Thursday, April 23, 2009

Young Co. on Radio 4.

Young Co. member Scott McKay, has sent me blog entry about his recent rather cool acting opportunity:


This is my very first blog so please, bear with me. I would like to tell you fine people about a bit of work I've recently finished. I'll start from the beginning: mid-way through performing “Citizen Y-Nighthawks”, on the Thursday night if I remember correctly, Neil Packham called me and said that a woman called Pauline Harris was asking for a young Glaswegian actor, and that she was going to call me and audition me over the phone. It was at this point that I was told it was an audition for a radio play. This worried me slightly because Neil said she would call at ten to seven-half an hour before Citizen Y was due to be performed! Nevertheless I agreed anyway, can't turn down work in this business. So anyway the pre-show group voice and body warm-ups had been done-no call, we got into costume-no call and I really started to worry because I didn't want to deny myself this opportunity by switching off my phone but I didn't want my phone going off mid-show either.

Photo by Helen Black

Pauline did eventually phone me but twenty minutes before we had to start the show, so I'm sitting in the stalls theatre technical room, in full costume auditioning for a radio drama. I do my first over-the-phone audition and everything is going great,she says she can hear my character coming through really strong but I get a punch to the gut when Pauline says the director/writer is really leaning toward giving the part to a young guy he's worked with in the past. To be honest I pretty much gave up hope for the part at that point, she said I'd done well and that she'd contact me on Wednesday about whether or not I'd got the part. The audition was over, I was gutted by her remark I thought: “God I've no chance if the director is favouring another actor” but I put it at the back of my mind and went into Kevin mode ( that's my Citizen Y character by the way :] ).

A week past, Citizen Y was finished and I was considering doing some studying for my exams - but came to my senses before I did anything rash. Massive amounts of sleep and boredom started to take their toll on me, I was waking up with terrible headaches. Real bad ones. Wednesday was the worst, I was trying to survive on paracetamol and lemsips when I get the call from Pauline. I had genuinely forgotten about this and was surprised to hear her voice again. She said seven words: “We'd like to offer you the part”, those seven words instantly made my headache disappear and made my day a very happy one.

Photo by Tim Morozzo

She gave me the run-down on the plan: two days recording. I know it's not Hollywood but it's work and actors/actresses alike should know that satisfied feeling when a job pulls through, that appreciating sensation of like “Yes! Work! Finally!” or that just me? Anyway we would be recording in a hotel and in different places of the Mount Florida area. I just kept saying “uh huh...yep...thanks again”. I was in shock a little bit, I really didn't think I would get the part. It still hadn't sunk in yet even when Pauline and Andrew, her assistant, sent me the script: BBC Radio 4's “Flesh and Blood” by Gilles McKinnon. I looked at the cast list - two names stuck out to me: Gary Lewis and David Hayman. Two very well established Scottish actors who I've watched millions of times on television and film. I told my parents this and they were dancing and singing. I just sat and smiled, still in shock. I think they were more excited about the recording than me!

Day one of recording: I got to the hotel for the read-through pretty early and met Pauline, face-to-face, as well as meeting Kenny Blyth another cast member. We later moved on into the conference room where more actors/actresses started to arrive. I don't know what I was expecting but what I met were ordinary, decent people. Not one stuck up person, nobody looking down on anybody, just a band of rampant Glaswegian actors having a laugh. Even the crew, who were from Manchester, were laughing at the Scottish banter. I looked at my schedule and saw I wasn't being recorded till the end of the day, nine hours away. This is where the waiting game started. The idleness was the only negative thing about the recordings. Honestly I just slept most of the time, until needed of course then I was up like a shot that or when food was out!

Day two of recording: The feeling of idleness wasn't apparent due to me doing some scenes early in the morning. Their were problems of course, like when starting a scene outdoors someone would start up a lawnmower, ruining the mike's sound levels in the process meaning we had to keep re-locating. Although I enjoyed the recording, the actual work side of the experience, I probably enjoyed just casually talking to the actors/actresses while not recording the most. Meeting these experienced professionals has made me realise that not everybody's perfect, it's the fact that everybody's flawed in some way that makes us great characters. When I hear an actor like David Hayman being directed it makes me more confident and helps relax me in a way breathing exercises could never do.

Photo by Tim Morozzo

All in all I've had a great time, met exceptional characters and gained some reputation with the television and film-making community in Scotland so here's hoping more work arrives! This is all thanks to Neil, Pauline, Andrew, Gilles - everyone who helped me thanks again. Adios amigos!!!"


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