Tell us about yourself.
I’m 50 years old and live in Ilford, in Essex. I worked as a sales representative for around 30 years, and I’m now semi-retired.
I’ve worked as a film and TV extra for the last two years. Drama has always been my first love, and I’ve acted in many amateur dramatic and operatic productions. Nowadays, though, I can’t commit myself fully to rehearsals when I might get an assignment at short notice.
Extras work is a step up from amateur drama, and a step on the way to professional acting. I’m registered with five different casting agencies, and normally get around one job a week. The largest agency, Ray Knight, has got me jobs on Holby City and some other TV series.
How did you get started with Models Direct?
I’ve been told that I’m quite a good-looking bloke, and I do get a lot of attention from women, so I thought I might be able to turn that to my advantage – perhaps modelling in Saga magazine!
I only registered with Models Direct, not any other agency. Most of the others charge a lot of money up front, and you either have to provide them with book of photos or pay to have one done.
How did you feel about paying a fee up front?
I think one has to expect it, really.
How long did it take to find work?
I waited around nine months. Until my first assignment came through, I’d been feeling a little bit despondent and wondering whether I should renew my membership after a year. Then this job came along like a bolt out of the blue, and now I’m hoping to find more work.
Tell us about your assignment.
It was a corporate event held in Lisbon, Portugal, for a pharmaceutical company launching a new product to 800 medical professionals.
My assignment took place on the last day of the three-day event. I had to deliver a monologue and then play the role of a nervous patient talking to a GP, who was played by a real doctor. We acted out two scenarios, demonstrating the right and wrong ways to approach patient interviews. It was a light-hearted interlude for the delegates, who’d sat through a lot of heavy lectures.
Learning the lines was a big responsibility, and the most daunting thing about the assignment. I’m used to working with a camera, where you can correct your slip-ups. You feel responsible to the client, and you know that a mistake could ruin the presentation.
On the day, I did make a small mistake in the monologue, but I managed to cover it up. Once we got on to the role-play, everything was fine.
The clients were lovely, always encouraging and reassuring me and making me feel really welcome. The accommodation and travel was perfect – even though there was an hour’s delay on the return flight, there was a chauffeured car waiting to take me home when I arrived, which was really excellent.
What would you say to people thinking about registering with Models Direct?
Definitely go for it! I was feeling despondent about the fact I hadn’t had any work, and suddenly I had this assignment, which was the best job I’ve ever had with anyone.
You’ve got to stick with Models Direct. There’s someone out there looking for you – it just takes a little bit of time. You never know what’s around the corner!
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