Sunday, 24 June 2012

Back, with a vengeance...

After a couple of months of neglect, I’m back, full throttle, geek in fifth gear. But ‘proof!’ I hear you cry, proof! that my radio silence isn’t just a mask, hiding the death of yet another well-meant blog, floating in the webbed ether of keywords and hashtags. Not another blog that remains devoid of updates after a few initial months of excitement, to then be cast out into the void of unwanted accounts, when life away from the laptop turns out to be more easier then typing on the laptop. Well, zip your harks, as here it comes…

CASE STUDY 1: VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR

So my audition was flavoured by Ron Burgandy...
OK, so I am involved with many events that revolve around people being interviewed for various media, mainly for the radio and live spoken word shenanigans. But TV is a different ball game, having had no experience in it to date. I’ve been a film extra, a radio reporter and event exec, but I wanted to see how the other half live. So today, I popped along for an audition for a part as a presenter for a new monthly web-show all about British Film. So, the subject matter was totally down my street, but always liking to be prepared, I spent the night before prepping answers ready for being put on the spot for things like ‘who is your favourite British Film Director?’ or ‘what do you think of the current state of the British film industry?’. Turns out, I overthought somewhat.

 So here what the experience consisted of. I turned up a little early (lateness = bad impression), hair coiffed, face; a whiter shade of pale with makeup and in yo’ face pink lippy (thank you to Dainty Doll for catering to my ‘mausoleum tan’), and mega-heels in my bad should there be long shots involved.

After signing my life away on the standard release form, allowing said production company to use any footage filmed that day to their whim, I was called up to the audition room, and with only a seconds notice that a camera was going to be on me as I ascended the stairs  – leaving me no time to clamber with shoes, but instead to think on my feet, straight into a pre-audition interview. This was basic – my name and basic reason for attending today, then instructions to go ‘through that red door behind you’ to the audition.
What they didn’t mention prior of door opening was the blinding lights I was plummeted into. I had been in the same room for various gigs during the last few years, but now I have somewhat of a different memory. Mainly because I was set 3 tasks.
Task 1: Pretend you are in a sand storm, report on it. 

Hmmm. Different. OK, OK, I’m the first to admit I’m about as skilled at improv as Chewbacca at a poodle parlour, but I gave it a go. I repeated myself a little, tried to pretend I was in Twister, imaging cars and cows flying past. 

Task 2: A red carpet interview with a film director who really doesn’t say much.

This I thought was actually quite a clever test. The actor playing said ‘director’ was every interviewer’s worst nightmare. Slow drawl, saying very little when asked anything, not giving anything away, and especially not quickly. So I kicked off by being humble and polite thanking him for his time, working in a little scene setup. But being a total doofus I forgot to hold the mic to his mouth when he spoke. After a prompt, I think I sorted that one, but this gave me really good food for thought, as it always looks so easy on the telly.

Task 3: The dreaded autocue.

I’ve never used an autocue before and had actually always thought that must be the easiest part about being a presenter – after all, all you are literally doing is reading from a font-massive script, straight in front of the camera. Big fat UH-UH. Turns out, I need some serious practice. This was mainly because the camera was placed in an entirely different location to the cue, so to focus on the camera; you had to move your face and therefore vision from the cue. It is therefore, very easy to lose your place. I tried to do a bit of both as no one wants to see the side of your face reading off camera, but then I don’t know how realistic this set up was, given that all examples I’ve seen of autocuing come from either Anchorman or from watching the trendy gliding camera shots of Ricky Gervais bombing at the Golden Globes. On a happier ending note though, I did get a round of applause for being the only candidate for not having read out an expletive. Yay me. Turns out my distaste for English potty-colloquialisms can prove handy.
So, with cheeks flushed and the nerves finally getting a chance to disperse, I was thanked, told I gave a very ‘believable interview’, and that my radio experience has obviously been of benefit, then out the red door to a peppy post-audition audition, asking how it went. It was a little too hammed-up X Factor for me for an audition, but I can honestly say I’m glad I did it and that if I can find any more auditions to go to, I shall, for practice of course, as who knows when Sky News or Pinewood Productions may come a’knockin’. The funniest thought I had all throughout the process was ‘I guess this must be how Joey from Friends felt like when he didn’t get the part’.


CASE STUDY 2: JURASSIC CALLING
As a birthday treat, I have tickets to go watch the London Symphony Orchestra belt out incredible score after incredible score in November, when I will be attending the Best of John Williams event at the Barbican in London. Birthday tissues will also be at the ready as the Jurassic Park theme raises goose bumps on my limbs and transports me to the most magical feeling in the universe.



CASE STUDY 3: ZOMBIE-LICIOUS PARTY
OK, so as above, cheating a little by saying ‘case-study’ as I haven’t actually been to said event yet, but I also have bagged tickets to the best live-action event of the year; 2.8 Hours Later! Yes, still not 100% sure on what the evening will entail (or should that be entrails?), which I really quite like the idea of, but I do know that there will be zombies, running in the opposite direction from them, and a fair amount of useless but funny girly-yet-resourceful screaming on my part. I, cannot, wait.


Posted by: Geek Girl Kerensa Creswell-Bryant
Geek Girl, Updated at: 19:16