An Actor's Life


Out of work actors…

Hello,

Massive spike in readership now, very good people. Now you just need to start leaving comments and we can begin a dialogue, wouldn’t that be lovely. Yesterday’s blog got a very good reaction in terms of hits, which is nice to see. I quite like the fact that for the internet getting hit is a good thing, I guess that Leona Lewis fan who assaulted her at the book signing misunderstood the concept.

I’m a big book fan, in that I’m a big fan of books not a fan of extra large books. Currently I’m reading an autobiography of a comedian. In it he talks of a holiday where he encounters ‘out of work actors’ entertaining the children in all manner of costumes. This struck a nerve. The work I do for the Natural Theatre Company could equally be described as this, we dress up in daft costumes and make people laugh in the street, or at events, parties, openings etc. I’ve had people or more than occasion ask me if I’m ‘normally’ an actor. What do they mean? Do they assume that all actors when not in plays or films just go around the place being eccentric to entertain the public?

The phrase ‘out of work actor’ is most commonly used to describe actors who, in order to pay the rent, have to take on the lowest forms of work in the game like skin work (dressing up as Mickey Mouse etc). Whilst this work is hideous, un-fulfilling and demoralising it is work. They get paid to do it. Handsomely. Otherwise they wouldn’t do it. The Natural’s do not do skin work, thankfully, we have a stable of eccentric characters who populate spaces generally turning the norms upside down or making the surreal mundane. Like the nudes you’ll see below.

Feargy performing as a nude in Germany.
Natural Theatre nudes in Hannover (2nd from left)

 The gig I was working when this photo was taken is still one of the best I’ve ever been fortunate enough to bag. We were flown to Germany, put up in a nice hotel, got ping pong tiddly that evening, and then next morning went to this fabulous 70s themed party thrown by the biggest electrical retailer in Europe. Everything was free, and Boney M were on the bill, imagine!

 
Today I have rather more prosaic work for the Naturals, re-giving my Sulinus and Antigonus the romans I told you about before. We are to stay rigidly in character circa the second century and occasionally people really struggle with the fact we refuse to recognise modern life. Some get very angry when you try to tell them you’ve never heard of America, or that it must a small island of the coast of Ireland. Others refuse to accept the game and well harangue you relentlessly about not being a ‘real’ stonemason, “You’re hands aren’t calloused enough!” They shout triumphantly. I love these people, I’m stood in front of them professing undying worship of the Goddess Sulis Minerva, in full Brittianica Tunica, claiming to be working for Gaius Calpernius high priest and head of the Ordo of Aqui Sulis and they want to pick holes with the fact my hands aren’t calloused? Excellent.

2 Comments so far
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It’s a compliment to the quality of your acting! …..or the stupidity of the tourists……..

Comment by Jane C Woods

A little from column A…

Comment by feargy




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