Monday, 2 December 2013

It's Been A Good Year, Actually

It's important to remember the positive things going on around you. My last blog written a week ago today was so bleak and there is a real attraction for me to being a bleak depressing fart. I suppose I like the idea of looking off into the distance thinking something over the top and cheesy like 'will I ever make it as an actor?' I made a pros and cons list last week for my year thinking it would be about 50/50 and to read some of my posts in this blog I imagine an outsiders view would be to think I've had a tough old year. And it has. But it's been anything but a bad year because of that. I count 18 pros to 4 cons. Why it took me that long and a list of it in front of me to realise it hasn't been a bad year at all is ridiculous. One of my pros was that I never let a lack of money stand in the way of me not making the most of this moment right now. I live in London and that is an expensive sentence but the pros on my list had so many moments I didn't let money stand in the way of, making some brilliant memories and finding some friends for life. There are amazing people who have made this year the brilliant thing it is and I made sure I stuck with them as much as possible money be damned.

Of course I think it's important to budget on my penniless actor lifestyle but if I'm not having fun then there's no point in being there. I know full well these next years will be some of the best years of my life and I don't want that to ever be forgotten. I do feel the need to give a massive fuck you to money as I have wanted to a lot this year. But here I am. Still in London getting on with it getting by and having the best time of my life. 2013 has been hard on me but I've been hard on 2013 too. You can bet I'll be beating up 2014 as much as possible until I get to where I want to be. Bring it on. Let's face it, its been a good year.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Make It Fucking Happen

Last night I drunkenly text myself simply the words 'make it fucking happen'. Ironically the text failed. I wanted to remember it though and it was written all over my phone this morning. I was talking with some friends and explaining the last few years. Uni. Trying to get into drama school. Failing to do so and...I couldn't finish the sentence. I was trying to say that I wholeheartedly couldn't and didn't want to stay in Bournemouth any longer. I could not sit around and wait for my career to stagnate by doing the 'sensible' thing. I struggled to get my words out because I genuinely couldn't formulate into words the need and urge to make my career happen already. It's such a strong emotion being almost angry with passion that I could not stay in Bournemouth for another year. I've been annoyed at myself for a few days now. I have been auditioning a fair bit now under my agent and through myself and I haven't got anything from it yet. 2013 has been the best and worst year for me and I feel to write it off with some happiness and hope I want to get a few jobs to show some promise for 2014. Confidence is low and I could do with a win is really what it boils down to. I wouldn't even put this as a very low low at all but sometimes it's going to get to me that I haven't succeeded in these auditions yet. We can call it bad luck or just that I didn't look right for the part but that is not at all enough for me. I want to be owning auditions and knowing that if they don't pick me they've made the wrong choice because I would be capable of doing a brilliant job. With every unsuccessful audition I get more determined for the next one. It's like I hit a checkpoint of feeling low and I am reminded to get the fuck back up and go out fighting once more. It was always going to be a tough time of getting somewhere but I need to keep my head up.

2014 is one big question mark at the moment. I believe it may be the same rocky path as this year's been  but I know that the mentality of a fresh year will be enough to drive me to making sure something happens. I don't want to look back in a few years time and think I could have done so much more. I want to be somewhere sitting on financial safety knowing I worked for this. It's a tough job. But I wouldn't do anything else. I can't. It's not a question of me wanting to be an actor. I need to. It's just like last night trying to explain how my entire being wanted to get to London and live it. Yes it was a risk. Yes I am quite genuinely a penniless actor but I am so happy in my heart knowing that I did what I wanted to do and I didn't let anything stop me. It is the best decision I made and I will never regret it. I just need a little more luck and a win to keep me here. I like Bournemouth but I don't want to live there again until I'm settling down with a beautiful wife and 11 brilliant children. They could make a football team. Despite the nightmare the kit man would have with the surnames on the back of the shirts.

