Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year 2007

Well, after a great Christmas here in Germany I'm looking forward to seeing the taillights of 2006 dwindle into oblivion. I'm spending tonight with a few old-time musician friends (ie my old heavy metal buddies) listening to the loudest music this planet has ever produced and probably demolishing a few kegs of beer. Hell yeah!

I hope all of you have as much fun as I will tonight, I'll see you next year.

Happy New Year.

Chris

Footsteps in mud, blood and rain...

The week before I decided to jump back over the pond for a nice cozy Christmas in Germany I figured I oughta do something to get me into the true spirit of the festive season. Together with his fantastic team, director and newfound friend Nic Dawkes invited me to just the thing I was looking for: Trench warfare and the killing of women and children...


No, we did not enlist into the American army and go to Irak. Instead we shot a WWII based shortfilm entitled "Footseps" (the plot of which I won't spoil and will rather direct you to the homepage: www.getmescene.com/footsteps ).

I don't want to jinx it, but if the production values are anything to go by I think this will be one hell of a piece of work. Everyone from the DOP to the make-up artists were astonishing in what I struggle to call a low budget production.

The culmination of the project for me was in the last night of shooting. The cast and crew stood side by side till 5 am after the heavens opened and we were up to out ankles in mood and artificial blood.
The carefully planned, perfectly equipped shooting schedule turned into guerrila warfare: Making sure the equipment stayed dry... Make-up artists straddling actors in vans to apply gunshot wounds... Friends of the crew sticking around to help wherever they could... Actors lying half-naked in the middle of a field shivering - no - convulsing with cold before having to play perfectly still corpses... it was great.

One of the corpses remarked jokingly he would kill the next person who said an actors life is glamorous... Well, maybe not glamorous, but a hell of a lotta fun.
Guys if you're reading this: Any time, any place.

Friday, December 01, 2006

almost Cupid at the Old Vic...

What a pleasant coincidence...

After blogging about the Old Vic, I've been offered a play-reading of a new adaptation of Ovid's "Metamorphosis". It's part of the Old Vic - New Voices programme and will be shown to the board of the Old Vic with an option to be performed on the Old Vic Stage sometime next year... How exciting!

Amongst others I get to play Actaeon, The God of The Underworld -muahahaha- and ironically Cupid.

Credit must go to the wonderful Emily Randall who recommended me (thank you very much) just from working along side me at Theatre 503.

And while we're at it, thank you also to Jamie McLachlin (whose Spotlight page I can't find). He got me a part in a short film we will be shooting in two weeks. More info about that when I get to it.

-------Amendment--------

They've decided to cut the story of Pygmalion... Hence Cupid and Venus are no more! *ROFL* Well, as much as I will miss that bit of the script, it makes more sense in reality... (and that picture of me as a naked winged minor was starting to disturb me a bit).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Old Vic


When I moved to London in 2005 I lived in an empty office. (I know, slightly strange, I'll explain in another post.) My housing association asked me for proof of income so I spent the first day walking around the area of Borough with CV's looking for a job. I went to the Tate, The Globe and then happened to bump into the house manager of the Old Vic. The conversation went something like this:

- Can I have a job?
- Can you start on Saturday?
- Can you give me a Job reference?
- Welcome to the Old Vic.


I thought: Awesome! I'll stay for a few weeks, watch a play and then find a real job...

A year and a half onwards and I still can't tear myself from the place. Apart from the fact that my fellow ushers (struggling actors/dancers/singers and the occasional lawyer) have become friends, this charming little theatre with its leaking roof, creaky floors and exasperated toilets is one of the best places to spend an evening on London's Southbank. And if you're lucky the occasional movie star will make an appearance in the bar.

Spearfronted by Kevin Spacey, the artistic director, this theatre is gaining a reputation for producing new and exciting productions. (Currently: "A Moon for the Misbegotten", starring Kevin Spacey, Colm Meaney and Eve Best. Definately worth seeing and on a side note: All three of them are incredibly nice people.)

