I have just got back from a casting which I started by falling down an entire flight of stairs into. It wasn’t a stunt man casting unfortunately or I’d have been right in there and the job would be mine. No, sadly, otherwise I’d have topped it off with being on fire at the same time and the job’s a good un. It was for a voiceover casting and so instead I merely felt rather stupid, flustered and not in the prime of vocal brilliance. The director told me that her son had fallen down the stairs recently too and that we should sue, and whilst in usual banter state I’d have retorted with something wonderful like ‘ oh no, that’s how I turn up to every casting’, I merely smiled like a gimp, and proceeded to be mediocre. I am not generally a clumsy man. I’m generally as sturdy as a goat, and pride myself on not falling over at the best of times. I have been known to not fall over when drunk. I have also been known to not fall over when walking places, or indeed, not walking places. Almost exactly like a goat. In fact the only times I have taken a tumble in life where when drunk and going somewhere and as we know, that sort of thing rarely happens.
However, when it comes to castings I suddenly become a calamitous fool who spent his ten minutes in the waiting room replacing his legs with big, stupid, idiot’s legs. Yes, I could have found a better analogy, but they are just the legs of idiots. At a casting a few years back for a presenting job I noticed the a step up to the room with the casting in and in noticing said step, my left leg just kicked it, sending the right one stumbling over it like a drunk, moving goat man. It’s not just legs either. Only recently I made the incredible faux pas of trying to steal a producer’s coffee as I went for a fairly important TV meeting. A woman had entered in a green cardigan and asked if I had wanted a cup of tea. I’d said yes and minutes later, without looking up, I saw a green cardigan wearing lady walk in with tea. Her cardigan being green. Not her. That would incite a different response altogether. But instead I just grabbed the cup of tea while saying ‘thanks’ only to look up and see a very different, far more senior woman who I fired a stream of apologies at before sitting down and feeling very stupid.
Being a comic, there really is little that will embarrass me, but simple klutzy body fuck ups can ruin me. I have a back catalogue of moments where one of my arms will go rogue while eating soup and just fling it somewhere, or the classic leaning back in a chair only to miss the back bit by a few centimetres and slump uncomfortably forward. So somehow I need to find a way to utilise these sorts of events. I remember a kid at school called Daniel Marshell once falling off his snakeboard in the middle of the playground. Yes, a snakeboard. I am old enough to remember that rather unfortunate period of time where it was decided that the simple flat surface of a skateboard was not enough. Instead a board with a joint in the middle to make movement even more ridiculous was the way forward allowing children to smash their faces into pavements all over the world. Daniel was actually fairly good at it if I remember until this amazing fall that resulted in some good air time and a proper arse smash into gravel. The school crowd gathered round to point and laugh in that good natured, lovely, supportive way they always did. Oh no wait. Sorry, I meant ‘malicious and shitty way.’ Sorry. Thing was, as they were about to point and laugh Daniel, using all initiative ran into the crowd, turned round and pointed where he fell shouting ‘aaaaah! Which dickhead did that? Hahahahahah what an idiot! He totally dropped! Look at him! Fucking idiot! Ahahahahah!’ Which confused everyone and somehow the circle paused, then dissipated and his kudos was left entirely unscathed.
I still remember watching that happen in total awe and wishing I could be as quick as that. Sadly, instead, I’ll just be a bit dazed, tell everyone I’m fine before grabbing my sore bum with a slight ‘ow’ sound and spend the rest of the day being miserable. Maybe I just need to go for more stuntman drunk goat jobs.