Friday, 3 November 2017

Back ache

Yesterday was a fairly brutal day which started early and finished late. I was recording vocals for the Em video project in the studios at Edge Hill with a wonderfully patient engineer called Gary. The students weren't all what you might call "studio ready." I hope the experience will prove to be a really important learning curve for them. There is a massive difference between thinking you know a piece of music and actually being able to perform it properly. Similarly, there's a massive difference between what you can get away with in live performance and what works in a recording where everything has to be perfect. Sing a note out of tune in a live performance and it's gone in a flash. Sing out of tune on a recording and you're destined to wince every time you hear it. People can find the environment of a recording studio very alienating. The acoustic is dry and all the sound is coming at you through a little pair of headphones.

I was very proud of some of the students whom I thought were brining their A games. Some of the others disappointed me a little if I'm brutally honest. I think some of the lads were coasting and thinking that someone else would take the flack for the work they hadn't done. At this age, young male actors will often get their pick of roles without ever experiencing competition, whereas the girls will have been fighting for roles all their lives. The statistics in this industry are all in a man's favour. There are fewer roles for women and many more women who want to act. At NYMT, the girls have a 1 in 9 chance of getting cast in a show, whilst the boys have a 1 in 9 chance of NOT being cast.

So there were some gruelling moments and by the time I'd left the building at 8.30, I was ready to drop. I realise I have a much shorter attention span as I get older and much less ability to be charismatic when I get tired. I throw in the towel more quickly and am much less likely to try to flog a dead horse. Maybe I'm just being more practical these days.

I have changed rooms in my Premier Inn. I have to say, the staff there are all deeply charming and really very lovely to talk to, and have bent over backwards to help me. My new room has a funny bed-like sofa in it with a long sausage-shaped pillow along the side to lean against. Unfortunately, if you put your weight on the pillow, as I did last night, it disappears into a massive chasm and your back is catapulted into the window. At the same time the sofa, which is on wheels, flies forward. It's really rather dangerous and my back took a massive thump against the window. It was actually rather terrifying. Aside from having quite a sore back as a result, I also suffered a massive adrenaline spike as I flew backwards. It took me a few moments to recover!

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