the day, the script we were given was entirely different and more scenes had been added. A couple of people asked if this is what other people had been sent the night before too, which everyone replied, “no” and smiled knowingly at each other that the script had just simply been changed overnight. No one really cared about it. It is the most common “problem” for actors to be auditioning with scripts they have seen just moments before.

Then, in comes the man…there is usually always one at every casting. The really LOUD actor who wants everyone else to notice them. He made a real song and dance out of the simplest of tasks; taking off his coat, finding a seat, filling out his form, it was all very dramatic. However, his look suited the breakdown to the ground; he was every bit the nutty professor with crazy big white hair and a monocle! The rest of us fell silent and went back to reading over our scripts, smartening up our hair or applying the last of our make-up.

After a few moments the man asks the group if there are any other copies of the script? I show him mine and he studied it for a moment, looked back at me and said, “No, the one they sent last night was different. That is what I am auditioning for.” I smiled and said, “Yes, I think they’ve changed it overnight. This is the new script.” – He blankly stared at me. – A few seconds went by. -

Then, out of no where, this man screams…and I mean SCREAMS! Everyone’s jaws were on the floor as we listened to him begin to rant and rave! He went on for a good few minutes, swearing every second or third word about the fact that he had stayed up all night learning his lines! He had cancelled work, cancelled a doctor’s appointment, and changed “everything” in order to be off script and word perfect…

When he stopped finally, the casting director came out of the audition room and politely asked if we could keep the noise down as every word could be heard. His face went very red and I thought to myself, you might as well go home now. A male actor offered up, “Never prepare too hard for commercial castings mate, they always change stuff” but it came out more sarcastic than reassuring.

Looking back, I feel quite sorry for him. Every now and then we all have that moment where the industry just chucks that final straw at us and we break. His look suited the job so perfectly, he had probably laid a lot of hopes on getting the part and done as much preparation as possible so that it would happen. Sadly, at a casting in earshot of the people you are about to audition in front of is absolutely the worst place for you to show your frustration.

I got lucky though and landed the job! I think the exploding man made me realise I could stand more of a chance than I thought…


Photo of the Day: 12th May 2012

I went to a garden centre …I must be getting old!!

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Photo of the Day: 11th May 2012

To one and all….

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