Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Read Through : Time To Familiarise.

If anyone was to ask me what the actors terminology of a read through is, I would have to reply that it's about the actor getting to grips with the play, pre - audition. This could be (in this case) about getting to know a play you just know nothing about, and this alone could lead to a few problems that an actor that has been out of touch with his creativity (one such as myself) would have to over come.

Sight reading, which I'll admit, I'm a tad rusty at and if you know nothing about the play whatsoever, you wouldn't really know about the character you are reading for. And this is why we have the read through, to help us, as actors familiarise ourselves, with not just the dialogue, but the play itself.

This was certainly the case today.

The theatre company I was with this morning, sat around this long table, a bit like a board room and also a lot like the read through that I once saw on last Christmas's Doctor Who Confidential. Of course they were professional actors on TV. however the actors I was with this morning, were indeed a close match and a pleasure to be in the company of.

We briefly skimmed through eight plays, that The Newport Playgoers would be producing from September this year, and after a few rusty stumbles and nervous thumbles, I managed to make it through the read through with my head held high. Being at this read through also gave me an idea of how other actors tackled various other characters, and also more importantly tackled their site reading. This I believe that this vastly brought me up to date with current values that as an actor I would have to under take.

Firstly, speaking clipped and clearly. Pronounciating and articulating the words.
Secondly, don't rush the dialogue, take your time in reading it out loud. Being able to take your time will help you relax into it, and in time your confidence will build.

This certainly was my experience today and most enjoyable.


Saturday, 26 March 2011


As mentioned in my very first blog entry, I discussed that the whole reason behind me ever blogging in the first place was because of  the plan I have to return to acting, not only as a past time , but also as a start to pave the way forward professionally. So what better way other than to return to acting but by heading off to the Dolman Theatre in Newport four weeks ago to attend my first audition in almost two years. To some budding thespians, having an audition looming ahead can be a daunting experience and a nerve racking process. But to me, this wasn't the case. The best thing you can possibly do is to enjoy it! Which of course I did!!!

The audition was to potentially be part of the Newport Playgoers, who were looking for new actors to join them, with the hope of being invited back for read through's to the eight plays they are going to produce for the next season, which of course would go on to another audition for one of the plays. I had already prepared an audition piece and thought that one I was very familiar with would be key to cracking what I would call the first stage of the audition process, in the hope of landing a role. The monologue that I chose was a piece from "Brassed Off" a stage play by Paul Allen.

Myself as Phil in "Brassed Off", Summer 2008. Doing my oh so favourite monologue.

And so there I was in The Dolman bar area, on a gloriously sunny day, feeling good, and with no surprise a Starbucks latte, which I drank earlier swimming through my body, in order to perk me up on the 09:30 call.

Once my name and contact details were given, I noticed that the turn out was relatively small, so far anyone feeling the rush of nerves, needn't have been nervous at all, and so it was... I was the first one up. The audition scene set. About six chairs on stage and  I was to take my place centre stage. With about five of the committee members watching, I still didn't feel nervous. In all honesty I was the most comfortable I had been with myself in months, and to me this could only be a good thing. I soon came to life as I walked into the auditorium and to be back on a stage performing even if for only a couple of minutes, well it was the happiest I had been in for about a year. More importantly was the fact that the monologue I had chosen was still fresh with the committee members as they had recently produced "Brassed Off" in the previous year. Once the audition piece was finished, it appeared that they had enjoyed it, and asked me to read something different, and so added into the bargain I did a bit of sight reading, which okay, I was rusty with as I hadn't done any in two years, and then a duologue, just to see how I worked with other cast members.

However, I knew that this felt right. I was finally making a step in the right direction. And to hear that the committee invited me back for a few of the read thru's as well, it proved that this was the inevitable. I had been putting off for eighteen months, what of course was meant to be.

The stage was indeed calling me.


Friday, 18 March 2011

An Introduction... To The Introduction.

Well this is me Paul Howells.

Doing the inevitable, in one of the most creative ways possible. For some time (years, even) I have written a lot personally, privately but very little publicly. So what else better to do, other than set up my own creative slice of blog with  a clean language of banta (well mostly), instalments of adventures, grumbles and anecdotes of everyday (well every other day) life to hopefully entertain you, the reader!!! Not only this but I may place a few reviews up on here to grab you by the short and curlies to help sway you in the right direction of seeing the perfect movie, or to have you listen to that All - Fantastic CD!

For those of you that don't know me, I'm a versatile trained actor of about 8 years (out of the 15 years I have been a budding thespian) and to have plugged away proffessionally like a desperate actor would since graduating, I am sad to say, to that I couldn't even compare. This of course has been down to the occasional obsticles that life / fate chooses to throw at you without warning. So, yes! It is obvious that things in life are indeed sent to try and test us. However throughout this I have done stints of extra / walk on work for North East  TV Productions such as "55 Degrees North" (Zenith North, BBC), "Wire in the Blood" (Coastal Productions) and "Byker Grove" (BBC) to name but a few. But in good sted to truly find my way creatively I went back to my theatrical roots back in 2008, and appeared in stage shows back home in Richmond, North Yorkshire at the world famous "Georgian Theatre".  One of the oldest, long standing existing theatres in England. With roles in  the drama "Brassed Off" in the summer of that year. By far and large a role that I connected with, and did myself proud. This to me landmarked a restoration in my creativity. 

Sheridans comedy "The Rivals" showed that I am both versatile and capable of performing comedy, as I hadn't previously divulged comic value on stage and finally John Godbers black comedy "Bouncers", and  it is with thanks as always that I will remain forever greatful for those very good friends and associates at  RADS (Richmond Amateur Dramatics Society). As not only did they help restore confidence in my acting ability, but also reignited my creativity and passion for a career I thought had been long gone from my life and am now long over due in persuing proffessionally.

So what lies ahead is the real work, the real chance at poking proffessionally at the theatrical pie and take a  slice of oppurtunity, and when potential success does happen. I'm hoping that you will share with me, the journey I will have embarked on. But until then, you will have to make do with the usual shanannigans that I'm very well known for.