Back to Acting…

Photo of Marie Cooper's script for Handbagged
๐Ÿ•’ 2 minutes read

Playing Mags

I know I’m always going on about serendipity, but Monday at 3pm was the deadline for my final MA coursework. At 3:05pm, I got an email asking if I would like to step in to help Sewell Barn Theatre. They’d lost one of their cast members because they were unwell. This left them needing someone to step in to play Margaret Thatcher. Back to acting within 5 minutes of my course ending.

I’m slightly concerned that there’s not long to learn lines, but there was no way I could turn it down. I knew I would regret it. It was like the universe had thrown it in my lap and said, ‘There! You wanted this so badly. Your course is done. Well, there you are! Go work your ass off. You got this!’. Then I was straight into rehearsals that evening.

Along for the ride

So, with barely time to skid to a halt after my Master’s, I’ve hit the acting ground running this week. I spent the most amazing couple of hours on the Mid-Norfolk Railway forย a promotional photo shoot.ย  Working alongside a lovely bunch of actors, I bumped into a few familiar faces, and met some actors who were totally new to me.ย ย I haven’t seen the resulting photographs and don’t like my photo-face at the best of times, let alone pulling those faces.ย  No one but the crew and fellow actors, knows what I was up to that day, yet. so it will be interesting to see if anyone notices if/when the photographs go public ๐Ÿ˜€


I’ve also been pencilled in for some potential commercial work next week, but I’m still waiting to hear back about that. It was the first time I’ve ever been asked to supply a photograph of my hands. When the email arrived, I was alone in the house. Being the owner of just two hands, I quickly realised that it was going to be tricky to photograph both of them at once. ย I was very nervous having my phone, clamped onto my tripod, face down, knowing it could smash if it dropped out.ย  I can’t say that it’s the greatest photo I have ever taken, but it’s enough to show that my hands areย enantiomorphic and have the correct number of digits.

Sorry, not sorry

It would be too easy now to worry about how little money I have at the moment, coming out of my degree, and how much of a struggle it’s going to be to claw myself back to some semblance of normality in my finances. But I don’t see how sitting about feeling sorry for myself would help in any way.ย  So I won’t. As always, I choose to focus on the positives. I’ve completed my Master’s now, achieving what I set out to do, in spite of the challenges. I am working with some amazing and talented performers on multiple projects coming up, both this year and into the next.ย  I am grateful for how incredibly lucky I am doing work that I love, for the opportunities I have, the talented and caring people I am meeting along the journey and that I am learning something new almost every day.

Incomplete Script For my Eyes Only

fragmented incomplete script
๐Ÿ•’ 1 minute read

About to send out my very petite and imperfectly formed, incomplete script. So far it has been for my eyes only and for good reason. It is exceedingly rough, fragmented, and far from close to being finished. So much so, that I felt the need to go through it and liberally prop it up with additional text, explaining the bits that are missing (some of which are still in my head…and some that aren’t….yet).

I attempted to clarify some of the glaringly obvious plot holes and timeline discrepancies and bits that I am not quite sure how they will work on a stage as yet. Whilst also, quite deftly I think, avoiding mentioning that the major plot hasn’t even really been explained in what I have written so far. Although I really hope I have hinted at it a little, or my first draft is going to be even more rubbish than I am expecting it to be.ย ย 

I was asked if I was ready to perform any of my script at a Scratch night yet and hoping that the answer to that, is unlike my script, glaringly obviousย ๐Ÿ˜‚ย 

Read, Write, Chat – Micro Fiction – 28 July 2018

crazy maker micro fiction image of a dishevelled workshop
๐Ÿ•’ 1 minute read

In our Read, Write, Chat Meetup Group on Saturday, we were given the writing prompt: ‘Crazy Maker’ and given ten minutes to write. After my initial panic, as my brain squirrels went off like fireworks in my head, this is the little piece of micro fiction I created from it.

Crazy Maker

She knew it was going to seem crazy to everyone. Hell, it seemed crazy to her and if she couldn’t decide why she was doing it, how would anyone else? She pushed the two edges tightly together, willing the hot, sticky surfaces to stay stuck. How long would it take anyway. Should have read the instructions she mused, as she convinced herself that her arms were aching already.

On the first day, she saw the curved edge of rubber in the dusty, dirty gutter of the road. She sped by. On the second day she felt herself slow down to satiate her curiosity and try to figure out what the object was. On day three, she stopped pedalling, slowed to a dead stop, picked up the grubby, slightly greasy and grainy, black object and popped it, dirt and all, into her backpack.

It was in that moment that she knew she was going to create something with it. She didn’t know what. She didn’t know why. She knew the discarded pieces of roadside debris deserved better. Crazy! Mad! Everyone would think so. But she felt compelled to build something from the lost and the discarded.

ยฉ2018 Marie Cooper

Micro fiction

195 Words. Wow! 195? Is that all? It seemed like more. No wonder I am finding 500 per day so difficult. What a noob!

Acting and Writing: Combining Passions into Purpose

image representing my500words challege and creating a character
๐Ÿ•’ 2 minutes read

Today I am writing a short piece for a character I will be playing tomorrow. I don’t need to. It’s not necessary, but I thought I would combine day four of #My500Words challenge with my research and preparation for the role.

I have been provided with a brief which contains a bit about the history and personality of the character I need to play,ย  and what her motivations are. I am going to take the main facts and creatively write prose from my character’s point of view, as she goes through the experience that has been created in the text for her.

I will be creating her character tomorrow as an actor anyway. This is what I do, taking clues that the writer has put into the text or playwright has created in the dialogue. Investigating the words to determine where my character came from, what it is she wants, what action she is going to initiate to get it and what is standing in her way and how she is likely to react. I would use all the clues to dig deeper into the truth of who she is so that I can bring genuine emotions from my own experiences to make her real, aiming for verisimilitude.

But today, I am going to start with the facts and attempt to invent her internal reality, in words not actions, mind not body, enveloping the emotions into the text, as opposed to digging into the text for her emotions.

I am very much enjoying experimenting with words on the page. I think that the way that Iย  build my characters and explore emotion is going to be advantageous to my writing, and that getting back in touch with the writer in me is also going to contribute beneficially to the richness of my creativity and make me a better actor.