Thursday, 13 December 2012
I have earned my Christmas. I'm pleased I'm already thinking of the new plan of action for 2013 with agents in mind and just battling to earn enough to stay another year. I'm going to let the determination bubble up over Christmas so when I'm back to London next I'm out ready to fight for my place again. I won't be blogging again until 2013 so want to say thank you to everyone I know. Anyone who has read the blog and supported me in any way. You keep me going. I could not do this without your support. Everyone I've met has made me who I am now so thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never have words brilliant enough to express my gratitude. Have an amazing peaceful Christmas and brilliant new year. God bless. X
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Try as I might I can't help but get excited about coming home for Christmas. Everyone in the acting world seems to want a work free Christmas so there isn't a great deal of work in December. I have a music video, an advert and 2 short films to shoot in December. It's very likely they may be the only pieces of work I will get before the new year and with so little work up for grabs when I'm looking its hard not to feel festive and excited about being home. The way things are going I feel I have earned this years Christmas. I am proud of the things I have done in the past 3 months and 2 days. I've even managed to earn just over a months rent in income which after 3 months I'm over the moon about. I want to keep my concentration and there shall be no more reflecting until I'm on my way home and this years work is over. As big as this year has been in my life next year will have to be bigger.
Something I would recommend doing for everyone which I did last night is go through old photos on Facebook or other albums. I only got as far as summer this year and already I believe this year has been the best year of my life so far. The things I've done, the times I've laughed harder than I ever have, the hope I've worked hard to make real and the people. I cannot think too much about the support people have shown to me because it overwhelms me. A thank you isn't enough for everyone. Some people have told me they are proud of me but that is nothing on the pride I feel to have such friends. There are no words. There is a great deal of Bournemouth love felt and I carry the love and support with me to every audition and every performance, because at the end of it all I do it for Bournemouth and my friends as well as myself. And its only been 3 months. Just think what I can do with 6! People don't need to worry about how next year will go for me and what the next step will be. Have faith. I got this.
Friday, 16 November 2012
I would like to begin this blog with the reason its been a while since my last. I never want to repeat myself in these blogs and always think there's only so many ways I can say something dramatic like 'this is going to be harder than I thought'. Sometimes its hard to get across my thoughts without sounding cheesy. I always wanted to try and get people reading this to understand the journey like it was something everyone can put themselves in a similar position of.
I will be writing about something that's been on my mind for a few weeks now, and at the risk of offending, I think superstitious people are crazy. I will hold up my hands now and say for about 3 years now I have walked over 3 drains in a row, let black cats cross my path and happily walked under ladders with a smile on my face. A word of warning to anyone who believes the drain theory and is thinking of moving to London...its filled with the buggers. And I have walked over them 3 in a row on the way to auditions and big jobs and I consider my current situation blessed with luck, if there is such a thing. I even walked over one this morning and am currently on my way to film an advert which will make it to some fairly obscure tv channels but another tv job is under the belt.
I have been going through a seesaw motion of thoughts recently. A small thought growing is saying although its been a great start it will take a further few hurdles to go through to a stronger financial position to be able to stay another year come August. That thought is met with a larger more relaxed mind set. I have been here 2 months 2 weeks and 3 days and I've achieved beyond what I thought possible. I know I'm focussed and understand what I need to do to be a success but I want to enjoy every minute. I realised last night that I have no idea where I will be in a year and honestly that thought excites me. The next year will be a hell of an adventure and I know no matter what happens I will look at this next year in the future and think what a great year I had. But for now I'm taking small steps and am just focussing on earning my Christmas and working hard from now until home time and rest. God bless London and the experience I have had so far. I will never stop being thankful for it all.
