I helped make him famous. (3-minute read.)
I’ve had a few unusual jobs. I used to be a stagehand at a theatre in London’s West End. It was a musical comedy. I’d sweep the stage, I’d help change the scenery every night, cleat the flats they called it. But I also had a special job. I had to throw a cane at the lead actor from the wings just at the right moment and in a way that he’d catch it just by putting out his hand in mid-air, mid-song. Whoosh! This cane would fly out from nowhere and gracefully land in his hand while he sang the hit song from the show. It was funny and surprising and I made him look good, for a second. But I never got credit and I don’t recall getting paid anything extra which was curious, seeing as taking an eye out was always an option.
So I mingled with the star of the show, Dennis, in this brief and mildly dangerous way. He was a super nice guy, grateful in a distant manner, appreciative that I always did my best to not make him look bad or maim him every night. I learnt one day that his nephew wanted to be an actor and Dennis wanted to know my opinion regarding the best drama school that he should audition for, as I was up on those things at the time. "Oh, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, that’s the place for him!” I blurted this out. I was young. It was immediate and I was passionate. Dennis trusted me.
And so of course, the show eventually ended and Dennis and I both moved on, never to cross paths again. Several years passed and it was only much later that I discovered that his nephew did indeed end up going to 'Guildhall'. His name was Ewan McGregor.
I always wondered if I was ever a small part in ‘helping him become famous’ or was I just an insignificant stagehand, a mere tiny cog in the wheel of something magical and larger that was always going to be.
But I think we all have magic. We all possess something unique. And actually, that’s the secret sauce, it’s just being you and that’s all you need to be. Ewan was always going to be special. And so are you.
As an actor, you know in your bones that you have something exceptional to offer but sometimes it can feel like you’re missing out by simply not being seen.
I have an idea - take charge, give yourself an unfair advantage and let’s make sure you get seen and you stand out by having an amazing demo reel created for you by me. Here’s a tool that your agent and your casting director will thank you for.
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After all, you’ve spent years working on your craft, you have the talent, a demo reel can instantly present you in your best light for everybody else to see.
Let me be that tiny cog to your Ewan McGregor and let’s see you center stage.
She was so nervous she didn't know what to say.
Deanna is sitting on my beige couch in California. It's a Sunday about 2pm. The sun is glorious and a pair of magical doves just fluttered onto my 3rd floor balcony. We hear waves of traffic murmur below while a cool breeze wafts in from Santa Monica. The leaves of the trees dance while a family of finches happily chirp.
But she couldn't even talk about it. Her job. That thing that she was passionate about. No words. Nothing. Couldn't find any. Not one. Word.
Only she knew she had to do something. She had to get the word, a word, anything, out there. To survive.
Otherwise its staying there under the covers where it's warm, dark, cozy. Nice. Where nobody would bother her. Where nobody would find her.
Oh shit. That won't do.
But the bigger problem was there was a camera on her. In her face. A piece of cold, round, glinty, magnifying glass. It’s looking at her unblinkingly. Judging.
"Do I look here? OK. What shall I say? Got it." Freeeeze. "I can't do this."
So you know sometimes in life you just naively dive headlong into something hoping it will work out, right? Like going to the doctor - it's a crapshoot. Is he/she in your insurance plan? Is there a good review on Yelp?
“Hey Barry, you got a good doctor? Oh, I'm not sure about that picture. What do you mean he doesn't have a website? Godddamnit!”
Why do you have to work so hard to find somebody that you have one handshake with, you fill out a long puzzling questionnaire about your last sample, you sign 10 pages of legal doo-dah, and then he says “Now bend over, drop your pants. Cough.” Well. Thanks. Very much.
I hate it. I mean I understand it but come on, it's today, the 21st century. There has to be a better way, right? I'm human. As a doctor you're in the human business. I'd like to get to know you before I take my scarf off. I'd like to relax a little, before I can let you in. No?
But there are times, more often than not, that we just have to go with it. We don't have a choice, we have to follow the sheep and throw ourselves off the cliff and hope, just hope for the best and that things won't be that painful. Even if our life is at stake.
So here I am with my camera and Deanna. There are shiny lights and pointy microphones and cables spaghetti’d everywhere. And it's all fine now, she's smiling and I'm guiding her through a process where she can just be Deanna. Where she feels that it's so great to be herself that the magic starts happening. She lights up and inwardly sings and now there we have it - there's the passion. There are those words that only she can say. Well done, Deanna!
