Oh my goodness. This was both incredibly stressful and utterly inspirational.
Start the day off very briefly with escalating nerve (nerves? why?) in a delightful café just round the corner. They make their own cakes there. The cakes look fantastic. The cakes look delicious. The cakes look different. The cakes have fruit. I can’t believe they are anything other than extremely healthy. We’d be doing ourselves a disservice not to eat the cakes. I want to audition the cakes. I really really want to audition all the cakes. I think it will be easier and less stressful than auditioning actors. And on top of that, there’ll be cake.
I don’t have any cake.
We are in our audition space! The table is prepared, the sides of script distributed, lists are collated, the chairs unfolded. We flick the light switch and are blinded by the harshest of white fluorescent lights. We turn off the lights. We are plunged into that kind of gloom that you only get when you can glimpse glorious sunshine outside the windows. Gloom will do. We sit down. Suddenly there seems to be an awful lot of us…. four producers, two of whom are the writers, one of whom is the director, and one casting director. It feels like there could be a partridge in a pear tree. We shuffle about trying not to look imposing.
And then, we’re off….!
And wow. What a bunch of talented actors we see. They’re all delightful and engaged with the material and committed and yes… really good.
Top Tip from casting director – don’t fall in love with all the candidates. And actually, it turns out, that’s quite hard not to.
They perform our words. For the first time we hear the play lifted off the page and lifeblood breathed into it. It is uplifting and thrilling. In just a few lines these actors draw us into the narrative – it’s funny, it’s moving, it’s shocking.
And now here I am about to put someone into second place.
I’ve never been on this side of the table before and the responsibility is overwhelming. Not only to the play and the creative team, but to the actors. Their next job is in our hands. And we all know, that being the runner up, the ‘it was such a tough job to decide but…’ , the ‘they really loved what you did but…. ‘ we do all know, don’t we, that however kind and generous and indeed, honest, the let down is…. that is what it is. A let down. To be the one who didn’t get the job, the fee, the opportunity is absolutely not compensated for by kind words however true they are. The decision may have been tough to make for them but that never softens the blow of being close but not quite it.
Which also means we are about to offer someone the chance to be our wireless operator. And that’s the most thrilling, exciting thing of all.
A few days later. . .
Our wireless operator is Thomas Dennis!
We couldn’t be more pleased that he has accepted our offer and joined the team. He feels as if he’s part of the family already and yes! he has already been in a recording studio with the rest of his crew and been to East Kirkby and inside Just Jane.
No hanging about on this project! Now there is not even time for cake… Just Jane may not be flying but time feels as if it is.
Oh. And I haven’t yet told you about the pigeon. Remind me to tell you about the pigeon.