One week post op – the big reveal!

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This day has been much anticipated. Despite swelling and bruising, today I got to see my new nose.

I awoke apprehensive as I was under the impression it would be painful removing the splint and stitches. By the time I arrived at the clinic I was prepared for pain and excited to see what I’d paid for. Using what I would describe as a large cotton wool bud dipped in adhesive remover, the nurse gently eased the splint away from my nose… Pop! Off it came, no pain! Next the stitches, snip, snip…out! I was surprised how easy it all was. She admired the surgeons work for a moment before asking if I was ready to view my new face. Drawing back a curtain she revealed a mirror…I was suddenly really nervous. ‘Hello new nose’ – It was strange, I was looking at me; the me I had looked at every single day; I looked the same yet different. I smiled, my nose is straighter, still swollen and bruised and not quite perfect but I really liked it. A sense of relief washed over me and I nearly began crying. On my way home I couldn’t help but catch sight of myself in every window. I decided to pop in to Superdrug and treat myself to some new make up. Once home I washed my face gently to try to remove some of the glue remaining. I then sat and with great care made up my new face for the first time. It was wonderful to look human again.

Next¬†came the task of seeking approval from my loved ones, so I sent around some selfies and was pleased to receive lots of big thumbs ups. Now I simply have to wait for the bruises to heal and get some new head shots. ūüėÄ

G x

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My nose job – day three!

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Today has been emotionally tough. ¬†I noticed a few things that got me panicking; first I saw that one nostril was much larger than the other; ¬†secondly I realised I can’t smile properly. ¬†Both of these observations made me cry but on calming down I realise that this is all likely because of the swelling. ¬†My whole face from my top lip upwards is puffy. ¬†I decided to put some ice carefully on my checks to try to help the swelling a little.

I am getting strange sensations in my nose; pressure, tingling and itching. ¬†The worse thing has been the feeling like I am going to sneeze. ¬†Luckily I have managed to avoid exploding but my research shows that if I do sneeze I must open my mouth to release the pressure…

More than anything I am just feeling fed up today, tired and feeling like an unattractive puffer fish.

My nose job – day two!

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I had such a long night. ¬†My nose is packed with wadding so I can only breath through my mouth, meaning I kept snoring and waking myself up. ¬†I also have to sleep upright for the next two weeks, all this meant I was awake every thirty minutes. ¬†This wasn’t too bad as it meant I could keep taking on water to try and rehydrate. ¬†At 6am I decided to put on the TV and nibbled at half a biscuit. ¬†A few hours later I was given breakfast. ¬†I had ordered a fry up but looking at it this morning I knew there was no way I could eat it. ¬†So I picked at it to seem polite, and because I hadn’t eaten in 24hrs and knew I needed something.

I felt so woozy this morning. ¬†The nurse took my vitals and said my bod pressure was low. ¬†I am not in too much pain though, just discomfort. ¬†At 8.30am the nurse came to remove my packing. ¬†I wasn’t at all apprehensive as I thought it was simply removing a little cotton wool from my nose. ¬†She warned that it would be uncomfortable and placed an open bag at my chin. ¬†Two strings hung, one from each nostril and were tied together. ¬†She took hold of this and pulled. ¬†I felt the movement up my nose and the harder she pulled the tighter the pressure, then I realised that this went deep back into my nasal cavity and the more she pulled the more it stung. ¬†Finally release! ¬†Then opens the flood gates. ¬†Im trying to tip my head forward to get the blood coming out of my nose, but the nurse is propping my head back, meaning it was flowing down my throat and I was swallowing it. ¬†I tried spitting out as much as I could. ¬†It took five minutes to settle. ¬†What a palaver! ¬† My nose now was stinging and throbbing. ¬† I was brought a bowl of ice to suck on to stop the bleeding.

The boyfriend arrived.  Yey, someone I can share my gory stories with.  He helped me to shower and dress.  I have been told I must wear my surgical socks for a week, avoid hot (temperature) and spicy food and drinks.  No bending, lifting or exerting in any way for a few days.  In all honesty I feel a lot more knocked out than I had expected so I think I will just be on the couch anyway.  Finally the Surgeon came to tell me all went well but that the tip was slightly more complicated than expected, but that he thinks the result is good.  I received my paperwork and meds and headed home (Via public transport Рnot ideal but I had no choice).