Afterwards she said:
"He made it seamless and it was so much easier than I ever imagined it to be. I think working with him is the best idea I could have ever had.”
Well, hats off to you Deanna for jumping off the cliff and trusting me and just doing it.
I heard someone say action creates clarity. You'll be surprised at how far you can jump while never really knowing just how far you will go.
Let me help you take the plunge. I help entrepreneurs tell their story on video so they become the celebrity in their space. I believe that people buy who you are even more than what you do.
And maybe that’s all there is to it, you just have to jump. Just do it and maybe those magical doves will come visit you too.
To book a call with me - https://go.oncehub.com/RichardPrince
If you want to book a session with Deanna - https://calendly.com/deannaleepsychic
Here is Deanna's video: https://vimeopro.com/user22994434/deanna-lee
Photograph © Mohamed Nohassi. Thank you.
Faker. (4-minute read.)
Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. Raining. Cold. I was in a car with my best friend Darren and he was driving me to meet an acquaintance of his.
"I really don't think I can do this" I said, "It just feels wrong.”
But Darren wasn't having any of it, we'd committed, he had a plan and the traffic lights were all green so there was no turning back. He put his foot down. And we accelerated.
"Helloooo Charlie!” said the man. “It's a great pleasure meeting you.”
He had opened the door and greeted me with a broad smile, piercing eyes and a large handshake that was held too long. I was nervous, this can't go well.
The only problem was my name wasn’t Charlie, it’s Richard.
I hope Darren remembers our safe word.
Darren had told me earlier that this guy was so desperate to meet Charlie that he wouldn't stop talking about it. In fact he was stupidly excited. And Darren had talked up a storm about how he was friends with Charlie and how he had heard that Charlie might be in town that Sunday, even though he was usually filming his fancy soap opera in Los Angeles.
I still feel bad about all of this. But the truth is, Darren and I were bored, we had nothing to do but cause trouble. I'm fantastic at coming up with ideas but Darren is even better at taking action. And my creativity, curiosity and bravado got the better of me. It was just an idea. I didn't think we would actually DO this. What I thought was funny, began to feel like it was manipulative and very, very wrong.
But here's the thing, even if I do look like Charlie and even if I could somehow pull off impersonating him, would it be so wrong if I made this guy’s day through a little pretense? What harm could it do? I think there was also a part of me that couldn't believe that somebody would actually BELIEVE that I was Charlie, I mean right to their face, it's silly right? I don't look THAT much like him. I had doubts chewing, but Darren was already on the phone to Mr. Fanatic Pants asking if now was a good time to come over.
"I don't even know any of the names of the bloody characters - who am I even married to? What's her name?”
Darren was no help. The car skidded on the gravel and suddenly I was inside sitting on this chap's sofa drinking tea. All eyes are on me. It’s like I’m famous or something. But I don’t like it. Darren’s wry smile was throwing me, so there was nothing do to but go into full-on performance mode. Time to just go with this and make shit up.
It was that mixture of incredulousness that this was working and fear that I'll be found out and abandonment - (err, Darren this has gone on too long… I need to leave. NOW. But Darren was enjoying it all too much.)
Then again, I believe if you want to see something so badly you'll probably see it. Or some version of it. If your fantasy to meet your celebrity comes to fruition does any of it matter if it's ALL a hoax? If it makes you happy then is it wrong? If you're told that I am a fancy soap star by a trusted friend, why would you disbelieve it?
I seem to recall that I made that guy’s day. That I pulled it off. That we escaped cleanly without using the safe word. But I didn’t like my soap opera that afternoon, I didn’t care for the celebrity, the adulation. I felt fake and uncomfortable. I still feel bad about deceiving Mr. Fanatic Pants. But then, sometimes you get caught up in an idea and before you know it, it becomes its own thing fueled by excitement, silliness and a dare, where good sense goes out the window and you can't stop it.
I have another idea that is developing its own legs. But I'm really passionate about this one. And this is for real, nothing fake about it. Darren is not involved. For any of you who are entrepreneurs, I have a framework that’s focussed on making you the celebrity in your space. It’s called Elevate Your Edge [E.Y.E] Create engaging, valuable and entertaining content from your existing video library so that you get the attention of your market so you can transform them into customers. Video is hard I make it easy - let me do all the work for you.
You don’t have to be fake to be a star of your own show. Just be you and we’ll all be naturally captivated.
Book a free call with me I'd love to chat: https://go.oncehub.com/RichardPrince
Photograph. © Elly Filho. Thank you.