New Direction & Back In The Game

Once again it has been so long since I’ve posted and this because I felt obligated to do it, like I had to do it or something. I realised that I wasn’t enjoying reading my acting books as I had to go and write all about it on here so I had a thought. My blog should be something I love doing and want to do, not a task right?

So I’m heading in a new direction and instead of posting all about the different books I read I think I’m going to post about my career and everything that I feel I want to post about in my life. This will include posts about jobs I get, shows I watch, performances I give, my studies and so on and so on.

On a positive note an, independent, film director whom I have a good friendship with asked me to be in another one of his movies. Granted, it isn’t stage acting which is completely different to film acting however I’m doing something and opening myself to different areas of acting. I can’t disclose any information about the movie or my role within it but I will post links to the company’s site for everybody to check out.

Needless to say I’m very excited to get back in the game of acting and this role is very interesting. It is something to keep me busy over the next week or so before heading off to Birmingham on 19th August to watch Wicked and escape my Life until 22nd August 😉

Actors and amateur auditions

Jack O'Brien

Hi there! How are you? You’re looking dashing next to your shmancy keyboard. For those who just randomly found this blog and don’t know who I am, I’m Jack! I’m an actor, comedian, writer and general whatever I can do to avoid a 9-5job-er. So, with that in mind, I’m going to take a moment to talk about student and independent films, feature, short or otherwise.

First off, this is going to be a blog about all the professional things I do, so if I’ve auditioned for you, you can be almost certain that I’m not talking about you specifically (unless you were a real jerk, in which case, kudos to you for recognizing it, now go away). I’m talking in general terms.

Also, I swear. So, you know. Be prepared for that.

I’ve been a professional actor since 2009. By this I mean that I have been paid for…

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I Think I’m Changing Or Phasing….Again

I think there’s something wrong with me, I am halfway through my second, and final, day off work for the week and I became anti social. I was supposed to spend today with two of my friends but cancelled on them both because I wamted to be alone. I don’t want to go out, I don’t want to socialize, I don’t want to live….I just seem to want to be alone. It’s strange because I’m all about living, especially since acting is all about life experience…….right?, and not moping around wasting time. For some reason that seems like all I want to do.

Maybe I’m “growing up” and becoming the person whom I will be for the rest of my life. My Mother said that it’s the transition from teenagehood into manhood “so your hormones are going to be all over the place.” I don’t even seem to have the energy to want to be that loud, noisy person I always am at work. I don’t think I’m changing as a person but maybe I’m becoming more mature and this my mind’s way of telling me?

It’s strange and it’s not something that I would consider to be easy to talk about. Every time I tried talking to Mother about it, I ended up spinning off into another topic and just getting mixed up in what I was trying to say. I know I might be overreacting and this could be just one of those “phases” that people go through but I’m not sure. I’m back at work tomorrow so I guess I’ll see how I react to the typical situations I am placed in at work and go from there. Tomorrow I need to bring positivity and dedication back to work making the day fly by.

I will no doubt post something tomorrow about what happens and how I fare. But for now, as always, goodbye and I hope you enjoy the post!

Life Is Dull…..At The Moment

I’ve been doing this full time thing at work pretty much ever since I left college. I’ve been doing it for around five weeks now and it’s honestly so dull. Fair enough I worked my arse off on my BTEC and deserved some rest time which I had and enjoyed. I auditioned for a role in a local show and wasn’t granted it so I have no acting until at least September. I’ve found that on my two days off a week, Monday and Tuesday, all I seem to do is sleep till late then play video games and read books. Now this doesn’t bother me, I think I’m just missing acting or moreso the workload that comes with it!

I’m spending so much time at work and it’s just become so dull and meaningless really. Life just seems to have nothing worth doing until September rolls around and I get to be stressed out and stop sleeping like I used to. I guess you could say I’m not a lazy person who can sit around and do nothing, this freedom thing is strange, I need to find something to make everything worthwhile. I think tomorrow I’m going to try and sort something before another week of full time rolls around.

What Are You Fighting For?

