Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Learning Chinese in 90 days - Day 3: In conversation with French Meerkats

The casting brief from my agent read: "French mum, 30-35, doesn't need to be too pretty..." Now, this is what separates the starry eyed wannabees from the hardened pros. First, bypass the Ego. Let me tell you something: ugly/old/stupid/nerdy/unsexy, they're all good. I'm not a swimsuit model, I'm a method actor. I can play 10 different types of pimple if required. You want ugly? I can do ugly! You want me to interact with an imaginary talking stoat/meerkat? You want me to deliver the lines in French even though the script is in English? Yes Yes Yes. Hey, I'll play the stoat if you want me to (it's a long running campaign so the puppet is probably getting paid more than the real people).
It's day 3 of Mandarin lessons so I'm not quite ready to do an advert in Mandarin but in 87 days, well, it may be a whole other story... What if I get cast in a long running soap on Chinese TV? Eastenders/BBC casting: eat your heart out!
So how are the lessons going? They're going well. The trick is to relax into it and not get hung up if you can't remember a word or expression. It's a bit like the Heathrow Express: if you miss one, you know there'll be one along in another 15 minutes. What new words have I learned?  "Here", "there", "where"... and most importantly: "I don't understand what it is you are saying." Betcha that's going to come in really handy (especially as I'll be hearing that being said to me quite a bit).
Until tomorrow...

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