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The diary entries are written by members of The Rehearsal Room and workshop participants. To see the list of contributors click here.
Today I decided to start an Actors Diary.
I have decided to be an actor.
Well, I didnt actually decide. It just sort of happened. Jake was going for an audition and hed slept in - so I said Id drive him. Im like that. Anyway, on our way there he said it was a general, so why didnt I give it a try too.
A general must be where anyone can have a go. Jakes agent sent him. I havent even got an agent.
There were quite a few people waiting. They mostly didnt look like actors.
I asked people what they thought made them an actor. No one seemed to know or they just wouldnt talk. People are like that.
One of them said that she kept an actors diary to record her ideas and progress but she wasnt talking to me.
I didnt know what to do when I went in. So I just did what they told me!
They said I had a good head for television and that there might be a part for me in a commercial.
If Im gonna be an actor - I should keep a diary.
I am never going to do this again.
Being an actor is a stupid idea. So is keeping a diary.
Two years, eight months and twenty-six days I have been doing this never again.
Todays audition - a general - was the last straw.
Im never going to call myself an actor again.
I dont know what to write?
I wonder if Jake keeps a diary?
I woke this morning still feeling like an actor - the trouble is, I am an actor.
I cant help it.
Sally rang. She got a call back as a result of the general. She thinks its a commercial. But shes not sure! They wont say???
I didnt get a call back.
Yesterday I was an angry actor. Today Im a depressed one.
Still dont know what to write.
Jake doesnt keep a diary - hes no help.
Maybe Im not an actor.
Dont know how Im going to pay the phone bill.
Dont need a phone anyway. My agent never rings .hasnt rung for a long time .only rings occasionally. I wish the phone would BLOODY ring.
I got a call back. I think its for that commercial.
Jake was really pissed. He didnt get a call back.
I got a call back!!!!!!
I wonder what Ill have to do? I cant ask Jake that wouldnt be fair.
Guess who came into Delaneys today?
That dork who was mouthing-off at the general the other day, yeah!
He recognized me. That was nice. Youre not a waitress, are you? Youre an actress, he said. That was nice. He remembered me from the auditions.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS! He got a call back. Hes not even sure what a call back is!!!! Its probably for that commercial.
He asked me what he would have to do????
Its just another audition. I said, Good Luck. Though I didnt mean it. He wouldnt have known that, though. Im a good actress.
Woke up this morning feeling great. Had a big breakfast of eggs and sausages.
John Travolta's in town for the premiere of 'Swordfish'. I wonder what he had for breakfast.
The call back is for the day after tomorrow.
You know, I am constantly amazed at how delicious two minute noodles can be. Those obscure ones covered in Chinese writing from the Chinese grocery shop. Delicious. And only 70 cents a packet.
Still no calls from the agent. I think my agent hates me. They never call.
I woke tired today, I couldn't get to sleep at all last night, I just kept thinking about the call back tomorrow.
The other day I saw a girl from the first audition, she was waitressing at Delaney's. When I told her I had a call back she said that it was "only an audition". I think she was pissed off about something.
Oh who am I kidding, this is
the second audition in my life!!!
On my coffee break it's 9am.....
Did an extra shift at work this morning. why not, I've got nothing else to do. Nice sunny day, however it's dark and cloudy on the emotional front. First customers of the day-two directors discussing their up and coming TV commercials. They seemed so stress free, so relaxed, so happy! There is nothing more stimulating than watching them devour their eggs Benedict at 9am in the morning discussing how best to spend their budgets.
Them - working in the industry, Me - coffee girl.
I just got in the door. The only message on my electric secretary was from the landlord, reminding me that the next payment is due. I had that second biggest audition of my life today.....and guess what?...it was fantastic....apart from one thing.......life got in the way!! It took me 2 hours to get dressed, I spent so much time looking in the mirror that by the time I left the house, I had to check my licence to confirm what my name was. Dozens of costume changes later, I had gained an amazing insight as to what it must be like to be a barbie doll. Finally I'm satisfied with the look I have chosen to step out into that world and say-look out! - actor coming through!.
I looked good, smelt even better and was all primed and ready for the second biggest audition of my life. Get into the car, turn the key - nothing My car decided to go on strike without advising me.
Okay! You're an actor, don't panic.
