Star Wars Auditions

When I woke up, I was filled with the excitement/nervous combination that really is a killer at 4.30 in the morning.

The Star Wars auditions have been the talk of the town/country/world. Not only is Star Wars considered as one of the great series that everyone knows, but it is now run by the major company which is called Disney, which even four year old children know about. By announcing that the next Star Wars film, Episode VII, was to be an open audition with requirements only being an age as well as you being ‘beautiful and athletic’, it’s no wonder that thousands of people went for it.

I have to congratulate Disney on this excellent publicity stunt as what better way to get everyone to watch the film – not that it needed the extra help – than to let anyone audition for it?

Of course, this can’t be a blog about recounting a day in my life which you don’t really care about. Nah, I have a major bone to pick concerning the day I’ve just had.

I reached the Twickenham Stadium (the venue for the auditions which was changed from the original plan, which was both smart and crazy. We needed the massive venue to fit the people, but it was changed too close to the day and I don’t even want to think about who might have turned up at the wrong place) at around 6am, already feeling cold. As soon as I got out of the car, I immediately latched onto a group of three girls my age as I couldn’t convince anyone to go with me. We lined up behind the hundreds of people already there and braced ourselves.

Before I go on, let me just clarify a few things before you start judging. There has not been even a moment where I have thought that I would get the part which thousands of people are chasing. I mainly went for the experience and also so I could write an article about it. I’m in the right age range, so why not just go for it?

So we queued outside on the grass for about an hour (which was incredible compared to the four hours other people queued for in that area), but really this was the queue for the proper queue. We were shuffled along like cattle, but the people working there were surprisingly friendly considering that they were out in the cold like us, trying to deal with so many eager young people.

Once inside the stadium grounds, it wasn’t much warmer. No, in fact, it didn’t get warmer. We all shuffled along, our feet becoming as useful as stumps on the ends of our legs which were essentially blocks of ice. I met several great people in the queue and I was so happy that the three girls I’d latched onto were so lovely. Unlike me, all three of them were actress-hopefuls and had done various acting jobs whereas I just had my modelling experience (something that I’ll chat/vent about another day). After a few more hours, I chatted with another girl who was also half dutch, a guy called Raz (which I thought was a pretty cool name) and four 23-year-olds who were really easy to get on with as well as being able to have a laugh in the seemingly endless queue.

Five hours in, some had already started to sing Christmas songs which had the complete opposite effect of lightening the mood. We were passed forms to fill out which just asked about name, age, contact details etc. Two people then went around with staplers, which was when we all had to whip out our head shots which we hoped would be alright. Rumour took flight as we listened to what everyone thought was going to happen. It was unsurprising that we only became more nervous as the hours ticked by.

All in all, I only queued for six hours. So what’s my problem? I knew that there would be a long queue, and I probably got off lightly considering the stories I’ve heard of people queuing for 18 hours. Well, it happens to be the thirty second finish to the day.

Thirty seconds – if that – was taken to make the decision.

I went into a tent. Somebody asked me how I was and I replied cheerfully. I then walked a few feet forwards, handed over my head shot and my form to a woman who didn’t even look at what I gave her. She just said ‘Thanks for coming. You’ll be on file. Bye.’. My A4 head shot was then thrown onto a giant pile of discarded head shots of hopefuls that will all probably end up in a bin in Twickenham.

I understand that there isn’t much you could do to improve the overall experience, but I honestly wouldn’t have minded to wait an extra couple of hours if that meant that everyone could have at least a few minutes to talk to someone who would then make a decision. Yes it can be argued that you can’t spend so much time on so many people, but what do you expect when you do a publicity stunt like this? My advice is that you put as much effort into it as the people coming do. I hate to think what time the people who were first in the queue arrived and it’s horrible to think that they were treated the same as I was. Everyone who went to the auditions have given up hours of their time (and sleep) as well as letting themselves freeze in the weather. Each one of them deserved at least a few minutes in return, if only to find out that they aren’t fit for the role. Don’t just judge someone on how they say ‘I’m fine thank you, and how are you?’ and definitely don’t judge someone on how they look after an early wake-up and hours of queuing. If we can stand around for hours, then the least we can hope for in return is a small chat. It wouldn’t have cost them anything more and it would have made a lot of people far happier.

