Wednesday, 13 July 2011

National Express

I don't just lounge around on a chaise longue dabbing my temples with a damp flannel when I'm not working. Oh no. As anyone will tell you, an actor must be constantly in a state of coiled, tensed readiness - as a rubber band on a balsa wood plane or an overwound cuckoo clock. Do not be deceived by the casual emptying of the dishwasher or the languid sorting of dirty washing; the playful nappy changing and the relaxed grocery purchasing. That man is ready.

Except when the National Theatre want to see you, that is. With two days' notice and two scenes from the new Conor McPherson play to "be familiar with" (i.e. learn). Is anyone ready for that?

It helps if you have been able to read the whole play and someone hasn't picked up forty pages of it at Didcot station along with their document wallet. And if it isn't pouring with rain. And if your train isn't delayed. And you don't have another audition the following day. In the circumstances I was an oasis of calm, but as I announced myself at the Stage Door I sounded less like James Earl Jones and more like James Blunt than I would have liked.

But it was all good. I made a good fist of the Irish accent and my reading of the blissed-out intellectual went down well. I got on well with the director. I confidently asked to re-read a section and managed not to read it in an identical fashion the second time. In fact it was very much like the audition I went to the following day - except after the following day's audition they didn't just ask me back for a recall. They offered me a job.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Not The Last Post Just Yet...

I'm sorry I haven't been about for a bit. Blame my acting career. It nearly died - the doctors despaired of it for a while, and it reached the stage where it could breathe unaided no longer and had to be supported by artificial respiration (or "teaching" as it is better known). But five months and one week (plus many confused kids) later the wheels begin to turn and the juggernaut rumbles on. Oh yes.

It's not like nothing has happened. I got a lovely recall from Jill Freud which went brilliantly but which was never going to work out. I mean there's only so much you can do if your character is 28 and you are 44 - hair dye, spray tan and botox notwithstanding. And with Karen Simpson (of OTC, natch) I've been working on a project to take "Vertigo" out on the road again next year which has been bearing some interesting fruit. But overall it's been a bit of a thin year.

And then last week all the buses really did come at once.