I love the old saying "it's not as easy as it looks". It's come to mind this morning, as I've certainly been bearing it out this week with my foray into acting.
I did promise faithfully I wouldn't take a part in An Unnecessary Murder, much to the relief of very many people. But, I was told, if I did it'd be good for the play's profile, and jolly fun, and also encouraging for the cast and all concerned to have me there, so I relented.
Quick aside (you knew it was coming) - in truth, as a chap who may suffer from the odd attack of egotism, the actual persuading work wasn't that tricky.
However! Thursday saw the time for my acting career to begin, and hell! It wasn't straightforward. Far from it, in fact.
I did think that, because I spend much of my time working in the curious world of television, I might just have a decent grounding in theatrics. Much of what we do on the box is faux drama, after all.
How wrong I was. I had a mere few words to deliver, and I could just about hold them in brainland adequately. But here's the issue - I had to walk, as well as talk, and also try to pull some form of vaguely convincing facial expressions.
Talk about multi-tasking overload! How could anyone ask so much of a mere man?!
Anyhow, I can't give too much away about what happens, so all I'll say is that after a couple of hours work I think we more or less cracked it. I shall remember forever - if not treasure - the look on Jac, the director's face, at my first attempt at saying my lines. Scathing wasn't it, but horrified might be!
And all that time, thought and effort, was just for a very small part in the play. So, I come away from it with a renewed, and very sizeable appreciation of actors, and even more so of the wonderful folk who are playing the parts in An Unnecessary Murder.
They're all giving their time for free, so we can raise as much money as possible for Hospiscare, and it's very much appreciated.
I can't wait to see it all played out on the stage. A certain small segment, featuring a very ham actor excluded...
The play premieres on April 25th, at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter. I very much hope to see you there. And if you do come along, please be merciful about my acting efforts...