I went to one of the free workshops “Casting Director, Agent, and Performer” for members of Spotlight in Chinatown yesterday. Some of the advice I have heard before and some I haven’t. So it was very useful, learning how to:
- Impress casting directors with my (self taped) auditions.
- Make good quality self tapes and showreels yourself without emptying your bank account by paying for a showreel company to do it for you, which could cost a lot of money. As an aspiring actor, you don’t have money to pay for those things you don’t really need if you can do it yourself.
- Find agent that is right for you, who believes in you, and once you do have an agent how to communicate with your agent on a regular basis since communication with your agent is very vital.
- Submit yourself to jobs on Spotlight.
- Utilise Spotlight to the fullest extent.
- Find the right roles for you.
- And many more.
It’s just one hour seminar from 6pm – 7pm. But for me, it was worth it since I am serious about my acting, writing, and directing careers so I always look for ways to acquire new expertise and wisdom, which can help move my careers forward. I also attend acting class regularly, to improve my acting skills, to meet fellow actors and make new connections or friends, and to keep my knowledge in acting and film industry current. So I do whatever I can to make my dreams come true and I enjoy every step I take because I love what I do. Each journey towards my goals is an adventure in itself. It’s also a challenge. I am not afraid of challenge. So it’s fine with me.
I get a good feeling that my drama screenplay is going to be phenomenal, partly because it is based on my own true story (A member of my family to be precise. So, it’s not exactly me that this script is about. But it’s still my story in the sense that it happened to a member of my family.), which I know so well, and partly because I believe the manuscript is good since I write it from my heart. So I am very positive that whoever play the lead roles might receive some awards for their performances if they acted the best they could. They could even become a star overnight if they’re unknown actors. That’s why I wanted to make and direct this film myself if I did get the fund. I will also play one of the lead parts. But I won’t have much screen time as other lead characters.
I am already finished the script. I tried to print out my screenplay last week to bring it to a writer group, but my printer wasn’t working. I will try to fix my printer again today, so that I can print it out to read it through to see if it needs more revision. If I couldn’t bring my printer back to life I might have to buy a new one. I can’t go to a shop to print it out since there are about 100 pages. I also need more than one copy to give out to some people I can trust to read it, too. I could just buy a new printer if I had to pay for 3-4 copies of the 100-page screenplay to be printed out. But I’m very happy with the script so far. I just haven’t had a feedback on the whole screenplay, yet. I did have some comments on the first 10 pages. But that’s it. So I do need an assessment for the complete manuscript as well before I can start applying for a fund for the film to be made.
After this blog post, I also have to go out for a few meetings today regarding my acting career. So I don’t have time to read my screenplay and fix my printer, not until I am home again tonight. I wish I had a whole free week, so that I could read my script and rewrite it and finish it, at long last. But for now, it doesn’t seem I will have a whole week free. I am quite busy at the moment. Anyway, I will try to read my finished screenplay once I have time to do so.
Home again. Good to be back home. Although I am not home that much lately. Tomorrow, I will be out again and won’t be home until very late, more late than today. The day after tomorrow as well. After this blog post, I might go straight to bed to get some sleep because tomorrow will be a very long, hard day. The same on Sunday. So I have to make sure I get enough rest. I bought a Chinese takeaway for my lunch at the acting class. But I only ate a little bit of it. When I got home I tried to finish it. But I couldn’t. I was too tired to eat. Even though I was hungry. But never mind, I can always save it for tomorrow. Maybe, I will eat the leftover when I come home again tomorrow as a late-night meal.
I went to a writer meetup group today without bringing the copies of my screenplay with me because my printing machine isn’t working properly. I then tried to download my script from the screenwriting software website that I use, so that I could print it out at the school instead. But then I couldn’t download it with my tablet. I clicked and clicked on the download button, but nothing had been downloaded. So I didn’t have the copies of my manuscript to give out to others to read and give me feedback. What a shame. I was working hard last night and went to bed late to revise my screenplay, so that it would be ready for today to bring it to the writer group. All my effort to revise my screenplay last night ready for today was in vain. Oh well, I will try to find some people I can trust to read it instead.
After this blog post, I can’t go to bed right away anyway. Now I remember that I have another writing assignment to do. The deadline is getting closer and closer. So I have to start working on it tonight since this weekend I will be too busy and too tired to work on it. So I have to write whenever I have an empty slot of time to do so. Maybe I will work on it for a few hours tonight. Then tomorrow, I reread it. When I come home again tomorrow night, I edit it. Then Sunday morning, I go through it one more time. Then hopefully, by Sunday, I will be finished with it. After I have been writing for some time and almost every day, both by blogging and writing my screenplays, I can work on a writing commission faster. It’s such a good training in writing, indeed.
