A random bit of live writing (Feb 2016)

How do you choose which bits of your life to focus on when you write or attempt to write some kind of autobiography like this? What are the criteria? Hmm. I suppose it depends on who you are writing to – yes – because when you write, or at least when I write, I have a ‘reader’ in mind, even if that reader is just an abstract notion of myself – my future self. Like a diary I suppose.

But so much happens in just one day, one hour, one second even, if you drill down into the depths of your psyche and think out to the expanse of the universe(s).

Take yesterday, for example. A friend of mine, D, who is an actor, phoned me on Wednesday to ask if I could help him record a bit of audio of him reading a few lines from a script of an episode of a BBC series. His agent has put him up for the part of a middle-aged paedophile and she wanted him to read the script and send the recording to a casting director.

So, yeah, easy-peasy, I thought, I’ve done it before, it’s quite simple nowadays what with smartphones and everything.

So he duly came over to my place at around 10.30am and we proceeded to record him reading the script. Of course we chatted about other stuff, and I showed him the videos I’ve started recording for Youtube and the review of my book ‘Bums’ that had appeared on the Wales Arts Review website.

We wanted to get it as good as possible so we spent a couple of hours and then emailed the recording to his agent and to the casting director before heading off to the arty centre where he was going to buy me lunch as a reward for helping him, though to be honest I would have been happy enough to heat up the left over soup that was sitting on the cooker in the kitchen and serving it along with some of Allen’s excellent organic sunflower seed covered wholemeal bread.

On the way to the arty centre D wanted to drop a magazine off at the house of another friend of his, who is also an actor as well as a musician and storyteller. There was a review of one of his shows in the magazine and the friend hadn’t seen it apparently. The guy wasn’t in so D pushed the magazine through the letterbox . . .

* I was going to write a little anecdote about something he told me but was holding back because I didn’t want to upset him or the other person it involved but then I remembered that this book is supposed to be written only for me and not with publication in mind.

So here it is. And I don’t want to build your expectations up too much because it’s not that interesting – so his partner was in hospital yesterday and he didn’t want to ask her how it went because he’d forgotten why she was in. It was one of two things he thought but he wasn’t sure which one or if it was something else.

Anyway talking about smartphones I’m typing this bit (from the * above) as an email on my smartphone because I had leave the keyboard of my laptop to visit the loo and didn’t want to lose the thread. I did say it was live writing . . .

Back at the keyboard now.

Anyway, as we were crossing the road heading for the arty place, his phone, (which is not a smartphone – he’s well behind the times) rang. It was his agent. She liked the recordings but wondered where the pictures were.

“Oh shit!” he said, or something like that.

So we went back to my place had the soup and a beetroot sandwich and spent the afternoon recording videos. When we got one he liked we had to set up a Dropbox account to send it to his agent for her to look it over before sending it to the casting director.

Again his phone went, we had recorded it in a semi profile but she thought it would be best if we did it face to camera.

We went back to ground zero and less than 30 minutes later an acceptable audition video was with his agent and the casting director – whether he will get the part or not is now in their hands.

It was going on for 5pm when he eventually left – we had spent almost a full working day recording what amounted to a little over one minute of video – but to be fair, we had chatted a lot, had a long-ish lunch, he’d learned his lines and had a shave and we also learned a lot about what is expected of actors these days.

I may also have come up with a business idea of providing the same kind of service to others – hmm . . .

So, all that is just one part of one day, and a lot of other stuff happened during that time, so trying to write a proper autobiography is an interesting but impossible task – it’s only ever going to be snapshots.

Gratuitous Black Cat


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