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  • Writer's pictureBrian Martin


Nov 27, 2019:

Writers and writing teachers will tell you from time to time that when you’re stuck for inspiration you should go and hang out at a coffee shop or some other public venue where you might happen upon some experience that will trigger the juices of your inner creativity and since you’re just sitting there anyway you might as well jot down what you’re feeling for future use.

For me, I’m always looking for a solid kickoff point. I kind of know what I want to say but for the most part it’s just a jumble of words until I sit down and pound it out on the keys. Hanging out at a happening coffee shop though is an interesting dichotomy because on the one hand it’s busy and intrusive, but on the other hand by sitting in a corner and plugging in some headphones you suddenly isolate yourself from the activity and just like that you’re on the outside looking in. Plus, the citrus mint tea is pretty good.

It’s a great way to get the benefit of both worlds for writing purposes until of course, someone you may or may not know breaks the fourth wall, which is basically to interact with you and then abruptly you are instantly swept back into the current of commotion. That doesn’t happen too often though as most people are basically doing the same thing you are, and the others are usually there in groups having in-depth conversations about who knows what.

A couple of days ago I received an email late at night from the SFU Film School telling me that I had won the audition for the part of David in their upcoming short film Who’s Calling which I had wrote about previously. I was quite happy to hear that I had won my first audition ever. I thought this might be a great omen for the start of a successful acting career. Look out Kevin Bacon. Then it struck me that most probably I was the only one to audition for the part. Back down to earth I landed, but that’s okay, one has to start somewhere. I went to my first rehearsal and met all the other performers. Turns out, I’m the old guy. Well, someone’s got to do it. We were informed that we would be doing a three-day shoot this weekend up in the British Properties. I guess I’m movin’ on up!

I performed as a single at an open mic on Sunday night, just me and my six string, once again practicing my Scottish by playing a song from The Proclaimers called 500 miles, which is a great way to get a crowd engaged. I say crowd, but how many people does it take to constitute a crowd anyway? I may have been a couple shy of that number.

Never seems to fail though, I always manage to flub a line here or there but overall it went off fairly well. Most performers now use a tablet or lyric sheet so that it doesn’t happen to them but I’m still too stubborn for that. I mean, isn’t the whole point of doing these sorts of things to exercise your memory? Oh, and to entertain the ones that took the time to show up, I guess that’s important as well.

I also did an original called Forever Mine, which is on my NFA page, and thankfully I didn’t flub any lines on that one. I mean that would be a little embarrassing right? Forgetting one of your own lines, but who would know if you did? The trick is to just keep on going on without any hesitation. In some small way that is the essence of acting as well. When I did the audition for Who’s Calling the director had asked me to ramp up a part of the dialogue, really bring the heated emotion which I did, but as a result I forgot most of my lines. So, I made it up as I went along. Apparently, that seemed to work. We do practice improv during acting class which is not only fun but also a handy tool.

I saw the doctor this week to discuss the MRI results about my shoulder which revealed three lacerations of varying degrees in three different muscle areas. Ouch! My doctor is setting me up with a shoulder specialist which by all accounts may not be available until next year. In the interim, I am seeing a physiotherapist and altering my workout regimen accordingly.

I do plan on developing an ACTORS page (I’d like to include demo reels and pictures) to go along with my NFA and WRITINGS page. I am hopeful that I can continue to keep everything updated. This will be a work in progress so if you are interested and have subscribed to my site you will have access to these pages which you may (or maybe not) find interesting.

To be clear, I am not trying to sell you anything and your subscription merely allows me to notify you when I have updated my site or have posted my weekly blog so that you don’t have to continually check and see if there is anything new. I will also endeavor to find a way to allow for comments on my posts so that I can bring forth to you the material you are most interested in.

Until next time.

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