I will be busy again from tomorrow throughout the weekend and Monday as well. So, at the moment, I only come home to sleep. I have no more food in my fridge either since I eat out constantly for the time being. Today I’m home and have nothing to eat. But I don’t want to go out and buy food either because I then have to catch a bus to go to either Putney or Wimbledon Village to do my shopping. There are no shops around where I live, so. I have to be out again tomorrow anyway, to attend a workshop relating to my acting career and a writer meetup group. So, I will be out all day.
I could order a pizza or make a noodle soup with just noodles with soy sauce. I think, I will choose the latter one – just to survive for today. This morning I was about to go out and do my shopping. But then I realised that I won’t be home for the next 3-4 days. So there’s no point in stocking some food. I don’t even have a coffee left. I do have some curly fries left in the freezer. I might make that as well as a snack when I have to continue to work on my drama screenplay tonight.
Yes, tonight, I will carry on with a revision of my drama screenplay. Then, I will bring it to a writer group to get some feedback again. I might want to make a short film out of it as well. Or, I might just complete the whole feature-length screenplay. Then, I will make a feature film instead. No short film for this one. So, at the minute, I am working on my horror/mystery short film and a feature-length drama screenplay. That’s it. I don’t want to start working on so many projects at once. Otherwise, nothing would be done since I would lose focus on each of them. So I have to be careful with that.
Just did another filming yesterday. It’s a sci-fi (horror) film. It was fun being turned into a corpse in the end. The SFX makeup artists really did a great job. They actually made me look dead. I got scared of myself when I saw the photos after transformation. After that, we had a wrap party somewhere in Soho. I made some new connections with other filmmakers, which was good. This is what it’s all about: If you are a filmmaker, having connections with other filmmakers is very useful. All in all, working in entertainment industry connection is the key if you’re serious about your work, of course.
I tried not to tell people that I’m also a filmmaker since I didn’t want to offend anyone. Because, some might think I’m just a movie extra, which I’m not (I used to, but not anymore), since the role I played yesterday wasn’t a speaking role. But the reason why I took the job anyway because I like sci-fi/horror films. I also like the work of the screenwriter of this project. Well, I will be more selective next time when accepting the acting jobs because it really affects how people perceive me, according to speaking or not speaking role that I have, how long screen time I have, for instance.
So when I told them I’m an actress, writer, producer, and a director as well, I could see some didn’t like it by walking away, pretending they had to go to the loo and some were just turning around to talk to someone else, which I found quite unprofessional. But even before I told them what I do, some were not so keen to talk to me or even shake hands since they might think I am just an extra. So, there’s no need to waste their time talking to me. I have learned my lesson here. But it’s in my nature since I’m an outgoing and friendly person. I like to tell people what I do because I am proud of what I do and to share my passion with like-minded people. I shall keep a low profile next time.
I may make a drama short film from my feature-length screenplay instead of the horror short “Blood Type O,” which I have got a lot of constructive feedback regarding its horror script. And that’s why its title has changed from “Blood Group O” to “Blood Type O” instead because this is how people will say it here, according to the feedback I have got. But if I found other titles that are better, I might change the title again. Taking my script to a writing group really was a useful approach. I realised, getting lots of different views on my script is one of the best ways to improve my scriptwriting. It’s especially helpful for new writers like me. When I have already written lots of screenplays, I may not need it. It depends.
So now I know that my horror script isn’t ready to be made into film, yet. It needs a lot of revision. Therefore I want to take some time to rewrite it first. On the other hand, my drama screenplay is ready because I have already got some comments on it and have already edited it. So I can use it to make a short film instead. The whole manuscript still has to go through a reworking, though. But some parts of it are okay to turn into short films. I will be busy with lots of things throughout this week. So I have to work harder to plan the making of my short drama film. I still have to work against time since I have some film festivals in mind that I want to send it to whose deadlines are already coming close. And plus, I’m also busy with acting, filming, and working on top of that. So I have to utilise my time wisely in order to have everything under control.
What a perfect day to eat ice cream with mango fruit. The mango is perfectly ripe. It has the level of sweetness that I like, which is not too sweet. I bought the mango about 3-4 days ago. At that time, it wasn’t 100% luscious yet – only about 10%. Now it is. It’s my day off today as well. So it’s a good timing to finally eat the mango. 1 Mango and a few scoops of ice cream really make me feel full. I can, actually, have a mango as a meal instead. It’s like eating a portion of food.
But in despite of its health and delicacy, I don’t eat it that often. But ideally, I should. I must admit, it’s because I don’t like peeling it. The same with orange, kiwi, pineapple, papaya, and the like. But, I don’t like buying fruits that have already been skinned either. I just think, they are not fresh enough. I like doing it myself. Then I know they are crisp and clean. So I often buy the fruits and remove the rinds myself. Now it’s summer, I promise myself that I will eat fruits more frequently. I’m just tempted to eat more fruits and vegetables now that the sun is shining, the weather is warm, and there are (exotic) fruits which I can buy everywhere now right in front of my face. So it’s not easy to resist it, which is good.
Mango is one of my favourite fruits. I wish it was summer all year long here in UK. Then, I would eat mango every day. In winter, I’m not in the mood for fruits. I don’t know why. Maybe it has something to do with the weather. I don’t like eating cake, sweet, and chocolate that much either. So, in wintertime, I rarely eat desserts. But I do eat carrot, cucumber, banana, apple, celery, and the like, as snack instead. Then, in summertime, I tend to eat more fruits and vegetables since there is a wild variation of them to choose from than in winter.
Ice cream and summer are just best friends. You can’t enjoy summer without ice cream. It’s amazing that ice cream is just a simple thing, but it can really bring joy to people’s faces. It just makes our lives more cheerful and colourful in summer by just eating ice cream. So ice cream, fruit drinks, milkshakes, smoothies, and lots of fruits and vegetables will be on my menu almost daily from now on. There are lots of ways I can make them into different dessert dishes. I can, for example, make mango sticky rice (Thai traditional dessert, which everybody loves), fried banana or fried pineapple and ice cream, coconut ice cream, or just top the ice cream with all sorts of fruits.
Mango sticky rice is also quite simple to make. You just mix sticky rice with coconut milk, put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or 1 minute, then take it out again and serve it with ripe mango. Then, your mango sticky rice is ready in no time at all.
Sometimes, I just want to put a sofa there where I have my bay window or terrace. But since it also functions as a balcony, so if I placed a couch there I then could not utilise it as a patio as well. And now it’s summer, so it’s a perfect time to really make use of the veranda. Then, maybe it’s not a good idea to block the balcony with a sofa. If I had other windows than this, I might do it anyway. It just makes the windows look so nice and cosy if there’s a couch there. I think. I like home decorating. I wish it was my own studio. Then, I might do something more with it. But I just rent it. Therefore, maybe it’s not a good idea to spend my energy to change things around. I am happy anyway the way it is now.
These are just some of the styles of a bay window seat that I would like to have in my studio.
It’s been a very busy day today. I will do nothing now but relax. Tomorrow, I have about 3-4 self-tape auditions to make. Then, I also have to read that long screenplay for the new film project that I am going to be involved in. And plus I have my own script and filmmaking project that need to be finished, too. I also have to set up a crowdfunding campaign soon. All of these really need to be done. But I have them under control. I begin to use my calendar and notebook a lot on my phone. I seriously depends on them now that I have got my hands full with various projects. So I really have to keep things organised. Otherwise, I could be forgetting the filming dates, auditions & castings, selftapes, and more. And that would be a catastrophe if I did, actually, fail to remember and don’t show up. People would see me as unreliable. Consequently, nobody would take me seriously anymore. And it could affect my career greatly. In this business, reliability is the key. You can have talent. But if you don’t keep your promise, unreliable, don’t show up to castings or auditions, cancel things in the very last minute, and similar, then that’s it. Your career will have a very short life. Of course, some things are out of your control that you can’t do anything about it, then it’s ok. But if it happened too often, people would begin to wonder: Is this person serious?, can I count on her?, and so on. I don’t like someone does that to me, so I won’t do that to others either. That’s the reason I use my schedule daily, to really keep things under control and plan things ahead. It’s my best friend now. I can’t live without it.
I took a nap this afternoon. Now I feel so animated and totally awake. I think, maybe I will use this opportunity to continue to revise my screenplay. Sometimes, I feel so energised in the morning and sometimes at night instead. So whenever that occurs, I have to grab that chance and write as much as I can before it begins to subside again. Therefore, it is probably true to say that taking a nap each day can help you become more active and productive. Some countries in Europe already do that. I think Italy and Spain, for instance. When I went to Italy with my friend many years ago, I saw a pair of shoes which I really liked it, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to purchase it. I then told the shop assistant that I will walk around and come back within half an hour if I want to buy it. And that was around lunch time. She then told me: The shop will be closed for 2 hours, so I need to come back after that. I was so surprised. I never knew this before. Because, it is widely believed that sleeping or taking a nap during the day is a sign of laziness. That what many perceive it, including me. So it took me by surprise to find out that in some countries during my stay in Italy, it is a good thing. Italy is so mesmerising, also France. I will, definitely, return to the countries one day. I like travelling around Europe. Some places are just so beautiful and picturesque. And I try to avoid traversing by plane. I’d rather take a train instead, to get the most out of the stunning landscapes around Europe.