Finally at home, ¬†I have had to change my dressing under my nose a few times already. ¬†The nurse said it should come off by the morning but it is still weeping lots. ¬†My right eye is rather black and swollen. ¬†My stitches are stinging a little and I feel pressure on the bridge but not enough for me to want to take my painkillers (they make me drowsy so I am avoiding if I can). My appetite is back but eating seems to set the bleeding off so I’m not eating much. ¬†I am hoping the swelling will withdraw quickly so that I can get an idea of my new nose soon. G x

My nose job – day one!

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The day finally arrived. I hadn’t slept much, I guess due to the anticipation, nerves and excitement. I got up at 6.30am to have my breakfast and a drink (porridge and a pint of water). From 7am I was nil by mouth. After a few last minute preparation and collecting some arnica tablets I set off on the hour commute to the hospital.

It is a lovely private hospital in North London. I’m quickly shown to my room. Over the next four and a half I am visited by nurses, the anaesthetist and my surgeon. I’m dressed in surgical stockings, a gown (ah the joy) and slippers. They take my weight and height, heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. My surgeon then comes along and draws on my face.

At five thirty; hungry and thirsty; I am collected to go to theatre. Once on the bed in the preparation room I suddenly get really scared. I have to concentrate hard to stop myself from crying. The anaesthetist talks to me about actors, trying to distract me while he injects me with a few syringes worth of fluids, each one pushing a wave of cold tingles around my body, slurring my speech and clouding my thoughts. Blackout.

I awake in recovery over an hour later, woh my face hurts! My throat is red raw, glands swollen and nose is cast and packed so breathing is restricted. I burst into tears whilst I try desperately to ask if everything went ok. I am reassured by a kind man in scrubs that everything was fine and told not to touch my eyes (something about having cream on my eyes or something). I’m brought back to my room to the relief of my boyfriend; who had gotten into a panic because I was an hour longer than expected.

He kisses my forehead and I burst into tears again. Spaced out I slip in and out of consciousness. The porters move me from the theatre trolly to the hospital bed “I feel sick I mumble….I’m going to be sick”. I’m passed a pan but nothing. I lie back whilst I’m tucked in and checked over. The porters and nurse leave me with my man. He helps me to sip some water through a straw; no sooner had it hit my stomach and the nausea returns. This time it’s for real and to my boyfriends horror I’m vomiting blood. He buzzes for the nurse. She explains that’s it’s normal and nothing to worry about.

Finally my man leaves me for the evening to recoup in my hospital bed. Having thrown up blood many more times I began to feel at 11pm that perhaps I could try to eat. I assumed wrong…poor little porter who enters with my tray announcing “Your dinner ready”, only to hear the response “I don’t feel well” and then the red flow. Needless to say, I haven’t eaten today at all. Time now to try to sleep this off.

G x

Going under the knife for my career

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A few months ago I decided that I would have a nose job to see if it could open up doors in my acting career.

I was always aware growing up that I had a prominent nose; not that it bothered me much, why would it? It didn’t even get to me when friends and family would playfully refer to me as beaky or big nose. As far as I am concerned I am beautiful on the inside and therefore beautiful on the outside (with a characterful nose).

The first time I really got upset was six years ago. I had been involved in a low budget film which I felt incredibly passionate about and I was excited to see how it would be received by family and friends. What I hadn’t expected was for it to get huge Internet interest. Opening the YouTube video, I headed straight to the comments. There I found lots of high fives and congratulatory messages but then, my eyes fell on the words “What an ugly b***ch, her nose is huge!”. I stared at it, tears in my eyes. Why was anyone judging my looks? I hadn’t put myself in to a beauty contest, it was a film, if your gonna publicly criticise then criticise my acting.

Over the following weeks the nasty comments continued to surface, I even received an email telling me never to act on screen again because my face offended their eyes. My response to all of these messages was to bat them away, assuming that these trolls where sad, insecure people who had nothing better to do with their time than to spread hate. The problem is these comments stay with you and grow inside your mind so that every time you see yourself, all you can see are the flaws. The final straw came when a casting director told me to cut a certain clip from my showreel because it made my nose look huge.

I also began noticing that of all the females on our screens, very few had a nose like mine. Does my nose actually stop me from getting work?
I’m regularly getting close but rarely being booked for screen work…

The final straw came when I had an incident with a door leaving my nose broken and more crooked than before. Having saved up the ¬£4,500 that I needed I finally booked my surgery. I’m excited to think that this could give my career a boost but scared about changing my face. What if it looks worse? What if I don’t like it?
And why am I having to do this, simply because I don’t fit in to industry standard?

The big day is tomorrow…so I guess only time will tell, I do wish I could fast forward two weeks.

Wish me luck!

G x

Simply let go!

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One thing that can help any actor to maintain their sanity as well as longevity within their careers, is the art of letting it go.

For a majority of actors the auditions do not come as often as we would like, and at times the work can be just as sporadic.  This results in a strong desire to nail every golden opportunity.  So we work tirelessly to prepare for our five minutes in the room; we may buy a new outfit, plan out everything in advance, even lose sleep over it.   This desire and meticulous approach to the audition then culminates in sitting at home checking the phone…refreshing your emails…checking your phone…refreshing your emails…Arrgghhh…when will we find out the result.  For some of the bigger jobs which could mean your life changing completely in the next few weeks, this stale period after an audition can be really painful.

In most cases you never get that call or email to let you know that you were or weren’t successful. ¬†This feeling of uncertainty in a lot of cases acts as the straw that breaks the camels back; many actors blaming it for giving up on the industry altogether and starting a new career.

When I walk into an audition, I go in with the notion that the job is mine, and that this is my first rehearsal or meeting of the crew. ¬†When I walk out of the audition, I leave telling myself ‘you didn’t get it, never mind’. ¬†This is not me being negative but my way of wrapping the whole experience up and putting it away so that it won’t taunt me. ¬†If I then get the job, happy days, it’s a great surprise. ¬†If I don’t then I have lost nothing.

I believe if you can learn to let go of each job as you walk out of the room, you will be a much happier actor.
G x

Audition diary: 13th October ’14

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AUDITION: Not entirely sure‚ĶAll I know is it’s something filmed to advertise new sports wear technology.

LOCATION: Central London

TIME:  Afternoon

MONEY:  £300 РGood amount for a days filming but if this is for TV then this is awful.

I wasn’t overly sure what to expect today, I was simply told to wear gym clothes and be a competent runner. ¬†I arrived in good time, felt completely relaxed (there was no script or singing to make me nervous). ¬†I was called in to this beautiful little white box photographic studio. ¬†Greeted by three friendly faces, two guys and a girl. ¬†I wasn’t sure of their roles as they only gave me names. ¬†The two guys got up to shake my hand; It’s quite nice when they do that, it’s like they appreciate that you have travelled for 40 minute to spend 7 minutes in a room with them. ¬†One of the guys then approached me with a radio mic, suddenly I panicked‚Ķwere there lines attached to the email that I had over looked‚ĶI looked to the chap behind the desk with a curious expression and he explained that they were simply going to ask me a few questions before we did the physical stuff. ¬†Phew! ¬†So being relaxed we had a nice little chat about sports and somehow we began talking about the fact that we were both from the same area of the country. ¬†Then the mic was whipped off and I was asked to: jog on the spot, run around the studio at different speeds, act tired (easy enough), do ten sit ups and ten press ups. ¬†All of which I managed whilst managing not to break a sweat.

And that was it.  It was one of those auditions that felt easy and positive and I came away believing I did my absolute best, so knowing there was nothing else I could have done I am very happy.  Fingers crossed I get a phone call.

G x

Audition diary: 10th October ’14

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AUDITION:  A financial corporate.

LOCATION: Audition and shoot day would be in London, which is a bonus.

TIME: Late morning.

MONEY: ¬†Yes there is money involved, as you know I won’t give it away, and as with ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† most corporates, the money is not too bad.

So I was quite excited about todays audition because it was being cast by a casting director I have wanted to meet for a long time.

I did all my usual checks the night before, three times reading over the emails to make sure I hadn’t missed any important details. ¬†As seems to be the norm with me, I woke up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, panicking that I had overslept, and then spent the next few hours semi snoozing and having horrid nightmares about turning up late.

Alarm goes off and I spring out of bed. ¬†Whilst showering I begin to doubt the outfit I had picked to wear. ¬†The breakdown said ‘Suited and booted’ and I had chosen to wear a smart business type dress, but was the breakdown being literal. ¬†The next half hour consisted of numerous costume changes until I was happy that I directly fitted the brief.

We had been warned to arrive ten minutes early in order to read over the script.  In my eagerness to avoid making my nightmare a reality, I found myself a good forty minutes early…bugger.  You should NEVER be late but being too early can also be detrimental.  So I wondered around aimlessly for about ten minutes before heading in.

A nod to the man on reception, and it was over to the seating area, where the forms awaited. It doesn’t matter how many times I have written it down I still pull a blank when trying to remember crucial details like agents email address and specific body measurements.

I am promptly joined by three other actors.  One is obviously going up for the same part as me and we behave overly friendly towards one another in order to avoid a competitive atmosphere.  After a half hour wait, the smiling face of the casting director appears to take us to another waiting area, where she hands us a five page script.

Like starved dogs that have just been given a bone, we all throw our heads into the pages in front of us.  Each muttering away, pulling strange faces and apparently oblivious to the rest of the world.  Anyone seeing us at this point would be forgiven for thinking we were quite mad.

Then a young blonde appears, flustered and without a form. ¬†She is obviously one¬†of the actors. ¬†I try to be helpful by informing her about what has happened and tell her that she needs to fill in a form. ¬†She seems more interested in fixing her face and getting her hands on a script. ¬†All scripts are in use and I was not about to hand my copy over, as that would give her an advantage. ¬†I continue trying to learn my lines; a futile task as I’m constantly disrupted by the late comers huffs, puffs and “Why the f**k do they get us to come early if there’s not enough scripts?” ¬†Hopefully she will continue behaving this way and take herself out of the race.

Finally, my name is called. I enter to find three smiling faces. ¬†The casting director introduces me to everybody (which is nice; doesn’t always happen). ¬†The premise of the scene is laid out for me by the lovely director and I am ready to rock.

First my ident – look straight in to camera and say your full name (whilst holding a piece of paper with your name on) and the name of your agent. ¬†At this point a little voice pops into my head saying “act naturally” meaning I am now smiling like a demented clown and tripping over my words.

Next the acting – I hate not having the script at least the night before, I find it hard to settle with lines that I have only had for ten minutes. ¬†None the less I am a professional and so I did what I could. ¬†The whole read is a blur. ¬†The director kicks me out after two reads with a polite “that was great thanks”. ¬† I know the actor before me got three reads but I try not to let it bother me as I say my goodbyes and hurry out of the building and back to my day job.

In all honesty, I will be surprised if I get this one, but then again, you never can tell.

Surviving the drought!

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Auditions really are like buses. ¬†You wait and wait but it doesn’t come, then out of the blue a two come together. ¬†I am happy to say that my two buses, I mean auditions, came through today after a 4 month dry spell.

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Surviving the drought is the hardest part of being an actor. ¬†It seems to me that after four weeks of hearing nothing The Actor starts to get jittery. ¬† And slowly but surely the confidence begins to dwindle whilst the paranoia soars. ¬†You start to wonder if you will ever work again and begin turning your sights towards other potential career paths…

Only the true will make it through the hard times.  If you are meant to be an actor then no amount of rejection and neglect will stop you.  I have my survival methods, what are yours?

G x

What do you turn your nose up at?

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Upturned Noses

Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?

Well I’m snobbish about my career.

As a young eager actor I did what is expected of all young actors.  I worked ridiculous hours, in dreadful conditions for little or no pay, all in the name of climbing the ladder.

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TIE for example:  I remember the 5am starts in a remote corner of the country, followed by trying to keep my eyes open whilst driving my fellow actors and the set to a school located two hours away from our accommodation.  Then hauling the set in and up, thankful for a cup of tea (if we were lucky enough and time allowing).  Eight thirty and the school bell rings for registration, time now to cover our tired faces with make up and dress in our smelly, damp costumes before the sounds of delighted children filled the hall.  SHOWTIME.  An hour and a half of high energy performance, super fast costume changes, including technical cues and set changes.  Take a bow, then its straight to work pulling down the set and packing the van, dancing round the dinner ladies who are angrily trying to set up for lunch.  Finally in the van and ready to go, you scoff your lunch during your hours drive to the next school, where you do the whole thing all over again.  Come the evening when you lay down in an uncomfortable bed in a cold draughty house, trying to drown out the snores of your room mate, you think to yourself is £40 a day really worth it.

Then the short films, which you agree to do for free because its only two days filming and you hope that the footage will be good enough for your showreel. ¬†Unfortunately that two days turns in to two weeks of pick ups and reshoots because the crew hasn’t got a clue. ¬†And then the edit takes months longer than expected, meaning you have to email every week to remind them that you exist. ¬†Finally you get a DVD through the post and the result, as you sit back on the couch, is a dropped jaw and turning stomach followed by emails to all the cast begging them not to put this on the internet or at the very least not to tag you.

It took me a long time to grow a pair and  decide that I would no longer work for less than equity minimum.  Call me a snob if you want but I believe that if more actors were a little more snobbish perhaps the industry would sit up and treat us all with a little more respect.

G x