This blog post is all about the actors baby:

Finding actors for Bell’s piece was pretty easy. She was like “I want Michael Firus and your partner Chris?” and I was like “Yeah sure, he can do it, i’ll let him know.” I’m not sure how happy Chris is when I make decisions for him, but what is love, it its not overbearing?

Finding actors for Rosie’s piece was slightly harder as we had to advertise for them on ‘StarNow’. First we made an add on their website and then waited for the actors to come streaming in. And the actors for the part of the mid 30’s singer certainly did stream in, however the two octogenarian roles had almost no applicants. Eventually we ended up finding the singer through StarNow but had to use Sam’s uncle and his friend as stand in actors. However they were ironically much better than the ‘real’ actor we got from StarNow.

After working with the actors I wrote a list of what I learn from the experience, here is the said unedited list:

  • are happy to work for free
  • want to be treated well or feel special/talented/important/listened to/respected
  • will give you their input
  • will get tired after multiple takes
  • won’t want to do long days
  • are happy to bring costumes or be supplied with them
  • you should speak to them when they first arrive. Get to know them, tell them your role on the production
  • don’t talk during their take, or do other things
  • all attention and focus is on them during their take
  • get their scenes done in one go if possible
  • give them feedback about their performance: if you love it tell them. If you want something adjusted let them know
  • do multiple takes: potentially 3
  • provide them with food and drinks
  • have a ‘jacket person’ if it’s cold
  • give them clear direction
  • have the crew all on the same page before they rock up
  • let them check themselves in the monitor, but don’t let them become obsessed with it, or watch it whilst doing their take
  • let them bring a partner or friend it it makes them more comfortable
  • dont allow them to take over or completely change your ideas
  • give them material beforehand so they can work on it and feel comfortable with it
  • you may never see them again

I’m pretty impressed by how much I learnt from spending just two days working with actors. I guess this is proof that theres nothing more valuable than hands on experience.

Until next time,

Louise Wilson