So February opened with some great news that the film ‘Mike’ I did last summer won a Crystal bear at the Berlin International Film festival. I was so pleased for all involved who put a lot of hard work into it and very proud to be part of it. Here’s to it’s continued success! Its a fantastic film that I can’t wait for people to see.
Also in acting news, and got in the most strange, but welcome way, I did an advert which should be on around April time. I say strange because I was probably the least prepared I’ve ever been. I got the call to audition with only a few hours to prepare, basically had to go from wherever I was to it, in whatever I was wearing. The audition was for a bank worker which on this day I certainly was not looking like. I had leggings, grey boots ( which my son calls those horrible ‘baggy boots’, a green t shirt with holes in, no make up, unwashed hair and eau d’ onion as I’d been furiously chopping them for half an hour mid call to my agent. Ah well, nothing to lose I thought, it’s a trip into town. I’ll treat myself to a coffee and window lick some shops, May bump into someone I know, so I went along. Will make up the hours at work the next day. Got there in time and was directed downstairs, to see before me a sea of suits, tidy hair, manicured nails and people who looked like, well.. yes, you would certainly trust them with your finances and they wouldn’t be smelling of vegetables like myself. Take a day when you wear your scummy, putting the bins out sort of clothes and that was me. Even my husband later on looked at me and said, ‘What? You went looking like that? really? There’s no way you’ve got the job’. He wasn’t being mean. I looked rough. I sat next to a suited actor and looked down at my feet. There was a little bit of butternut squash on there, seeds and all so I tried to subtly scrape it off with the other foot. I then licked my finger and tried to do a quick clean of them. No use. The baggy boots have seen too many rainy school runs and even the lovely lady sitting next to me when I said I was ‘smelling of onions’ and that I had carrot stained crevices on my hands knew that this one wasn’t in the bag for me. I had tried to patch together an acceptable appearance with minutes to spare before the audition and nipped into boots as quickly as I could wiping the beads of sweat off my face and sashaying up to the Clinique counter. I had to pretend I was about to buy some really expensive make- up, soon getting into character with ‘Mmm, nice, yes, may come back later and buy that after I’ve seen how well it wears during the day’. Anyone who knows me well knows that it’s hard for me to lie so this never sits well for me and I always go over the top. And they knew it. There were no flies on the women in the white coats behind the counters. They’ve seen this trick a million times and the baggy boots were a sure giveaway no matter how posh you try and sound. But they play the game anyway. So, with a little concealer and probably the most garish blusher on (again, I can’t be mean so agreed that the shade did look good though it was awful) I left the shop, a little rosier than planned but the spots and bags under eyes gone. So, me and the other lovely actress went in, smiled, did the usual, I tried my best to look earnest, sincere, bank like and that was that.
Two days later, one of my plays is returned. The envelope I didn’t want to see. I was feeling pretty dejected about it. The package was handed directly to me from the postman in the most matter of fact, assured manner which only served to strengthen it’s rejection. There it is, in the big, bold, hopeful permanent marker writing, LOUISE BRECKON- RICHARDS. I’d very stupidly drawn up a list near where I write, of places that I’d sent the play to and as each one was returned put a cross next to it. Here was the next cross coming. I calmly take the list off my pin board. I decide it’s a negative image to see too many crosses and put it in the bin along with my hopes for now. There was only one more theatre on the list and they haven’t got back either, so it seems fitting to bin the whole page, for now. I’m only setting myself up for disappointment.
The same day I get a call from my agent, ‘ Erm…you’ve got the job!’. Err… What? No recall? ‘No’. They didn’t say,’God she stank of red onions?’ ‘No!.’ ‘No revulsion at the baggy boots?. No, it’s been handed to you. Just like that. As directly offered as the play was directly returned.
And my play? Well, the last Theatre on the list, the one without a cross next to it, a little blank hopeful space left open next to it, got back, and I can’t get too excited but someone there liked it. Someone. That’s enough for now. The play is called ‘Trace,’ two of the definitions for the word being a ‘Visible mark’,’ A way or route followed’.
Which I guess most of us are just trying to do in some small way, following the right path, trying to make a little mark, taking the rough with the smooth and living in hope for some visibility and recognition for our efforts.
Hope – “to cherish a desire with anticipation”; I hope. I really do hope for a tick. And with that thought I’d better scrub off the smell of onions, you never know what’s round the next corner.