Tag Archives: Monologues

A Year in Review.

As  2011 fades into the mists of time and 2012 springs, Bambi like, into the face of today (don’t start!), it’s time to reflect on the year past and look forward to the year ahead.

And it’s been a hell of a year! In 2011 I;

    • Was cast in 3 short films (2 of which are now complete).
    • Performed on stage in “Whiff Whaff” and directed another play for “Theatre Uncut”.
    • Reprised my role as the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland” at the Hebden Bridge Festival in West Yorkshire.
    • Performed improv at Contact Theatre in Manchester.
    • Auditioned on The West End and for a Hollywood director.
    • Was chosen to audition for leading roles in “Merlin and the Legend of King Arthur” and “Much Ado About Nothing”, among many others.
    • Published my first showreel.
    • Wrote sucessful play scripts for Morph Films and Rough Magic Theatre.
    • Created VideoTim, a YouTube channel dedicated to new original monologues.
    • Secured both a performing agent and a voice over agent.
    • Attended various equity and networking events, including the recent innaugral gathering of a brand new branch in North Lancashire (more on that later).
    • Became a columnist for Frost Magazine.
    • And began writing this blog.

    Whew!  I hadn’t quite realised just how busy last year had been.

    But that was 2011; What about 2012?

    Well you never know what the future is going to bring but it is my hope that, with renewed hard work and determination, things will really begin to take off. 

    I’ve already got performances at 3MT in Manchester on the cards as well as workshops for Red Ladder Theatre in Leeds. I’ll be visiting the BBC studios at Media City in Salford soon and completing a significant series of articles for Frost Magazine.

    But what else would I like to do this year? Let’s throw caution to the wind and set out my stall for the year ahead;

      • I’m still very keen to work with the team at Big Finish Productions, an audio drama company that I’ve admired for many years.
      • I’m hoping to build on my relationships with regional theatres in Lancaster, Leeds, Manchester and across Yorkshire and Lancashire. There are a few companies that I’m particularly keen to work with, including the brilliant Pilot Theatre, Northern Broadsides and (if they’ll have me!) Forced Entertainment.
      • I’d like to get more comic material on my showreel as it’s a little short on range.
      • Training ambitions this year include Horse Riding and Fencing.
      • And I’m looking for my first mainstream TV and movie roles in 2012!

      You never know what’s around the corner in this job; I was contacted about a presenting gig for Disney the other week.

      Let’s see what 2012 has in store!

      Tallyho!

      Putting Keyboard Cat to Sleep; Finding New Dramatic Work Online.

      Where do you go to see a good bit of drama or a gut-busting bit of comedy?

      The Theatre? Some of us, yes. The Cinema? It’s still a good bet. TV perhaps? Well there’s always something nice on when it hits 9 O’clock.

      But the internet?

      Among the Keyboard Cats, the endless (endless! STOP IT!) to-camera opinion pieces and the hilarious footage of foolish-types smacking themselves in the privates with meteor poi*, are there people actually being dramatically creative?

      Well, yes and no.

      The internet is a funny old beast – at once both liberating and frustrating, choc full and yet oddly,.. barren. Although it gives anyone with access to a camera-phone the opportunity to show their talent to a potential audience of billions, the ‘Net is so busy that you have to look hard to find any who do.

      This naturally puts a lot of people off, and there isn’t much financial encouragement, with piracy now endemic on the web. But if you look hard, I mean really, really hard, you might just find a few creative gems.

      I think it’s time to start celebrating their work, so here are a few of my favourites;

      Matt M David, a young American writer/actor, has put together a number of short films on Youtube. This one if my favourite so far;

      http://youtu.be/-Xdlw72J_qg

      Divided Productions are dab hands at creating seriously spectacular looking short films on a shoe string budget. Much of their content finds its way back online after doing the rounds of the short film circuit. This one, Hail of Bullets, is a particularly impressive example – though do suspend your disbelief, John Woo style, first!

      http://youtu.be/-Xdlw72J_qg

      American Comic and actor Brandon Hardesty has made quite a name for himself stateside by re-enacting famous movie monologues on his YouTube channel. Indeed, so well acted are they that he’s now receiving offers from actual Hollywood studios! Here’s a piece that he co-wrote (with Bug Hall) – and it’s seriously good.

      http://youtu.be/Ia6gc4jpvCQ

      Some actors (such as myself) use video sharing online as a way of showing off our abilities to casting directors and producers. When I was first mulling the idea of VideoTim I came across this lady; the magnificently talented Natalia Kostrzewa. Here’s a great audition monologue that she recorded from a play called Whale Music by Anthony Minghella.

      http://youtu.be/e-doInYBUEI

      Andrew O’Donnell is another actor who I came across recently. He’s done a grand job of re-creating the monologue Playing Sandwiches by the great Alan Bennet.

      http://youtu.be/YGPNeA98sy8

      Now, while all of the videos above are shining examples of new work online, I’ve found it remarkably hard to navigate the wild seas of the World Wide Web and find myself in calm waters where new dramatic and comic content is collected together. Am I looking in the wrong place? Do such Oases exist?

