Thursday, 21 November 2013

Working on ITV Jackpot247



First of all excuse the expression on my face ha ha - difficult capturing a screen shot whilst live on TV and you never know what kind of faces you will be pulling ha. I'm also sure those who are watching probably see me do things and say things that I have no idea why I'm saying ha, so I apologise for that.

HOW IT STARTED

After working on another casino show on and off for 4 years, I was always looking to start moving things forward and to look for new opportunities, and to be brutally honest to get out of the previous place. (I'm not going to talk about the other place in this post but will do another one specifically about that very soon.) The opportunity came up a while ago when a friend of mine started working for the company Netplay on Supercasino which is on channel 5. He has the same agency as me and so our booker sent my showreel over to them. Fortunately for me, they kept hold of my details until they started recruiting again and I was very lucky to be able to initially be given a screen test.

THE SCREEN TEST

I was sent a script across to learn or to at least follow. Now in the past I have actually struggled to learn scripts and sometimes it takes me a long while to get everything down. But because of my experience on live TV and working for a similar company in the past, I felt very confident and comfortable with the script. So when it came to the screen test and going through the first take I managed to nail it and receive great praise from the Executive Producer. A lot of it was down to the hard work I put in to prepare for this. I wanted it so much. I needed a change. I knew that it wasn't going to happen unless I took the time to prepare properly which I did, much to the annoyance of my housemates ha.

The screen test involved three different one or two minute scripts about promotions and what Jackpot 247 is all about. It was important to be clear and concise and to come across believable to the audience. Again my experience certainly helped with this. The last part of the screen test involved trying to sell some head phones for a minute to the camera. Now I'm sure you think that sounds strange and I certainly did too, but the company is about sales and it is about ensuring more players sign up. Something that I haven't been used to in the past, but it gives me the excitement and the emphasis to push harder in order to reach targets.

THE NEXT PHASE

I walked out of the screen test feeling very confident and certainly knowing that there was nothing more I could of done. That feeling is fantastic. If I didn't get it I knew I had tried my very best and I felt that they knew it too. Fortunately my best was enough and I was delighted to receive the call to confirm that they wanted me to join the company. The best thing was to be able to leave my old place! That brought me a lot of satisfaction!

Then it was time for some intensive training to learn not only about the scripts, the promotions, the bonuses, but importantly about using the studio and the 6 different cameras that were being used. The whole experience was so professional and made a huge impact on me. Standing positions to ensure the lighting is at its fullest was key as well as positioning so certain graphics could come up well on the screen. This was all new to me, but I have to say I was thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. I knew it was a nice step forward and I felt the progression finally taking place.

WORKING ON ITV

First and foremost how great to tweet and to put on Facebook that I will be on ITV and not an obscure sky channel! That felt good I'm not going to lie. I know I'm not hosting the XFactor or a massive show, but I feel very proud to be working on ITV. My first couple of nights I was certainly nervous, and it certainly would of come across to people that it was my first night. But what makes this company so great is the professionalism. To be given feedback is so important for anyones progression in whatever business you work in. This is no different and to be able to get the best from me, they need to tell me when I am doing something wrong and how to rectify this, and that is something that is vitally important. It will help to improve me as a presenter, it will help Jackpot247 get the best from me and it will help me progress and push forward with my presenting.

The way the night works is that I do a total of 2 and a half hours on air, compare that to 6 hours in the previous place. Usually it is an hour on, hour or hour and a half off and then a final hour and a half. Its relaxed, its professional and I feel fully energised every time I'm on air.


A special note to everyone I have met and have helped me within the company and a thank you to all of them who have helped me along my way. They have been very welcoming and helpful and I have settled in very very quickly and it feels like I have been there so long. So a big thank you to all of them and for the support from my friends and family. It's a step forward, but one that has given me the motivation to continue to progress forward and strive for more.

Thanks as always for taking the time out to read

James

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Options - "It's like dangling toys in front of kids"



Imagine telling your kids, or any kids in your lives that they might get a really nice toy next week. Imagine how excited they are and how they can never get that thought out of their mind. They might try hard to stop thinking about it, but they will continue to get their hopes up. Now imagine telling them the next week that they won't be getting a toy. Horrible right? Now, I know I'm comparing things that happen to me like kids, but options feel the same way. I have been modelling for coming up to 7 years now and dealing with options is one of the hardest things to do.

I am certain that I have mentioned about options in the past, but they will never stop coming and I still haven't worked out how to deal with them properly. Some might be for smaller amounts of money and of course they are easy to put to the back of your mind. But one I had hanging over for a week this past week was for £18,000!!! Silly money right?! For a car commercial and it would have been shooting in Portugal for 6 days as well! Like a dream job! How you can put this to the back of your mind and forget about it is beyond me and something I really struggle to do. Any advise? ;-)

They are never guaranteed and its easy to say to my agency to not tell me, however they need to ensure that I will be free for the shoot if it happens to come off. Its always a tricky one and one in which I spend hours and hours chatting to other models about. The good thing now is that I know how to cope when the options are taken off. At the end of the day its not like I lost that job, as I never had it in the first place. Self motivating talks to keep positive is the key, and ensuring you don't sit and wallow in self pity, I mean, where does that ever get you??? We have all done it, but you always end up realising how pointless that was and feeling sorry for yourself gets you no where.

It's not something that just models/actors go through. This happens in everyday life when you are looking for a job and waiting to hear back from an interview. The only difference is this happens often on a weekly basis! So coping with disappointment is the most important thing and being thankful when one of them comes off.


Anyways a short little post updating on current events. Been a fair few auditions last week and I am continuing to create new opportunities for myself as well. But ultimately anything from now until xmas will be a bonus. December and January does tend to be quiet so its important to keep myself as busy as possible.

