It’s been a while since I last wrote something here. My life is SO different now I sometimes don’t know who I am. HA! That’s sort of funny and slightly worrying. It’s like I’m living in a blur. A lovely blur. A tiring blur. A challenging blur. Definitely the best blur of all. It’s been tricky but I wouldn’t change being a mother for the world. I feel complete. Completely messed up. Lol. That was a joke. Although there’s truth in jest. I’ve been so busy with mum duties that I haven’t put much thought into my career. But life is funny isn’t it? And Murphy’s Law seems to be the bread and butter of every actor’s life I know; when you want work there’s nothing for ages, and when you’re not looking everything comes up at once!
Well, the latter is what’s happened to me. I wasn’t even close to thinking about acting when all these auditions/jobs started to come up within a space of 2 weeks. I had mixed emotions when it happened; I was mainly excited and also anxious which led to me having a bit of a manic reaction. In a way I couldn’t wait to do something other than mummying, but in another way I wondered if it would be actually possible.
Despite the natural chaos a baby brings, I have a very chilled life at home. I never thought I would say this but I felt out of my comfort zone when thinking about working in London. This wasn’t because I wouldn’t be able to cope with the city or anything like that but mainly because it meant I’d be miles away from my baby. He has been breastfed all his life you see, and he’s not too keen on taking the bottle. That combined with the very little notice you get for these jobs, meant that taking these opportunities on board would be a bit of a stretch.
Thank God for that though. Stepping out into the unknown is never as hard as one originally envisions. For the first job where I played a Bulgarian maid, the director was so ultra cool and understanding that he welcomed me, my baby and nanny (aka husband) to the set for a whole day of filming!
The second job was doing ADR work for a feature film to be released this autumn ( I can’t say which…). This was my first experience doing ADR. I loved it. On the first day I traveled into London with my baby and we hung out at The National Theatre for a while. I thought I was being naive when I put him in the sling for a nap; with lots of things going on around I thought sleep wouldn’t happen…but it did! I found hiding under the stairs particularly dark and useful. In the afternoon, I went to my job and my husband took over. On the second day, my husband helped out as well and off I went to work. Yes, I’m lucky my husband has a flexible job and yes, he’s pretty darn cool too.
Baby sleeping at The National Theatre.
The biggest ‘mummy’ challenge I faced doing this job was plainly said, managing my boobs. I brought my pump to work thinking it’d be easy to pump during breaks. HA! We did have breaks but they were way too short for me to glamorously relax on the toilet seat… luckily I was wearing a blazer thick enough to cover the huge circles of milk leakage on my shirt.Oh, and the pain! I won’t go into that but it was bad. Lol. Professionally speaking, the challenge of this job was saving my voice. I was asked to literally scream and at one point it dawned on me that I had to sing a song for an audition a couple of days later!
So yes, that crazy week ended with me going for a theatre audition at the New Diorama Studios. My husband couldn’t take any more time off to help out so my mother in law came to the rescue travelling all the way down from Nottingham to be with my son for about an hour. A star!
Preparing for this audition was uber fun mainly because I kept getting distracted by my little one crawling towards my props and chewing them away. Thankfully and surprisingly I found this hilarious rather than stressful. I incorporated an element of clown into my devised piece which my son loved so I kept doing it over and over again; I learnt it and he giggled so that worked pretty well. I also had to prepare a song. Easy peasy, I mean what baby doesn’t like a bit of singing no matter how lame it may sound? I confess I would have liked to have more time to prepare but I also realised that preparing just enough is good enough. Over preparation can kill creativity and with a baby you have to make the most of the little time you have.
On the day of the audition, travelling to London wasn’t as smooth as I hoped. My hair was a total mess, my trousers were covered in carrot purée and I was debating whether or not to nurse five minutes before auditioning. I did have about 3 minutes to breathe and focus before going in and as soon as I entered I was in a different place, a place that felt like home.
…..ahhhh….bliss all day afterwards….what a gift it is to love what you do…
So….I got the job (yay!) which goes to show that sometimes things work out better when you try less. This goes against the philosophy I grew up with (work work work work); and I mean, there’s nothing wrong with working hard but I know it wasn’t only hard work that got me the job. It was also enjoying each and every moment of the process: the limited preparation I had and being in the moment at the audition without giving a damn about carrot purée type accidentals.
Woohoo! More soon…je suis back!