Although it's been a rocky ride at times I like Kevin's attitude for the theatre. I believe he deliberatly uses his and his fellow actors' clout to draw audiences, then chooses plays which are not the obvious crowd pleasers but rather theatre he likes to produce.

In any case I can't encourage you enough to go and see a play there, no matter who is in it.
Oh, and if I'm working meet me in the bar afterwards...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Chris goes to Mars...


Just found this courtesy of Travelport. Enter your name onto the DVD going to Mars and immortalise yourself while confusing future Aliens what all the words on the disc could possibly mean... ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Emperor Bites Back

How awesome! I went for a cup of coffee with a friend to Cafe Rossi (my favourite little Italian right across the street from Borough Market) and look who dropped in for a quick bite with the Misses...

The Emperor from Star Wars! (Or judging from his choice of eggs sunny side up, probably a doppelgänger.)

Seems like the old chap didn't die of a long tumble after all and has decided to retire somewhere on the southbank.

Yet fret not squirming Jedi-Paduans, even though I heard him mumble something about "Dark boils the force within you!" to his coffee, he then had an amazed discussion with the waitress how he'd never seen anybody shave parmesan in a restaurant...

Let's face it: We always knew he was a bit senile.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Cadogan Hall


Cadogan Hall is an extraordinary concert venue situated in the middle of a rich London area called Sloane Square.

This place is one of the venues where I earn a meager wage doing ushering jobs, but loving it because the varied programme allows me to see concerts I would rarely get to see. Aside of big names like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and crooner Icon Jack Jones I often get to experience the London Philharmonic and the English chamber Orchestra, who have taken this place as one of their regular residencies. It makes the small-time work a rather pleasant job.



The building itself is an old converted church of Christian Scientists and has a fantastic acoustic (partially down to the 5.1 surround capabillities of the sound equipment installed). So much so that Michael Jackson is rumoured to make his first appearance in Cadogan Hall in the UK since 1996.

If you ever have a chance to go I suggest you do... (if you can afford a ticket).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Spank the singing gerbil...

And once again the Gods of fortune have gotten out the spanking paddle to make my seat in life a little warmer...

Guess what? My internet has broken down thanks to my phone company (whom I'll refrain from mentioning as not to give them free advertising). Here therefore a big thank you for pubs with wireless internet who only allow you to use it if you buy a beer...

The news this week are many as despite the fact that I've been working double shifts every day, I've gotten to meet and see a fair few interesting things including Kevin Spacey, Colm Meany, Eddie Izzard, Jack Jones and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

I've also taken loads of pictures of Cadogan Hall (one of the Concert venues I work at), to bring you a little closer t the places I might refer to more often.

All of these I will write more about when the internet is working again (which is meant to be on Wednesday if I'm gonna believe the tyrants professing themselves to make communication possible).

In the absence of my own picture material, here is an image of a singing gerbil (imagine the sound of him getting spanked like me...):


Saturday, October 07, 2006

...before I turn off the light.

I've done it again. Sitting at the computer surfing blogs and the news while looking for acting jobs and it's 2:30am. Am working at St. Lukes classical concert venue at 9 and shudder to think that I'll have to pry my eyes open to the sound of beautiful lullabies.

Why does that happen, that you sit at a computer and despite watching the clock you remain glued to the screen like a fly to neon light?

Anyway, today was nice. The fall season is coming up and people are starting to cast for next years tours. After I wrote off to a couple of castings I got to listen to Welsh singer Aled Jones at Cadogan Hall which wasn't a good concert but hilarious for all the wrong reasons. (Picture a mob of Welsh groupies and you'll understand). Plus, my boss fed me leftover salmon sandwiches which was cool.

Well, this fly is turning off the light and going to bed. Sleep tight everybody.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Temping can be Sheik

One of the great things about living a starving actor's life is temping...

Yeah, yeah, I can already hear you scream: "WHAT? Working crap jobs for minimal wage is a good thing?!?!?!" Well, no. But it has one great advantage: You get to be in some random places...