Thanks again for reading

James

Monday, 11 November 2013

Mevius Cigarettes Campaign



After a busy week at the Canary Wharf fashion show, I was very fortunate enough to book an advertising camping for Mevius cigarettes, who are the top Asian cigarette brand. It's been a little while since I booked a nice big job and a much better feeling after casting for the job. a direct booking is all well and good but to get a job from a casting is a much greater feeling.

First of all the job did not require any smoking before you ask ha ha (well its what so many people have asked ha). There were 3 models on the job, 2 guys and a girl. But the crew was big and going into the studio on the first day I instantly knew it was a big professional job, not only because of the size of the crew, but more importantly the FOOD! It's a sure fire sign that time and care has been taken to look after everyone when the food is good and it was absolutely fantastic ha. Anyways...sorry slightly side tracked there by the food ha. Into hair and make up I went (yes on shoots I have make up on - not my favourite part I have to say), but my luck was in as I was a bit of a scruffy mess and my hair needed a cut, which they were more than happy to do. Result! A quick shave as well and I was transformed from what some could describe as rocking the tramp look to a bit more human ha.

The first day involved a lot of sitting around, which strangely happens more on the bigger jobs. The reason was because we were doing individual shots and there were 3 of us rotating and doing 2 different shots each throughout the day. It does take a lot of shots to get the right ones done and even more so when there was a lot of movement involved. They wanted a lot of jumping, leaping etc which I'm sure to many sounds simple, but you need to make sure your legs, arms face, body etc are all looking normal. What made this even harder was the advertising agency had their images of what they wanted in mind and on to a picture script and wanted to replicate this. Something that is absolutely impossible to do, replicate a real life image. You have to try and get as close to the image as possible but just takes some time.

Day 2 started with huge excitement! Not for the shoot but for breakfast! There were these pots of granola, fruit, yoghurt and honey that were so so nice! (Its always the small things in life isn't it ha ha). But Day 2 was to be a much busier day as we had 4 group shots to complete. Now I was "male model 2" in the shots, which meant I wasn't the main focus. Now in the past that would of made me feel a bit uncomfortable and to take it personally. But after almost 7 years as a model, I never worry about that one bit. The main thing is that I am just pleased when I book a job and know that I am still getting paid the same and my role is still important, so you just make sure you do your best.


It was a long couple of days, but I wouldn't change them one bit and certainly would never complain about it. I love being busy, I love working and keeping my time filled in. In the past I feel I have wasted so much of my time sat around doing very little, when I could of made full use of it. I guess thats an age thing. But importantly I have certainly changed and know I don't want to waste anymore time and I want to work hard in order to be successful.

Thanks for Reading

James

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

CANARY WHARF FASHION SHOWS


Fashion Shows are not normally something that I would do, mainly because they do not pay a great deal and I went through a long phase in the first couple of years of modelling where I didn't book any. Pretty naive of me to be honest because this was so much fun and I feel like I have certainly missed out on a lot of fun doing more of them. The thought of walking up and down a catwalk has never been of huge interest to me to be honest. I know many girls had dreams of walking the catwalk, but for guys I feel its very different, however I was completely surprised by how much fun I had.

Its a long process though, as its not just about turning up and walking up and down as so many people think. Now I'm not going to preach to you and say its like rocket science, but a lot of work goes into the organisation. It started on Monday with the first rehearsals. There were 6 of us involved (3 guys, 3 girls) and we were shown various walk throughs for certain shows that we were doing. The only complex part was crossing over the catwalk and on to little stages and ensuring we all moved at the same time. There were also dancers in the show as well who I have to say worked their nuts off! Their job was far more difficult than ours and immediately I ensured I didn't moan about one single thing ;-) ha ha. The rehearsals lasted a few hours and I felt very comfortable and realised the dancers were cool and I would certainly get on with all of them.



The next day involved a couple of hours in fittings ensuring the clothes fit ok, which simply involves trying on different outfits of the brands we were doing the shows for. The key - taking clothes off as quickly as possible and putting them back on just as quick ha, simple.

Then it was a full day of rehearsals and one of the funniest days I have had for a long time. We went through 4 of the shows and quite a few times each which included full dress rehearsals. With fashion shows you often have little time to change clothes and its key for the organiser to ensure that the changes are all possible and everyone is working hard together. We had our own designated dressers too! How crazy does that sound?! But I have to say they were 100% necessary as they ensured all the clothes were in the right order and made sure we got ready in time.
What was incredibly funny was that the dancers had these really tricky routines to learn and had a much much harder job than the models, yet it was the models who struggled the most! Fortunately I ma not including myself in this, as it was not my section that was the tricky part. Watching 4 models learning to move across the stage and in between some drummers in the right order was just comedy gold! If it wasn't one of them it was the other that couldn't get it. Sadly the stereotype of a model was in full swing at this point! The dancers were in hysterics as was I and one of the girl models too. But also the dancers couldn't believe how much trouble they were having and probably thought how ridiculous ha ha.

Everything was set though for 3 days of shows at Canary Wharf. It went great it has to be said and I really enjoyed the shows. You get to know everyone involved because of the times you spend with each other and in between the shows you are just socialising which I loved. There was great banter between everyone involved and although at times it was hard work, ultimately there are so so many jobs that are worse than what we did. Plenty of people watched the shows and I was just happy nobody booed me! ha. I was also happy that I didn't mess up at all and just ensured I enjoyed the whole experience.


It was a very handy job to keep me busy and to earn me money, but importantly it was thoroughly enjoyable and I met some great people that I hope to stay in contact with. Also, you never know if future work could come up with this company, so very important to leave a good impression.

My blog has had a make over and I can finally add pictures to the posts!!! ABOUT TIME! I hope you enjoy

James