Saturday, 27 September 2014

Cruel Intentions

Good intentions. That’s what this week has been filled with.

I’ve got a set of new headshots under my arm and a new-found need to stop my CV looking as sparse as an actor’s knowledge on tax returns.

So this week I was ready to go. I was going to go through my CV with a nit comb (where I found I was still claiming to be able to play the flute – I really can’t), contact agents, nudge casting directors and apply for so much acting work that, if I were to get them all, even Benedict Cumberbatch would start to feel a bit uncomfortable.

Although I’d love new representation and the attention of a brilliant casting director, it’s really acting work that I want. And need. My CV currently has more dubious spaces than a service station car park at 3am and my showreel has less footage than John Barrowman’s best bits.

So I hit the casting websites hard. And for those who follow my Tumblr, you’ll know how hard I hit them anyway. But this week I was in Casting Calls 2: Hit Harder. This week I was going to have an open mind, find some excellent roles to apply for and take control of my floundering career.

There’s a sacrifice scene but it’s done in a sexy choreographed way where her top’s ripped to expose her breasts.


The lady is more of a slapper.

Oh no.

She’s chained up in what appears to be a coffin & a metallic device is lodged in her mouth. She’s lying on a pile of rotting skulls.

Oh bloody hell.

And that was when I could find roles where I actually fit into the casting bracket. Generally I was either too old, too young, too female, too foreign-looking, too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, too unable to sing or just too unwilling to get my tits out for free. Then, of course, you find a role that you might possibly be able to play but they’re only casting in Manchester or they’re not paying or self-doubt whacks you round then head and you convince yourself that they’d never hire you anyway so why even bother.

But people keep asking me what acting work I’ve got coming up and I’ve got nothing to tell them.

So you find a weak handful of jobs to put yourself up for and then you wait. It’s like waiting for Christmas having heard a rumour that it’s being cancelled this year. But still you put yourself through the same series of events every single time...

You apply convinced that you’re perfect for the job. You feel safe in the knowledge that they’ll see your application, fall in love with you and that job will be yours. Then you see they’ve looked at your CV a few times and you get excited. You check the closing date for the casting call and are sure that as soon as it hits, you’ll get that audition offer. That date arrives and you hear nothing. Oh, maybe they’re delayed or taking their time. You check when the shooting date is. It’s tomorrow. Well, maybe that’s changed. Time passes. You eventually see the show or advert and have to finally accept that maybe they’re not going to call you in for that casting. Hey, hang on. You didn’t even see the role that you applied for. Oh, you were better off not getting it anyway. Ad infinitum.

But still, my week wasn’t completely fruitless. Despite all the agents and casting directors I contacted, despite all the casting calls I spent ages on making sure I sent the perfect cover letter, despite all that, I got a phone call from a temping agency wanting me on their books and a call centre offered me a job, sooooo…there’s that.

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