Friday, 14 January 2011

Badger Gets BAFTA?

About a year ago I was begged to appear as the star of a 12 minute play and since then I have gone on to star in a musical and now a sit-com pilot. I think it's fair to say that I am one of the most successful and sought after actors in the country. I'm definitely one of the most successful actors that I know.

I know you're all very proud of me and can't quite believe it but, YES, I'm the star of a sit-com pilot. The sit-com is called Dave Shakespeare and I play the title role of Badger King, a role I was born/given to play.The world of acting is a tough one but I managed to bag the role through the proper professional procedure of waiting for everyone to say no to it and the director then desperately messaging me on Facebook. Obviously I had to poke him a few times, but the job was mine.

I haven't done much filming, except ads and even the last one of those I did I was drunk (That cost me about £12,000), so this was all very exciting to me. To be very honest, I think it may have come across as pretty obvious that I don't have much experience in TV acting. The fact that I CONSTANTLY started acting waaaaaaay before "Action" was called and that every single line I delivered was in a different accent was not me being eager or experimental. I just hadn't a fucking clue what I was doing. The amount of TV I have watched over the decades were I have sat there criticising actors is massive and, although I'm never ever going to stop doing that, I completely get that there's a lot more to it all than turning up and learning some of your lines. You really have no idea the amount of psychological preparation you have to go through to shoot a scene while dressed as a badger with 8 elderly people on top of you. But, thanks to yesterday's filming, I know exactly what that's like. Just in case you missed that let me make it clear: THERE WHERE 8 ELDERLY PEOPLE ON TOP OF ME WHO RAVAGED ME WHILE I WRITHED ON THE GROUND. It was basically a cross between Cocoon and The Accused.

The other thing that I learned yesterday was that extras really love to act. The extras I worked with were all really lovely and had a lot more experience at this sort of thing than I had but MY GOD did they LOVE acting. None of that sitting back and being subtle for them. They fucking went for it. They were DEFINITELY getting on screen and they WOULD BE SEEN! I liked them. You'd think that someone would make a sit-com about how funny extras can be. Another trick missed by telly.

It was a very good fun couple of days and I'm glad I did it. Not sure exactly what I contributed but it was fun. They say in this business that filming is boring. The work is great but the sitting around all day waiting is just tedious and exhausting. I beg to differ. My lack of experience meant that I couldn't enjoy the work fully (although NO ONE gets bored dressed as a badger with 8 elderly people on top of them) and the sitting around waiting was a laugh. What a lovely bunch of people. Plus I heard a great anecdote about what a complete cunt Ian McShane is. I FELT LIKE A REAL ACTOR!! I particularly liked hearing it being told and re-told several times as it spread through the cast and crew. Showbiz.

Plus I got fussed over by lots of women. This is my favourite thing, really. I was wearing a rubber badger mask and the costume lady and the make-up lady constantly asked about my welfare. Production assistants ran off to get me water and sympathy while fearing I would dehydrate. Natalie Casey fanned me while I was tied to a chair. It was great. Of course, the costume wasn't too hot and the mask was only a bit uncomfortable. It wasn't the heat that got to me, it was the creepy feeling that wearing a rubber mask was like having another persons skin wrapped around your face. A feeling that only adds to the experience of being ravaged by 8 elderly people.

It's the magic of television.

(By the way, on a side note but one very important to me. The director, Frank, is vegan therefore we had vegan food at the shoot. GOOD vegan food. I never expected that.)

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