Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Auditions come in all shapes and sizes. Some are shorter than my attention span during the finance section of the news and some are longer than soap storylines. Some are easier than the choice between tea and gruel and some are harder than an East End gangster diamond.

Yesterday's audition was one of the most gloriously short, easy auditions I have attended. The producers decided that because the parts wouldn't require a great deal of acting (it's just a promotional film) that there was really no need for them to put the actors through the torture of playing out ridiculous scenarios. I wish all auditions were like this. I once went up for a part in an advert for a large chain store (hint: it wasn't just any chain store...) and was auditioning for the role of either the hairdresser or the PA. Both of these parts were set to be on screen for all of 2 seconds so no real acting skill was required. I'm sure as long as you didn't suddenly turn into some sort of ogre the second 'action' was called, anyone could play it. I was therefore expecting to walk in, look at the screen, say my name, maybe have a quick chat on camera and then I could leave and get on with the rest of my day. But oh no, instead I had to enter into a 5 minute improvised monologue for both roles. I'm a comfortable improviser but even I struggled a couple of minutes in when pretending to be a certain Sixties model's PA. Needless to say I didn't get the role but, imagine my surprise when I saw the advert air at Christmas and the only time the PA was seen was when their hand came into shot offering someone a mobile phone. The hairdresser, rather ironically, had been completely cut.

So yesterday's audition was an absolute joy. I got to chat to a lovely group of actresses who were all up for the same part, we were well looked after and only 20 minutes of our evening was taken up. But don't worry, it wasn't completely mishap free. You will soon learn that I'm physically unable to get through an audition without some calamity taking place. I like to think that this adds to my charm but I suspect it just adds to the theory that I really shouldn't be let out of the house alone. Previous mishaps have involved turning up to a very physical audition in the tightest jeans imaginable and cocking up my lines in spectacular fashion for a high profile advert. Yesterday's involved me being the last of the group to enter the room only to sit on an office chair and go flying backwards five feet through a very swanky looking editing suite. Grace. It ain't my middle name.

I appreciate that my bar for good auditions is not set particularly high. My worst experience comes in two parts. It was for a film about the last Neanderthals on Earth. I know, when it comes to glamorous roles, they come at me like a moth to a flame. Audition number one involved running from wall to wall in a church hall, hand in hand with another actor while only wearing a bikini. For 10 whole minutes. No, I don't know why either. Somehow the crew weren't put off by watching my wibbly bits on camera and they asked me back for a recall. This came in the form of a 2 hour workshop with about 15 other actors. The workshop consisted of us basically improvising being Neanderthals for 180 very long minutes. The low point being the directors throwing loaves of bread into the middle of the room and us all scrabbling around on our hands and knees to get a piece. If that's not a metaphor for the acting industry then I really don't know what is.

I'm off to Bestival tomorrow for the weekend so there will be a few days of silence. Don't weep. Just think about me having a bloody great time and rejoice in the fact that I'll be back on Monday with more happy thespy tales.


  1. "Grace. It ain't my middle name" - LOL, Are we related? Love it!

  2. I think I went to that Neanderthal film audition sounds remarkably similar except...I didn't get called back. You should count yourself as one of the lucky ones.