Sunday, 28 October 2012
It's a waiting game once you've auditioned for something and your waiting to hear back, but there's one giant waiting game happening outside of this. I'm currently waiting patiently to film my first shoot where I will be able to use the material for a showreel. I will then patiently wait for that footage to be released and then wait again to receive the footage. I'll go ahead and wait once more after finding someone to put a showreel together for me to complete it...then! Then I am ready to face an agent. I want a showreel put together by the end of the year. That is my aim and I'm sure with the things I will be filming and finishing that can happen in time. Already at the back of my mind a cautious voice is reminding me it may be possible I will have to pick up a part time job after the new year. A part of me is already feeling the heat to get things going quicker, but then the majority of me tells me to slow and calm down and reminds me how much time this may take to start getting somewhere.
I am fully in the moment now and caught in the current of working harder to keep the momentum going. I think if I did step out for a moment and sit down I would think its amazing what I've done here so far. I've only ever thought forward since I've moved here and when people praise what I believe to be the good luck I've had so far the normal protocol is generally: Thank them a hell of a lot, shrug it off, make sure both feet are on the ground at all times, and make sure I build on getting a damn load more work to be thankful for. I want to come home for Christmas with brand new stories and successful jobs under my belt. I want to enjoy Christmas once I'm home and know that there was never a time I didn't give my all to keep chasing my career so I can relax and enjoy the holidays knowing I deserve this break.
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Days are getting busier and busier so I'm happy. Today I auditioned for a short crime thriller and found myself confident and calm throughout. There wasn't a moment of nerves and when they seemed to enjoy my audition all the way home I was feeling so content with how I'm handling everything that's come at me so far. I can only hope my luck continues and in 6 months time I'll be planning my 2nd year living in London. I remember saying before I moved I needed to be a brand new Sam Stevenson when I get to London and already a month and a half into it I can see differences. The first couple of extra jobs I had I generally kept quiet and only became myself until I got to know people more later in the day. The last extra job I had I went in and was shown to where the extras were sitting, about 15 quiet shy looking types, and sat right in the middle of them and talked to the group nearest me. That's the Sam Stevenson I doubted I could be but confidence has grown and I couldn't be happier with who I have become more of.
To date since moving to London I have been:
An extra in 4 music videos, (one of them being for a very famous singer but for legal reasons I can't divulge any more information!)
1 TV sketch,
Accepted as a major role in an up and coming sketch show,
Been chosen to be a model for a clothing company,
Chosen as lead male for a commercial,
And the recent news of the short films for Cannes film festival.
I'm also currently waiting to hear back from a TV series audition I had last week, a video audition I did for a short film in Bristol and a busy day tomorrow auditioning for a music video and a feature film audition next Tuesday. 2 of the listed jobs were low paid and that's as far as its gone financially so far. I don't see this as a negative. You can't if your in it for the long run. Listing all these things I've done and have ahead of me its probably clear to see why morale is so high. I've already done so much and I haven't even started going for serious work yet. I feel like I'm where I want to be now. At the bottom of about 5 different ladders and I can choose to climb them all. It could be too early to say not getting into drama school was the best thing that ever happened to me, but I've a feeling I'll be saying it sooner than I think. I hope so anyway.
Friday, 12 October 2012
It's been a good week. I've had auditions planned and am almost too busy which is how I like it. More extra jobs in music videos meant I met some more brilliant people. A contact from a previous shoot even contacted me and asked my availability for a shoot next week so the networking is really showing its benefits.
I feel a bit like I've earned this weekend. I have kept my focus only in London and I think I'll realise how much I missed family and friends when I see them. I am also starting to see why London may think people from Bournemouth are mostly elderly folk due to 90% of the people queueing for the coach home were above 70. But hey this is my Bournemouth and I wanted to do it proud. So all in all I am returning to Tuckton a happy man looking forward to a hug from my parents and seeing some faces I have missed a hell of a lot. God bless home.
