I had another audition today for a tiny part in a big TV series. I am not allowed to tell you much about it as I had to sign a confidentiality agreement saying that I would reveal nothing about the two pages of script that I had seen. But let's just say that Doctor Who is finally going to actually die for good in the next series. He is fucked to death by a Dalek. It's both graphic and pornographic which is a great combo. After having an unlikely crossover episode with the Furchester Hotel (Am I the only one who finds Funella a very sexy puppet? Perhaps).
It wasn't Doctor Who.
I was going up for a three line part of a character called “Indignant Man”. Not having a name is never a good sign if you are hoping that your character might become a regular fixture in the series (or maybe even the main part??), but I can be quite indignant and hoped that I would impress the person at the audition so much that they would give me a spin off series of my own. Indignant Man could be a new kind of super hero. Or just a man who is indignant a lot. They could just film my life.
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 over an hour before the audition as I had to get to Richmond and knew that could be a bit tricky. I just missed a train down to Hammersmith and had a longish wait for the next one, but citimapper said I was less than 30 minutes from my destination and I still had an hour, so I wasn’t worried. I stopped to pay in my charity money at the bank, but that took only a couple of minutes.
From Hammersmith I only had to get a Richmond bound district line train, but all the west bound trains seemed to be going to Ealing Broadway. There was a ten minute wait and three Ealing trains before Richmond showed up on the board. I was going to be fine. I jumped on and made sure I had learned my three lines so could perform them without a script. One of the words was “Oi!” Confidentiality be damned.
The train stopped at red signals a couple of times, but I wasn’t too concerned as there was only a few stops. I might have to jog from the station but I’d be fine.
But then the train pulled into Ealing Common station and I realised that in spite of what the board said, this train was also going to Ealing Broadway. I was ten minutes from my audition time and my only option now was to jump into a cab and hope for the best. Why had you done this to me London Underground. Yes I was indignant. but also I was very late and I hate being late. This could put the whole Indignant Man series in doubt. Or worse still, Nick Frost would get the part (without having to audition) 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. I apologised for waking him, (though maybe it’s not too much to expect someone to be awake to do their job) and explained I was in a rush and did he have any cabs. It took him a little while to take my details, but there was a car around the corner and although the driver took a good while to put the postcode into his sat nave we were soon on the way. Could we make it to Richmond in 8 minutes.
I was 15 minutes late, but had forewarned them of my tardiness and they saw me pretty much as soon as I arrived. I went into the room, a bit sweaty and out of breath and stressed, said my three lines three times in a variety of ways. The man behind the camera pretended to like it, but I don’t think I nailed it. I find it very hard to give a real performance in this kind of circumstances. And just left feeling sorry for actors.
I think I knew in my head that I wasn’t the best person for this role. As with most of my recent auditions I could picture the kind of person they wanted and I wasn’t it. If I had somehow pulled something magical out of my arse (especially if literally) then maybe I could have convinced them to go a different way. I don’t know how many people they would see for a small part like this. Maybe 20, so it was kind of incredible to be invited along. But I had given up about three hours of my day, plus tube fare and cab fare and I knew in my heart even before I left that I wouldn’t get it. If this was my only job then I think I would find that very dispiriting. And this was just for a tiny, blink and you’d miss it part.
I am not knocking it, because I’d still love to do the part if they are crazy enough to give it to me based on my mediocre audition. I just feel for the full time actors who have to go through this kind of thing all the time. And I mainly feel admiration for their persistence. And when Richard Herring admires your persistence, then you are some kind of persistent mother fucker, my thespian friends.