|Picture from goodmenproject.com|
The second audition on Friday was also Interesting (a word which, my other half reminds me, I use too much). It was for one in a series of short films and before I met the director I had the impression that he was young and hoping to make a name for himself. In fact he was middle-aged and, it appeared, with considerable experience in both the UK and Hollywood. The part had called for a pompous theatre director, but when I acted pompous I was told to stop acting and be myself. In itself, that wasn't a problem. The evidence of this blog notwithstanding, in real life I am friendly, relaxed and very forgiving - and that appeared to come across in the second reading I gave. At that point, the slight frost between us melted and we chatted about this and that for a few minutes until I left. On my way back home, however, I was aware of two emotions: pleased to have got as far as the audition, but also annoyed at being placed on the back foot, when the preparation I had put into what I thought the role demanded was taken as a defect rather than a bonus.
My mood lifted even further today with an email from a director whom I had seen earlier in the year. A very good audition, I thought, for Lilies, as a hardened criminal in prison confronting a priest about a case of child abuse. He had remembered me and wondered if I was interested in a part in the large ensemble piece, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens. In the natural course of events, I would have said yes, but the piece requires singing and there is no way, ever, that my voice can be made to sound musical, so regretfully I declined. But I like the man's choice of productions and if he remembers me again it may be third time lucky.
One other piece of (non-)news... The positive reception for my one-man plays at the Lord Stanley inspired me to think about a three-week season in 2013. I would produce, not act in, three plays - Los Feliz (diner talking about the last woman he fell in love with), Ben and Joe's (middle-aged man talking about events at a gay bar) and a new play, Sunset (grandmother talking about her life). Last week I started looking for fringe theatres to hire, specifically asking about cost and availability. The cost, I assumed, would be in the region of £1,000 a week, which would work out as £150 - £200 per performance. That in turn would allow some profit for marketing, props, rehearsal time and - gasp, gasp, even some money to pay the performers, assuming audiences of 50% or more.
Hah! Was I self-deluded? I was indeed. Not all the responses have come in, but with rates so far being quoted as £450 per night or £3,500 per week (and I'm not sure whether VAT is added onto that), the likelihood of covering costs, far less paying players, comes close to zero. I will continue to look for possible venues, but it looks as if that little plan may fall by the wayside. Unless there's an altruistic angel somewhere out there...?