I have been doing a bit of acting in this year, though am worried about being typecast. I have played a man who frequents female escorts but “accidentally” has sex with a man, a husband who does something very stupid and self-defeating whilst his wife is away, a client of an S & M mistress who refuses to shower, a man who makes his own sex robot out of toasters, someone having seedy sex with a stranger in a hotel room and a character who gives hand shandies from behind a curtain whilst pretending to be actress Emma Watson. Admittedly I wrote the last three of those, but this is how casting directors see me...
So I was delighted to get an audition to play the part of “Indignant Man” in a major TV drama. The character only had three lines (one of which was “Oi!”), but at no point did he get his genitalia out and wave it in the face of a prostitute or kitten, so that was a step forwards.
Playing a character without an actual name is never a good sign if you are hoping that it might become a regular fixture in a series. But I can be quite indignant and hoped that I would impress enough to be given my own spin off series. Indignant Man could be a new superhero. Whenever life is mildly annoying, Indignant Man will be there, going a bit red.
And it was nice of London Underground to help me get into the mood for the role by making my journey unnecessarily stressful. I had left my house in plenty of time, but missed my Hammersmith and Shitty line train by seconds and had to wait twenty minutes for the next one. And then all the westbound District Line trains were going to Ealing Broadway, when I needed Richmond.
Finally the electronic board showed my destination and I jumped on the train and went over the lines. Yup “Oi!”. I’d got it. The train kept stopping for red lights. I might have to jog from the station now.
Then the tube pulled into Ealing Common station and I realised that in the electronic board had lied to me. This was another Ealing Broadway train. My only option now was to jump into a cab and hope for the best. Why had you done this to me London Underground? This could put the whole Indignant Man series in doubt. Or worse still, Nick Frost would get my part (as usual) and I’d miss out fame and money and Indignant Man merchandise.
The man at the mini cab station at Ealing Common was not anticipating much business. In fact he was having a nap Could we make it to Richmond in 8 minutes?
I was 15 minutes late: sweaty and out of breath and stressed, and very, very indignant. I said my lines. The cameraman pretended to be impressed, but I hadn’t nailed it. In my heart I knew I wasn’t right for this character. He didn’t even get the tip of his nob out (though I would have added that in had I got it).
I had given up about three hours of my day, plus tube fare and cab fare for a tiny, blink-and-you’d-miss-it part. They don’t ring you to tell you that you didn’t get it, you just work it out when the TV show has gone out and someone else is saying “Oi!”.
The actor’s life is a tough one. Not glitz and glamour, just stress and disappointment. I am lucky to be considered the go-to perv.
Tomorrow in Dalston I make my first foray into transgressive performance art at the Tempting Failure festival, when I will be playing myself at snooker for 90 minutes. I was supposed to be following a man who cooks his own poo, but he couldn’t get the necessary visas to get into the country. Instead I am following a woman who makes art out of children’s teeth! I couldn’t be more excited.