Self tape

I’ve heard actors evangelise about the self-tape revolution that has swept through our industry, where before you even get in the audition room you send a video of yourself doing the lines out of context. “It’s great. You get control of your output.” Well, yes. You sort of do. If you have a friend with infinite patience, and all the time in the world. But if, like many of us, you have loads to do and you’re not in a loving patient relationship with another actor then it’s a difficulty. You can’t just send a hacked together tape, as you know someone else will have taken the time and you want to stay in the mix. But conversely you don’t want to eat your time too much. It’s been a luxury that, after Macbeth last night, I didn’t have to work today. I had time.

I went to a friend’s house. I’ve done tapes for her in the past, and been patient. What goes around comes around. But you can’t ask for endless takes no matter how patient your friend is. I had three scenes to record. I’d learnt the lines in a vacuum, and was delivering the scenes for the first time, while she was sight reading and thinking about camera angles and eyelines and so on. The script is fab and rolls off the tongue, which made it easier to learn short notice, but now it’s sent it’s always that odd feeling. It’s over to the Gods now. I learnt those lines. Thought those thoughts. There have been times where I’ve sent the tape direct by wetransfer and noticed that it was never even downloaded. This one will be different in that it came through my excellent agent and will be handled professionally. But the whole of my day became about peaking at that tape. And now I’ve converted it and renamed it and emailed it I’m wondering where the day went.

I’ve got another little movie to consider, back home in The Isle of Man. A friend of a friend is filming something and wants to fly me back. It feels like a very small scale thing, but it’d be nice to go home in that context – so long as it feels like the movie we make has some purpose. He’s posted me a script and I’ll get stuck into it tomorrow. Let’s see about that.

Meanwhile, after the self tape, I went to hang out with a dear and true friend and her son. I haven’t seen her for way too long, and we clicked easily back into familiarity and consumed way too much red wine way too quickly. By the time I got home it was early and I was already too drunk for a Monday, but Monday is the official actor’s day off so I’m taking carte blanche as I stream of consciousness into this blog which, she quite rightly tells me, you have to look for now. Damn you Facebook pages etc. Happy Tuesday to… Whoever remains. Facebook is not the only platform dammit, etc etc…



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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