Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I feel like a Juggler

In today's economic climate, work is at a premium and that especially applies for the entertainment industry and for actors and models. That is why so many people have to take on another job to be able to survive. I've done Roofing that earned me just £50 a day to try and help me keep up in a very competitive industry like modeling. The first 2 years especially in the industry are simply about survival. This is because you need to build your reputation up, your image, your client base and also build your portfolio too. It is not as simple as many make out to get in the industry and to very importantly sustain the work to continue being in the industry. It takes time, money and a lot of sacrifices to achieve this and also another job to support yourself.

I landed on my feet with my presenting job at Smartlive, but it becomes very difficult sometimes trying to juggle both modeling and presenting. The presenting is pretty settled and in a shift format each and every month, but with modeling it can often chop and change the day before. The presenting work is less flexible now, due to the company clamping down on shift changes. As frustrating as this is, I completely understand that the company wants to ensure they come first. But flexibility has been needed in the past to ensure I can make my shoots. This has changed in the recent 8 weeks and I have been just getting on with late nights and very much a lack of sleep too. Doing whats needed whilst the work is available for me.

(shoot from Mascot Workwear)

Long day and nights continued, but it ensured I had a fantastic month of November, culminating in a shoot for Superdrug Hair Dye. No, I didn't have to dye my hair for the job ha, just a simple shoot for the packaging of the product. It was a very nicely paid job, well at first glance anyway. What I mean by that is that the usage for the shoot was 5 years!!! This simply means that Superdrug can use my images from the shoot for the next 5 years to advertise that product. 2 or 3 years ago, this fee would have been absolutely huge and I would more than likely be lying on a tropical island right now if that was the case! But in today's very different economic climate, that is simply not the case and very rarely is anymore.

This is certainly not a post where I am complaining about the work. Like so many right now across the world, having to juggle so many aspects of their lives in order to survive and make a living, I am just one of the many. It is simply a case of doing what is necessary right now and it is the only way to go. There is no point in sitting back and waiting for something to happen, which is something I have certainly done in the past. I have that motivation right now that only I can sort and decide my future and if it requires me to continue to juggle work around and work hard for the foreseeable future then so be it.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

RIP Sprite Cat

Today has been one of the hardest days of my life, having to put my cat down. He was 14 years old and we had him for over 13 and a half years. A cat or any pet for that matter becomes part of your family and something that is always around every single day. Pets are a comfort blanket for people. They give you the company that often you don't have else where. You become so close to them and look after them, are affectionate towards them and they return that pleasure.

Our family got Sprite from a rescue home when he was a kitten along with his sister (Pepsi) and their mum (Natasha) almost 14 years ago. Unfortunately Pepsi passed away when she was very young and a couple of years later Natasha went missing and never returned. So we were left with Sprite, the cat then when we first got him was scared of everyone and used to run away. But without the competition of the other cats, he became the main focus of our attention of course and soon came out of his shell and his fantastic personality came out.

I know that for many who don't have pets may not understand all my comments, but those who have certainly will. Sprite had a great personality, he was so affectionate to all he met, purring day and night and was just ultimately a very happy cat. All my friends loved him and during many classic "Bar Greeno" nights, he would sit with all the boys too, doing the rounds for as much attention as possible. Known as the "stupid cat" by some of the family (mention no names Dad) because he would hit his head on things and always run into his room for food a long time before it was ready. Just a very fun cat to have around the place.

Not my usual post but something that means a lot to me and brings about my soft side big time which is something I haven't really talked about in this post. Those that know me understand that I was extremely close to my cat and we will miss him like crazy and never forget him. The friendliest cat I have ever known, never once bit, scratched anyone.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Hardest I've worked on a shoot in my life

This week I have continued my busy period with a shoot for Fitness First down in Christchurch, Dorset. It is the second time in a couple of months that I have worked for this client, but this time was different to no other. The shoot is for the walls in the fitness centers and if you have ever been into gyms, they have pictures of people doing the activities on the walls. These range from various exercises with weights, balance boards, press ups, running, jumping etc. It meant that for 4 hours I would be working up a sweat! (which is what the client wanted).

