Making It

As I’m relatively new to acting/performing, I do wonder how this compares to people for whom it’s their dream and always has been. I was a nervous and shy kid and drama class for me was anxiety central. Since then I’ve done heaps of public speaking and been interviewed a hundred times. As a roleplaying geek, I’ve gotten comfortable with adopting a voice and a persona in a small group but performing for others is a challenge I still feel anxious about.

I, like so many others, did the university and career thing. I’m now embarking on this with the knowledge that I really only have ten years to get it right. I’m envious of my classmates starting out, bright eyed and bushy tailed, with decades before them. And that makes me hungrier than most, maybe.

Aside from the luvvies in the class, I’ve met a few dozen actors and honestly, none of them are having what would be called by "normal" people a successful career.

But as Jimmy Carr said last night in conversation (ha!), it’s not when you’re a star that you’ve made it. It’s not when you’ve got your STAR on the Boulevard. It’s not even when you can see your name on a movie in iTunes.

You’ve made it the day you pay the rent with money made from performing. The day you buy Christmas presents with proceeds from acting. The day you drive away the car bought with cash from being in front of a camera.

(Post inspired by: Why Are You Trying To Be Something You’re Not)

What I’ve been up to….

Since September, I have been enrolled full time in a Performing Arts course with South Eastern Regional College. The course is mainly acting and movement based with segues into community arts, scriptwriting and the business of being a performer.

I’ve been an extra in a feature shot in Belfast (ZOO) and been a feature in a student short (Silence) with some students from Belfast Metropolitan College. Suffice to say I’ll act for free with any student shorts that appear – though typically they don’t have many stories for middle-aged nerds).

I’ve also been writing scripts and currently I have two productions in the offing. One is a science fiction series that I’ll detail below and the second is a student short with zero budget based on some other scripts. I’m keen to see if there’s any stickiness with them and keen to see if there’s methods of distribution I’d not previously thought of. In my head, these are Amazon or Netflix series’ and/or features. So that’s what I’ll pursue.

The current production I’m actively working on is going to require some animation for the title sequences so I’m wondering if I should start learning that in my spare time.

But in the meantime, read the bold sections below in your most erudite Richard Burton tones. I’d love your thought on it.

On a cosmological timeline, the entirety of human existence is a brief flicker, like a match strike in the darkness.

[Animation in the background show a small red dot on a black background with two tiny planets orbiting it. It explodes in cartoon fashion and a series of 2d shockwaves expand outwards towards the darkness. Until it arrives at a small solar system with 9 planets….one a blue pearl in the darkness.]

There have been great extinctions on Earth before but life always managed. Something escaped the destruction and thrived.

[2d animation of a dinosaur being watching the comet plummet down. Fade to white]

This time, there would be no survival. Everyone would die within the decade. And the challenges of climate change and ozone layers seemed suddenly insignificant. But we learned we were not alone.

[2d animation of alien spacecraft above the blue pearl illuminating the planet in their rays of light]

We were saved.