The last of the name dropping posts.

Mikes Film Talk

My biggest break came after we moved back to the UK. I had been fronting videos and was trying to find work as a VO artist. I also was doing the odd supporting artist gig. From BBC’s Lovejoy

to  ITV’S The Chief I did a few. Then I changed my agent, or rather agents. While I was doing extra work I had two agents, both from Norwich. I then had a chat with actor and vocal coach John. Sorry, another of those “I can’t remember his surname” deals. He told me off for doing extra work. His view was if you are an actor then act, don’t stand in the background and watch other people do it. “And for God’s sake, go and get a proper agent…one in London!”

So I did.

It took a while as it seemed there were a lot of “me’s” out there already. I…

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Really, It’s an Honour To Be Nominated…

I woke up this morning and did what I always do, I rushed down to my laptop to see how many views I’d gotten whilst in the land of Nod.

*Sad, I know, but such is the life I lead.*

I found out that John, fellow blogger and ‘followee’ had nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. After scraping the sleep from my eyes, I shot back a quick comment of thanks. I then read his latest post,  Another Award and I Can Still Keep My Humility and realised that this was going to require a little ‘work’ on my part.

So making a very strong coffee I decided, between sips, to still be honoured by the nomination, despite the fact that it required labour and (God, the irony) thinking.

So, firstly I have to thank John for the nomination *bit of explanation required here, every time I hear the phrase ‘nominated for’ I think of the Academy Awards* and then following the rules I have to nominate ten more Bloggers and link to their sites.

**Is it just me or is this starting to feel like a ‘chain’ nomination??**

1. Creature with the Atom Brain

2. Ghost Cities

3. Myteensavers’s Blog

4. 3teensmom

5. True Mister Six

6. Bucket List Publications

7. J.P.’s I’m Outta Here Movie Thoughts

8. while ( aboutMe < Mathf.Infinity ) { … }

9.  Bridgette Gallagher

10. Renard Moreau

Wow, that was tough. I like all the Bloggers that I follow and it was really difficult to narrow the list to just ten. Sorry, if you got missed! Okay, checking my ‘must-do’ list…Right here is the award:

Of course next up is the all important thank you to John of  jmount43  with a link back to his site. Thanks, John! Seriously, I get stupidly pleased, excited and happy if I am ever nominated for anything, dude, you’ve made my day.

Now for the rules part:

1. In a post on your blog, nominate 10 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award; and link to them.

2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.

3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.

4. In the same post, share 10 completely random pieces of information about yourself.

5. In the same post, include this set of rules.

6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Last and definitely least I have to inform you,  friends and neighbours, of ten things about me:

1. I have a natural tendency to be a smart-ass.

2. My favourite meal is foot, it must be because I’m constantly shoving the damn thing in my mouth.

3. I have been married twice…and divorced twice.

4. I once auditioned for Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrik’s right hand man for the part played eventually by Alan Cumming in Eyes Wide Shut.

5. I am addicted to video games and films, both tend to equal lot’s of late nights.

6. I am becoming addicted to Blogging.

7. I have an eighteen inch scar running right up the middle of my back.

8. I always wanted to have “any identifying marks or scars” so #7 helped me out there.

9. I was once addicted to so many pain pills that it took me two years to get off all of them.

10. As a rule, when I am angry, one-liners shoot from my mouth like a verbal machine gun barrage.

And that’s it, except for the, letting my nominees know that I nominated them via comments. Which I will do as soon as this is published!

Name dropping pt 6 Stanley Kubrick

My biggest break came after we moved back to the UK. I had been fronting videos and was trying to find work as a VO artist. I also was doing the odd supporting artist gig. From BBC’s Lovejoy

to  ITV’S The Chief I did a few. Then I changed my agent, or rather agents. While I was doing extra work I had two agents, both from Norwich. I then had a chat with actor and vocal coach John. Sorry, another of those “I can’t remember his surname” deals. He told me off for doing extra work. His view was if you are an actor then act, don’t stand in the background and watch other people do it. “And for God’s sake, go and get a proper agent…one in London!”