Normally I have no problem with the exercises and it wouldn't trouble me one bit. However, with my knee still no where near recovered, this was going to be a very tricky shoot for me. Now of course I didn't have to do the job and could have turned it down for not being in the right fitness for it, but works work and I need all that I can get my hands on. Time to take some pain killers and to just get on with it, whilst being slightly careful of course, that was the attitude I took.

Some of the exercises were pretty tough to do and I certainly got my sweat on throughout. It turned out to be a great workout and that's how I treated it, "getting paid to work out" (life can't be too bad). ha. Some of the shots were re-enacting scenarios such as personal trainers and clients and you had to get into the mind set of either straining to do the exercises (so facially it looks like your working hard) and when your a personal trainer acting like that is your job. A little bit of still camera acting involved, like with a lot of shoots and of course the better you are, the more natural the pictures come out as.

Everything went great and the good thing about working with people you have worked with previously is that the atmosphere is a lot more comfortable. It relaxes everyone on the shoot, which creates a good working atmosphere on set. The creative company, CHS, are in charge of providing the studio, the photographer and ensuring the models have the right itinerary. It's nice to get in with a company like this, as they are often asked to book models for companies as well, or at least have an influence for the clients that book their jobs through them. To prove this fact, this is the 3rd time in less than 2 months I have worked with this company.

Pictures from this shoot will also come at a later date. This is a common problem with all the shoots that I undertake, that the pictures take so long to come through and are often very difficult to get hold of too.

This is one still shot I got back from the Malibu Ident which I shot back in the summer. If you have not seen it, you are just missing me answering a phone and shouting, "Taxi's here" ha ha, tough job hey ;-). Unlike the Fitness First job where I seriously was exhausted and aching for a few days after that shoot, a complete first for me ha.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Lack of Sleep but all good with Beechfield job

I am writing, which is a good sign that I managed to survive one of the most tiring days of my life. Monday I was on the casino channel from 10pm until 6am Tuesday morning. I set up camp on the sofa in the Green Room and slept for about an hour, until my horrific alarm woke me up telling me its time for my next job. That feeling when you have very little sleep, the heavy eyes, the aches and the pains were all apparent in the morning. It became even worse knowing that I have a 9 hour shoot ahead of me with new clients who I want to impress. I just felt absolutely horrific.

But I had to just suck it up and get on with it, as we all do when times get tough. I focused my mind on the fact it was one day of my life and to just forget about being tired (the mental approach is not usually the route I go for, but for this instance it was needed, and worked)

Arriving at the studio in North London, straight away the client saw me walking outside and was very friendly and smiley and chatty (a very good sign for a nice day ahead). The studio was a converted 3 story house that was absolutely fantastic for shooting in, with a real retro theme to it. I met the photographer who was absolutely brilliant, a bundle of energy, enthusiasm and most importantly humour which set the precedence for the 2 day shoot. The make up artist was nice and friendly and the stylist was a proper Northern lass from Manchester who was absolutely great. I was working on the job with 2 female models, both very nice and one of which I had worked with before in Majorca in 2008! It's always great to see models/photographers/clients that you haven't seen for a long while and catching up on stories and adventures. Sometimes give you new places to make a venture to as well.

The shoot itself was for a company called Beechfield (pictures to come soon) who are renowned for their hats. They are a Northern based company and are using pictures from the shoot for their website and posters. Very simple and relaxed shoot was to follow, with just 10 shots in total spread across 2 days. Sounds very very easy right? Well, this time I can't gloss it up and say it was hard work because it really wasn't. This was down to the excellent preparation from the client and the photographer, and the ease of the models too always helps.

That was the last 2 days, not much else to report really, just knuckling down and concentrating on getting as much work as possible, whether modeling or at the casino channel doing my presenting.

If you have any questions or comments then please feel free to post something and I will get straight back to you.