Friday, 28 September 2012
Being lucky enough to get this role for the sketch show made me think about what I'm meant for. I think as far back to Primary School making other kids laugh with lame jokes, entertaining my friends in Secondary School in drama lessons, making up jokes, writing sketches, stand up one liners, sitcom ideas, and writing some proven comedy material throughout Uni and putting it to the test against the audiences and grade and coming out strong. Makes me think about what your born to do if that is a thing and not just a cheesy idea that people say about the greats. This isn't a 'second thoughts about whether I want to do acting' as my heart is in this through and through. It's more of a thought on what potential I have in front of me and how this could be the beginning of something really special and limitlessly enjoyable.
I keep thinking if I could get an agent by the end of the year then it would have been the most successful year of my life so far. But then I think, hang on, I've moved to London this year. I've passed a real life audition. I'm doing comedy which I love with all my heart. No screw that even, I'm doing what I love full stop. This has been such an important year. Already this is a success just moving to London and making that step let alone getting any jobs. The faith is growing as is the determination. I remember before I moved writing down to my future self that its all about tactics and territory. That I should start somewhere and call that my base and just slowly get my name out around that area and take over more and more territory. I have done that but in a different way. The people that I've met carry my name around with them now. I make sure I'm the name that will pop up in the inbox for the third time this week asking for jobs. My territory is already growing fast and I will keep it growing until people know exactly who I am, what I do, and the determination I have in my heart to be first to the role. Yes its been a tough slow week, but next week is a new game and I'm already prepared to make sure its one I can be proud of.
Friday, 21 September 2012
The successes so far to date have been 3 extra jobs for 2 music videos and 1 for channel 4 and a lot of contacts made. If there's one thing I've learnt so far from being an extra its that its dangerously close to the TV series Extras in a lot of ways. The theme so far seems to be that I will encounter one odd person out of all the extras I work with each project. If it is any more than one there will always be one who will exceed the amount of madness than any other. The first extra job I had for a music video included a guy who would laugh for about 2 minutes over nothing and seemed genuinely nuts. I'm not sure if I should be surprised at the high amount of crazy I meet or the lucky amount of people who are really brilliant to know. Already a guy I met at an extra job 6 days ago has asked me if I want to be involved with some more extra work in a few days time. Its showing already how important it is to know these important people and even more so how important it is to be friendly and courteous to the people I meet.
It was only yesterday I already felt truly happy with the position I am in right now. The weekend coming up will be one filled with filming a project for a 48 hour film festival which people have travelled from all over Europe to see and join. I just had an audition this morning for a comedy sketch show pilot in which I made the guy, who was part of the company and reading in for the other part, laugh half way through the audition and told me after that it takes a lot to make him corpse. I've got another audition next week for a photoshoot of a night out and getting some more headshots done with a friendly face. All these positive steps make me think about what I dreamt about happening when I moved to London. I know part of me dreamt about big things happening and really shooting up the ladder, but really yesterday I was so happy because at the moment this is a reality I could never have dreamt of happening after just 2 and a half weeks of living here. I have focused on my goals and I'm becoming a person I really doubted I could become.
London is truly what you make of it and I'm starting to believe I may have the determination and heart for what it takes to stay here for a long time. Its odd for me for the first time to have some real true self belief. I can't ignore that I am yet to have a low point and I'm sure it may come in the next few months but right now I'm living this dream that I created and composed myself, and I can only get stronger from here. I'm happy to say its looking more and more like moving to London truly was the best decision I've made so far in my life, and one that I want to look back on in 5 years time and know that this was the start of Sam Stevenson the professional actor.
Thursday, 13 September 2012
How the last week and 2 days have been is brilliant. I spent a good 5 days finding my feet getting to know where I live and spending a fair amount of money with horrifying ease. The area we live in is brilliant. My flatmate and I walked around the outskirts of Hampstead Heath on the first day which was beautiful. You notice immediately the changes of everyone in London compared to home. People are more open to talking in London. They aren't really louder here, they just talk more. You could talk to anyone so much easier than back home and a lot of the time you just find yourself in conversations you have no idea how they started.