Plan B - Run to the tram.
I look for a way out past the crowd, I get to the door, we've stopped right outside the cafe of fellow actress from the generals the other day, the one that smiles but thinks, what a geek!! This is all I need. About to jump off, and the tram moves...no damage with the cars, it's more important to get to work on time. There is hope, the girl spots me standing in the doorway, like a classic film we both wave as the tram departs............
What on earth was that plonker waving at on the tram this morning?!
Trying to pull myself out of this funk. I've just got to keep plugging dammit. I've got the passion and the soul, I just need the luck. I mean, how much training can you do? How much theory is enough? I feel like an athlete that's read all the bloody books there are on every aspect of performance, but has had absolutely no track time whatsoever. It's so frustrating just to sit here and feel this hunger, to feel like I'm atrophying. And then, of course, I do get a bloody gig and feel rusty as all hell!! What a lovely little vicious circle I find myself in.
So what are my options? More inbred amateur theatre musicals? More badly done short films that you NEVER get a copy of??! What! "Wherever shall I go? Whatever shall I do?" (Oh great, now I've become the pathetic needy girly type!)
Stuff that. I can do this!
I will do this! I've got no bloody choice!
I had a terrible dream last night. I am on that tram and I have forgotten to disembark because I was so busy waving at that girl. Oh no!! Waving and waving. I frantically hang off the rope that rings the bell for the tram to stop, but it keeps on going, way past the stop that I want. I can hardly wait to jump out of the doors.
I jump out and start running. I feel like a marathon runner, but not very professional. Sweat starts pouring out from every pore. I finally arrive, hair mussed up, panting like a steam train, and drenched from the exertion of running.
I find the audition waiting room, and when I finally get my breath back, I glance around in slow apprehending horror. There are fifty more guys in the room, and they all look just like me!!!!!
Still haven't done anything about a new agent. If I don't get on with it another year of waiting could go by.
And still no phone call.
My current agent has just forgotten about me, I am certain of it. No wonder as they seem to have thousands of faces in their books. I have spent soooo long in training, and soooo many amateur productions, that I feel if I did any more that I would bust with information.
Looking up different agents. Oh dear - so many to choose from. Who do I choose!!! I know!! I am turning around very very fast now, getting very dizzy. I stop spinning and I open a page and point to the correct agent. This is the one I will choose. I open my eyes, and I discover I have picked up the Lonely Planet Guide to London. Noooooo! I try again, with all other books swiped off the table, except for the agents directory. I am spinning, spinning.
I was the unhappiest man in the world. I didn't get the commercial.
But they did recommend me to an agent.
I rang the agent at 4.35pm.
Then I was the happiest man in the world - I HAVE A JOB - a real extra job - 4 whole hours for tomorrow! No job is too big. No job is too small. Now the sky is bluer than ever.
I waited till one minute to five and rang my supervisor to tell him that I was too sick to go to work tomorrow. I coughed and sneezed and coughed on the phone.
Hi, I am an actor. I don't need stable income. I need opportunities! I can live with 2 minutes noodles or no food but I can NOT live without my belief - what's that? Never mind for now I am living for the moment. I will live like a proper background actor tomorrow for four hours maybe even longer? You never know who is watching?
My phone rang again. It's 5:57pm and it's the wardrobe person from the movie. I am supposed to be a guest at a cocktail party - oh no! I don't have a dinner suit!!!
I still haven't rung a new agent. It's so hard to start again.
Nobody has rung me either! Especially my agent. That agent of mine never liked me. There are four hundred people in my agent's list and probably I am number four hundred and one. If you want to know the difference between being a member or being a number I can tell you all about it. That's not my lucky number anyway.
The petrol price went through the roof again. Over a dollar now! They must be mad. I am just wondering how other actors can afford to live - things going up like this? Or maybe they all have rich husbands? Maybe that's the way I have to go? Find an old rich boring hubby who goes overseas at least six month per year and pursue my acting career full time while seeing a marriage therapist weekly?!
Oh no. My mobile phone battery is showing only one bar and it has started pipping - the battery is going flat!! What if my agent rings me now? What if . . .
My whole day started with begging. At ten o'clock in the morning. It was only the second time in my life ever - I was begging Jake - to lend me his green suit with purple stripe. It was not a dinner suit but that was the only suit I knew within a 50 kilometres range.
