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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Nurturing a Dream; Audition for "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them".

We've seen that there's an open audition for a part in a new film.

Warner Bros is looking for a young girl aged between 8 and 12 years old to play the part of "Modesty", described as being "a haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness" and "an ability to see deep into people and understand them".

It's part of the Harry Potter franchise so this is the ticket dreams are made of!

London, Saturday 18th July 2015.

We've disembarked from the train after meeting a friend of my daughters at the station going after the same dream too and sharing the journey, beginning to end!

I don't know how many people were at the audition. I looked it up briefly yesterday and one article said there were 14,000 girls. Today I read 20,000. All I can tell you is that there were huge numbers of hopefuls like my daughter and her friend. They all wanted that golden ticket in life. Not just an acting role but a likely life changing chance.

For me, I went there in hope for Isabella's dreams but, (being over 50 years old), with trepidation of how the herds of youngsters would be mysteriously doing their best acting warm ups by casting distasteful looks in my direction but they were a pleasure. It was lovely to see so many happy children skipping about, glancing at the competition, clutching their guardians, asking desperately for any wisp of helpful audition snippet and largely patiently standing around hour after hour with a little nervousness but still full of hope against the seemingly impossible, worsening odds. The parents/aunts/uncles/granddads etc. etc. from near and far were all in the same boat as me and we chatted from time to time discussing the unimaginable draw of this event on so many people.

Ourselves, we'd got up fairly early (at 6 a.m.) and got there for about 8:30 in the morning. Apparently some people had been there since 4a.m.! Already the queue was massive and it was not meant to open until 9am. We continued pass the main zig-zag strip of barriers with a realisation of how we were clearly going to be in for a good few hours. The queue spilled out of the barriers and around the side of the huge building. And on it went into the distance so we trudged after it. We joined the queue and stood around for a while as more and more people filed past hoping to reach their place in the queue soon.

While we stood there, train loads more spilled passed constantly, an ever thickening mass. Most walking, some rushing, some charging (though not many). The look of dismay from time to time told a lot! After perhaps 15 minutes the queued seemed to be moving and people were chattering of hope for a short torture. It turned out that the organisers were just doubling the line up from 2 by 2 to bunches 4 people wide so the queue "seemed" to halve in size (but obviously not in number). The fire of the sun beating down was trebled from reflection off the water (as we were by the Thames) and the side of the building was a shiny metal to add to the angles the heat could reach us from. Luckily it was not too intense while we were outside. The security people were friendly and handed out sun cream which was a nice thought from someone.

Once you made it as far as what appeared to be the proper barrier queue area there were water stations which was handy although I'd brought a rucksack with provisions to last us until about mid-day. Getting to the barrier, "proper" queue, felt like it wasn't going to be too much longer. The queue seemed to keep making steady progress so that, perhaps by around 10 am, we were near the front, almost ready to go into the building. We couldn't see what was happening inside. There were a few cameras outside and some people by the building doing what looked like might be casting type activities.

Getting to the end of the queue outside, the guard wished us luck as we headed for the door to go in. On reaching the inside we realised there was yet another queue but it snaked off into another area where we couldn't see. It was like a cruel hike up a mountain where you think you've got to the top but just as you reach the brow another even steeper section ahead shows up. "Nooooo, mercy!". By about 11 a.m. we could now see the real queue. An absolutely huge "room" with a gigantic zig-zag area. As we progressed up & down the zig-zags, people tried to calculate how long we were going to be. Someone near us had sent their daughter out along the edge of the room to count the zig-zags. 19 of them left but after another 2, all the remaining ones were about 30% longer.

I'd read that the cut off time was 1pm but I wasn't sure what they'd do at that time, (I'm new to this). By sometime after 12 O'clock, I could see it was unlikely we'd make it to the audition area by then, (although I didn't mention this to Isabella). Clearly, with the combination of girls and guardians there would be something like 20,000 people still in the queue by 1pm. If they told people it was "too late, tough, go home", there would be all hell to pay, there would be a riot!

It got to 1pm and we had just a few more zig-zags still to go. Nightmare; I could see them removing some of the barriers in the final audition lane where the girls go in (and where parents are separated into another area). Are they finishing, packing away? This did not look good but I kept quiet about it from Isabella to keep spirits up while occasionally chatting quietly with other people.

Luckily news filtered along the lines that they would just stop more people joining the queue at some point so once you were in the queue, you were OK, probably! Relief, about 1:30 p.m. and after 5 hours mostly standing around with the occasional shuffle forward we'd made it. I wished Isabella luck and then asked her if I was meant to do that or suggest a broken leg. Anyway, I'd done my best to pep talk and whatever else I could think of to help her remain calm and composed. You have to remember that I have no knowledge about this world, so I could only attempt to extrapolate things from my experience into my perception of how this unknown realm might work.

We got split up and I went over to the waiting area with the luxury of chairs where I chose to continue to stand but near where the girls were coming out. It was interesting observing their reactions. Almost all came out seeming to be quite happy as they handed over paperwork and were given a certificate. A few obviously considered they'd not done something so well and there were a few looks of resignation and some tears but not many. After about half an hour, Isabella came out and, with certificate in hand, she gave her usual lovely happy smile.

Based on the number I'd seen reported yesterday, 14,000 candidates, that's 1000x more chance than winning our UK National Lottery but with a prize that could be worth more in what it could do for you in life. Perhaps. Who knows. You could make a film about trying to be a part of making a modern film! It was a pleasure to try & help nurture a dream and, for most of the girls that went there I imagine that it will take the edge off their fears for the next audition. It will be a little lesson in life of how so much of it can be just down to luck but also how you have to make that luck by having a dream and by trying.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The RPG you dream of is being made.

Development begins...

Click the link to see the blog.

There's nothing more to say right now. My dream will come true!

Monday, 31 December 2012

You want splendid, this will be splendid:

A video game of the day trip to Brighton board game ("BN1") is in the works...

I'd like my copy now please!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A great T design

My youngest, Isabella (9) has made this for a T-shirt design. 

I think it's great, I would like one!

And here's a close up...
Well done Isabella. 

While you're here, you can take a look at another great creation. I'm growing something for charity, take a look here & done a few quid too if you like.

Thank you!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Location of 1934 Ivy Langton naive style painting identified.

My lovely wife & oldest daughter are in Paris at the moment & my wife asked me the name of the street in an Ivy Langton painting. There is a street name in the painting but it had always been hard to read. Today I got the light just right & that lead me to see if I could see what the view is like now.

Here is the view as it is now(ish) cropped from a Google Street View:

Here is the painting (naive style of course) done in circa 1934:

You can read more about Ivy Langton HERE.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Kurt Seligmann painting (probably new to you!).

I've just returned (yesterday) from a holiday with a few stop offs in various location in the North of Britain. This included some nice cultural stuff in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We saw quite a few surreal works here mostly by Picasso. Continuing along the surreal lines...

As you may know, Kurt Seligmann was a Swiss-American Surrealist painter and engraver.

What you may not know is that there is a connection with the English naive artist Ivy Langton. The connections continue but I will leave that aspect of things for another time & place, suffice it to say that it is along these lines that I can show you a Kurt Seligmann painting that has been in the dark for a while which I've been lucky enough to see.

If you like your surreal art and have any comments I would be delighted to hear them.

For now I will simply present this snap shot of the work leaning against some old paper and resting on a sheet (you might want to view it the other way up, you decide!):