Friday, 10 December 2010

Special Effects Makeup... it trying to pull me back in?

I thought i had finally decided against going to do make-up at York, but just before concept film night on Wednesday, i was talking to some students about them making a Grindhouse zombie film.

They just mentioned that they would need a severed head, and i just so happen to have one of those. So we started talking, and he would need a lot more things made, eg. various body parts and lots of blood.
The next day when i checked my emails, i had a newsletter from a makeup course i subscribed to a while back, and they had posted a few videos about the course.
I started to get excited about making the body parts, and i really got into researching suppliers for materials such as gelatin (used for fake wounds), i even started a list of websites for various products:

But the question is, do i prefer to be applying the make-up, or prefer having it done for me? Would i be more satisfied just watching a professional make-up artist do my make-up?

I got the part!

Dear Jen,

Thank you for attending the call back auditions for Heretic last Saturday.

We are delighted to say that we would like to offer you the role of Claire. Congratulations!
It's so exciting, a nice, real-life feature film, just what i wanted. 

The guy from Concept Film Night also got in touch, and he's writing a thriller about four friends who go camping, and it all goes bad when they get lost, and he wants me to have a read of the script!
So i guess it's all horror acting for me, luckily i can draw on my "scare-acting on Halloween in the woods" experience.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Yey acting.

I'm a member of Spotlight! Finally! Check me out,

In other news from yesterday, i went to the first rehearsals for the live studio project, and i'm going to be given more lines.

Last night was Concept Film Night, and i was in two of the films shown, The Jump and The Woman Who Loved A Tree.
At the end, a film maker came over to me and told me about a script he was writing for a film, and that he thought i would be great for one of the lead roles! So i gave him my card and he said he'd be in touch.
As well as that, Chris from Writers' Block, a writer and poet among other things, asked if i would be interested in a part in a play he had written, so it's all looking good on the job front, i hope!


Monday, 6 December 2010

Heretic Audition.

I think the audition on Saturday went well, but i'm worried i'll jinx it! 
I don't yet know if there have been a separate set of auditions to find the extra characters, because at the first audition i was the only one reading  for Claire. So i really wanted to see who my competition was.
If i'm to hear anything, it will be next week, and i really want to hear something good!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Train tickets booked.

Just booked my train tickets to Leeds for my Heretic call back on Saturday and it's all very exciting.
I read through the script extract they sent me, and it all looks really good. I really want this role now!
The main scene this character has, is spent trying to convince a man not to hang her and make it look like suicide, so it's pretty traumatic, but very memorable. Looks like the tear-stick will be coming out on Saturday.

In other news, Gary is organising a Halloween Hollow reunion in Leeds for the new year, as most of us couldn't make the official AtmosFEARS! wrap party with it being in Manchester. Can't wait to see my scare-acting friends again, no-one else can relate to spending three hours alone in the woods at night, with wolves and witch cackles happening spontaneously around us.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

let's make a film, cancelled!

Unfortunately writers' block has been cancelled because of them moving premises. It's probably a good thing though as I didn't do my homework!

In good news, it looks like I'm getting paid for the second half of my Waterloo Road extra work, just in time for Christmas, like the snow. I love snow, and money.

Friday, 26 November 2010

blackberry blogging

Is it really that simple?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

More work?

More good news from yesterday!
About a month ago, i went to an audition in Newcastle for a faux documentary about a girl who had committed suicide, and had a lot of mysterious deaths surrounding her. I was auditioning for the part of her best friend.

I didn't hear anything back from them, so i assumed they'd found somebody else. Then, i got a phone call last night.
I was told that they had, in fact, found somebody for that part, but the director was impressed with my performance, so they wanted to offer me a different role.

I think she might have possibly said it was a none speaking role, but i can't be sure!
I'm happy all the same, yesterday was a very good day!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I have an agent!

I have a new agent! And she's lovely.

I'm on a three month-ish trial period at the moment to see whether i'm any good, so i just need to get Spotlight sorted out and i'm away.

Slightly unrelated, i got my Heretic call back details today, and a big chunk of script.
I'm auditioning for the part of Claire, a young girl who has become pregnant, but the father of the baby won't take responsibility, so he makes it look like Claire has hanged herself in the church.
This means i have a very emotional scene just before this happens, then keep haunting the main character throughout the rest of the film!
It all sounds quite cool really, i'd quite like to get the part!


Friday, 19 November 2010

Possible new agent!

I've just heard back from the agency i applied to, and i have a meeting with her on Tuesday at 11am!

Fingers crossed it goes well, and i feel like i should apply to spotlight before then?

