Saturday, 24 April 2010

It’ll Be The Shirt Off My Back Next

This is a story of what friends do for each other, when friends are actors. In no other world is this likely to happen.

I was rudely awoken this morning by the clamour of my mobile ringing.  It was my flatmate who is currently filming a student TV drama at his drama school with a big Director. I thought I would answer it as he knows I work into the night and am usually asleep at 10am so surely it must be important.

The conversation went thus:

Him: “You know how much you love me?”
Me: “What do you want..”
Him “Can I borrow your duvet and pillows”
Me: “What? Whats wrong with yours?”
Him: “Director doesn’t think they are suitable for the shot, he wants different ones. Oh and can you bring it to the set.”
Me: “Oh God, well I’ll have to change the linen. Let me know when you need it for.”
Him: “Er….now.”
Me: “Fuck Off”

In what possible other world, would someone risk their lives by taking the duvet and pillows from a sleeping woman who works nights and could have got another 2 hours sleep before going to work again.

I totally get the whole “do what you have to do to get the show on”. I work hard, never take sickies and I’m never late. 

But what’s next? Has it got to the stage when we are so scared of the wrath of the “Director” that we’d kick a nun over in the street just to please them?

Luckily for my flatmate, I know the Director and just how intimidating he can be. So I compromised with some of my sets of linen which he is under strict instructions to wash.

And I told him to tell the Director if he wants any of my knickers or the shirt off my back, he can come and get them himself.

Somehow I think he might not pass that along.

Frothy Mocha x

Friday, 23 April 2010

If Anyone Finds a Mojo, It’s Mine

I woke up today 2 hours later than planned and started my day as usual by making my weapons-grade strength flagon of Tesco Value coffee.
I put the hot water and milk in and then I stared at it for fully 20 seconds before realising what was missing.
Such is the level of my brain function this week. I’m assuming its not early onset dementia. I’m a little older than the other Fork-Girls but I’m not that old, thank you.

I seem to have slipped without realising into one of the slumps. Those abysses of nothing-ness I’m sure everyone recognises, when you don’t have any auditions or any little jobs on the horizon. And the fear that nothing will ever turn up again.

It’s not as if I haven’t been there before.  My fellow graduates, and I’m sure all of you, will all have been through that terrible void that no one quite prepares you for when you leave the safe cocoon of Drama School and find you really are on your own and no one wants to hire you.

Then suddenly you get one little job, you’re reminded why you live like you do and finally you have something to say when faced with the dreaded question.. “So what have you been doing lately?”

It’s amazing, though, how quickly you forget how that feels.  You work your day job, which in my case is a night job in a bar. You start to get seduced by that feeling of cool green money between your fingers and food in your fridge. So you work more and more nights and before you know it you’re sleeping through the day and staring at a mug wondering why it looks odd.

It’s so easy to slip into self-indulgence and self-pity. I’m certainly not the only one. Every actor has it, it's part of the job. So how do you get out?

Frothy Mocha x

Friday, 9 April 2010

Does That Make Me Crazy?

I have a little friend that some of you may recognise. I call her my Secret Crazy Lady.

She’s the one that rushes like a bull in a china shop through your head telling you to do stuff that you would NEVER want people to see.

My Crazy Lady visited today when I applied for a job on a casting website. Perfect casting for me, I wrote an amazing eye-catching letter. I had even played it before.
And within 30 seconds I got the automated rejection response.
Crazy Lady instantly demanded that I ring the production company and shriek “WHY?  Have you read my letter? Have you even looked at my profile?? No!  You don’t know what you’re missing! Damn you!  Damn you I say!!!”

Of course, I didn’t. I put Crazy Lady back in her box and got on with my day.

I firmly believe everyone has one.  She’s the one that made Americano with Soy want to grab the director by the collar and scream “But you said you’d definitely use me again!”

She’s the one that makes you list Circus Skills on your CV to make you stand out even though if a director stuck you on a trapeze you would probably break every bone in your body.

And its not limited to acting.  She also gets you those times when you like a guy and you find yourself stalking his Facebook evaluating his female friends to see if they are pretty.

Or when you finally get together with someone you’ve liked for ages, and you wake up in the night and want to take a picture of him asleep just to prove it had really happened.  Before remembering that is stalker behaviour.
Not that that was me.  Not at all. 

She is the voice of irrational paranoia.  Of spontaneous longing. Is it crazy? Is it normal human behaviour?  A fear of rejection not only from lovers but from a career that means everything in the world to you?

Those of you who have your own Crazy Ladies (or indeed Men) may well know what I mean.
Those who don’t.  You lie ;-) 

Frothy Mocha x

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Note to Frothy Mocha!

All I have to add is....SHIT! Frothy Mocha I need you and your spreadsheets in my of yesterday!

And thats why I got named Sweet Cuppa!


Monday, 5 April 2010

Spreadsheets Make Me Happy

It’s nearing that time of year again.  The end of the tax year. That time when people start panicking and asking things like “Do I need to do my tax return by next week?” (No) “What do I do with all my receipts?” (Keep them)  “Do you know any good accountants?” (Yes) “How are you so calm about it???”

This one I can only answer by revealing one of my guilty pleasures.  Microsoft Excel.

After spending my formative years concealing it, a combination of age and drama school have taught me to embrace who I am, however weird and wonderful. And who I am, is a geek.
I love spreadsheets. 

I don’t mean to boast here but the day after I graduated from drama school, I registered as self employed and went through the pleasant and therapeutic process of creating beautiful orderly spreadsheets on which to log my every business expense and income. There is something about the neat columns, the ability to order it, compartmentalise and even make a pie chart that pleases me.  Everything is there. Everything is clear. Yes I’m sad.

Granted, the expenses sheet is considerably longer than the income sheet.  Even though I’ve been lucky enough to have had several jobs in my 8 months in the professional world, none of them have been paid.  Three of them have been for expenses.  One of which still owes me money.

Which leads on to a whole fresh rant which I shan’t bore you with now entitled “How to Extract Money from Student Film-makers.”  That will be my adventure for Monday.  And I’m sure I’ll have something to say on the matter.

Frothy Mocha x

Friday, 2 April 2010

Espresso - Breath-taking

I had my first medical roleplay job today. I'd been sent the outline of my character and situation last week. Basically my character had recently had an asthma attack and was visiting her doctor for advice. Simple I thought. 
I learnt all my characters background and had even decided on my pet hamsters name, so as I approached the hospital I was feeling rather smug. 
As soon as I arrived the doctor informed me that I had been sent the wrong information and I was in fact having the bloody asthma attack today. So I had to pretend to have 10 attacks in total. I felt very weak as I was actually hyperventilating and there were pretend hospital things like Oxygen and Nebulisers (all just air and water but still...) that the students used on me. 
The highlight was when the doctor told me that I was very good and convincing as an asthmatic! I must add it to my Spotlight skill list.