Friday, 26 September 2008

I Oughta Be In Pictures

God, there's nothing like this business for making you fret over details. I ordered some repros from Denbry yesterday and they asked whether I wanted glossy or pearl finish. "What do you think?" I asked. "Well, a lot of big agents are going for pearl now - ICM and people - they don't show finger marks and glossy seems a bit passe. Who's your agent? Maybe I can tell you what they prefer?"
"Vincent Shaw"
"No, don't know about them"
So I call VSA. Engaged for two hours (my fault for calling over lunchtime) after which a breathless Andy answers.
"Just a quickie, Andy. Headshots. Glossy or pearl?"
"I'm not fussed. Whatever you like. No border or name, though." Background mumble. "Tod prefers glossy. Whatever you like, though. OK? Bye, mister!"
Another hour or so passes whilst I agonise. Glossy or pearl? Would glossy blind the tired eyes of Kay Magson or Suzy Korel? What is pearl? I don't really know. Finally, just before business end, I call Richard at Denbry back.
"Can I have both?"
"Course you can" he says, with the weary air of someone who has long since tired of the caprices of performers.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Humbled Man

On Wednesday I was at the opening night of "Humble Boy" (you know, the new London Classic show that there's no part for me in and therefore I am not jealous of) and I was determined not to be jealous. I practised not being jealous in the car on the way down, and, just in case jealousy feeds off dehydration or hunger, I drank water and hasd a snack shortly beforehand.
But I was, and I knew I would be. Partly because I still feel like part of LCT but mainly because it's very, very good. For an opening night show it was remarkable in many ways - some of the detail in the performances, for example, was outstanding; the set is beautiful (and beautifully lit) and the action is very well sustained and rarely flags. There is a pivotal joke in the second act, the payoff of which looks as though it must surely fail, so great is the anticipation - but when it comes it succeeds through a masterpiece of subtle performance. Brilliant moment.
Afterwards it's first night drinks and a bunch of lovely old faces are there from Abs Party - Pete (Autumn CSM), Katja (Costume Designer) and Jeremy Daker from "Pera Palas" at the Arcola last year - but it's difficult not to feel like the skeleton at the feast. And so, I suppose, I should. LCT and Michael have moved on and so must I - we're all enriched by the experience, but I couldn't play Laurence for the rest of my life, nor would I want to.
However, if Michael was casting a nice, juicy Stoppard...

Monday, 8 September 2008

Casting Crises

There's a couple of phenomenons at auditions which I haven't thought of names for yet. One is that silent certainty you feel when you see someone on the tube who you just know is on their way to the same casting as you; the other is the heart-racing fear you get when you experience the above with someone who is infinitely better casting for the role you're up for. I had that last crushing experience only the other day at the Charley audition - he knows who he is...

However, that awful sinking feeling that you're in completely the wrong clothing has only happened to me once; I was up for an undercover Fashion Spy in a Ford Focus commercial and I wore my grooviest floral printed linen shirt teamed with bootcut faded jeans (it was 2004, okay?) and chukka boots. Very Boden/Liberty. Except I got there and EVERYONE else was in all black, without exception - they'd taken the undercover thing very seriously - I hadn't thought about that at all. They were running two hours behind, and I can only ascribe my landing the job to uncharacteristic extreme patience and shameless camera-hogging. Haha!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Charley's Aren't!

I've failed miserably to find my script of CA - but since it's somewhere in twelve unopened boxes of books I feel less of a failure than I otherwise would. I also failed to lure my friend Steve, who's auditioning for Brassett, to my house for a "dry run" of the casting; i.e. an opportunity for me to have a look at his script. So instead I dig out the film version which I videoed years ago, and it's an undiscovered gem.
As a version of the original it's a disaster (I'm sure Babbs and Donna Lucia don't snog in the shrubbery in the play) but Jack Benny is a revelation as Fancourt Babberley. He's plainly twenty years too old for it, and makes no attempt to hide his New York brogue but he's fantastic. He makes everyone else look as though they're hamming it up in music hall or something, he's so effortlessly and naturally funny.
Sadly, the re-writing is at the expense of Sir Francis, whose love interest (along with most of his role) is sacrificed to give Benny more screen time, so it's fairly useless for me as research material. I guess my audition will have to be another hommage to one of my father's friends, or possibly to my Dad himself. Again.