Response to Sipke’s Email

Received a general email from photographer I worked with back in August of 2008.  Apart from an invitation to an exhibition of his work, I had not heard from him in more than two years.  While promoting a fellow photographer he also extended an invitation to those who worked with him to update him on what we have been doing over the past few years.  I took him up on the offer.  My response is below.

‘Hello Sipke,

I do indeed remember you.  I worked on your website project back in August of 2008 in Bethnal Green.  Since then life has been something of a mixed bag.  While I continued to pursue my Acting Career from Autumn 2008 until April 2009 I worked as an Audio-Visual Technician at a university college in Central London.  After that, work with the temping agency dried up and I was left with attending audition after audition and not getting anywhere.  It was one Friday on my way home from an audition in Kensington that I got a ‘phone from the agency concerned advising me that if I was free, there was a job for me at the university college doing the same job as I had been doing previously.  Well I didn’t exactly want to give up my evenings and social life but needs must so I went back to working afternoon and evenings once more until Easter of 2010.  The only work I did during the summer period of 2009 was an unpaid cameo role in a Hip-Hop Musical called OAPz.

I should have realised that my time with my agent at the time was pretty much over but it would be Christmas of 2009 when he delivered his grand present of dropping me.  Merry Christmas to you Rob!  I had been on this guy’s books for eighteen months and the best he could do was land me an unpaid role (a cameo at that) in a hip-hop musical.  Oh a audition for a TV Show called ‘Hollyoaks’ came up but this broke, penniless actor stuck in an unpaid production was expected to leave his fellow cast members in the lurch and somehow find his way up to Liverpool to do this audition.  Even when he (my agent,) tried to reschedule the audition the producers were not all that interested, which pretty much says it all really.  Never watched ‘Hollyoaks’ and from what little I have glimpsed of it, I would rather stack shelves in a supermarket than work on such rubbish.  No great loss to me or that of an agent some five months later.

 January 2010, while working the evening shift, I gained a new agent, who got me an audition for a film role in a horror film.  I had not seen a horror film in years and wasn’t all that interested, especially given that the audition was subject to writing something about horror films and how they influenced me.  That was it!  No way!  I wasn’t writing anything.  One night once classes in the Language School had finished and I had picked up laptops and shut down audio-visual systems, I sat down to reflect on the evening’s affairs and there and then decided to write the essay.  As I was typing away via a Word document, I realised there was a lot about the old black white Universal and Hammer horror films that I had watched as a kid.  Their gothic take on things and how Hammer Films had re-imagined what had gone before in terms of Dracula and Frankenstein, decades before the word ‘re-imagined’ had crept into the Film Lexicon of film terminology.  I wrote it and emailed it to my new agent, who in turn passed it on the people concerned.  A few days later I was surprised to be invited to the screening of a film that was a prequel of the film I would be auditioning for.

Monday of the following week I attended the film with some trepidation as I wasn’t sure whether I would want to watch a horror film.  Despite this I maintained an open mind as I wanted the job regardless.  Oddly enough I found the film interesting and strangely entertaining.  There were factors external to what was going on at the screening.  A relationship that was near and dear to me was breaking down and I was powerless to do anything about it.  The private screening was a respite of sorts.  After the film, spoke to some of the other applicants, before making a ‘phone call and going on the then ‘day/evening job’.

Tuesday, a couple of hours after starting my shift I made my way to the venue of the audition (which was just down the road oddly enough,) and this was it.  I wanted to this job and I was going all out to get it.  Such bravado!  The Audition went quite well.  There were two of us as actors and before us were the director and producer.  I felt I had a good chance.  I was relaxed, liked what I was told and liked the way the people sitting in front of me came across.  I would know one way or another.  I cannot recall how soon after my agent called me and told me I had got the job and filming was scheduled for June.  I was elated. It made up for the bloody awful audition I went all the way out to Lee in Essex for and never got.  Even got lost looking for the bloody location.  And you know what?  Even if I got the job I would haven’t been paid a penny.  It was then and there I decided I would never do another unpaid job on a film project.  To date I have kept that promise.

I had already begun working out at the gym on a regular basis.  My work shift pattern allowed me the morning and early afternoon to do things, like go to a film screening for an audition, attend auditions or attend some bloody awful audition in Lee, Essex for example.  The film project I was cast in was put back until August so that gave me more time to work out and train as much as possible. During the period from May to August, I did more acting work than I had in the previous five years.  My new agent had managed to get more work and where her predecessor failed, she succeeded. My first job was back in March for an educational video game.  After that I worked on a commercial, a couple of corporate jobs and a couple of internet viral projects.

After my work on the horror film ended, things went quiet.  A director I had worked for back in 2008 was reprising an Autumn Season of his Play ‘A Certain Library in Bath’.  I also worked on the Winter Season of the Play, as well as the premiere of another Play called ‘Dial L for Latch-Key’.  Both plays were showcased as double-bill for a Spring Season at The New End Theatre in Hampstead, North London.

Currently I am working on assignment questions for a Legal Skills Course I did earlier in April.  I have recently been accepted for course training in Software Development and have made arrangements to do a follow up Legal Skills training working for one day in a court environment in early May.

Additionally, I recently signed up to a website called Model Mayhem ( and was contacted by a photographer who would like to work with me so a photo shoot has been arranged for early May also. The same week in fact.

So Sipke, as you can see I have not been idle and while much has happened, there is still a great deal more to do.  I am still very much struggling to make a living via honest means and it is tough believe me but I haven’t allowed it to get me down.  All I can do is continue, work hard and persevere.  In time I will reach the point where I am no longer chasing the dream.  I will actually be living it.  And when that happens, all the hard work, toil, blood, sweat, tears, poverty, hardship, will be prices well worth paying.  Until then, each hour, each day, each week, each month is time wasted if I cannot say to myself: ‘What did I do today?  What did I achieve today?’