Spotlight vs Equity

For a while i have been debating with myself whether to join Spotlight actors, or Equity, the union.
  • -With Spotlight, you get to upload everything about you, for example, your CV, your head shots, and for £30 extra you can have a show reel on there.
    -You also get published in the Spotlight manual/book that casting directors use to find actors.
    -Although, to apply to be on there, you need to have 4 professional credits, which i think i finally have, i hope!
    -To join Spotlight right now, it would cost me £197, and that membership would last until May 2012 (handily expires in time for the world to end).
    -Spotlight also offer you various discounts on things like teeth-whitening or discount on theatre tickets.
  • -With Equity, the actors union, you get an Equity Card, which shows that you are/want to be a serious and professional actor/actress, and people take you seriously.
    -As they are a union, they can protect you from bad people that try to scam you out of money, they also set actors minimum wage, £8/hour.
    -Benefits include public liability insurance, accident insurance, legal support, and lots more. But mainly you get to register your name so no-one else can be called the same as you.
    -It costs £133 to join, and that expires in one year from the point that you join.

Recently i decided to just join Equity so i would look more professional, i'd even filled out all the forms and photocopied payment forms for them. But after loosing the support of my agent, and after learning that i need to be a member of Spotlight to apply to the new agency i'm interested in, i'm starting to think differently.

I'm mainly against joining Spotlight because of the initial cost, but it does provide the opportunity of finding you work, whereas Equity doesn't. So i think i need to take the plunge and blow nearly £200 on Spotlight. 
It means then that i can start thinking about applying to this new agent, she also requested applicants to have had professional training, which i don't have, so i definitely need to be part of Spotlight.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

She's doing something right!

I finally watched An Education last night, and i can definitely see what all the hype at festivals was about.

I watched it thinking the whole time, "this is good acting, watch her closely!" Her being Carey Mulligan, Britain's biggest success at the moment, but i fear that may just be because Keira Knightley's huge stack of in production films aren't due to be released until 2011, and she hasn't been seen to be around for a while, but she will be back.

Although Carey Mulligan is actually in a Knightley film, which looks pretty good, i think it's out now? I plan to go see it.

At the moment i am slightly obsessed with Carey Mulligan, as she started acting around the age of 18-19, and she didn't go to drama school, in fact she was rejected from three. But she's definitely doing something right! Oh to be her!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Meet Hector...

....he's my severed head.

I built him over the top of a plaster skull using cotton wool, red cotton thread and lots and lots of latex.

The face part is from a life-cast of my face, made of latex, and i tried to make it life-like using some makeup.

I made the eyes myself mainly using the things you get chewable tooth brushes in, and then a polished bit of acrylic rod stuck to it.

He also starred in a film.


Good news!

...on the Heretic front!

Just checked my emails, and i have a call back for Heretic on the 4th of December!

I don't know which part i'm re-auditioning for yet, but i really hope it's for a part with dialogue, and they're filming this audition, so i should do a much better theory!

I should here more from them soon.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day in Leeds

After four hours sleep, i set off to Leeds for my Heretic audition. It was a great audition set up, we spent the morning improvising scenes - mine being a vampire hunter and his young apprentice trying to kill a hoard of vampires, but they soon realise the vampires know they're there! And we got many laughs and applause - we then each performed a monologue for the producer, the director and the casting agent, and mine actually went well! I think?

We then were given a script to go over, which would then be read in front of the same panel, and this is where it all went wrong! Practicing it went fine, but i had staged it in my head, as the scene was set walking around a church. When i got in there the guy reading just stood there, and i could hear the words coming out my mouth and they sounded terrible! Absolutely no emotion.

But after the next person read, i was called back in and asked to read a different part, that of the main spirit in the film, the girl who committed suicide and had a broken neck.
I wandered around the room, head cricked to one side, jerking my limbs slightly, and i think that read through went so much better!

Once back at the station, i received a phone call reminding me that the Leeds Film Festival was still on, and a good zombie film was due to be shown.
Unfortunately, James and Laura couldn't make it, but John could, so we went to watch The Dead.

Before it was a very creepy short film which had me jumping all over the place called Through The Night produced by Rank Outsider, and you never knew what was actually happening, but it had some amazing effects, for example, the face on a painted portrait melting in the frame, or a glass shattering on it's own. It also had a particularly terrifying end shot.

The Dead was a really cool film from the Ford Brothers, Howard and Jon. It is set in West Africa, and in the middle of a full on zombie attack. The amount of times i jumped was ridiculous!
Even though the zombies moved very slowly, they were always there, just moving towards the uninfected. It was almost like in a video game when the "things" always know where you are, or just follow you.

But the film itself was beautiful! Amazing cinematography, featuring African sunsets, pure white beaches and breath-taking rock/mountain formations, all with the constant drone of the African bush. (I really want to go back!)