Jake was dying to go back to bed. He lent it to me with no hassles after I promised him to be his on-call driver for the rest of the next two months - and he obviously missed the catch - that was after I fix my car.
I didn't realise there were 200 extras on the set. It was an overseas production called "By Your Side". Cute! I was absolutely outstanding in the green suit - for the first five minutes - until they asked me to take it off, to blend into the crowd.
Why didn't Jake say anything about this? Why didn't that agent say anything about this? I just sat there with my not very well ironed white shirt with a clip on bow tie they gave me. I didn't do ANYTHING but sat there and waited. I sat and sat, with two hundred other people who were in real dinner suits.
Sally rang and told me that she didn't get that commercial. I didn't feel sorry for her. At the moment I am filled with "sorry for myself". At least she has got a call back. Even that what's-a-name dork got a call back. I ONLY get a call back everyday from Delaney's. "Would you like fries with that?"
That's it! I am going to show them. What am I going to show them? I don't even have a proper show reel. Yes, I have decided to have a new agent. I will ring around after I paid off my rent. My bills are stressing me big time at the moment.
Didn't they say the best things in life are FREE. I don't want the best things. I just want to - be appreciated - for who I am. I AM AN ACTOR. I may not be as good as I thought I'd be but I am trying. If I can say things like "white with no sugar sir" everyday to hundreds of customers I can say them even better on TV towards thousands of audiences.
Are you watching? Are you listening?
Today turned out to be a health rush. I got a call from MY agent. They asked me to send them a tax declaration form a.s.a.p. I saw some people filling those forms on set that day and I didn't know that I was supposed to fill one out as well. My agent told me that I have to supply a tax form for each job I do. That's cool.
I ran to the post office. It was just around the corner. Since I am without my car that was the one place I didn't mind going. Only they were no longer supplying tax forms. So they directed me to the newsagency around the corner. That just around the corner newsagency took me 15 minutes to run.
It was all good until the owner told me that they just ran out of the forms and there was another place just around the corner!
I told myself I have found "the best agent" in Melbourne. After 4 hours web search plus a complete round of phone calls to all my actor friends - this is the one. They've got branches all over the world and they've even got people like Russell Crow. It is the time to quit my %^*# agent and get a decent one - I've married that %^*# for eight years - and I am still cleaning the dishes!
I was sitting ready to make the most important enquiry in my life - "Hi will you be interested to see my show reel will you be " I wrote down the possible conversation in several different versions ranging from friendly, professional, to funny with good taste.
The phone rang and a woman answered! I was shaking, panicking and lost all versions of my planned conversation: "Yes, yes, I'd love to join you and I'd love to drop in my show reel "
"Sorry, our books are full." That was all the best agent in Melbourne said to me.
I was on my way to try and get a tax form this morning from somewhere, anywhere, when some guy with a TV crew approached me and asked if I could answer a question for an ABC documentary. I thought to myself "great, don't even have to audition or line up for this one". I told the guy to just fire ahead and ask me any question, so he asked me what I thought about the gun laws...but horror of horrors, I couldn't find an answer. Just had no answer, no thought - all I could do was dumbly repeat his question - I have the gift of the gab most of the time, but shove a microphone in front of me, and I am all dried up like a disused well. Maybe I'm not really an actor. Wonder if Jake or that actress in the cafe ever had this problem. My big chance, and I blew it!!!
I was talking to another actor friend this morning, and the subject of agents came up. Well, actually, it was the first thing that came up - "B***dy Agents!!", was my fluent start of the conversation, and my friend really had no choice but to continue on with the subject. This turned out to be a good thing, because she told me about different jobs that she had gotten through her agent, and she wrote down the agency web-site.
This might be it - the one - the best agent!! I looked up the website and was duly impressed. Hmmm, it says that I need to send in a recent photo and CV. Photo albums all over the floor now - the only recent photos have my eyes half closed - this might not be the look they're after. Found one! Well, it's five years old and pretty casual, but it seems to be the best one there, and my hair colour hasn't changed too much since then.... I have now posted it with my CV. Yeah yeah...my CV was already at the ready - it's not like I have needed to update it lately!!! Well, here's hoping....
TO BE CONTINUED.
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