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  • Brian Martin

Cuckoo

March 12, 2020:


Moving chairs. Something I used to do at the bingo hall twice a week after school for above average wages paid in cash, and a pop break (am I showing my age?). It wasn’t bad work back then, but I just never thought I would be doing it again as part of a Foundations class.


Move these fifty chairs, one at a time, from this side of the room to the other side and back again, while having a non-stop outside dialogue with yourself about whatever comes up in your head. The rest of the class will be watching and listening, but hey, “don’t worry ‘bout it”.


I thought maybe I took a wrong turn or something and wound up in an insane asylum, ala “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, but turns out it was just acting class in White Rock. I have to admit I never did my research on this thought-provoking course, so I had no idea what to expect going in from the beginning, but that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s better that way.


Naturally, we discussed results afterwards to which I stated that I hadn’t really gotten anything (except sweaty, and some kind of bunion on my left foot) from the experience. Strangely though, I’ve been doing a great deal of pondering about it since then and have come to conclude that indeed I probably am a good fit for the looney bin.


Regardless, I’m plowing through with more workshops, including a “Directors Take” weekend coming up at the end of the month. I'll be doing that one at a different studio in East Vancouver. I've also signed up for some body and voice work scheduled for later in the spring and a scene study course as well. I'm as determined as Wile E. Coyote chasing the roadrunner (he was a stable genius too, wasn't he?).


No Fixed Address will be doing a Friday night jam at the yacht club with our new female vocalist we’ll call “G”. Of course, all the other usual suspects will be there and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with them. I still have this Señorita video I'd like to shoot and this might be a good place to network.


I didn’t get the part of the English detective, which I thought I auditioned very well for, but as it turns out I do have some reshoots scheduled for the first film I did back in the fall (Whose Calling?) for later this week. Not sure what we’re reshooting (I think it might just be voice work) but as I’ve said I don’t mind surprises and I’m sure it will be fun either way.


My batting average though, in terms of auditions leading to actual acting parts is woefully weak, but maybe one for eight (so far) is huge in this business (or not). But, as I’m sure anyone would be more than happy to tell me, it’s all part of the learning curve.


For me, as you know, it’s not about the money, which is not to say that I would refuse any of it if it was offered, but as my acting coach related to the class the other night, she’s been in the business since forever, works quite often and gets significant parts, but scoffs every time someone asks her where her BMW is? “The guy at the seven eleven probably makes more than I do,” she would reply.


As much as I enjoy doing the auditions (for now at least), I just wish they would bring one of these film schools out my way. The commutes out to North Vancouver are killing me (yeah yeah, I hear you…retirement…blah blah blah).


My agent had me submit a voice over recording for a vocal part in a video game coming down the pike. I did that in the basement of my house using Garage Band on my computer in co-ordination with my music gear. I thought it was kind of cool to be able to just do it at home and mail it in, and coincidently that’s exactly the kind of commute I’m talking about.


So as I tumbleweed along, slowly plodding down the desert path, steadily collecting whatever tools, skills and experiences I can that lay along the way and stuffing them into my arty satchel, I feel confident in knowing that no matter what happens in the course of my journey I'll always have plenty of outer dialogue to share in class with my asylum buddies.


Until next time.



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P.S. I thought I might try posting a little later in the day on Thursdays to see if I draw more interest, just in case anyone was actually curious about this late post.

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