Cast Offs

I got up at 8am today just do I could trek into town and sit, shoe and sockless, in front of a casting director, pick my feet and look confused. I should be pretty good at that. I often pick my feet. From my favourite feet shop. Sorry. I couldn’t resist that one. Seriously though, I sit in front of the telly pick my feet and look confused on a regular basis. In fact, I’m probably the best ever at doing exactly that. I could be that guy in Hollywood who’s the ‘picks his feet and looks confused’ guy. I could be in the next Die Hard or Bond film as the guy, who, while the action’s going on, remains completely oblivious to it all, trying to get fluff from under his toe nail, and then looks up, notices everything and does puzzled eyes. Yet, despite all my experience at such things, I don’t think I did very well. Sitting there, feet out, staring at a small box that we were pretending was a laptop, my mind froze. I tried to think back to previous times where I have been doing such things but I couldn’t recall my objectives, super objectives, or even villian adjectives (don’t think that one exists, but it must be the opposite of the super ones so that they can battle). I did my minimal facial expressions and they asked me to do it again, then I put my socks and shoes on and left feeling like I most certainly hadn’t nailed it. As I walked out, there were several other ‘ordinary blokes’ with shoes off, all pulling over the top raised eyebrow and wide eyed expressions as though they’d never been more ready for this.

There is something so souless about the whole regime. Before doing the scene this morning’s experience involved having my photo taken, writing how big my collar size is, owning up to having done nothing on telly for ages and ages, having a chat about frozen yoghurt and hearing a man actually ask another man if he’d ‘broken anyone’s neck’ the night before. He then shouted ‘chop suey!’. It became clear the recipient of the question did judo, and the asker of the question was a massive dickhead. I’m fairly sure that during the rest of the day people will say more and more vacuous things, ‘ordinary blokes’ will pick their feet more and more convincingly, and eventually I will get a call saying that I most definitely haven’t got it. Or more likely, I just won’t get a call. And then, without thinking about it I’ll be sitting at home picking my feet and looking confused and suddenly realise I could have nailed it. One small addendum to this morning’s tale of toe woe, is that on the casting brief the term ‘any colourings’ was used. I believe that this was in term of ethnicity and if so, that’s really awful. Especially considering who the casting was for (which I shan’t mention but trust me its somewhere that is uber PC), surely they should have at least tried to use racial language that wasn’t from forty years ago? I was very tempted to bring some food colourings and all my felt tip pens as a protest. I didn’t though because I’m a big loser and didn’t want to hamper my audition anymore than I already had with my lack of acting ability.

Fat Tuesday last night was stupidly lovely, despite having more audience than we should reasonably fit in our tiny room. Problem is, I can’t tell people to fuck off just because they are late, as they’ve paid for a ticket. Some might think its because I’m a money grabbing stinge, but its more that they’ve paid to see a show and I feel like I’m denying them that show. And that I’m a money grabbing stinge. Luckily Georgie did tell some to leave otherwise we clearly all would’ve died, especially if someone had done a fire. It was Georgie’s last ever Fat Tuesday yesterday and I’m not sure how I’ll deal with such things now he’s heading back to North Wales. He’s been part of the Fat Tuesday establishment for just over three years doing all the bits my brain can’t handle. These things include telling people to fuck off, arranging chairs when my brain can’t cope with logistics, writing actually funny emails and generally helping to run the whole thing while having a cigarette break every ten minutes. I was hoping to give him some sort of send off last night, but only about 6 of our regulars were in and it felt wrong asking new punters to buy him drinks etc. So if any of you did know Georgie, please send him a message via the Fat Tuesday facebook page where he’s listed as an admin. I haven’t blocked him yet. He has at least a week till I do. He won’t mind. They don’t have the internet in Wales anyway.

Even though last night, and nearly all the Fat Tuesday gigs since Georgie joined, have been lovely, we instead reminisced on the really shit ones. These included: a gig last Christmas with a really angry stupid old cockney man who kept heckling Robin Ince and then shouted at his wife in the interval and ran away; a gig the Christmas before with a party of human rights lawyers who kept standing up, pouring each other booze and talking all through the show; and the night when Jerry Sadowitz was on, 15 people walked out and one man in the audience accused us of holding a white racist rally saying that he wondered why he ‘was the only black man there’. That was possibly the worst one, made worse by the fact that the excellent Shappi Khorsandi was headlining, but all the walk outs didn’t take that as evidence we weren’t the KKK. Wish we’d had a sign on the door saying ‘any colourings’ so they’d know it was ok.

Back on the Jim tour tonight, in lovely Harrogate. I was informed last night that I should go to Betsy’s Tea Rooms when I get there if its open. I shall try my very best to do such things and not look confused or pick my feet as I devour a cream tea.

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