Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Bringing It All Home

I’m currently waiting to hear details about a self-tape audition. While I sit here in my pyjamas (yes I know it's Wednesday afternoon. I also had a packet of NikNaks and a cream bun for lunch. Try judging me all you like. I'm invincible today) I’m waiting to hear if I need to spend the rest of the afternoon prepping my flat so it looks like an office and prepping myself so I don't look like I've spent the day so far being a bloody champion of self-employment. 

For those who’ve never experienced a self-tape, it’s what happens when someone can’t be bothered to hold a proper audition. Instead of hiring out a church hall, theatre rooftop, wooded area or Notting Hill McDonalds (yes, I’ve auditioned in all of these) they decide to let you do all the hard work so they can judge both you and your choice of wallpaper. For a couple of minutes, you have to shakily record yourself in the comfort of your own home, desperately trying to look professional as you realise that your BluRay of the Toy Story Trilogy is totally in shot.

Now I quite like the idea of self-tapes. You don’t have to leave the house and, if you’re lucky, you can do the whole thing in your slippers. If I don't have to brave Soho or shoes then I consider that a stunning victory. In my house there's no fear of bumping into someone I worked with three years ago but whose name I can't remember. But that’s pretty much where the pro points end. The cons list, however, is a whole other thing…

      1) Your flat will never look as ridiculous and shambolic as it does the moment before you start filming. It doesn't matter how house proud you are or how spotless you think everything is, your greying pants draped over a wonky Ikea drying rack will not get you the job.

      2)  Making your flat look like something else. It's your flat. It's where you live. It's where you mope about in your novelty pyjamas eating Nutella straight from the jar. It's not an office or a hospital or Gotham City (OK, sometimes it's Gotham City.) But don't worry. I’m sure ALL offices have tie-dyed throws over everything and damp so rampant that the mould on the wall behind you causes continuity issues.

3)You will be the living embodiment of ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go.’ It’s quite the low point when you’ve spent nearly an hour making your hair look perfect, your make-up look spotless and have ironed the soul out of your outfit just so you look presentable enough to walk from your bedroom to your living room. It also means I spend the rest of the day sitting around the house feeling uncomfortable in make up. I might not like wearing it but I refuse to spend all that time on it only to wash it all off 5 minutes later. I like to think this makes me look like one of the Kardashians or something but instead it just looks like I'm making an effort for the Water Aid door chuggers. 

4) Getting someone to film the damn thing. I’m lucky that I live with my boyfriend who’s also self-employed so I’ve got a ready-made camera assistant good to go. But I used to live on my own with only a 93 year old neighbour on hand. She was lovely but rarely does an self-tape go well when you've spent the last hour firstly explaining why you're an actor and haven't got yourself a proper job and, secondly, how to operate the camera on your iPhone. 

      5) Other people. You can guarantee that the second you hit record, the Jehovah’s Witnesses will pop round, the builders outside will start drilling through 18 inches of concrete and the couple upstairs will embark upon a session of furious sex. Apparently the rest of North London doesn't go on hold just so you can spend the next minute pretending your grubby hallway is a war zone just so you can maybe get another poorly paid job to fling at your CV. 

But still, at least you can do it all in your slippers.

1 comment:

  1. Steve Hayes (aka Guy Fearon) is the king of the self tape: