All the things I had to do for a self-tape

It’s just gone midnight. I’ve just sent the WeTransfer to my agent with the audition that came in yesterday. Two short scenes. I managed to get them learnt last night and this morning. It’s blindingly obvious when an actor is searching for the words on camera, and it looks shit. Yes it takes up time, but you’ve got to know your lines for an audition if you can, even though you aren’t being paid for it. It’s why it’s such an advantage if you live in a house made out of money and you sweat gold. It means you can come in fluent while some of your rivals for the part have been working to make a living. Covid is a leveller there. Very few of us have work to distract us so we can all do the basics.

My friend and I took our time. We tried to make sense of eyelines and we had a few shots at each scene. Often with a self-tape, somebody’s in a hurry and you’re forced to send something you can’t 100% stand by. Apart from sound issues, which can’t be fixed without an expensive clip-on Android mic, I’m ok with what I just sent. We didn’t stop until we knew we had a decent one. But not including time spent learning lines and selecting clothes etc, I’ve still spent the best part of a day.

I arrived in Camden and was met by a friend and a familiar if wayward cat. This is work. My friend sat me on a stool in the kitchen and cut my hair with a small pair of blunt scissors and some bulldog clips. She did a great job, miraculously. I was having second thoughts almost immediately, but it’s a good cut. It feels weird – I had a ponytail for the first time since my early twenties. But I’m happy to be cropped again. My ears aren’t so itchy.

I look like my grandfather here…

We built a studio in her living room and then I did the same thing lots into my mobile phone camera. Then after driving home, the biggest ballache of the lot is always getting the files. I had to WeTransfer them to my laptop in batches and then watch them all to find the ones I wanted to send, rename them and package them up to go to my agent.

It is done, and in time.

Now they’ll hopefully get watched, and hopefully they haven’t already got their heart set on somebody for the part and hopefully they’ll say “I like that guy!” It’ll be nice to spread my wings again. I’m supposed to be reading opposite a dude, but I’m sure they’ll see past that…

I’m home now, in bed, relaxing, gearing up to put my head down. I’ve been synchronising with Lou who sleeps and wakes with the sun so midnight feels late for me rather than the start of partytime like it used to be.

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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