Monday, 12 July 2010


On my arrival at Nexus, my first duty is a phone conference with Lockwood. Yes he's well, no he's not found a wife, he has auditions but they feel empty (I picked up this last in his voice). I, in turn, turn to him for strength - I've hit the biscuits again, I confide, following a weekend clearing up bad judgement calls and ill-thought-through plans. "Aren't you listening to the tapes?" asks Lockwood. "Learning from the mistakes we expunged daily to audio cassette during the UNIVERSAL EAR shoot?" Yes, I tell him, I've learned from those mistakes, which has freed me up to make entirely new ones.

First day of auditions for Girls Of Unfortunate Climes today, and there's not much I can divulge here given the sensitive nature of the Institute's recruitment rituals. Of course, given the open nature of our temporary home at Universal Ear Studios, the public were absolutely welcome to come and spy on the process as it happened. But only Nexus Steph showed her face, drawn in by the chorus of our company anthem - a casting rite apparently not widely observed within the industry, which is news to me and GOUC Executive Producer Nexus Emily (who is sitting in on auditions and anthem alike).

We are auditioning four actors at a time for the roles of the Space Race gang, but find that two of the auditions are each two actors short. Having at first misunderstood a throwaway comment* of his during this morning's call, Lockwood has advised me that sedating the first auditionees so that we could see them together with the later auditionees would be both "unethical" and "illegal". So instead, Emily and I read the missing parts, the Exec getting quite carried away with her role (statuesque gang boss Selena Jolly, with me alternately as underlings Agnes Ivey/Neva M. Perdue). Indeed, the way that one audition works out, the invited actors finish their roles several minutes before the end of the script, leaving Emily and I to fully explore the dramatic potential of our would-be screen relationship and really develop our techniques as actors - quite forgetting to assess the responses of the auditionees. As the auditions are not being videoed, we have not only lost our two-handed tour de force forever but have to run through the entire script again. The chemistry is lost, but the actors do their best to match the pungent tension of our exemplary showcase before we dismiss them, and Emily and I break for Danishes and to bitch about "London".

In fact, notwithstanding the panel's own voyage of creative self-discovery, each actor we see today represents theirself with talent, grace and versatility. Not one stinker! And following the flurry of anxiety and logistical deadends that preceded the day, that favourite old, vaguely meaningless Linus Van Pelt refrain thought-bubbles itself above my head... "and did you notice something, Charlie Brown? The world didn't come to an end..."

I even decide not to label this new blog strand "UNFORTUNATELog 1".

* Lockwood was actually suggesting I sedate myself.

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