Friday, May 17, 2013

In the Neighbours Hood

I'm only with my new agent a couple of weeks when I get an audition for a popular TV soapie. She emails me the script and I set about practising my lines in the bathroom mirror in between teeth cleaning and face washing.

Two days later I’m at an audition in the suburban Melbourne studios. The building looks decidedly unglamorous but I know I'm in the right place when a Neighbours tour bus drives in through the boom gates and rolls slowly past the foyer, the occupants undoubtedly seeking a glimpse of a soapie star. Alas, tis only I.

The audition is over in a flash and I'm on my way home again, wishing I had said my lines differently. No need though, because a few days later my agent calls me to tell me I have the part!

First up is a wardrobe call. My man swans around me, saying he can ‘do magic’. He gives me a handbag and tells me to ‘own it’ then demonstrates how to carry it on my arm. I drink it all in because without question, he does it better than I do. In an effort to find an outfit suitable for my character, a ‘stylish and sophisticated semi retired naturopath with a penchant for diamonds', they bring me a skirt and some shoes that belong to the longest running female character in the show’s history!

On the shoot day I arrive early and after donning my ensemble, I’m taken to hair and make-up only to find the actress who plays the longest running female character in the show’s history having her hair done. I slink into the chair, hoping she doesn’t notice that I am wearing her clothes!

Back in the green room I act like I’m part of the furniture. Okay, maybe that’s not such a good idea as the couches have seen better days. But I almost manage to work the coffee machine (lukewarm's fine-really) and I mingle with the cast like I'm a regular and a couple of them even talk to me!

As I’m escorted by one of the ADs to the location next door I pass by some forlorn looking extras. I glance at them with sympathy. They gaze at me with envy. Ah, it does not seem that long ago that I was one of them. But now I am an actor in Australia's longest running TV soap.

With three lines.

I have made it.

Seriously, though, it was a great experience. There wasn't any direction to speak of, apart from blocking but they clearly assume you know what you are doing (I sort of did!) and the crew was highly professional. Pretty impressive really when you consider how much pressure they are under to produce five episodes every week.
Anyway, I had fun and my episode screens 9th August! (UK 6th September) Yay!
Next up, an audition for a Coles ad!