Book a holiday: Get a job! - Beatrice Curnew
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Book a holiday: Get a job!

Book a holiday: get a job.

When Mr BC suggested a holiday to start the year, part of me thought ‘how lovely, a break!’ and part of me thought ‘Hooray! A job to start 2017.’

Bags were packed, the uber booked to the airpot, the cat feeder sorted and then the phone rang. I knew. I just knew. Mr BC handed me my mobile and said ‘It’s your agent’.  I was not going to be spending a week with Mr scrummy BC but a few meagre days…

“Remember that audition you had before Christmas, that one that seems so long ago that there is no way they didn’t cast it last year? Well, It’s yours!! And by the way, the read through is in 2 days, costume fitting in 3 and film begins in 4…”.

 

Should I fly back and forth, twice or jack it all in and not go at all? Tricky last minute decisions… Weighing up the pros and cons of work vs holiday, vs income vs rest, but of course I’ll go. I want it all. I want my cake and to eat it. I’ll part holiday/part work. I am a slave to the machine. I would be a fool to turn down this part in Dr Who! It’s a great gig and yet… a break with Mr BC is a special and a happy thing. I do wonder if uber stars can just say the word and a schedule is worked round them? I suspect not – I have read enough autobiographies and interviews to know that most actors fear their last job really was their last job and no one wants to be difficult, as truth be told, we are all replaceable. The only answer is to laugh and welcome the craziness. And hope your friend/partner/lover can put up with it and doesn’t find a replacement version of you on their trip for two, minus you!

 

Of course the joy of technology means that self tapes can be sent from hotel rooms and Voice Overs can be recorded from pool sides and so you only have to come home for an actual acting gig these days as opposed to an audition or Voice Over contract.

And importantly these magic words really do work! Book a holiday: get a job. When you are down and wonder when you will ever work again BOOK A HOLIDAY! It can be small, it can be a night away in a B&B, it can be a day trip to a castle, it can be trekking in the Himalayas. It is as though the Universe knows and laughs to itself. You will get that call! I guarantee it and if you don’t, the Universe is simply working some magic that means a double whammy when you are boarding that plane to Sardinia or stepping onto the tarmac in Melbourne.

I even got hitched on a Sunday so that nothing could interfere and could only laugh when a dream audition came in for a job for which the producers, in a season of strict Monday to Saturday shows had added in an extra performance on a Sunday afternoon for no seemingly obvious reason and that Sunday was of course, my wedding day! Almost as if to test my love for my intended! I decided getting married was important and didn’t go to the audition.  There has to be a cut off.

If you are not in the industry you wont get it. I have had that look that verges on disgust many times. We are viewed with an air of flakeyness, lack of commitment, not mature enough to make plans, those that let you down, are late and leave early. I have read of many stars that have missed their best friends wedding or mothers funeral so I know I am in good company. But you know we are fabulous and actually when I think about it, it means that we make more of an effort when we can. I remember the tremendous Jeany Spark coming all the way to said wedding (which to be fair was about 5 house out of London) and after about an hour having to leave for filming commitments. But you know what, I was so utterly touched that she had made the effort to travel that far for only a snippet of the day and I remember our chat and being so touched she had bothered. It would have been easier for her not to. And so I conclude that we are the effort makers!

However flakey we may seem, there is no question that the work will get done! However much we are missing the pool side in Spain, however much we broke our leg cycling into the theatre or however much we are going through the biggest bereavement of our lives, or however much we want to be at that wedding, we will be on that stage, on the set, behind the microphone working our magic and the audience or producer will be none the wiser. It is then that we demonstrate our commitment, our maturity and oddity. And sometimes I guess it is easier to show up for strangers than family or friends… remarkably less judged when working than in real life perhaps… hang on… this is not psychoanalysis…

There is no denying that there is something odd at play; book a holiday and the chances are you will book a job – any actor will have half a dozen stories to prove it! 

Thank you Universe for your perversion!

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