My drink with actress Kate Hollowood set me straight. I always said starting Monday 10th September I would start work and I started it by asking for advice from an old friend. She gave me a plan, a starting place and a solid aim of where the bottom of the ladder was and how I could climb it. I was honestly pretty apprehensive about meeting with her expecting that I would leave thinking the way to start my acting career is impossible, but maybe that was just my worried mind gearing myself up for a nasty reality check. I left Kate feeling really positive. The reality check I got was that there's a lot of hard work ahead of me but entirely possible for me to achieve. She told me about how she had been in my position before and just seeing how successful she is now I was raring to go, and after a week and 2 days, I can't see myself being discouraged any time soon at all. We both agreed I'd be fine and would start climbing the ladder soon. (Determination kicks ass)
If I could draw a diagram of what I need to do it would look something like this:
Star in multiple short films to build up a showreel -->
Send showreel to agents -->
Agents impressed and call to be my agent -->
Still no where near made it but boy are we doing great.
I always said luck is the heart of an actor a lot of the time and I do feel lucky with how this week has gone. I got cast as an extra in a Channel 4 sketch which will be shown in October for 'Stand up for Cancer', I've got an audition for a comedy sketch show which is trying to get on TV, and I will be in a film that is part of the 48 hour film festival later in September. I really can't complain how this week has gone but I know I need to work harder and harder to keep this up and get the bigger jobs. Really I feel it hasn't even started yet despite some good initial jobs, but I'm a fighter. I've got people back home to prove my worth to, people here I want to make proud, myself I don't want to let down, so negatives are now a thing of the past, dated, history. I'm here for an adventure and I'm excited to say its starting to look like a promisingly successful one.
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Monday, 13 August 2012
About a month ago when we began looking for a London flat, it became real. I remember how scared I felt about the vulnerability of moving there without any acting work lined up. The phrase 'its about who you know not what you know' would scare me because even if I didn't know anyone of use I don't really know that much in the first place. I never really think about the past productions and plays I've been involved with. The amazing moments, the standing ovations, the laugh lines, I suppose I'm a very in the moment person. I am constantly making lists of things I can do next always thinking about the next thing I can get involved with. It's a good way to be. I find myself making lists most days at the moment. It's such a mad rush to get something going in London before I move. It's like a ring toss and each ring is a contact or path I can go. It could be that all the rings are successful in where I want them to go, or none of them.
I realise luck is the heart of an actor. It's luck that one of my contacts will take me somewhere and its luck that that contact will present me with even more opportunities. It's luck that I've come this far. I think I'm about to learn the more you get out there the more you can take charge of your luck and that's exactly what I intend on doing. I need to be a brand new Sam Stevenson and take the reins on my luck and make sure I'm always in the right place at the right time. You can look at any actor and say they were always going to make it big with their skill but its luck they got their first acting job and second and third and so on. I've got to be a fast learner, adaptable and really if I never give up on it the odds of not making it as an actor would actually look pretty slim...right?
Its inspiring hearing some peoples views on the move. I never really knew what to expect in terms of reaction but how many people have supported it so wholeheartedly is inspiring. Not just that but the faith some people have in me. How can I not be inspired by people who seem to truly believe I will make it as an actor. I have made a vow to myself to never stop being thankful for everything that happens. I used to get speechless when I talked about shows that had big audiences. How could I put into words the appreciation I had and still have for these opportunities given, the cast members I worked with, each audience member that spent money to come see the shows, the people who praised our performances, I wouldn't even know where to begin without falling short of words once more. I could easily argue life has been pretty great to me so far. I've always got the part I've wanted since I started doing local theatre, and the experiences I will keep with me forever. But this is it now. I'm going to London and I've got to look forward. I've got to be someone I've never been before. My main thought on the next year of my life is something I will make sure I remember throughout. Whether I will have a year of failure or a year of success I will have an adventure. And really that's all I can ask for.