2012 has been a rollercoaster year with more lows than highs but I will do my level best to be impartial and somewhat professional in my reflections, though this will be far from easy.
Highlights of 2012
The year started as 2011 ended – on a harsh note. In rehearsals for The Pelas Theatre Company’s production of ‘All About Poe & His Return to Bath’. The Play premiered at Baron’s Court Theatre in November 2011 and with some changes to the cast, was preparing for a West End Premiere in February at the Leicester Square Theatre, in London’s West End. This marked my West End debut as a performer.
March saw me cast in a Commercial which is something of a landmark as I am seldom cast in commercials and even though I was featured, it was a non-speaking role. A well-paid one I might add. During this month I was introduced to both Paul Burt (of Watering Can Media,) and Sam Mardon, a young film maker, working on his first film. I was cast in Paul’s short film ‘Foundations’ and Sam’s ‘Defekt’. The latter was shot in March, while ‘Foundations’ was shot in April.
In addition to working on ‘Foundations’, I was also in rehearsals for The Pelas Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. We enjoyed a run of performances at Baron’s Court Theatre during May.
The period between May and September was a fallow period and something of an upheaval personally. The only job I did during the summer was a commercial for a financial organisation. Again a featured role and again a non-speaking one. Methinks people don’t like me speaking in their commercials (laughing). Or they see me as the big, strong, silent type.
During the above period, I learned who my friends were, who were no longer my friends and who most definitely was not a friend at all. 2012 ends with my knowing most definitely who is a friend, who is a foe, who is with me and who most definitely is not with me. There was a high price to pay during this period but so many lessons have been learned that I am a lot stronger and confident for going through this process.
Autumn period saw me attending far more auditions and castings than I have during the same period in previous years. I seem to be on the radar of more casting directors, which is good news but despite this auditions were converted into call-backs but call-backs didn’t translate into being hired. Despite this area needing more work on my part, I am moving in the right direction. More people know who I am.
2012 is ending better than it had started. A last minute casting translated into working on a commercial with one of Britain’s best and brightest talents. For reasons of confidentiality I cannot go into details or name the actor concerned. I can’t even name what my role was in this commercial or what the commercial was for. Confidentiality is the name of the game. So much so one cannot promote themselves effectively. That aside I had good and enjoyable ten hour day, which was far more gratifying and rewarding than sitting, working in an office for the same amount of time or even less. I can speak with some authority on this because (believe or not,) I actually lived that life – If you can call that living. Only a week prior to Christmas, I landed a casting for a photo shoot that would be very profitable if I am fortunate to be cast in the commercial campaign. I gave it my best shot, decked out, suited, booted and looking the business. One can only hope my appearance, attitude and professionalism was enough to land the job. I gave it my best, best shot and that is all one can do. The past week itself has seen me submitting myself for very interesting and profitable work that if fortunate to be auditioned and cast, would involve some international travel.
The latter commercial and casting came via an agent I have been a client of for the past three years. Very little ever comes via my way from them in terms of auditions and castings. There has been a sea change this past month and our working relationship seems better than it ever was. We never had a falling out or a disagreement but there was little in the way of communication. This is no longer the case. The opposite is true and for me, that is good news.
Another bit of good news, I contacted a film director by the name of Alex Fodor, concerning some film projects I appeared in. We had a good discussion and what was happening with and in our respective careers and businesses. Fortunately, he still had the scenes and uploaded them to YouTube where they can be seen via my YouTube Channel/Video Channel or via the Video Resume section of my Website (http://danieljudegennis.webs.com).
On another note, I engaged more fully with the Alumni of the University I studied at when I first moved to London. Now amalgamated with another university to become an even more prestigious body, I had been a member of the Alumni for some years. 2012 saw me engage a lot more with the alumni body, attending social engagements, as well as the various workshops and courses they run in conjunction with the University itself. It is good to study again, even if it is on a semi-academic, ad-hoc basis.
As 2012 comes to an end, I seem to be moving in the right direction. And after ten years in the business and art of being an actor, no one is more pleased than I am. Things seem to be getting better. Much better.