I apologise for the length of time it has taken me to post the second guidepost from Audition but I will give you a reason why. I had to read this particular section a vast number of times to wrap my head around it. I found it very confusing at first and then remembered that this book is about auditions, not acting!!

The second guidepost is simply called Conflict. It talks about the idea of the actor finding the conflict within the scene and running towards it instead of away from it. Michael believes that actors  look for conflict and that conflict creates drama. This inevitably makes a performance much better. Of course no person is going to work out the ins and outs of a relationship between two characters just like that. However they can get an initial idea which allows them to play something.

Michael speaks about the typical starting point of breaking down a script into “sections” or “beats” however he believes that, although necessary, it does not dive deep enough. He says that the actor must go even further to find the deeper reasons which will make them understand their character more.

He even goes to speak about a certain actor being unable to identify emotionally with the character in the scene and tells him that he shouldn’t be an actor after all. As you can see there is a lot to this particular section however the only thing that truly applies to this guidepost is the conflict.

Reading, Reading, Reading

So here I am sat in bed at 3:01 in the morning not being able to sleep. I’ve had a pretty busy day from reading to more reading to socialising to watching a movie to reading again….oh I know it’s normal busy for me but it’s something right?

Of all the books I purchased I decided to attack Audition by Michael Shurtleff first. I read two chapters of Audition. The first chapter was a form of FAQ and Q&A with the writer telling the reader what and what not to do at an auditon. Within the first chapter was stated the twelve guideposts that an actor can use to ensure they are giving themselves every chance to get that part.
The first guidepost is about relationships. This isn’t talking about relationships such as mother and daughter, father and son but moreso about the deeper areas between them. It talks about looking at the way each character feels about each other at that moment in time, the scene that is happening if you will, which enables the actor to be more truthful within the scene. Look at this example:

Your character loves their mother more than anything in the world. Recently their sibling died “accidentally” and your character has just been told by their mother that their sibling’s death wasn’t an accident. Their mother killed them but tried covering it up as an accident. Your character at that particular moment in time is not going to act or even feel the same way towards their mother as they did yesterday at breakfast.

This is only the first guidepost and of course I will be posting the other eleven for everyone to look into and hopefully use to their advantage. Even within the first two chapters I have found Audition to be extremely useful, not to my technique, but towards how I prepare for auditions and what I do when I’m there. This book is going to prove invaluable to my work and chances of gaining such work.

As always, thanks for reading……until next time!

My Weekend Off

I booked this weekend off of work to take a break and relax away from everything and do you know what? I did just that!

I spent most of this weekend playing video games, watching movies and reading books! I have really enjoyed this weekend and I think it is what I needed to get my positivity back for work. God knows I need it since my appraisal is on Tuesday…….oh it’s alright………just four months late.

So I figure as it is a new week as of tomorrow or well today, depending on the type of person you are, I am going to get cracking on my career. When I say that I don’t mean I’m going to apply for jobs, sort headshots and contact agencies….no! What I mean by that is get reading the books I need to find my technique! I mean I have a technique that has taken two years to work on but I need something more, something is missing. These books will fill that void and I need to get working on it! I can guarantee an entry will be shared tomorrow with an update on what I discovered and how my day went.

Thanks for reading, as always!

The Day I Saw Something Impacting

Today started out like any day in my life. Wake up too early, read for a few hours, get out of bed and ready for work. Sit around the house for an hour, get the bus to work and go through another day at work. I couldn’t get picked up tonight so I waited around for an hour for the next bus. I got on the bus as usual, put my headphones in and turned my music on.

This is where everything changed.

As we approached the first stop on the route an interesting lady got on the bus who seemed like she was drunk. At first I thought “Typical, another drunk on the boss….” That was until I realised she wasn’t drunk, she was….different. Suddenly it clicked….I was in the presence of a lady who has been using drugs for such a long time that it has almost destroyed her. I can hardly even begin to describe what I saw. Words are not enough, you had to be there to see what I saw and to understand how much it affects a person. I had never before seen a person so badly affected by drugs and I can honestly say I’m shocked! I felt so sorry for her and everyone on the bus was probably judging her for the way she was.