I am happy here but I need to work harder, keep my head up and hope for a little bit of luck. I need to 'make it fucking happen'. I don't want to have already had my last job of 2013. I cannot let that be that. 2013 is still for the taking and I will make sure that I don't let this year fade out so soon. I have 1 month left to change everything.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Right Road

It's been a few months since my last blog and there has been no excuse for that though there has also been no reason to blog. Finally I've had a breakthrough that has come a lot quicker than I expected. I have been extremely fortunate that my search for an agent has come to an end. It was on my new years resolution list and it got to me, even with 4 months left at that time, that I had not got anywhere yet. I had the upset of my Norway job and I couldn't think what my next big step was going to be. It took me longer than it should have to get myself up and going again. Fate was kind to me and I got chosen as the lead guy in a Nokia advert a few weeks after the bad news on Norway and that helped pick me up to get out fighting for more jobs again. I met some brilliant people and networked again which helped me get my drive back. I thought 'you've still got the last quarter of the year left' and I can fight and do all I can to get an agent and complete my new years resolution list. I emailed more agents and there was always one particular agency I had heard so much about. I remember being very jealous about an actor I had met under this agency talking about these Hollywood auditions he had and the opportunities that were at a level I couldn't touch. This particular agent emailed to say he was interested in meeting me. I did all I could to not get carried away and it was an odd shock to hear when meeting him that if I was happy with the contract then he would take me on. Unbelievable.

I have always been so starstruck with things that a lot of other actors have remained calm with like the Nokia advert and this agent. These huge moments in my career have been dealt with so calmly by other actors that I have met and I'm just sitting in the room buzzing with such excitement on the shoots. It will take me a long time to adapt to how brilliant life can get. I've always met things with a fresh face and excited at any opportunities. I remember being so excited about a year ago to travel to Birmingham to film an advert. I couldn't believe that I was being paid to travel up the country to film an advert and return the same day. Even Birmingham. Still though I have a long way to go to make this into a career and money will always be a bit of an issue for at least the remainder of this year. But when people ask me now how acting is going I will say brilliantly. Although it may be early days with my agent and I couldn't give up my part time jobs to commit to acting just yet I couldn't be happier that I am on the right road and progressing this quickly. It means the world to me the luck I have had and I still am a fresh faced starstruck little boy inside excited about the opportunities ahead of me. I know at the end of the year I will look back and say its been a tough one. But I have an agent, London has made me more confident, and the opportunities and jobs have made me so much more determined. I remember at the start of the year saying 2013 will be the making of Sam South. It may take a bit longer to fully finish the making of him but what a hell of a start we've had this year.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Chin Up

Today I found I out some bad news about a job I had been excited about for a month. I was down to the last 2 but wasn't chosen for a job that would have meant 8 days travelling around Norway and a very big salary. It would have been the job of a lifetime and the biggest moment of my acting life. It's been tough to take as this was the first moment I had truly believed I was the only man for the job and my self belief had never been higher. I did all I could and was happy to hear I impressed but still it wasn't enough. I have always wanted to make people proud of me and felt this was my chance to do it. I think that's one of the reasons I've taken it so hard.

I guess I've been wanting to show some recognition for the year I've had. To come home and not stumble over the question 'how's the acting going?' A couple of hours ago it didn't matter that the production team wanted me and the client didn't or that they were really impressed with my work. All these obvious positives were overshadowed by my disappointment. I'm sitting here now thinking how proud and happy I am that everything I did I did my way and was perfectly appreciated. It's a shame it was out of my hands and bad luck I wasn't chosen but I know there are so many things to be happy about. The support and faith around me was enough to know how lucky I was anyway. I will never forget what a blessed life I lead because of the people around me. For that I am so thankful to them and to anyone reading this blog choosing to read about my story. So its been a bad news day, but really what's happened today will echo positivity in the future.

