Self tape Vs day job

I was having a lovely relaxed time of it learning lines in bed right up until I went and upended a brand new huge great mug of frothy coffee all over my big soft feather duvet and lovely light coloured sheets. My Fitbit likely witnessed a sudden spike in heart rate as I went in a second from peacefully mumbling other people’s words out loud to swearing copiously while running around in my pants trying to get the wet off before it soaked through to the feathers. I think I managed to prevent the worst of it.

The learning is for an audition. Just a self tape but these things … God knows how far they go and who sees them. I can’t really think of them as “just a self tape” anymore as they are swiftly replacing in the room auditions. We are now totally used to a process that used to seem so much of a huge faff for us.

After my morning of linelearning, interrupted by the coffee spill, I drove over to Emma’s. She’s in Camden. If I’m going to do a self tape I’m usually going to call her or Tristan, and this one felt like one for her as I wanted to have time to faff about eyelines and camera angles and light and so on. We have learnt that we can be patient with one another in these matters. Nevertheless we have to erect a background and a temperamental tripod and a load of lights. The self tape issue is rarely the performance – it’s the stuff like eyeline and lighting. Had they foreseen that things would go this way for auditions I have a feeling that the top drama schools would have a series of third year workshops in basic filmography. Where to put the lights, where to get the actor to look etc etc. I was happy enough to send a take this evening when Emma suggested that it looked like the person I was talking to was sitting in the middle of the seat in front of me. Playing it back I could see what she meant so I adjusted it. We got it done quicker than I had anticipated in the end, which is good as I’ve got a whole day of dayjobbery tomorrow. The deadline is tomorrow afternoon, and I’m not going to emerge until long after it’s gone.

This is a happy tape to send. It’s going to one of the “I wonder if they even know who I am” class casting directors. They do! Yay!

But my hit rate was always high on in person meetings. If they happened I had a high chance of landing them.

These tapes are going through doors that were previously shut. Some of the names on the emails have been people I’ve marked as interesting artists on a global scale. I felt a strange release with this one, because the day the filming starts is the same day that, if I don’t get it, I’ll be flying out to do the next race for those crazy lovely madmen at Extreme-E. So either I’ll be doing a lovely job or … I’ll be doing a lovely job. I’m hopeful that this might swing in my direction though. Acting has to remain my primary.

Now … its late at night. I’m home and I’ve sent the WeTransfer to my agent. Tomorrow I’m out way too early for my liking and going to a school in the congestion charge zone so I’ll have to take the damn tube. More of this talking about sustainable energy malarkey, so probably correct that I’m not driving there. It’s a decent doctrine to be preaching. I’m tired just thinking about it though. Probably should just follow that feeling to bed. No bath. No chamomile even. I’m already down to six hours sleep and even if I do fine with two hours repeatedly, I’m not good with five hours for some reason.

We went out for Greek food. Uninspired vegetarian skewers… They would be LOST without halloumi.

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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