Lows of 2012
Many of the lows have been a constant feature: a summer where there is virtually nothing happening where I am concerned, alternative employment not available etc. This is nothing new but the addition to the mix of someone venomous, who shall remain nameless (as I have grown tired of mentioning their name,) made difficult and unsatisfying situations much, much worse. That was on the personal side of my life. On the professional side, I ended what was at one point a good solid professional working relationship and friendship. I felt let down and in some respects betrayed, or rather I felt said friend had betrayed their integrity for reasons many do. I was just disappointed he fell into this trap.
I could say my lows of 2012 were down to the two people above and for the most part on the personal side of things that is exactly where the blame lies. If an olive branch of an apology is offered more than once and it is not accepted, one comes to the conclusion that if one has to apologise more than once, then it is just not worth apologising in the first place. The behaviour, words and actions of said person only proves my point. The past is best left where it is. In the past. As 2012 moves towards its inevitable conclusion with the Mayan Prophesy been fulfilled, not in the way many people think (in terms of the End of the World,) but rather, in the end of one timeline and the beginning of a new timeline era. A new way of thinking and doing things is required for a new era, a new beginning. This leads me into my future plans.
Plans for 2013
2012 is ending on a positive note so my emphasis is to build on and strengthen things on the good positive aspects that seem to be happening after more than ten years in my profession.
This applies also to the growing good working relationship I have with both agents I am signed with currently. We don’t sit in the same room (and have yet to,) but as 2012 ends, they have my confidence. I would like to add a management agency to my representation, as I would like to delegate some of the managing of my career to a professional organisation, as it is something I have been doing myself effectively for the past eight years but now would like to focus on my craft much more.
I have huge network of people via Social Media networks that needs to be managed effectively. I do the best I can and it works to date but I find I spend a great deal of my life dealing with people online but then that is where most of my contacts are. I don’t need to extend it but strengthen it. Any extension would be a natural evolution as my brand awareness rises. Typing my name in Google will give you pages of information about me so I know in Social Media terms that I own my name. I am everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Think of a Social Media website and I am likely to be a subscriber. The brand is secure. Links to my various Social Media links can be found via my Website (http://danieljudegennis.webs.com).
Given the above, there is a need to see more of my contacts in person. At least the London/UK-based contacts, as most of them I talk to online. Many are also in Europe or North America, Australia even. But I still need to network with them a lot more, as they are potential colleagues or business partners.
Another plan for 2013 is to attend far more acting/performance courses and workshops than I have in previous years. A good actor never stops training and I have not stopped training but my training has been training in isolation via the many books and media resources I have accrued over the years.
The big plan above all is to AB/CD –Always Be Closing Deals. Always being in work, always being employed, always being paid, always be raising my brand and awareness of that brand. Not all roads lead to Nirvana but the right roads, will lead you there and beyond.
This is my second attempt to write a review of the current year. The first attempt in all honesty was not very good and I freely admit that. The fact this replaces it is an indication and admission as such. That aside, this is the first time that I have critically examined a year in question by sitting back and casting a critical eye of what has transpired in a year for better or worse. I think it was right to do this because many things have happened that have been beneficial in one respect, while others (to be accommodating here,) have been a lesson in what not to do and how to handle difficult and serious situations in a far more effective and discretionary way than I did at the time. Some what I have discussed here can be found in various categories across my blog so if you feel brave enough to do some research and discover what I am actually talking about, then feel free to do so. That is what this blog is about. Discussing and detailing things that happen in my life or impact on it.
Another reason for writing a review is that once one sees where they have travelled over the course of a year, they are in a much better place to see where they are going and where they want to be in the coming year. I am no different to anyone else. Clarity is power they say and I am clear on where I have been and where I want to be in the coming year. I have never been more focussed.
The above is my personal and professional review of 2012. Thank you for taking the time and having the patience to read this. I wish you all the best for the coming year of 2013 and hope you have the courage of your own convictions to take the path that will design the kind of life you want, rather than the kind of life other people think you should have.