      Let me know in the comments section below! And while you’re at it, why not pop in some links to your personal favourite monologues and short films online – who knows, I may start an awards ceremony!!

      *Okay, here’s a foolish-type smacking himself in the privates with  meteor poi. Enjoy!

      http://youtu.be/OuSNX8qUlzs

      Tim Austin is an Actor working nationally and internationally from his base in the UK. You can find his Spotlight CV here; http://www.spotlight.com/8218-3497-0502 and watch his showreel by clicking here.

      Exciting Times!

      Filming continues on “Date Night”, the short film I’m starring in somewhere in the depths of Lancaster, with exterior scenes due to be completed next weekend.

      I really enjoy the challenge and discipline of working on camera; it’s an art in itself and very different to working as an actor on stage. There are yawning chasms of time between shots while lighting and cameras are rigged, sound is checked and notes are given. During this time, you have to hold any emotion or energy that you were expressing in the shot before to re-create it for the next; it’s a great test of mental discipline!

      And I love it, just as I love working an audience on stage. Indeed, I’m not sure which I prefer more, stage work or filming; it’s all good!

      That said, I’m really hankering after more film work after “Date Night” is complete, the trouble being that my contacts in the film and TV world are a little limited. Though things change. In fact, if you’re a film or TV producer, or if you know a really good one, do drop me a line.

      My First article for Frost Magazine is now live and you can read it here. There will be another online this weekend and I’m preparing a very exciting set of articles and interviews over the next few weeks, all of which is pretty hush-hush and on the QT.

      I’m also in the very early stages of setting up a possible showcase in Manchester, for the benefit of producers and directors in the town. Early days but it’s looking pretty exciting.

      Y’see, you’ve got to make yourself heard in this business; anyone can have a decent CV and hundreds of people have “graduated from an accredited stage school”. But if you don’t put in the leg work and get yourself seen, you’re going nowhere fast, bucko. So that’s what I’m doing; putting in the leg work, and I’ll tell you all about it next time,….

      Don’t be a stranger!

      Tim Austin is an Actor working nationally and internationally from his base in the UK. You can find his Spotlight CV here; http://www.spotlight.com/8218-3497-0502 and watch his showreel by clicking here.

      And now, The News,….

      This Tuesday sees me back before cameras, this time for the upcoming short film “Date Night”.

      A near-silent romantic drama, “Date Night” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that’s sure to turn a few heads. I can’t give much away about the plot or my part in it but I’m really looking forward to playing a part with some real emotional clout. More news, links and juicy tit-bits from the set on my next blog post (probably in the next couple of days)!

      Okay, I know you’re going to ask; no, I didn’t get that West End gig from a couple of weeks back. On the upside, the audition gave me a reason to write a new monologue for my Videotim YouTube channel (you can find it here) and the piece has been getting some great reviews. In fact, my agent, having seen the video, is now beating his way down new paths and knocking on a few storytelling doors using this video as ammunition. Always a good thing!

      You may have noticed that I’ve changed my main profile image to the right and on my “About Tim Austin” page. This is in response to advice I’ve been getting recently about playing “to type”. It has occurred to me that my old image, while a slightly nicer shot, didn’t reflect my slightly geekier, odder character. It was, in short, too “leading actor” when I’m more a “lead villain” or “elfin” type. There may be changes to the written profile as well soon, with this in mind.

      The eagle eyed among you may also have noticed that my Spotlight CV now houses a copy of my Showreel; this is a major step forward. Many casting directors search exclusively for profiles with a showreel so this opens me up to a much wider slice of casting network online.

      On the subject of opening myself up to a wider audience, I’ve approached an online magazine with a view to becoming a columnist. I can’t tell you which magazine, as things are at a very early stage and they’ve not given me any green light yet, but it would mean “ActorTim” blogs becoming predominantly news based in future. Articles about my thoughts on the industry, interviews and reviews would appear elsewhere.

      If you’d like to follow my progress and get regular updates about what I’m up to and where you might see me in action, please subscribe using the button on the right of the page. If you’d like to continue hearing my thoughts on the industry, along with reviews and interviews, stay tuned and I’ll have news on my journalistic ambitions soon!

      Take care and stay frosty!