If I could paint a picture of what it was like I would. There was a lady sat near where I was stood who took a few glances at her and began to cry. It affected this lady so bad that she was fighting back tears.

I know most people that read this will sit there and call me silly and over-reacting but it is genuinely one of those situations that nobody can truly relate to unless they see it.

How to drop your day job and become a full time actor, musician, artist, voice actor, etc.

The Finance of Art

Why don’t we start by deciding on one word to encompass voice actors, painters, photographers, musicians, actors, etc. so there are no more awkward titles like the one you just read. Or didn’t. No rules here, right? Us creative types might decide to read the title after the article. We think outside the box. Because we’re all “artists.” Aha! Just like that, simplicity.

Well, how do you become a full time artist? I won’t bore you by going on and on about how hard it is (just know it will be).

In case you missed it, that wording was done purposefully. “Know it will be.” Cliche or not, believing that you can succeed is a massive step in the right direction. How do you start to believe? How do you know you’re truly good and not just deluding yourself and wasting time? Work at your craft until you fully believe your…

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I Like Men But I’m Not Gay

I can’t sleep tonight, it’s very hot and I’ve done nothing to warrant being tired therefore I am gracing my blog with a second post tonight!

The title of this post may confuse you but read on and I can promise you that all will make sense eventually! I’ll start by giving you a backstory about everything leading up to the title so you can better understand what I mean!

I had finished primary school many years ago and progressed on to secondary school. This was a place of nightmares for me, I was continually mentally and physically bullied as a child for being “different”. I didn’t know what was different about me, I couldn’t see it, I didn’t think I was any different to everyone else, perhaps more mature and observational but that was about it. Anyway the bullying got really bad, I was pinned up against a wall with people crowding around me, I had people trying to force me to smoke and drink because they thought it was cool. The best of all was having my fingers broken by a girl in my class. I can still remember the moment it happened as clear as day and I can still remember the horrendous pain I felt. I remember screaming and howling with tears in my eyes as the paim grew stronger. I remember the security guard rushing me to reception to go to hospital and I still remember the girl’s face when she did it. Things like that never really leave your mind and will always have a significant effect on your future. I don’t go around telling everyone this though as it is unecessary for them to know.

Anyway, after this whole episode the girl was expelled for three days and returned to school as if nothing happened. This was when I decided I wanted to leave, I couldn’t handle being afraid of walking to school everyday, I couldn’t handle watching my back every second in case I got jumped or worse. I just couldn’t handle the incessant mental abuse more than anything and I needed to get away. I left school and was home-schooled until the age of sixteen. I never went out, lost all of my friends and became an anti-social, quiet, alone person and I enjoyed that, nobody to bully or abuse me and nobody to get in my way. I went to college when I turned sixteen and began to come into contact with other people again and soon I started looking at other people in particular ways. I noticed I didn’t find girls attractive but found boys very attractive. I started exploring the internet and getting to see what online material I could find. This further backed up my belief so I decided to act on it physically and discovered that I was right.

Accepting who I am was extremely hard when I first realised. I went through this extremely gay phase where I personified the word as I felt everyone needed to know. As time went on I started to grow up and realise that the world didn’t need to know and honestly didn’t care. This was when I really got to grips with my sexuality.

I decided that I won’t define myself as gay because that is a societal stereotype and that is not what I’m about. Yes I like men, yes I like penis and yes I don’t like women. I have this belief that just because I like men now does not mean I always will, I can’t just ignore women because I’m ‘gay’. I need to remain open minded about it all and if I happen to like a girl I happen to like a girl. It’s happened before, I did sexual things with a girl but didn’t really enjoy it! Doesn’t mean I never will.

There are a lot of colleagues at work who, when they discover I’m ‘gay’, instantly react in the same way. “OH MY GOD, I SO COULDN’T TELL!!” To which my reply is always “Good, that’s how I like it”. I will not allow my sexuality to define me as I don’t believe sexuality is something you should physically see in a person.

I know this was a lengthy post with the odd few side trackings however it all connects somehow!

Remember – Don’t Be Stereotypical, Don’t Play The Stereotype, Be Yourself!