We were apparently only the second audience to view this film, so definitely look out for it. This film is not without a sense of doom, (but aren't all zombie films?) and it's probably due to the ending. But this might also have been influences by  the traumatic time they had in Ghana, from near-death attacks of malaria, to being held at gun point multiple times by AK-47 toting policemen! All the while trying to lug canisters of 35mm film, cameras, dead bodies/body parts and everything else you need to make an apocalyptic zombie film. All in all, very impressive!
Check out the official website.

There was a very interesting Q&A with both Ford Brothers, and lead actor Rob Freeman, and we were told more about the various problems they encountered.
We also found out that all the zombie extras were people from the local villages, and they were more confused with the fact they'd brought so much stuff and lighting with them, than they were with the concept of pretending to be dead and eat people!

On the way out of the enormous theatre, John suddenly said, "Is that Marc Price?". We both started shouting, "Marc Price, Marc Price!" And it turned out to be him, looking very excited someone knew him, then realised it was us, but we got hugged all the same!

It was then i realised that this was the Film Festival event Marc had invited me to weeks ago, but i thought i wouldn't make it, and i had actually thought it was last week!

He introduced us to the lady organising the event, a fellow judge and film maker, and his friend who is financing Marc's current film, and just so happened to be actor Dominic Brunt from Emmerdale.

After lots of catching up, we were invited to the pub by the lady in charge, so we all headed off in that direction, listening to the judges slagging off various films.

Once in O'Neil's, a really nice Victorian pub, we bought beer and turned round from the bar to find the Ford Brothers and Rob Freeman.
We quickly introduced ourselves, initiated schmooze mode and had business cards at the ready. 
They turned out to be really cool guys, Howard being very enthusiastic about me creating a show reel, and thought i could do much more than the broken neck dead girl in heretic, that i should have a speaking part. We talked lots about the film and the industry, and about my evil agent, and then about Africa, and what an amazing country it is!

Rob Freeman introduced himself, and told us he'd noticed us during the Q&A from the stage, and we looked like we were listening intently.
He seemed to be non-stop taking the piss out of everyone, but with a completely straight face, but he was a lovely guy. 
It turned out that he's done all sorts of crazy things such as cycled from Vancouver to LA, or in-line skated across Europe.
He has a blog about the whole Africa experience,

After much more chatting and schmoozing, we all decided to move onto the next bar as this one had stopped serving. The lady in charge said she would take us to one called Sela Bar, not very far away, so we tried moving towards the door with a large group, which never works. We even found ourselves stood talking to The Dead's musician instead of heading to the door. Once outside, we realised Marc Price was still inside, so me, John, Howard Ford, Jon Ford, Rob Freeman and more started to plan a sort of fireman's line-thing where one person would always be insight of another, and sure enough, once i'd found Marc i looked across to see Howard and Rob Waiting for us in the distance, and this system worked all the way, (with the promise of Howard calling me if we didn't surface). Very lovely bunch of people!

Sela Bar happened to be in a cellar, and it was noisy, but we were slightly drunk so we just shouted.
I discussed the second actor in the Dead, a guy called Prince who reminded me of the guy in Blood Diamond (i'm being sent a link to his original casting tape), and how he's already doing well in LA.

In a corner we plotted with Marc how i could turn up in Cornwall to get my part in the next Price film.
At the end of the evening, Howard came over to say bye, and i got another hug, and a very sincere, "good luck, i really hope you do well..." and so on. I followed him towards Rob where i  took part in a very cosmopolitan kiss, kiss on the cheeks, and more chatting.

So the night/morning was a success, i like people telling me i'm sure to make it, as anyone does, and more comments about me having a film/TV face. I went to sleep very happy that night.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Heretic Audition

It is the night before my audition in Leeds for independent film Heretic. I have to be on the train at 07:21, and guaranteed i won't be in bed until 02:00, it's not looking good for having a successful audition!

I might get a part as a ghost? I'll so pale and tired anyway, might as well give it a try!

Writers' Block

Is literally the best place ever! Even better is that it's moving to a BBC building, but i will miss the cool shop full of bean-bags.

They let me act in things, regardless of how well i have done previously. For example,

The Musk of Lemons, in which i was terrible, but it was very fun to dress up in Victorian clothes and have curly hair and a fan for a day, and stills from the film look lovely!

Marc Price Day. I got to be the first victim, which involved having a gun and getting dragged behind a bookshelf in an old library, only to be killed off camera, complete with horrific sound effects.

Newcastle 48hr Film Competition - The Woman Who Loved A Tree. I got a phone call at 11 o'clock on the Saturday morning asking if i was free all day, and if so, could James Harris and Laura Degnan pick me up to go to Newcastle to film a Mockumentary about a woman in love with a tree, i said yes, and all of a sudden we're cleaning up at the awards ceremony the week after!
Best Actress (so very nearly me!), best writing, honorable mention for music, honorable mention for actor, best directors, audience choice award, and best overall film!

If it's classed as acting, i was dressed as Peg Powler for The Big Draw, and was in a shop window all day.

