Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Yesterday was very much a day of two halves. So much so that I intended to split the day up into two blogs. Firstly so that you didn't get thoroughly bored and secondly so I'd have something to write about tomorrow. However, this happened and there's no way I'm letting that go un-blogged so I'm afraid today you'll have to put up with a full and rambling account of my day yesterday. If you wish to complain then I suggest you send your letters to BAFTA for this is really their fault.

So, back to yesterday. After weeks of aimlessly wandering around in my pyjamas, constantly worrying about the stilton in the fridge that we still haven't managed to finish, I found myself suddenly very busy. The day started with a photoshoot where I was playing a dentist. It was a lovely job and exceedingly easy but it was only when I was relaying my experience in the pub last night when I realised just how lucky I'd been with this one. Firstly I didn't even apply for it. They just contacted me out of the blue and asked if I'd like the job. When I'm not dreaming about being cast in the new Carry On film and having to learn how to do impressions of Sid James and Kenneth Williams (true) I'm dreaming about jobs that involve very little work on my part. I turned up, had a lovely time in make up and costume and then sat on a very comfy sofa in the green room surrounded by a plentiful supply of crisps, biscuits and tea. After a panic about the shoot running late, everything was suddenly back on a track and I was called into the studio. Three minutes later and my shots were done. That was it. I'd just been paid to smile at a camera for 180 seconds. And to top it all off, in the time that I'd been in the studio, Italy's entire stock of pizzas had been delivered. Even though I was leaving, I was urged to take as much as I wanted and I left with a spring in my step and a lovely layer of dough around my heart.

It was then time to head off to my audition which I did with a sense of dread. I'd already been told that I'd be there for the whole afternoon and that there would be a lot of improvisation involved. I realise that as an actress, this kind of thing should get me really excited. I should relish in the opportunity to exercise my creative muscles for a whole afternoon or some rubbish like that. Instead all I felt was a sick feeling in my stomach which may have been down to essentially eating pizza and crisps for breakfast but was mainly down to the knowledge that all this afternoon would really be about was showing off. And really, I wasn't wrong.

We'd been told that the room was open for 30 minutes beforehand should people wish to warm up. I know it's unprofessional to say so but I've never been a fan of undulating around a room while chanting tongue twisters. I know it works for many people but I just get bored. If I'm ever forced into a warm up then I'll do a bit of overly dramatic breathing, do a couple of scales and then touch my toes a couple of times. This warm up is about as effective as sitting in a freezer with a Calippo. Thankfully I entered the room and everyone was sat quietly. Some were reading, some were playing with their phones and a couple were chatting in hushed tones. However, there was one person warming up. Normally this wouldn't be a problem. Normally warm ups are pretty inoffensive and they should have very little impact upon the other people in the room. However, it's very hard not to punch someone when there is an actor in the room overdramatising yoga poses while he performs voice exercises like a pantomime Dame. It was horrific and it went on for a whole twenty minutes.

Thankfully the audition eventually started and everyone was bloody lovely. The show sounded great and the director seemed to know exactly what she was doing which is as rare as me eating raw tomatoes. The whole afternoon was spent devising and improvising various scenes and while it wasn't anywhere near as gut-wrenching as I thought it would be, it certainly had its moments. In this room you have 15 actors, all who want to be noticed. While a handful of us held back and remained sensible about the whole thing, others hammed it up so much that it would make a pig blush. I wasn't aware you could enunciate every syllable in a sentence while simultaneously gesturing every word. Nor did I know just how much overracting could contort someone's face. I felt less like I was in an audition room and more like I was stuck forever in the most bone-chilling freak show known to man. I will admit that it did feel nice to just mess about for a few hours and enjoy my job for what it is (telling a story with a ball of wool and a hat) but I've never breathed such a sign of relief as I did when I was finally released from the gurning circus from Hell.

Thankfully I'm back to normal today and instead of getting angry at people forcing others to sing Abba songs just because they're desperate to get a job, I can use my time to allow myself to get wound up by BAFTA judges. I've got a whole 24 hours to get increasingly angry about this so check back tomorrow for overly long sentences desperately trying to convey just how annoyed I am.

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