My only thought now is chin up. Get back out there and change the luck yourself.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


I have just started my 2 weeks of suspense. There is a job that has been offered to me in which I will be auditioning for in about a week and a half's time. It is the biggest opportunity that I've had so far and well paid. It is between myself and 2 other candidates. I feel I have a brilliant chance at this but I must wait and in 2 weeks time, I'd imagine, I will know for sure. It's a hosting job also. I realise it's very easy to argue I would be well out of my comfort zone not having presented before but I honestly believe experience doesn't have a lot to do with it. I am confident with people and comfortable in front of the camera so bring it the hell on. This job will open doors and show Sam South for who he can be and the control he can conduct. This is a deep end I have no problem being thrown into and I can't wait to get started. If I get the role.

There is no way to express how important this job is in the scale of things. I've got so much time to wait to make sure I don't get carried away, or start day dreaming about money troubles being wiped out for the year. I am in a constant state of suspense and at times genuinely paralysed with the thought of what if this happened. Or didn't. I don't like waiting. I am not nervous about the audition but just need it to come round as soon as possible so one way or the other I know. All I can do is look for jobs and plan my life around not getting this job just in case. I wish I knew now so it was over but for now I will have to be patient and quietly wait with suspended hope and holding breath.

My next blog will reveal the answer. I just hope with all my heart its a positive one otherwise people may stop reading my morose dreary writing for good! Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Different Direction

Things are changing. The biggest job for me now is to not about making the decision I need to make but to be ok with it. I think its time to slow things down and focus on what needs to be done to stay in London. I have decided to commit myself to jobs away from acting for a while to make sure I have enough money to live and survive in London. Without trying to sound pretentious I can feel my interests evolving out of acting. I have thought for some time now, and may have mentioned it in previous blogs, about creating and directing my own short film. With the birth of a creation my friend Adam and I have made well on its way to being completed ready for film festivals I am writing a script for a trilogy of short films I would love to make this year. Before February this year I never took my mutterings of film ideas seriously. I am so pleased I'm doing something I never thought I would. It really is about who you surround yourself with and how that inspires you to do things differently. There are people in my life who, whenever I'm around them, I get things done with. Whenever I am with them something changes and I become so much more creative and inspired to see that it really isn't hard to complete what for so long was just a whisper of a thought. The surprise of this all is how much my film idea has inspired me and how excited I get about it. It will be a directorial debut and if it works on screen as it does in my head it will be one to remember.

What I am doing will take time. I am making sure I do things the way that I want to do them and will not say yes to anything but the perfect finished performance. It's a new kind of excitement. I have had pieces of my work judged and marked before but this is something I want to hit right on the nail. I will finish my showreel this week and be emailing agents once more and hope for the best. As the case has been these past months I just need more time and time is what I can give myself. I took a long time to come to terms with the idea that I may need to get a full time job and not think about acting for a moment. I was and am maybe still scared that, once I commit to a full time job, it will take me a long time to climb out and get stuck into acting again. It's hard. I know I'm hard on myself but I'm an impatient perfectionist and that mix with this career was always going to produce some bad days. I want to keep my head above worry with the creations that I have made and been a part of so far. If working for a long time is what's needed to give me the best chance to become an actor then I have to bite the bullet and get it done. I look to the end of the year already and feel happy I know I will have achieved all that I wanted to do at the start of the year. It's time to be patient and accept that I can't waltz along hoping a nicely paid acting job will fall on my lap any time soon. I need to get real, get patient, and get writing more.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Bad Day

This blog may be more heartfelt than I'd like but I think its important to show it as it will probably give a good sense of the lows of being an actor. I recently auditioned for a big advert in which the audition and recall went brilliantly though due to various things I believe I have not got it. I feel I have never been so close to achieving something brilliant for it to not happen. This would have been the biggest moment of my acting career so far and the last few hours have been low ones. Its hard to take something when you feel not only you did the best you could but you would have given yourself a strong chance of getting the role. Hope is hard to handle. I feel like I need to juggle it with reality and scepticism and try and keep myself from getting carried away. I honestly thought this would be the moment of 2013 and I would get something I never would have dreamed of getting only 7 months in. I got a bit carried away. I hate that its out of my hands and that despite doing everything to the best of my ability it still wasn't enough.

