A few weeks ago I ended up in a live studio audience for the recording of a new episode of a tenth series of the venerable Red Dwarf. Despite it ranking up there as one of the geekiest things I have ever done, amongst the geekiest crowd of people I’ve probably ever been amongst, it was great fun and enlightened me to the ways of television studio recording, something that I had just assumed knowledge about.
I was swore to say nothing about the actual show, of course, but I will say this: it’s good.
What seeing the show did do was give me the sudden realisation that despite everything I had thought when growing up, acting was not a calling I could’ve actually done. Many people will say “I wish I could’ve been an actor” but watching Craig Charles and Chris Barrie have to act out the same scene numerous times due to errors, stumbles, fumbles and mistakes with the script, as well the director changing ideas and ways in which the scene had been filmed, it was evident that I would’ve lost my mind early on.
I am patient, as I have already mentioned recently. I guess my type of patience doesn’t work for working repetitive and arduous things every couple of minutes, repeating scenes and changing slight inflexions of tone and emphasis. Interestingly, I guess, it also made me realise that work that these actors have to put into not messing it up – every time there’s a take, you have an enormous amount of pressure on you. Not only because there’s an expectation to not get it right, you can see other people working away, doing their job correctly. If you don’t do yours, then they don’t get to do theirs.
Another point that confirmed to me that acting would’ve been an incorrect career path is the entire detachment from the creation of the show the event seemed – we were in the studio for a show that will be released onto screens in September 2012 8 months before hand – this is not the case for all shows, granted, but it still felt like an age between the filming and showing of the series. Oddly, I’d never considered this before. I guess the gap between the show and my TV is not something I think about when watching a TV show.
It wasn’t the dashing of a dream though, don’t get me wrong – apart from playing games and imaginative worlds created, I had no aspiration to be an actor. I had no dramatic drive in my body as a child, preferring to be hidden – once even being back stage crew at a performance of Oliver! in my high school, which I immensely enjoyed. You would have never caught me attempting to act in anyway, doing any kind of drama production, or anything like that.
It’s just one of those what it things that plays out in your head – it’d be a great job to have, sure, and looked like a hell of a lot more fun than calculations and driving Excel spreadsheets, but that’s where it ends. It’s not a “what if”, but a “never if”. Consider a dream not shattered, but ruled out.
Next, I will discover there would be no way I could’ve ever been in a band. That’s a true dream shattering moment.