Wednesday, 18 February 2009

"Let's have a paint fight!"

I've got quite a few drama-type updates for you, some good and some bad. Life always seems to give you things in those kind of pairs - one door closes, another one opens.

So, I heard from both Mountview and LAMDA. And both of them said, "BUGGER OFF WE DON'T WANT YOU YOU'RE CRAP." Well, not quite that but it was a no nonetheless. That's okay - I knew my LAMDA had gone awfully (I was very, very late to boot) and I was so pleased to get to the last round of Mountview. I've made some sort of achievement, I'm not totally worthless. A little dent in the confidence but this industry is too tough to give up at the first hurdle. Anyway, I've begun looking at Foundation courses and I'm applying to Arts Ed for their Acting and Musical Theatre courses. Hopefully they'll give me something!

I also heard from Exeter University who said YES COME HERE which was nice. I'm not particularly interested in studying Drama at university but it was nice to get a yes after the many, many no's.

On another good note, I have an audition for an agency - its called Abacus and a few friends used to be represented by them. They also represented Keira Knightly and currently represent two of the cast of Spring Awakening which is showing at the Lyric Hammersmith. Which, coincidentally, I am going to see on Friday for free, thanks to A Night Less Ordinary. I can't wait! I've been listening to the soundtrack on repeat and I really love it. I'm considering doing a song from it for my audition - it'll show I've looked into the agency and that I keep up to date with new work. Hopefully. Either way, I'm excited.

Yesterday, I went up to the National Theatre to film part of an advert for their festival New Connections. The logo for this year is a high five with paint exploding behind it, so they picked a theme word from each play (such as hope, aggression or magic) and wanted the actors to come up with things to do with their hands to represent that. We had 'celebration' and did things such as dancing, a Mexican wave and clapping. All whilst having paint thrown at us. It was very fun and messy and I got to meet some nice people. Plus had a look around the backstage of the National which was really interesting. Saw some fascinating sets being made and I THINK I spotted a horse from War Horse.

Last week I went to see the Donmar's 'Twelfth Night' at the Wyndham's with Derek Jacobi with a few friends. Unlike other Shakespeare I have seen, which I've studied, I knew only a little about the play before hand so I was very interested to see how it translated. Of course, studying Shakespeare before helped with some of the language, but I did feel a little stupid in places when everyone around me was laughing hysterically and I was sat there looking blank. However, the rest of the audience did look about fifty years older than me so I think I'm excused. However, I did understand the play and found many parts very, very funny. Jacobi was amazingly hilarious whilst still exuding that magic that only a few older Shakespearian actors have (I'm thinking Ian McKellen and Patrick Stuart). Similarly the actress' playing Viola and Olivia were both stunningly gorgeous and immensely talented - sorry I don't know you're names!

However, one thing that did irritate my slightly was the staff. Admittedly we were a few minutes late but as we ran in, flustered and red-faced, they were very rude and condescending. Okay, we were a tad late but we're students paying quite a lot of money for these tickets - you could be polite and courteous! I know I would be if I were in their position.

I also saw On the Waterfront with Stephen Berkoff two weeks ago - but I'll write about that some other time.

Tomorrow, I am auditioning for the National Youth Theatre with two friends - I'm looking forward to it if not expecting to get in. I auditioned last year, and I know many people get in on their second or third audition but this time I'm not as bothered. Maybe its because I'm older. Who knows.

In other news, Sweeney Todd is coming along wonderfully. We had our third rehearsal last night and began the hardest song in the show, 'God That's Good!' and God is it hard! Luckily I'm not in it that much but even so I was assigned to the tenor section. What's that about!? I'm a frickin' baritone and I can't even squeek these notes. I'm quite scared. There's about five parts going on at once, with chorus having conversations whilst the leads sing vital stuff... its all crazy. However, it is sounding quite brilliant already so I've got hope!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

This is going to be a very short post before I return to my audience recollections, simply for a quick update.
Update One: SNOW! We've had about 10 inches of snow, and for the first time in my life I've had an official school day. It feels quite extraordinary. I met up with some friends and had less of a snow-fight and more of a snow-wrestle, but luckily my newly acquired skiing gear kept my dry and toasty.

Update B: I've been cast as Anthony Hope in an am dram version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street! I'm very excited as the part is a bit more demanding musically than I've done before, and a challenge is always good. So I'm very scared at the prospect of those top Es but I also can't wait! However, there's another youth am dram version of the play going on in the area, and some guys from my school are in both productions - rivalry in the drama department! However, this does provide me with a story to tell that has a moral! Oh yes, I'm trying to educate you as well as let you laugh at my endeavors. One of the members of the Other Play is called C and he's one of those actors who are just a little too over the top, a little too enthusiastic, a little too confident in their own abilities. Anyway, he auditioned for Sweeney and didn't get it; I however know the actor who did get it (O). I worked with him about three years ago, and even then he was very, very good. He's been at Arts Ed sixth form now for two years so I'm sure he's improved. C on the other hand believed that O didn't deserve the role. He made this view very clear on someone's Facebook wall, a someone who was 'Friends' with the director of his show, who obviously wasn't happy with this criticism. C has now been made to publicly apologise and been banned from all future roles in the company's shows.

Now, this says two things to me. One, it seems a little bit like karma and that he got his comeuppance, but I'm nice so we wont' say that. Secondly, sometimes it is really best to keep your opinion to yourself. The industry is very small and in this day and age with networking sites and suchlike, anyone can read anything. And thirdly, why put it on someone's wall! Seriously: email, private message, text, phonecall, MSN, letter, face-to-face, carrier pigeon - there are a hundred and one ways to let someone know something without making it very, very public. Fool.