I remember when I first moved here and there were a few auditions I had where I didn't get the part and I never let it bug me. I always picked myself up and looked for the next project. To stand up and get past what has happened this week does take strength but I need the time to move on. Sometimes I just need to be down for a while before I can pick myself up again. I need to ride through the blues to come out fighting again. It's tough. It was probably going to be tough from the start but I could have really done with a win. I am overdue one. I have a lot to be positive about and I'm not just thinking about the past 7 months but the various projects I'm working on at the moment as well. I will never take for granted the brilliant things I have been lucky enough to be involved in. 2013 is proving difficult on the paid front though and I am starting to feel the pressure. I need to get back on a lucky streak again. I just need a win.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Pushing Through

Due to work continuing to not come at the moment I'm making my own opportunities. I realise how lucky I was to get the jobs I got in the last few months of last year. This year has been very different but just as enjoyable. I've been slowly formulating a short film idea that I'd love to make and direct myself over summer. At the same time myself and my friend Adam have been filming a mockumentary (coincidentally about an actor who moves to London) which we have high hopes for. It's a brilliant feeling to have knowing all these ideas I had for sketches or films can be achieved now and without a massive amount of money. I used to think it wouldn't be until I have power over my own show on TV but now all it takes is one conversation with Adam and its already in the making. I've been in a creative mind set the last 2 weeks and its great that due to work not coming in I've made my own work to keep myself busy. Honestly I never thought I would seriously consider making a film let alone direct something but inspiration has hit me and I am in a position to have full power over what I can do with it.

I am getting closer to getting an agent. There is an agent who I'm told will contact me for a meeting at some point. My 2 main aims for this year are to make my film and get an agent (with the underlying main aim of staying in London) and at the moment I'm in a position to potentially achieve both soon. It gets boring having the same answers to questions about whether I have an agent yet and recent work. It has been a tough year for money and jobs and I don't want to sit back and say 'I'm sure things will pick up soon'. I'm never satisfied with how much I'm doing towards it and won't be until I'm getting involved with a lot more than I am now. It's been tough and I hope I can meet with an agent and make a film and make sure my aims for this year are completed. I want to look back after these projects are done and say I can be proud of how I didn't give up through these lulls because at the end of it all its just a bad day to get through for a better day the next.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Post Show Pride

This time a week ago I was in the Hen and Chickens Theatre in Islington doing a tech run for the show myself and the cast of Gameplan were preparing for. I couldn't have been more proud of what was ahead of us. Just the idea of 6 months on I would be performing in the same venue professional stand up comics use to practise their material in was wholehearted pleasure and that really resonated through me as it got closer to opening night last Tuesday. Throughout the week of performances I grew with pride at what we had achieved. The whole cast were superb at their roles and we really made an impact on the audience each night.

There was the hope that I would get some agents along and grow interest. Unfortunately it wasn't the case for me, though many agents and casting directors were in the audience and I got to perform in front of the head of comedy at Channel 4 who I heard was in the audience one night. Despite not being able to progress in a way I had hoped with interest and getting closer to an agent it was always going to be an absolute pleasure just being able to perform for London. I always thought from the start even if no money was made and agents didn't come it was always going to be worth it just for the experience and being on stage again. And also now that its over I can continue focusing on building my showreel and knocking at the door again growing as an actor.