I am currently sitting in Pall Mall (around the corner from St. James' Palace) at the european headquarters of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. - How strange. As part of the (obviously) expensive interior, I find myself surrounded by photos of burning oilfields and paintings of Arabs with hawks and of course the Kuwaiti Towers.

All cups plates and saucers are enameled with gold, most of the desks are mahogany, but the best is yet to come...

I'm sitting here getting paid £8/hour because there is a meeting taking place between 5 people and my job is to ensure that they are stocked up on coffee and cookies.

Let me just say that again... I'm getting paid to be the Sheik of coffee and cookies! Aaaah, life is awesome sometimes.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Power Play


Well, I promised you I'd tell you a little something of what I've been doing, and here is one:

Ryan J-W Smith is the author and director of "The Power Play" in which I had a small and very sweet part. The play is an Elizabethan-style tragicomedy written in iambic penthameter and bears resemblance to a story of "Hamlet before the death of the king".

I have to say, at first I was sceptic about another "upstart English son" taking on the form of Shakespearian writing. But it didn't take long and I was pleasantly surprised (and so apparently were others who made his second play "Love's Labour's Won" the Pick of the Fringe this year in Edinburgh).

As a bonus we were playing at the beautiful Vanburgh Theatre at RADA.

He is well worth a visit and perhaps you might like to read the play. You will find the website here.

The pictures to the show were taken by myself, so I'm afraid none of me, but there are some of "The Taming of the Shrew" now in my portfolio courtesy of Richard Hammerton.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Anyone got a Marsian I could borrow?

What a drag!

I was given a 50 Pound Virgin voucher, bought myself loads of DVD's and tonight, just when I wanted to watch one of them, I find out the celophane had been opened and the disk wasn't acually in there...

It was stolen. Bummer.

And I really wanted to find out who wins between Aliens VS. Predator (and then sell the piece of crap on ebay to get my money back, which is really what hurt).

Funny enough nobody stole any of the Godfathers (they were on offer, I couldn't refuse) or Ghostbusters, Broke Back Mountain or Serenity (which I watched last night, is a piece of crap but made me laugh). This tells me our thief was out to save my tastebuds in film.

To the thief: I enjoy watching trash occasionally. I hope you soil your pants watching the DVD I bought, rot in hell for your sins and slowly gets your guts torn out by something that looks like a hibrid of a Predator/Alien.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Honey, I'm home! ...or 10 steps to bankrupt yourself in 4 months.


1. Be an Actor
2. Go on profitshare tours that last 3,5 months
3. Go on a holiday you can't afford
4. Come back from Holiday and decide to do more unpaid acting work
5. Move house
6. Let your housing association charge you extra fees they never mentioned
7. Help someone out, then let them F*** you over for money
8. The girl at the bar is cute...
9. Oversleep on your first day back to work

When all else fails try the one I haven't had the guts to yet:

10. Marry, arrive home early, find your wife in bed with another actor (musician, forearm-tatooed biker...). Then pay the legal fees for the divorce and her deserved psycho-therapy (after all, you did see her naked, didn't you?).


...Hello Boys and Girls!

Well, I've just been through steps 1-9, so apologies for not posting lately. However, as I now live in a place that has internet I'll tell you all about the last few months in the next couple of posts.

To be honest, I have had a ball lately! Unfortunately my plan to hypnotise my bank manager, make him give me all the money and then make him squawk like a chicken has failed.

Lemme hear your best money-wasting stories!

Chris

Friday, May 26, 2006

Zaehming of the pointed mouse...

Well, the beautiful English summer is here (with all its buckets of rain) and as "there's small choice in rotten apples" I find myself playing open air Shakespeare again! :)

Humour aside, I'm really looking forward to it. I get to be Lucentio (yet another lover) in a production of The Taming of the Shrew.

Therefore despite all Nature's precipitation ("Tush, tush! Fear boys with bugs.") we will face the weather.

