Monday, 15 March 2010
A Phone Call From a Russian
I advertise as an acting teacher in various industry publications, it is a reasonable enough source of work although most of my stuff comes through customer recommendations.
So I am used to getting phone calls from wannabe actors who either seem to be utterly naive about the industry, or far too tight to pay for my expensive but quality services (buy cheap, buy twice) or plain rubbish.
I can tell if you're a rubbish actor just by talking to you over the phone, so be warned.
But today's call was a cracker.
A Russian chap called me, early 40s, found my details in one of the aforementioned publications and then made some very vague enquiries about what I do; it felt like some kind of set-up, the voice was so thick with Russian, the vocabulary hesitant and jarring, it had to be one of my pals /racist web stalker having a laugh.
It was not.
It was one of the longest phone conversations I've had with a stranger in my entire life, the gist of it seemed to be (although it occurred at such rapid tangents I've idea if this is actually what we talked about) he wanted help to break into UK show business and was thinking about going to drama school even though he had no money whatsoever and was on benefits and wanted me to give him info on what drama schools to apply to (I hate stuff like this, if you want it bad enough, DO IT YOURSELF, stop dicking around and get the facts ya' sen) and advice sessions/acting classes. When he started telling me about how poor he was and his life issues with his wife, I knew it was time to get off the damn phone, as he was angling for free lessons.
When I told him how much I charge and that if he wants to work with me he'll need to come up with a clearer plan than the current rambling pile of half-assed ideas he fell silent.
I was silent, this was his cue to say goodbye.
He didn't, so I did.
A phone call from a Russian was over.