Castings are an odd kettle of fish. I’ve probably blogged this before but I think the term kettle of fish is an odd kettle of fish. I mean, how many people keep fish in their kettle? Surely that would make all your tea taste weird? Get a goldfish bowl like everyone else freako. I have also probably gone on about how odd castings are before, so apologies if I repeat myself, but its not like I ever read back my own blogs, that’d be stupid. Oh and by castings I mean the acting ones rather than the plaster ones. They are less strange and usually very useful to people with injuries. I’m also not discussing it in terms of throwing fishing nets, falconry or the excretions of an earthworm (yes, that’s called casting. Is wikipedia ever wrong? Actually, don’t answer that, I’ll check it on wiki). I mean actingy ones, and I had another strange one yesterday. Not as strange as THIS ONE but I’m not sure anything could be as that was beyond bizarre. No yesterday’s was one I probably shouldn’t have gone for in the first place, at least on moral grounds, as it was an advert to be filmed and shown in Israel, a country I don’t want any associations with until they stop infringing all the human rights of the Palestinians. I have strong morals about it, and I saw the casting sheet and thought no. Then I saw how much it paid, my morals took a quick fag break and I said yes to at least doing the casting, knowing full well I probably wouldn’t get it. I swear sometimes I am so shallow that if anyone were to dive into me, they’d definitely break their front teeth. Yes, that is the best analogy I could think of. Its not an Israeli company, and I am very broke, so weighing up the pros and cons I still went against everything I believed in and considered screwing it up on purpose.
Luckily I didn’t need to. When I got there, they didn’t have enough scripts to give to everyone so we had to take it in turns reading from a piece of paper that looked like it’d been typed up by a child with no concept of punctuation or spacing. Surrounded by actors who were all taking it far too seriously, I was hugely relieved when James Dowdeswell’s beardy face appeared and I had someone to talk to that wasn’t spending all their time getting into character or working out which word should be over-pronounced in the phrase ‘Look at this’. We eventually shuffled in in groups so that while two actors were onstage the others could sit on the sofa and give the sort of critical stares reserved usually for the judges of a digital TV reality contest. James and I were far more civil than that and were rather impressed with the two we went in with, so sat quietly and gave them a round of applause when it was all done. We are well nice. Then it was our turn. The director had a very limited grasp on English and started by having a go at James about his lazy eye, before then telling me that I needed to be ‘more of an assholl’. Now, not classing ‘assholl’ as one of my top character profiles, I wanted a tad more than that, but that was all she said. ‘Be more of an assholl. He is a real fucking assholl.’ I was tempted to kick over the camera, call her a dick and spit at her like a proper ‘assholl’ before saying ‘Israel is an assholl for creating apartheid in the Gaza strip’ and listing all their crimes over the last few years. But it wasn’t in the script and I am a professional. Just not a professional actor or activist sadly.
I have realised with a lot of these castings, that directing is a pretty difficult job. You have to be able to convey what’s in your head to the actors, so that they can then play what’s in your head. That’s not easy. I reckon if I were to direct something I’d definitely spend a lot of time shouting ‘Pull a face! Not that face! For fucks sake! Now say the words! Not like that! Argh!’ before firing everyone, shouting at a camera man for getting in a shot that he didn’t know he was filming and storming off set. But that’s why I’m not a director. Needless to say I don’t think I was enough of an ‘assholl’ for yesterday’s casting and so I am yet to hear back. Which is a very good thing, as it means I don’t have to tell them I wouldn’t do it anyway because its in Israel. Which is so what I’d say. Yeah.
Incidentally, I signed this today. So should you:
Its a Tuesday and I’d normally finish today’s blog with some notification of tickets for tonight’s Fat Tuesday. I won’t today though, as its sold out. Ha, I win.