The play will be set in 1940's, and we will be playing British Entertainment Soldiers for ENSA who are puting on Taming of the Shrew. Complete with Jazz band and all.

I love the concept, now I'm curious to see if it will work, ha ha. "And thereby hangs the tale", so pray that "nothing comes amiss; so money comes withal".

Here is a flyer with the touring dates for those who are interested to come and see it!

PS: The title of this post is courtesy of Babelfish English to German and back again...

Pirate Mania!


Oooarrr me mayteys!

Last weekend I did a three day street Festival called Made in Deptford. We did a play about pirates because some rumour the original skull and crossbones flag comes from St Nicholas Church.

I was amazed when I started reading up on the history of pirates. You always think female pirates are an invention of Hollywood, but do check out the history of Anne Bonney and Mary Read!

And in this picture of Blackbeard it isn't smoke coming out of his ears, he used to knead wicks into his hair and set them on fire when he was attacking ships making him look so devillish that others would surrender without a fight! ...crazy cat.

Apparently they also had fairly democratic systems on the ship. Set rules and voting rights. (And the occasional removal of a captain when they thought he was a wimp.)

Well, Hollywood eat your heart out, there's plenty more material to make films of!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

...aehm, about that offside rule...

All right Nicole, this one's for you and your friends...

Anybody who knows me understands that I'm not the greatest sports fan. In fact, I quietly pretend to myself that eating contests and swim suit competitions are sports just to make myself believe it's all right to break a sweat while I practice cooking.

Ironically on Saturday I have been given a part in a commercial where I am to portray the stereotype German soccer fan for the World Cup 2006.

Good actor that I am, I've been doing my research:
  • I found out that those funny guys in the black are not a team of their own
  • You don't get a parking ticket for parking on the white line
  • Tripping the guy with the ball and then jumping onto him with the full force of your body wheight to make sure the bastard stays down is not a good idea in soccer

And finally I did some reseach on my costume... Here are my two finalists: What do you think?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chris in the circus of horror plastic critters.

Why do we do it?

I am sitting at a foreign desk at an office I've never been. Typical office boxes, typical patter on keyboards, typical crap coffee. One should think this should be in an efficient, pleasant (-ish) surrounding in order to slave away for the greater good of rich men's pocketbooks, but no!

I find myself surrounded by no less than 3 rubber ducks, a see-through box of eight rose shaped soaps, 12 baby pictures, three stress balls, 4 (!) Calendars, a card with Garfield on it saying "I'm allergic to mornings", 2 plastic drinking bottles, a rubber band in the shape of a Giraffe, a box of fruit tee, a plastic cut-out of 'Angelica' from Rugrats, and finally a 12 inch mahogany deep set frame showing a black and white foto of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

Now, I understand a certain amount of parafinalia defining a persons personal space and character but honestly... My question is this:

What could possibly make us humans believe we need all this shit around us?

Why would any human with usually a grand total of two hands have THREE stress balls? What are you gonna do with it? (Don't answer. ...or actually do answer!)

What possible purpose can a rubber duck have in an office surrounding? The chances of it seeing water here are directly proportional to it falling in your coffee cup!

And please: For what reason would anyone have 4 calendars??? Well I'm gonna do some stretching I've got a new instructor who believes I can loose the stress balls...



Thursday, April 13, 2006

The incredible story of the Rasta Bunny

where's da bunny?


Ah yes! The weekend approaches and many of the office creatures retreat a day early to celebrate that furry rodent with identity crisis.

Yes boys and girls it's almost Easter and while most people are taking a long weekend off, guess who's still sitting in the office doing the bunnyhop on the keyboard?

Well, I'm just about to shoot actually, but here a short thought:

Now according to
goodegg.com a hen that has red earlobes lays brown eggs and a hen that has white earlobes lays white eggs.

I wonder what our favourite easter Bunny looks like...

There's da bunny!



Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sitepal... or swedish porn whispers.


Ever wondered what your favourite porn whispers would sound like spoken by Annika from Sweden?