Congratulations to everyone who managed to get through the next few rounds and I hope that if any of you decide to go to auditions that your experience is better. From what I heard, everyone managed to go into a room and chat for at least a minute with someone or even a few minutes about their acting experiences, hobbies etc. I’m glad if that’s the case, but for today it was not.

On the bright side, I also got to see a couple of storm troopers.

Hope you enjoyed reading, and let me know what you think ~Eleanor

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Role Models

Recently I’ve been writing an article about the misrepresentation of youth (link about it coming soon), but there was one thing that I was wondering about and, if you’ve read the title of this post, you know what it is.

Role Models.

^^This is the first image that pops up on Google Images when you type in ‘Role Models’, which may actually fit my discussion/rant/complaint/musing quite well.

Some of the older generation think that all young people – I think that that means under 20s or under 18s as that is apparently the age when you become older and much wise – look to celebrities like Miley Cyrus for guidance. I could rant and rave for hours about this belief, but to sum up: don’t hate on Miley, no we don’t all look to her for guidance, young people aren’t mindless followers and out of everyone in the world, I think that young people are the ones who question everything the most. It’s true that some young people do follow examples set by celebrities, but the majority of us have our own opinions and personalities.

So if not celebrities, then who do we look to for guidance? Personally, I don’t really look to one person to follow in all aspects of life. As a child, I looked to my parents as role models to see what was right and what was wrong, but it didn’t take long before I could figure that out for myself. Experience always helps, but you are the one who has to make the judgement at the end of the day. I may choose not to go up on a stage and twerk away, but Miley Cyrus did for example. Because of that, I am still the same blogger trying to get by and Miley Cyrus is the only person anyone could talk about in reference to the VMAs and has made a big name for herself.

Not bad, Miley, not bad at all.

Going back to my original point, not all teenagers look to celebrities for guidance despite the fact that some of the older generation have the misconception that all young people are the same. It’s a shame that in our society so many people believe that the influence of celebrities is so significant among the younger generation and that people are making drastic decisions based on this. ‘Blurred Lines’ has been banned in several student unions on the basis that it promotes misogyny, but I know no one that has watched ‘Blurred Lines’ without realising that there is irony. Come on now people, there’s a goat in the video.

So what do you think? Who is your role model? Let me know and see you next time ~Eleanor

My Two Reading Brains

I always feel that when I’m reading that I have two completely different brains. My first reading brain is the one that I use for challenging novels, such as classics like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. I’m meticulous when I read with this brain, paying attention to every word and little detail. How can you not when you’re faced with lavish descriptions, dramatic imagery and poetic language? Using this reading brain I’m an incredibly slow reader and I can only read chunks at a time before I have to leave the book and go to something else for a while to give my brain a break.

Then there’s my other brain – my teenage brain, as I like to think of it. I use this one when I’m reading those wonderful books you can get on a Kindle for £2 that require very little attention. They’re books that don’t make me search for deeper meanings or question my existence – these are the books that I can read in a couple of hours without difficulty. In all honesty, these are also the books which allow me to completely loose myself and forget the rest of the world for a while.

I was thinking about my two different reading brains – or mindsets or however you want to call it – when I was thinking about the book that I’m in progress of writing at the moment. It’s no secret that I want to write novels one day (be that tomorrow or in 15 years) and I’ve been writing since a very young age. My first ‘book’ was written in primary school when I was so angry that a boy I liked moved away that he got bitten by a spider in his new house (Don’t worry, he gets better in the sequel and buys me a pony to say sorry which I ride off into the sunset on). 

The book that I’m trying to write at the moment is a book that I would choose to read when I just want to loose myself again. It isn’t serious – it’s just a bit of fun; your typical teenage, fantasy, romantic-y type that doesn’t need you to focus. You don’t need an extensive education to grasp the meaning of it or need someone else to offer up different interpretations; it’s straightforward and, most importantly, readable. Well, I think it is anyway. I’m sure someone else will disagree, but then when is there something that nobody disagrees with-

Sorry, getting too deep for a Saturday evening now. Hope you lot are well and catch you next time ~El