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Monday 9th January 2017


The tube strike gave me a good excuse to walk up to Avalon to do the first day of auditions for Everything Happens (For No Reason) or as the cool kids call it EH(FNR). I could have taken the bus (and had to do a couple of stops in the end as I was running a bit late, but this was a good way of getting some exercise and taking life a bit slower. I used to walk home from the centre of town sometimes, but I don’t usually have that kind of time to waste nowadays. Which is a shame. Because it’s not really a waste. It’s a time to observe and to ponder. It’s gentle exercise, but it gets the endorphins flowing and it made me happy. 

Sadly the only joke I came up with was when I passed by an artisan bakers and the sign outside prompted this classic - "What's that bred made out of ancient grains from the Triticum spelta genus? That's the best bred.... It's spelt bread."

Maybe we should have a day a month where public transport shuts down and we have to take things a little slower. Actually probably best if we just make the choice ourselves rather than forcing it on everyone.

No fuck it, it’s the 21st Century. If we can get a majority vote on this we can force this policy on everyone.

The auditions were fun, with a very high standard and already a very difficult choice (and there’s loads more people to see). Nice to get some positive remarks on the script, though my advice to all actors would be to say how much you love the script at every audition, especially if the writer is there. Writers are insecure idiots and easily flattered. You have to be a good enough actor to make it look like you mean it though, so it’s still part of the audition.

Really fun to hear my words spoken out loud and interpreted by some professionals though. Unusually there weren’t too many bits that clanked in my ears and made me embarrassed as we went over them again. The characters are new and the clay is still wet and they’re malleable. I can see that they are all going to be a lot of fun to play with, both for the actors and me as the writer. If we’re lucky enough to be given that chance. Exciting to be back on this horse. It’s just over a decade since I last sat on this side of the table at auditions.

Coincidentally I got to see one of the shows that I auditioned for last year, but failed to get. We watch Sherlock episode 2 tonight and though it could maybe have handled the Jimmy Savile allusions with a lighter touch and I wasn’t sure about the rapid progression of events at the end of the show, it was one of the better episodes. I was quite glad I didn’t get the part though, as it turned out to be very truncated and the actor was more or less blurred out as we saw him from Sherlock’s POV. I invited Twitter to guess which character I might have been going for, confident that no one would have spotted him. And even when I linked to my blog about the audition most people couldn’t pinpoint the indignant man as being the guy who stops his car when Sherlock is in the road. If I had got the part and gathered my friends and family round to watch it, I have to say I’d have been pretty disappointed and embarrassed to see what had remained in. I think there were at least four more lines in the script and some more interaction. I am starting back on the bottom rung of acting and don’t mind doing tiny parts, and would have loved to have worked alongside Cumberbatch and spend a day on set. Very little context was given for the scene in the audition (perhaps understandably) so I assumed that when Sherlock was saying “Serial Killer” he was making an assessment of my character. Which mildly altered my performance. I didn’t do a great job. But if the producers could have seen how indignant I looked when the bit was being broadcast, they would definitely have cast me. 

Ben Abell was the man who got the part. He may have looked even more indignant than me when he saw what his role boiled down to. But it was a speaking role and a day’s filming on a major show, so he will have had a good enough pay day to get over the disappointment (and seems to have done enough other work not to have been over excited, like I would have been, about being in a major TV drama). 

The joke’s on Sherlock though, because I wrote about the audition in the Metro and made literally tens of pound. Before being sacked. I mean resigning. Actually I resigned and they didn’t seem too bothered about trying to talk me out of it, so I may have jumped as I was pushed.

Last year I also failed to get a part in the Bridget Jones film and an online sitcom. I wonder if I should make a youtube channel of me doing the parts cut into the actual broadcasts.

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My new stand up show, The Best is touring from September 2016 to June 2017 All details here.
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