Wednesday, 30 September 2009

WHY DID YOU LEAVE, WAS IT CAUSE YOUR SHIT? - well, sort of actually...

Since leaving EE I get asked quite a few questions quite a lot. Amongst the most common ones are;

1. Aint you working anymore?
2. Why don't you go on strictly come dancing/Im a celebrity etc etc etc...
3. Can you please pay your bill?
4. Did they kill you off?
5. Can you shut up?
6. Can i see your drivers license, sir?
7. Didn't you used to be on the telly?
8. What are you doing in my house?
9. Why are you such a dick?
10. And the most common one, Why'd you leave Eastenders? (why don't you go back?)

This blog is attempting to answer number 10 for once and for all!! here goes...

The familiar sounds of Easties dramatic conclusion came to an end. I sat there for a few moments. My mum, bless her, turned to me and said, as she usually did, "you were good tonight" I sat there for a few more moments trying to work out what the bubbling torment in my stomach was, and how best to articulate it. Was it pleasurable? nope. Was it excitement? no. was it Indigestion? Nearly, but no. "I was shit!" I declared.

It was one of those moments you have, well i have had anyway, a moment of realisation that the certainty you have as a child was ill founded. That things don't always happen how you expect. That sometimes things need to be taken into your own hands. That night i saw myself on t'telly and i was shit, and i knew then that i had to do something about it. I wasn't that dismayed actually, i just knew that something had to be done.

At the time i was 14 and just about as self conscious as i was ever likely to be. Struggling with all the usual teenage boring angsty stuff which is not even worth mentioning just fill in your own and your about there, as well as also being that Kid on the telly (I'm just slightly proud to note that the show was getting about double the audience it is now... ahem) so the realisation i was a shitty actor could've gone pretty badly - could'a'been all sorts of off the rails behavior. Instead I knew that i had a few things to learn and i couldn't just go in day after day and mess about anymore. So i became very serious about things. And that hasn't really gone away since.

At about 18 or so i had another one of those realisation thingys. I had been invited to be amongst a select few from EE's to attend a certain awards show, and not a shitty one either. I took this as quite the compliment and a bit of an achievement on my part, felt like i belonged and all that jazz didn't i? (I'm wiping away a nostalgic tear) So there i was sitting on a table, all suited up and having a little look around at all the faces when a fellow-will remained unnamed - EE cast mate decided to pipe up. "where's my Champagne??" He/She spat out with all the grace of a Dickensien fat gentlemen/madam to the poor sod who was waiting our table. They persisted to whine for it and moaned that they shouldn't have to pay for it either. The rest of the table found this to be quite hilarious, out of politeness?, i don't know but in any case everyone seemed to laugh a lot. That's when the realisation hit me. This is why i get heckled in the street. This is why a certain ownership is felt by people over soap actors more then any other. I could see the looks we as a table were getting, and even heard it as well, "would be that lot wouldn't it" . The blind arrogance of said individual was seen as typical of soap actors (its not by the way, but not that rare neither) . It was then i realised that i was associated with this. It was then i realised I was also regarded like this. It was then i realised I wanted to leave the show.

At this point I'd like to say, I didn't want to leave because I looked down on the person from the paragraph above, or EE or any soaps. No fucking way. I loved that show. It was my nursemaid for years, It provided me with work, money, friends and a career. But like most kids i knew i had to leave home to grow up some.

I had to get away from being comfortable. I felt repulsed that I was pigeon holed with the likes of the champagne demander above, the kiss and tell boys, the cheeky chappy fellas that considered themselves actors because they manage to say a few words with a frown on their face in front of a camera (yes that was a rant)... anway I had a craft to learn and i got to a point where I wasn't going to learn anymore from being silver spooned. I came to despise the naivety that so called celebrity gives by default. naivety should be clarified; It bred in me a self assurance i knew wasn't warranted. I left that show having been there for 10 years. I had been closeted from a lot of things and so flew the nest and have been flapping my wings ever since.

The reason I started this blog is another blog in itself but i suppose in a simplified form i have a lot of opinions and have been afraid what people might think of them, in the past. I also don't like the idea of selling oneself private lives to newspapers and magazines either. And i won't really reveal anything private here, just its a nice unedited forum on which i can say a few things about a few things.

To wrap up I recently had another of those realisation thingymajigs, I realised that no matter how much I engage in politeness and keeping people happy i will always piss someone off so why not be happy and say what i feel, and btw I still think I'm a shit actor but thats why I'm still learning.

Anyway, as usual this is written all at speed and without much editing so please excuse spelling and i's instead of I's


Been a while... little update

So It's been a while. A lot to tell i suppose. I'll use this little update as a way of a little plan on what's to come from this little blog o'mine.

So what's been happening.

Work, or the lack thereof. The country is the grips of its highest unemployment for a long time, highest debt, recession and all that jazz. I suppose my situation is a privileged one, or has been anyway. I left a tv show with all the naivety of a child actor who grew up in a show where everything is taken care of short of having my arse wiped for me. I'd never tasted what its like to have to make your own way in the world, to carve out a career to provide for myself. And by the way i was well aware of that fact, an awareness of ones own ignorance seems a bit of a paradox but true nevertheless. So ill be writing a little something reviewing the last two years or so of my life since leaving Easties, going from working fucking hard 24/7 to actively seeking an education on what acting really is to carefully selecting work that what help me accomplish that to the situation i find myself in now - tempting to go further right now...

What else, well slightly related to above but have something akin to a religious conversion in terms of acting. I have started training in something called the Meisner technique, an acting method devised by Sanford Meisner ( It has completely blown my world apart and opened my eyes pretty sharpish to what acting can and should be. And as any new convert to a religion i find myself wanting to shout the good news from roof tops and speaking with dedicated enthusiasm to anyone that will listen. Some people find Jesus, I found Meisner... More to come on that one!

Again related to above, but enough to say that it will require its own blog - TV shows, or more specifically those that I get offered on a regular basis but that I seem to have a physical reaction to. Much like when you here of some terrible sex crime, i get that same shudder when offered anything with a title along the lines of "Celebrities in a jungle dancing on ice" - Not that i begrudge anyone taking part in these shows, I have very good friends who do and are currently taking part in shows such as these. Not "Celebrities in a jungle dancing on ice" - thats a made up one... but give it time

So to finish up, I suppose its time not to be afraid of who i am, my opinions or sharing them. Funny old business this one I'm in, so often I find myself scared to give my ideas on things as I'm afraid of offending people. What I have come to terms with recently however is that as long as you have a good reason and can back those ideas up with solid logic, most people will respect you for it... hopefully... see you soon.