Find out
here! This lovely lady just told me she'll say anything you tell her to... *muahahaha* And even better: She will do it in a variety of accents from all around the world.

Here a few creative suggestions:

  1. You can record siss and take it home, no? Ha, ha! Don't stop, ha, ha! Give me more! - French - Juliette
  2. Howdy partner, how about a rodeo contest? - Spanish - Esperanza
  3. Oh, so you like cheese too? - Dutch - Saskia
  4. I want to suck your ice cream cone with the frosted balls. - Swedish - Annika
  5. Kiss my McNugget. - Japanese - Show
  6. Jess, ei kaen lift ae couch wis mei left haend bat ei nevver jusst steroids in tschoermanie. - German - Rainer

Tell me your favourite combination!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Piss off! (Welcome to London)

The stereotype of grumpy Londoners on the tube that would rather die than talk to you is well known. When I moved down to London last May, I realised I will once again have to understand the new people I'm surrounded with. Yesterday, I had a lesson in London communication...

On my way from my first to my second job I was waiting in line to buy a tube ticket. Suddenly a Londoner (as I soon found out) cut right in front of me.

In previous encounters of rudeness I -in my tourist manner- grinned sheepishly and thought: "Pssh, Londoners." (Anybody who knows my mild manner understands...)

Not yesterday. I was late. I was stressed. I needed that ticket, quick! Therefore I took all that bottled annoyance and vented it in saying: "Aehm, excuse me..."

5'5" of London East-End British Bulldog turned around, fletched it's teeth and barked:

"Whot?"

"...well... you know you're cutting in line..."
"Well, you shouldn'a left so much space then, should'ya?"


Furious (and bewilderedly amused) at the gall of this half-pint I heard myself exclaiming:

"You know, you're the reason everybody thinks Londoners are Dickheads!"
"Yeah, whotever."

I was stunned. His last comment is like saying "Yo momma." (Brits: "Your mum.")

There was no comeback.

But then I realised that for the first time I had joined the bickering between Londoners.


In a city where a girl can throw up at a tube station and nobody cares (true story), this man had just decided to bother with me and thus treat me as an equal! It was his way of saying: "Welcome to London, and have a nice day!"

As he was leaving I greeted his scowl with a chuckle and walked up to the ticket booth. Behind the counter was a stunning 6 and a half foot black man who -looking a little embarrassed- said: "Sorry 'bout 'im, mate."

...pssh, Londoners!
Head of bricks, heart of gold...

Got any good big city stories? let me hear them!

Monday, April 03, 2006

A blog is born! ...and damn it's ugly.

Hello!!

Who the hell am I saying hello to? As I'm writing this nobody knows this blog exists!

Well, this immediately proves the absolute nonsense of what I'm doing.

Amidst the millions of bytes of useless information on the internet I decide to be an "individual" and smear what is effectively my mental diarrhea onto the growing web of crap information.

However: You are currently reading this.

It means you've either stumbled onto this blog or have chosen (!) to come here which means in any case I have no choice but to welcome you heartily! (...to my personal information toilet bowl.)

For what it's worth, I will try to keep it squeaky clean and smelling nice. (Just remember to wash your hands...)


As for the rest: No guarantees. Anything might come out. And anyone may come in.

So what are my thoughts of the day?

Well, I've just contemplated the time spent on office toilets. Today I managed to spend 15 minutes on "the John".

That is about £2.37 of my meager wage.

Multiplied by the 50 people that are working on this floor in the office (and that's putting everyone on temp job wages!) that's £118.5.

Multiplied by the 6 complexes with 8 floors each, it means that this company is litterally flushing £5688 per day down the shitter...


In this respect I must say my little blog can stand proud amidst all this waste (and I can proclaim happily: I've just written this on company time!)

PS: The reason I reflect on this subject matter is this visual template. Who the hell designs these things, and why does nobody tell him he's colour blind???

Well, tell me your opinions, and please: No toilet humour.