Saturday, August 05, 2006


Originally uploaded by jamesandthebluecat.
I've been involved in some casting lately, which means a producer person has been sending me dozens and dozens of headshots of people with lists of arcane skills and accents below. You find yourself staring at a minor character from Eastenders (not that I watch Eastenders, ew) thinking - He can fence? And in a Bolivian accent? Get him in, that'll liven up the lunchbreak.

I have very quickly slipped into the standard method for selecting the best 'talent'* which works by simply rejecting people for the following reasons:

1 - Too good-looking
2 - Possibly being taller than me
3 - Active shoplifter.
4 - Mentalist
5 - Hmm, he looks too much like that kid who used to pick on me at school, the one who was two years younger than me, therapy down the drain - rejected.
6 - Alpha Course
7 - Isn't he going out with [Hollywood star]? Bastard
8 - Met him, he just talks about his bowels the whole time.
9 - Met that one three times and he never remembers my name - rejected
10 - His hair looks like mine did when it was good - rejected

Then you realise there's no-one left, so you have to start again, this time on the basis of who would actually be best for the part.


* 'Talent' means 'actors'. In my first GW workshop, which took place down in the basement all the people were sipping coffee in the office when the production assistant called out 'could the talent come downstairs please'. All the actors stood up. And me. Then I had to sit down again. But I think the actors were all very impressed by my self-confidence and knew not to mess with me, oh no. I have mentioned this before. But I'm still embarrassed about it.


leonie said...

"7 - Isn't he going out with [Hollywood star]? Bastard"

oooh, that was Keira Knightley's boyfriend, wasn't it?

and can you really tell if someone shoplifts just by looking at them?

Anonymous said...

if it is Rupert Friend, give him a smack. he deserve it for being a horrible actor, and going out with a babe. ha

patroclus said...

Hmm, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 10 all apply to Winona Ryder in my case, but I'd still have her play me in a film of my life.

Which would also be the Most Tedious Film Ever.

james henry said...

I can exclusively reveal that I wasn't casting Winona Ryder. Or Rupert Friend.

A suggestion has been made that I could be played by Jonathan Cake, but I'm not convinced. He's probably got better things to do anyway.

Barbadeus said...

I'd go for Eddie Murphy in my bio-pic.

That would be funnier if you knew me.

Fraudulent Little Tart said...

I always get Jonathan Cake and James Cracknell mixed up.

Jen said...

We did that standing-up-accidentally thing live at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall last week.

At the end of the live Radio3 broadcast the conductor motioned the choir behind us to stand up and take a bow...and some (very few) of us stood up.

Guess who was in that bunch of intellectuals?


Fat Roland said...

I run a Christian bookshop... no wait, let me finish... and believe me 4, 6 and 8 account for many of my customers. I even get 3s: once I caught a vicar filling his bag with children's bibles.

james henry said...

All my Christian friends are guilty of 1, which is annoying. I liked window-shopping in the main Christian bookshop in Canterbury - lots of novels and CDs by people I'd never heard of, like a glimpse into an alternate world...

cello said...

No, no. Jonathan Cake is way too mean and moody. You are the soul of amiability.

Not original, but I would endorse the Darren Boyd thought.

I think the use of the word 'talent' to mean performers is symptomatic of the excessive adulation of them and the (relative)undervaluing of everyone else - especially writers. You will never find me worshipping at the feet of any actor. Oh, goodness me, no.

Excellent news on - you know - the other thing.

Sal said...

On a small tangent, I met Tamsin yesterday again and got her to sign my photo of her and me from back in April when I saw her in M&S. She signed it saying 'STALKER' over my picture and then told me in a totally dead pan tone, that if she ever saw me again she would be dialling 999 for a restraining order.


StacieFunkee said...

Hehe Sal beat me to it!

I also met Tamsin at the weekend! Yay!

Rose said...

I met Tamsin yesterday again and got her to sign my photo of her and me from back in April when I saw her in M&S.

The photo that you just happened to be carrying when you met her again? I'm very confused.

None of those list items applies to me, although my housemate tags 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10.

Sal said...

Kind of knew she was going to be there. And ever since I saw her in Stratford and she's been in Much Ado for what seems like years now, I've carried that photo on the off chance I might see her.

Lucky Strike!

Mr Angry said...

Who do you have to befriend/bribe in order to get a job casting the female talent?

baggiebird said...

I think number 9 applies to me I have a terrible memory!

The Wrong Girl said...

I apply numbers one, four, five and nine to all social situations.

For some reason though, eight doesn't seem to bother me so much.