So I did.

It took a while as it seemed there were a lot of “me’s” out there already. I got a lot of notes back thanking me for asking but they already had someone like me on their books. I then lucked upon Ronnie. Ronnie was an ex-juvenile actor whose wife had been a regular on the old Archers Radio programme. They were both delightful people and Ronnie took me under his wing.

I got my CV aka resume and picture put in the casting “bible” Spotlight. I did not get any work after I shifted to a London agent. But I did get  more auditions. I got a call from Ronnie who told me that Leon Vitali the casting director for Eyes Wide Shut (and Stanley Kubrick’s right hand man) was sending me a script. The part was for a gay hotel desk clerk who interacts with Tom Cruise. The part was played eventually by Alan Cumming, an excellent actor that I did not mind losing out to, even if he did get the part because (as rumour had it) he had worked with Nicole Kidman before.

Cover of "Eyes Wide Shut: Music From The ...

The script was about three and a half pages long. I dutifully memorised all my lines and Tom Cruise’s. I also did a bit of groping around for a character. Was the clerk to be uber camp? Or just a hint of camp? Or not camp at all? I had to wait for my audition with Leon to find out.

Leon was terrific. Even though I was the last audition of the day, he was full of energy and suggestions. He finished by saying that just a hint of camp would be great and was I ready? With Leon playing Cruise’s part we started. I have to say here that the fact I was able to audition at all was quite remarkable. I was waiting for back surgery and on so many pain pills, it is a miracle that I was able to memorise anything, let alone three pages of dialogue. Still everything went well until the last paragraph of my spiel. I kept messing it up and after three attempts, I lost my temper. Slamming down the paperback romance that had been my prop during the audition and filling the air with expletives that would have made a sailor blush. All of this while the camera rolled on.

“Don’t break character,” Leon quickly shouted. I immediately shot him a look that would have withered rock. Veins were popping in my forehead and throat, I must have looked homicidal at the very least. I calmed down while Leon handed back my prop and we started again. This time I nailed it. Although, as I said before, Alan Cummings got the part.

But…

Six weeks later I got another call from Leon. He said that Stanley wanted me to audition for another part. I was a bit confused as I knew that Eyes Wide Shut was going through post-production. It turns out it was for another film, that Stanley would be doing later. I said sure, send me the script and we’ll do it. Leon said there wasn’t one yet. So I said okay just call my agent and set something up. My agent did not set anything up. It was his opinion that as Stanley already had me “perfoming” on tape he knew I could act. His response was, “So hire the man already.”

Leon told me all this on the phone. He explained that Stanley did have the  audition tape that had been sent to him. But Stanley’s method of filing was to put the tapes in boxes and wardrobes. This practice meant that the tapes were hard to find. So in effect Stanley had lost my tape. I said okay, forget Ronnie, just let me know where and when I have to show up. We left it at that. Time passed and I would occasionally ring Leon to see what was going on. The last time I talked to Leon, he told me that the project had been “put on the back burner” for the moment, but that he would call me as soon as the project was hot again. Time passed and one day I turned on the television to find the news was full of Stanley Kubrick’s death. I was gutted.

I felt a little like the female actress who finally gets an appointment with a huge casting director because he has found a part for her. She shows up in his office the next day for their appointment only to be told by a tearful receptionist that he died the night before. “But we had an appointment today. He had a part for me.” The receptionist apologises and explains that they are all very shocked. “Well,” the actress asks tearfully, “Did he leave any messages about me?”

Years later, I am reading a book about Stanley Kubrick. It talked about Leon and about Stanley’s filing system (it really did consist of wardrobes and cardboard boxes). It also pointed out that if Stanley was interested in you he would have you come out to his house with Leon and he would do an audition tape of whatever improvisations he and Leon could come up with. I also found out what the next project was that Stanley would have been casting for…A.I. Artificial Intelligence. So when I talk about the folks I’ve met and almost met, I always tell the Stanley Kubrick story.

The “I got this close to auditioning for him” story.

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)