You will only make it as an Actor if…
You will only make it as an actor if:
• You know how to respond to the following sounds without even blinking: zip, zap, boing.
• You have two interesting facts about yourself up your sleeve to whip out in case you ever hear the dreaded words “Okay we’re going to go round the circle and introduce ourselves- say your name and two interesting facts about yourself.” Don’t say what you had for breakfast and what your mum’s name is, that’s shiiiiiiiit mate! Mine are that when I was 11 I went go-karting with Boyzone and that I can’t stick my tongue out.
• You own jockstraps. Lads I am still haunted by a terrible story I heard about a chap losing a testicle mid plié because he was sans strap. STRAP UP OR LOSE A BALL.
• You have skin as thick as rhino hide.
• Your self esteem can survive commercial castings where you are up for characters like ‘Ugly Girl’ ‘Fat Girl’ ‘Big Woman’ and (my personal favourite) ‘Chubby Twentysomething’
• You love being Stagey. Even if you do not love being Stagey because you couldn’t care less about who was 9th cover Boq on the 86th Wicked cast change, you have to pretend you love being Stagey because Stageys love being Stagey. #stagey
• You own one of those Dr Nelson steaming things which looks like a ceramic bong.
• You are prepared for the weight you will put on through tech rehearsals, mainly through Haribo alone. Tech weight is the new baby weight.
• You know every incarnation of Bella Señora going. And you still harmonise the shit out of it. Because you’re Stagey.
• You know that the words Capezio and Bloch aren’t some sort of new DIY method.
• You can deal with sounding like a bit of a prick when you harmonise the end of Happy Birthday. Stageys love to harmonise shit.
• You can appreciate the sheer hell of getting new headshots. WHY DOES MY SEDUCTIVE FACE LOOK LIKE I AM DESPERATE FOR A WEE?! Surely as an actor I should be in control of my facial expressions. YOU’D THINK WOULDN’T YOU.
• You can cope with being annually made bankrupt by Spotlight.
• You can master the art of being annoyingly cryptic and yet perfectly smug on social media. Examples include:
‘Everything crossed for me today guys! #bigday #opportunity #bringiton’
‘So excited to make an huge announcement soon…watch this space!! #blessed #lovinglife #grateful #iamabellend’
• You have a keen interest in developing your skills and expertise in the following fields of employment- front of house, box office, Arbonne representative, barwork, admin, waitressing, teaching, promo (n.b when they say ‘promo’ they really mean draping oneself over cars at Earls Court in tiny shorts whilst handing out flyers.)
• You are nice to everyone. You never know who anyone is. Especially the door whore at auditions. They’re probably SUPER IMPORTANT and the casting director will probably ask what you’re like.
• You have a good answer to the following questions, which you will inevitably be asked by anyone who doesn’t work in The Business:
“Why don’t you get a job in Eastenders?”
“Why don’t you go on X Factor?”
“Have you been in anything I’d have seen?”
• You’re willing to work for free and are prepared to sing/play at the weddings/christening/bar mitzvahs of everyone you’ve ever met. Ain’t no labour like free labour. P.s please god someone pay me.
• You are prepared to have a showmance at least once in your working life. Shagging a techie DEFINITELY counts.
• You are prepared to perform in venues that shouldn’t technically be venues- always under an arch and with the risk of bronchitis. N.b actors- if your costumes feel ‘cold’ they’re probably ‘damp’. You’ll also probably see a few mice pottering round the set every now and then. Mices love the limelight too.
•You’re willing to pay your annual Equity fee because they will send you a sweet diary. Even if you have never actually used Equity for anything. But to be fair the diary is really good.
• You are willing to say the phrase ‘town or tour?’ with no sense of irony.
• You’re okay with straight chaps being few and far between. 96% of the chaps you’ll meet will be gay. Of the 4% that aren’t, 3% will be playaaas (because to be fair, they can be. They’re literally swimming in tits in this industry), and 1% will be actually nice guys (n.b usually older and married).
• You call everyone ‘dear’.
• You’re happy to only drink in Freedom.
• You’re happy to only eat in Balans. At 4am. After you’ve been to Freedom.
• You listen to EP on Sunday. Srsly, those ‘Break-a-legs’ kill me every week. “HI ELAINE! GET YOUR ROOTIN’ TOOTIN’ SELF DOWN TO THE BOGNOR REGIS LIGHT OPERATIC SOCIETY’S PRODUCTION OF OKLAHOMA THIS WEEK. YA CAIN’T SAY NO! SEE YA THERE ELAINE! BYE ELAINE!”
• You have a strong theory about who @westendproducer is.
• You can cope with being a little bit jealous of people. Mark my words, there is always someone who can belt better than you.
• You have the support of those you love. I don’t see how anyone does this without that. You need people that care about you in the midst of such an uncaring industry.
• You are bonkers. But couldn’t imagine doing anything else for love nor money. Which is a good thing really, as money is pretty gosh darn hard to come by in this industry, but as far as love goes? Yeah, there’s love between theatre folk that is like no other. I LOVE YOU ALL MY FELLOW SHOW PEOPLE. You are all brave and brilliant. Let’s keep slamming ourselves into this industry, warts and all. Because after all…