Workshops lamb and cricket

There are so many transferable skills that we pick up in the line of duty. As often as not, practitioners end up spending more time transferring them that they spend practicing them. The amount of times I’ve had the thought “What is he doing running that workshop, he’s barely ever worked?” There are lots of people I can think of who trade off one big job, or someone they’ve assisted or worked for, to set themselves up as full time teachers of various aspects of the craft. We all need to make money. We all have something to teach, even if it’s just confidence. But it’s noticeable how many people rely on other people’s names to lend their own name credence.

Typically, since starting this blog I’ve publicly hit one of my longest ever spells without a consistent acting job. Hopefully before long I’ll be presented with the challenge of detailing the nitty-gritty of a rehearsal process. But for now it’s continuing the little weird jobs and pushing for TV work, and writing about the strange detail. So if I’m not going to do stuff I hate for cash then I need to start working out where the line is.

I have been asked to teach some teachers. I went to a training session today to run a workshop for them about physical presence in a room. I think I might find that rewarding and be good at it, and it’ll help me focus on those crucial first seconds in the audition room. It’s interesting work. I loved my studies at Guildhall with Patsy Rodenberg, and a lot of it was to do with presence. A lot of teachers feel the need to play a character in order to dominate a room. I’ll be working with young teachers in their first year of training to show them they can just be fully present and not have to restrict to the idea of a “character”, and give them tools to do it.

August is traditionally a quiet time because half of my industry is up at the Edinburgh Festival. But that also makes it easier to get castings if you’re not familiar to the casting director already. All of their tall sad funny clever posh men are at the fringe being funny or sad or clever or posh, so they can fill their spare slot with someone they haven’t met yet. I’ve had a good hit rate booking jobs in August so I’m sanguine something will come if I look for it. But in the meantime it looks like it’ll be teaching teachers.

I’m glad to be home. It’s been a long journey back from the golf, but you need to cover ground sometimes to leave things behind. Tristan and I had lamb with another of the victims of that tournament today. It was a happy, convivial evening with kind people. It left me smiling and extremely relaxed. So relaxed that I’m about to pass out, but I think that might be because I couldn’t resist a cocodamol top-up and now I can feel it beckoning me into the mire.


Tristan and I are watching the cricket highlights while I’m struggling not to fall over from painkiller use. “England’s biggest collapses”. I’m next.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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