And most recently, Flip For Boro 4hr Film Challenge. Once in groups, and given the River Tees as our location, a very odd conversation led us to the film idea of making a behind the scenes documentary where a film crew were trying to encourage Bill Fellows, my fellow actor, to jump off the Transporter Bridge. Fun was had all round! And i came away from the day with the promise that Mr. Fellows would put me in touch with his agent, very cool guy.

Tonight they are holding a Q&A with Nick Rowntree, creator of The Tournament starring Robert Carlisle, which i very much wanted to go to. However, my career as a professional babysitter called upon my services, so here i am, reminiscing past events.

Oh well, i'm there in spirit.

The Beginning of Something! (I hope!)

My name is Jen, and like many people in our modern world, i have decided that i want to be an actress when i grow up, which means i have to start doing something about it right now.

If anything, i am certain of one thing, i defiantly want to work in no business but show-business, preferably acting, but i am rather partial to the odd bit of make-up artistry. Because of this fact, i have a lovely looming deadline of an unconditional place at York College to study Media Make-up and Hair Design for Film, TV and Theatre, due to commence in early September 2011.
Don't get me wrong, i love make-up, especially the special effects side of it (i should maybe upload my severed head?) and the course at York looks amazing, all run by professionals and the like. And if i go to York, i get to lead the fascinating life of a full time student, living with my childhood friend Sam, oh what larks shall ensue!

And this is where problems arise, i'm starting to side more with acting, ever since i signed up to take part in CCAD student films and got my first "break" at playing a (not-so) sexy secretary, all shot in flattering black and white, and apart from the occasional accidental eye-flicks to camera, it all went quite well!
My love of acting had been reborn, so to say. All those years of not being able to project to the audience, or convey theatrical emotion were behind me, and could be happily forgotten, for this was screen acting, and a totally new (for me) art form.

For a while, make-up and acting went happily together, hand-in-hand,  and i was offered make-up work outside of college, with a brand shiny new business called Writers' Block (a story for another time), and i was going to create goth makeup for some plays and Sherlock Holmes make-up for a "Discover Middlesbrough" film, which was really cool, until none of the actress' turned up for the Sherlock Holmes auditions and i was asked to fill in.

I suddenly went from "the girl making the beards", to having a supporting role in a short period drama-type film, all to be filmed in Preston Hall.
Unfortunately i was really terrible in the film, examples include me not knowing i was on camera therefore looking asleep staring into space while the main, shocking climax of the film occurred in front of me. But just being on an almost professional set, and in front of professional cameras, on a really nice set, all just felt so right!

It was probably around then i found myself an agent, having previously decided to take a year out in order to pursue my acting dreams.
At first, having an agent was great. I auditioned for a main role in Emmerdale, shortly followed by a last minute audition for the role of Isabella in the upcoming remake of Wuthering Heights. But after that i could only seem to get extra work on Waterloo Road.

Meanwhile, i was furiously finding my own short films to act in, including a Cannon 7d camera test type film when Marc Price came to play at Writers' Block (again, a story for another time).

Around mid-September, i managed to successfully audition for a Halloween event called Fright Night.
After this, and many long days as a Waterloo Road student, mostly spent on the roof, i was called upon to be assessed by my agency.

That night i drove away from Castleford and from my assessment very angry, and even more determined to make something of myself.
I had been told that i had an utter lack of confidence, and that she would not be putting me forward for any more auditions for another eight weeks. All i can say is, "Bitch!"

Even if i say so myself, i believe i am confident, and to be any more confident would be to appear cocky. I was reassured of my confidence after a very successful Halloween weekend of scaring children at Stockeld Park. Gary even told me he was very impressed with me! (Thank you Gary, you saved me and Dave in the dark woods!)

I am also getting practice at improvising, thanks to the James Harris School of Improv. and our award winning film, The Woman Who Loved A Tree, and our good-enough-to-win-awards film "Jump - Will Bill Fellows Do It?" 

And so i am here, after missing lots out, if you can believe me going by the length of this, and i hope i have covered enough so that things make sense.

Basically i have: 
  • a place to study Make-up at York, and around seven or eight months to decide if i want to go.
  • a bitchy agent that clearly hates me (she wanted to make me cry, she told me that!).
  • seven to eight months to get a decent paid acting job to justify not going to uni.
  • a good agents contact number and email address, with a recommendation from a friend.
  • an audition in Leeds tomorrow for a horror feature film (that i got for myself).
  • and very cool group of people at Writers' Block that i would definitely call friends, that i am helping write a feature film.
  • a part in a live studio student project in January.

I'm too tired to put all that into a conclusion, but it's fine because i'm the only reader of this, and i happen to be the writer, so can therefore understand my own ramblings as i was there for all of them!

I warn you, there is more to come!


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I have a blog!

What do people do with them?