Thursday, 9 October 2008

Flying the Coop

Oh dear. I've just heard that a guy who left my old co-op last year amid a blaze of bunting and celebration has "all but given up" on his new agent after no castings for the whole of 2008.

There's definitely a downside to moving along to the conventional sphere - you don't get to see the breakdowns coming in, for a start. In a co-op it's not uncommon to browse the company email every night for the gold dust of Spotlight links and Castweb, and to check what you've been put up for. And although co-ops aren't in the top (or even middle) rank of agencies as far as breakdowns are concerned, they do get some reasonably good stuff. But once you leave you're out on your own. Well, except for the info that everyone gets from PCR or whatever. And that's a shock.

PCR, though, is a real oddity. When you first start out you get it religiously, turning automatically past the "Feature Films in Production" section (yeah, right) and head right on down to Low Budget Films and Fringe and Profitshare, where scuzzers like you belong. Then when you've got areasonable CV and perhaps even an agent you sniffily reject it. Right up until someone you know ends up in the West End doing a new musical or something, and the pronounce they "saw the ad in PCR, darling!" Or the Equity website. Or most hilariously of all, The Stage.

Monday, 6 October 2008

As Cast

As I'm sure you know, nothing compares to the sheer unalloyed joy of hearing how well your friends are doing. And I accept that it's most irrational to be envious of a twenty-four year old actor who's a) female and b) whose forte is musical theatre, but there you are. I am a bit.
Of course, this is madness. Any 24 year-old woman has probably the hardest time of it getting a casting - it has to be the most competitive age/sex combination imaginable. But it's difficult to remain level-headed when the castings dry up. Dry up, that is, except for my recent visit to the BBC. Coincidentally I was asked in to this by one of the two 24-year old woman actors I know who have decided to go into casting after the acting side just got too much to bear, and who are back on the bottom rung of the ladder again. Now that's self-awareness.