Friday, 27 July 2012

Looking out for number one

And so at long last the great day has arrived.  I remember well when I first spotted that they were looking for cast volunteers, and secretly applying.  I told no one, until I casually mentioned in conversation that I had an audition.  A day before I came down with a heavy cold, so coughed and spluttered my way through a four hour session...wheezing worse than a seventy year-old who's been smoking Woodbine since he was fourteen.  At the end I panicked, and fearing I would go no further, I put myself down for a rollerblading part...and then invested heavily in lessons over the next few weeks (I wasn't starting from scratch and in the past had done a marathon on blades)...fortunately they abandoned the idea, I got through to the second audition, meeting Danny Boyle for the first time.  A couple of days before I went down with another heavy cold, so rather assumed that after another four hour session of coughing and wheezing, that would be it.  There was a two month wait before I received the magical brought a tear to my eye.

Rehearsals began at the start of May and continued through June and July, consuming all my free hours.  I've given some 250 hours of my time over to it, and I wouldn't swap a single one of them for anything (apart from some extra time with The Cat's Mother).  First in the Three Mills film and TV studios before moving to the ever glamorous Ford Car Park in Dagenham and then the excitement of going to the Stadium itself.

Long days were spent, mostly standing, running, dancing and performing in the rain.  It seemed that every time it was our turn to put on our dancing shoes, the heavens would open up - it's no real surprise that after a burst of sun and warmth, there is a thunderstorm predicted for tonight.

I want to say a very special thanks to The Cat's Mother for being such a supportive 'Olympic Widow' and The Cat and The Boy for being Olympic orphans...they've made all the difference.

Now I can't say very much... #savethesurprise...but if you are watching and you do want to try spotting me (The Cat's Mother and UP couldn't when they came to the rehearsal on Wednesday and I'd told them exactly where I'd be) here are a few clues:

1.  At 20.12 the pre-show entertainment begins in the green and pleasant land and continues for roughly fifty minutes.  I'm not in that

2. At about nine o'clock, things start to change...listen out for a countdown, listen out for Kenneth Brannagh and shortly I and a thousand new cast will come on.  I am at the back of the crowd who go onto the area with the cricket pitch.

3. And the rest you will have to work out for yourself...but I don't think it's too sinful to show you a picture of myself here...although it may not help you in your challenge!