Right, first an apology to the three people that read my blog. Sorry for not having written anything in so long. The last time I wrote, open letters were just things that nosey neighbours did, clocks were still very much forward and we were blissfully unaware of what a Penis Beaker was. We really had no idea how lucky we were.
So, because it’s been so long and I’ve therefore collated a few subjects that I can’t be bothered to write a full blog about, I thought I’d do you all a little newsletter instead. Excited? You bloody should be.
Why haven’t you been thrusting your thoughts on to us for ages?
Well, as I’ve touched upon how long it’s been since I last wrote one, I thought I might as well explain why I haven’t bothered you with my mind ramblings. The fact is that, acting wise, 2013 has been about as kind to me as a goblin who has a thing for stealing crisps. For whatever reason, the world has not wanted a piece of me this year and this means, rather worryingly, I can count the amount of auditions I’ve had this year on 2 fingers. And when you’re so out of the loop that you’re pretty sure the loop is just a myth, writing about what’s inside the loop can be a tad tricky.
Being an actor that can’t even get auditions can be seriously embarrassing. It’s easy to blame the acting world – Hallowe’en, clocks going back, fireworks and a glut of pumpkins are all very valid reasons at the moment…but spouting those excuses continuously gets seriously tiresome. But it’s true that, for me at least, the industry has been tough this year. Just this morning, when checking a casting site for work to apply for, I found just 1 paid job a staggering 25 unpaid jobs. And that’s what it’s like every day. At the moment, I’m lucky if I can find 1 paid job a month to apply for. So it’s hardly surprising that I’m close to becoming a world record holder in the art of resting. I will admit that it’s getting me down somewhat so I’ve decided that 2013 is being written off and 2014 will be embraced with turkey and stuffing heavy arms in a couple of months.
No More Drama
All-round misery bringer Michael Gove has announced that ‘soft subjects’ such as drama could well be scrapped at GCSE level. As a, supposed, actor this is terrible news. To see schools lose these subjects would be utterly heartbreaking. Whether or not you go into a career in the arts, these subjects are so important in schools. As someone who was actually pretty shy at school, drama pretty much saved me. A quadratic equation can’t help you get up and feel confident speaking in front of other people. The Periodic Table can’t help you listen to others. And the Spanish for ‘There’s a rat in the corner of the room’ can’t help you do an interpretive dance to Orinoco Flow (true story from my drama GCSE days…)
I know to some people drama classes at school are seen as doss subjects where you get to muck about for a few hours but they are so much more than that. They teach you confidence and understanding and that there’s more than one way to express yourself. Not everyone’s parents can afford to send them to extra-curricular drama classes and not every town has these facilities. For some kids, drama classes at school are the only chance they get to do something a bit different. And the thought of ‘that bit different’ being lost from our schools’ curriculums is very sad indeed.
So, if any of the arts subjects meant anything to you while you were at school – whether they helped you speak that bit louder, taught you the oh-so important skill of being to improvise on the spot or were just a relief in days otherwise filled with writing equations down, then please sign this petition to help save them:
50 Years Young
The glorious National Theatre turned 50 this year and because the BBC is still something that should be hugged and protected, they aired the celebration on Saturday. For over 2 hours, scenes from the best bits of the last 50 years were recreated. It was glorious. A true celebration of one wonderful institution being aired on another one.
But there was a problem. There was a quite serious lack of women. It became obvious very quickly that female playwrights were woefully represented. In fact, in the end only one female writer was used (Alecky Blythe who wrote the absolutely stunning London Road) whereas three David Hare plays were used. Now I realise that there have been more male playwrights over the last 50 years so, of course, more will be represented but it was sad to see such an imbalance.
However, what I hadn’t realised was the difference between the male and female roles being portrayed that night. Because of such incredible performances by Dames Judi, Maggie and Joan, it felt like there were thousands of women on stage. However, the numbers tell a very different story. If you take the credited roles from the cast list then there were 112 males roles being played and just 47 female roles. A rather sad statistic.
I don’t want to be down about the National’s celebrations because it’s a wonderful thing and it’s a theatre that should be constantly applauded. It creates magical, affordable theatre and has produced so many fond memories for so many people. It’s the reason why so many people have chosen a career in the arts and is a constant source of inspiration. All I say is that I hope their 100th birthday is one where all those in the arts are celebrated equally.
Bloody hell, crack a smile, eh?
And now, because this has been a bloody miserable blog, here’s some highlights from my Casting Call Woe Tumblr…
The film is based around a woman having a bath, while a very small crocodile wanders around the bathroom.
You will be playing the role of a rubber duck.
Jesus vs Dracula.
Leaf Blower Massacre 2.
Carb conscious gay party boy who gets assaulted by Mr Whippy.
Over and out, lovelies.