So far this year has showed me that the next few years here may very well be the best years of my life. I have a part time job now so I can hopefully stay in London for as long as I want and I am determined to look back at the end of this year and say I did everything I set out to do this year. Life will always be great if you are where you want to be following what you want to do so money be damned, sleep be damned, and impossibility be damned. I will make the most of this place and already am so bring on the agents. I'm ready to be thrown in at the deep end. The support shown from my family and friends who came up to see it is all I need to reload my determination and bury myself in the never ending opportunity of acting in London.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Goodbye Young Sam

I should probably explain myself. There has been little or, more to the point, no work so far to talk about since my last blog. I have had some brilliant times this year and I would say January has been my favourite month so far in London despite no income. I have begun looking for a part time job as money is as ever a big thought. I want to stay in London and I noticed how much more relaxed I am knowing that a part time job will keep me here for a long time no matter how acting goes. A major thought for me that has come to surface in the last week is that I have no intention of returning to Bournemouth any time soon. London has truly got into my blood and I find if I'm not here looking for work I am not entirely happy. When I visited home last week my sister asked me if I've placed a time limit on being in London and trying for an acting career. I didn't really know how to answer it as the thought of giving up one day has never crossed my mind. As soon as I got here it was about keeping myself going to stay here in London for as long as I can. If I am being honest with myself I will never give up and its not because I'm determined or I want to be an actor. It's because I am and will be a successful actor. My heart grows hungry for more each day I'm here. For more auditions, contacts, jobs, prospects, and success because this is the only thing that makes me happy and I belong in London.

I am currently on the way home from my first feature film audition. Today was the biggest day of my career so far. I did all I could and I did my best and that's all I could ask for. I hope I can continue to get these auditions because I feel myself growing in London. I am getting bigger and better opportunities the longer I'm here and its only a matter of time before the success begins to flourish. A year ago it was crazy to move to London with nothing. A year on and it would be crazy to move away with everything happening here. I hope I blog again soon and have so much more to talk about. God bless this capital.

Monday, 14 January 2013


So there's a reason I haven't blogged yet this year despite being back in London almost 2 weeks already. I always had a system in my head of if you apply loads for jobs one week then the next week you will see results from those jobs and things will pick up. Last week was my applying week in which, apart from an audition for a play, nothing came up. I never felt like blogging about what was going on because the week was pretty dull really. Things have felt a lot more serious now I'm back. Money has become an even bigger thought than before and the next few months are absolutely crucial for income to afford the London life. I guess I'm just impatient to hear back from applications. As soon as I was back in London I emailed every contact I had about future projects and work that could be going on fairly soon. That mixed with applying for jobs is going to require a lot of patience and faith.

Despite this seriousness and worry there has been plenty to be happy about. The audition for the play I had was successful and I got the role I was going for which is brilliant. I am in a play in London. Not quite west end but I have something I can invite agents to and something I can put my all into with a lot of time to do so. Also this weekend I went to Devon to shoot a short film for a friend. I always had in mind that if the weekend went well and I was happy with how I performed in it then this could be my showreel wrapped up for agents. Now after a long sleep and a hard working weekend I am so pleased to have spent it with such great people and after looking at a few shots back I think I can be happy with my performance. I awoke this morning inspired and thinking a lot about how 'all it takes is one idea' to get the ball rolling and seeing how easy it can be to put your idea into motion.

I'm so pleased to say I have started writing again towards clowning ideas. A long time ago in my final year of university I wrote and performed a 20 minute sketch as my inner clown. The performance got a 1st and lecturers likened it to Mr Bean. Ever since that performance I always thought if I put my all into this clown I know it would take me somewhere. I made a list before I moved to London of things I could do when I was living here and clowning was one of them but I never wrote anything down until now. Through some contacts I may be performing in March some time with my own material again. One of the reasons Rowan Atkinson is my number 1 hero is what he did with Mr Bean and how accessible it was to all audiences. My hope is to do exactly that and if by September I do have to move back to Bournemouth I want to have at least some memories of clowning performances on the stages of London, no matter how big or small.

I'm unemployed, I'm tight on money, I'm living on luck and faith, but I'm also recharged with determination, stocked full of contacts and feeling pretty lucky anyway. I will do all I can to cling on to London beyond September because this is where I'm happiest now. I have had tasters of my dream job and I am not going to let go of this chance I have now.