Self Tape summer Sunday

Up in the morning a bit later than intended. Coffee and breakfast. I’ve hit a yogurt and blueberry habit these days, and of course there’s good coffee. The last of the milk and I knew I’d forget to replace it. Damn.

Into the bathroom for a shave. Strip off that night’s worth of stubble. I grow a beard in about a week. My stubble is ALWAYS visible but I can get it right back so it looks considered. I’m out of practice with the old razor though. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to keep myself smooth. I take a chunk out just to the left of my lips. Squirt it with aftershave but the blood keeps welling up. I go and pick a white shirt, but I’m not gonna put it on now. Tissue stuck to my face as I find my little dicky bow. My best bowtie got nicked by wardrobe department on The Pack right before lockdown. It was an accidental steal – it was in the back of my car with all the actual costume. But all my attempts to get it back got brickwalled. I’ve given up on it. But the guy I’m auditioning for wouldn’t have a high quality bow, he’d have a prefab dicky, so I’m happy with what I find for today. Black suit. I got a ton of them in the costume haul, and this one fits me like a glove. Looks good too. I shove it all in a bag and drive to Mornington Crescent.

Quick coffee at pret and up to my friend’s flat with it. We build a studio in her spare room. Two big lights, an annoying tripod, a screen, reflectors, muslin. Actors… We’ve all got a setup like this stashed somewhere. She’s got a good room for it in terms of space though. I’ve had to do them in very cramped conditions. The room’s being redecorated though so the floor is covered in plastic for paint. This just means I can’t move my feet when I talk. The tape is only a couple of lines though, and it doesn’t ask for movement so it’s only a problem if I need to walk into shot.

I get changed. It’s hot. The cat looks at me indifferently. “Have you got a comb?” She does. I slick my hair back with water. Phone onto tripod. My friend jiggles it around until she’s happy with the shot. We do the scene. Adjust the frame and do it again. Retakes mostly for tech, which is always the way of it. Once it sounds ok and looks ok, mark the take and do an ident. Name agent height location. Nothing too involved like hands and they haven’t asked for full length thankfully. Play it back. Momentary insecurity. Nobody likes watching themselves. It’s just a self-tape though. If they want me they want me, and I reckon this is a good fit so fingers crossed. Would be nice for me and my agent to hit one into the net. Lovely series. I want it.

Rename files on my phone. Upload scene and ident to WeTransfer and send it over to my agent. Watch the percentage go up to 100. And done. Glad it’s a Sunday as parking was free. One of the best things about self-tapes is that once you’ve got your little self-tape community there’s an ease and a shorthand so you can get it done pretty quick, and then use it as an excuse to catch up.

We go to The Edinboro’ Castle and have large amounts of cooked cheese together and we catch up. It’s a lovely summer evening. All is right with the world.

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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