      Tim Austin is an Actor working nationally and internationally from his base in the UK. You can find his Spotlight CV here; http://www.spotlight.com/8218-3497-0502 and watch his showreel by clicking here.

      London Calling

      Hi-de-hi campers! Another couple of weeks have passed by and, my my, haven’t they been eventful? First up; A Price on Life! Yes, Morph Films’ internet short about the privatisation of the NHS is now complete and viewable on their YouTube page. And yes; I’m in it.

      Would you like to see? Well then; Tim’ll fix it for you;

      Beyond that, last Saturday (the 23rd of July), I attended a great industry networking event in Manchester called “Surviving Actors”. I love events like this and it was a joy to be a part of it.

      Being an actor can be a lonely existence. Unless you’re in the midst of a performing community or currently part of a large cast, you may go weeks without meeting another actor. As such, you’ve got no-one to talk to about your career and little by way of support along the way. You’ve also got no way of really gauging your success or discussing your triumphs and failures. Of course there is a community online, with messaging boards and social media, but it’s just not the same as sitting down over a coffee and talking to someone. Get-togethers like “Surviving Actors” are a great place to do just this and I met some very interesting and diverse actors, directors and companies while I was there.

      What the event really brought home to me was just how far I have come since my very first blog post back in March; it gave me a valuable sense of perspective. I’ve come a very long way on my journey so far – further than I had credited myself for. I left “Surviving Actors” with a renewed sense of optimism and a spring in my step!

      And I had good reason to do so; A few days before I made the journey to Manchester, I received an offer of an audition from, would you believe it, the Ambassadors Theatre in London. Yes, me auditioning for the West End! Who’d a’ thunk it?

      As such, I’ve just returned after a couple of days in ol’ London town. I auditioned on the main stage at the Ambassadors, which is currently hosting “Stomp!” (and has been since time-immemorial!) It’s an odd experience, telling Christmas stories while surrounded by trash cans and cyber-punk drums! How did I do? Well, that’s for the casting directors to decide. I’ll let you know 😉

      If you’d like a taste of what I performed for them, check out my post RE VideoTim (above).

      Well, I’ve rambled on for long enough and I’ll bid you adieu  for now. Don’t forget to watch “A Price on Life” and take a look at the new VideoTim’s! Comments, feedback and chit-chat always welcome.

      Tim Austin is an Actor and Theatre Dramaturg working nationally and internationally from his base in the UK. You can find his Spotlight CV here; http://www.spotlight.com/8218-3497-0502 and read about his work as a Dramaturg here; http://dramaturgtim.wordpress.com

      Henry V

      I’m a great fan of Shakespeare’s Henry V, having performed in it in a school production way back in the mists of time. So, wanting to brush up on my Shakespeare, I decided to use the Chorus introduction to the play as the second video on my YouTube channel.

      It’s a bit rough and ready but, for what it’s worth, here it is. You can read my own personal thoughts on it just underneath the video itself.

      Highlight the text below to reveal.

      Sadly, I was a little rushed in putting this one together, leaving it a little rough. Not as punchy as I would’ve liked it and lacking the energy that I think it needed to really bring it alive – especially at the end. But it shows that I understand the language well enough so, on that account, it partially succeeds.

      But maybe I’m being a little hard on myself. Let me know if you disagree by popping in a comment, below.

      Run VT!

      Something a bit different this week on Actortim;

      Presenting VideoTim, a brand new YouTube channel dedicated to new and unique monologues and performances!

      I have decided to fill the time between acting jobs by presenting new work online. I prefer to keep myself busy and stay in practice as much as possible but, without a stage on which to perform, I have no feedback and no audience. Well VideoTim will put pay to that!

      This isn’t a replacement for a showreel; I am in the process of putting a full one of those together and I’ll be sharing it as soon as it’s prepared. No, this is more an experiment in staying sharp and encouraging the development of new monologues.

      Y’see, VideoTim is an open channel where writers are encouraged to get in touch and send in new monologues for me to perform. Viewers are then encouraged to comment on the results and to suggest changes; it’s completely interactive.

      With that in mind, if you have a monologue of between 1 and 5 minutes in length that you would like to see put into action on screen, email it in to thevideotim@gmail.com, I’d really love to read it – and if I like it, it could be the very next VideoTim presentation! Share the news and encourage others to contribute!

      Oh, and don’t forget to comment on the video’s yourself and to share them as widely as possible.

      Without further ado, here’s a quick introduction followed by the very first video; An Invitation to Dinner. Enjoy!

      Tim Austin is an Actor and Theatre Dramaturg working nationally and internationally from his base in the UK. You can find his Spotlight CV here; http://www.spotlight.com/8218-3497-0502