… Acción!


Good morning folks

I trust you had a mighty fine weekend and this finds you in fairly festive fettle!
To be honest, one of the maddest and most surreal weeks I have had in some time.
The bugger is that I am legally bound, my hands are tied and my lips are stitched-up in that I cannot tell the full story just yet.


Not that I am superstitious, but this had to mean good luck was in the post!


What on earth am I rambling about now?
Read on…




Just in case you missed last week’s blog, I had just done an audition for a part in a mystery commercial. Information was a bit sketchy but I was told that there were actually two parts.
I gave it my absolute all and was told I’d get a call (last) Friday and then it was put back to Monday. 6pm Monday night, at work, I got the call, “get a haircut youth, you’re in!”


Finding a barber’s open at 10pm is easier said than done, but the swankiest salon in Salamanca did the business. My new best mate, Gonzalo, gave me a buzzcut.

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Production Meeting

7am classes and then straight to Miraflores for a meeting with the team!
The same people who made “Asu Mare” (very big Peruvian comedy).
HUGE table and lots of people asking questions, but not really saying very much.
Met my acting partner, but we wouldn’t actually be in shot together.
Measured up for my costume.
Bus home (no limo yet).


Straight to work and then re-measured for first fitting after last class.
Home by 10:30pm, fried!
Got email with lines to learn (in my sleep).



4:30am alarm. Taxi-easy-beat not working, so got bus. (Me, a potential World famous actor, on the bus? Still no limo?)


Surprised by the amount of people around and the kit! A lot of bra$$ in this game.


Pleased that it was a cool morning, as summer is a sweaty affair here.
My gurgling guts were playing up something rotten and the public loos generally have no loo-roll here, so had to ask for some food every time I needed some napkins (they probably thought I was a right greedy git!)

Didn’t get a swanky trailer, but I did get a kid’s pop-up wigwam to change in :-)


A lot of waiting around, 7am/8am/9am/10am/11am/noon all passed…


Lines are my biggest worry, I have a shockingly bad memory, especially for specific things (like lines), but I worked out a way to link them all together and was feeling quite chuffed with myself, when they were all changed!

I couldn’t really figure out the delay, but it seemed my costume hadn’t arrived. A seamstress had been working on it all night, but it wasn’t there. Time was ticking…

Roundabout now there was a huge kerfuffle (which would have been great if it had been caught on camera). The catering team had been using the gazebo and electric (cable) of the resident facepainter, who completely went off on one. No more toasties (and no more napkins!)

Suddenly, a flurry of activity:
- TIED-UP: The team had done what I had failed at in over 5yrs of looking, in that they had found a pair of size 13 boots (in Lima, where size 9 is generally the biggest available).
We had to do half-a-dozen takes of me fastening up my boots, but it was tricky as the left hand lace (the bow, the bit you need longer) was too short, and it was too late to fiddle around, so I must’ve looked like a 3yr old doing up a pair of boots (Loop the bottom bunny ear over and through the top bunny ear…)

- MAKE-UP: A really surly woman did my face and hair (very unimpressed that I’d used Dax.


The greasiest substance known to man.

- DRESSED-UP: Whilst the Director clearly was not impressed and made it clear that there really was no time, the seamstress appeared with my gear, which wasn’t finished. Stitch, chop, trim, stitch…

And then.


Well, when I remembered that you go on “Acción!” and not the clack-of-the-clackerboard!

The cool morning had turned into a scorchio cloudless arvo and it was mega-hot.
As my lines had changed twice and I seemed to have different people telling me conflicting stuff, it was a case of ad-lib-ad-lib.

trigger_happy_tv trigger

I will have my fingernails removed, my cojones chopped off and not get paid if I divulge here, but imagine if you will, a mixture of Trigger Happy TV, Terry Thomas and Benny Hill, in a kind of Grand Old Duke of York role. (I’d got the part on account of my marching and I’d watched so many YouTube videos to get that bit nailed!)

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For the next hour I really cannot remember much. It was a blur.


I was gobsmacked how many people were about; production, agency, sound, lighting, cameramen and other people who I have no clue what they were doing. Some spoke English, others didn’t, so there was a lot of guesswork going on (on my part).


The team were great: A brilliant Spanish director, a superenergetic sub-director and all the others were mega-friendly too. It must be a nerve-wracking job, especially when dealing with clueless amateurs like me. (When I was asked what else I’d done, I had to big-up the TOP-TIPS series! I was vague about some bits…)

There was a drone flying about which was the size of a small-scale Airwolf, those things ain’t cheap either…

I got more and more into it and bar one complete mess-up, I didn’t fluff my lines. Luckily a lot of it was just spontaneous and generally short scenes, which will somehow be magically weaved together into something coherent, hopefully!

We changed sets twice more and by 7pm, we were done.

As soon as I was out of uniform, it was back down to earth with a bump. A 1.5hr bus commute home (still waiting for the limo), stood-up most of the way, nobody gave up their seat!


As I have signed a contract, I was given the hard word about what I could and couldn’t say.
The hills have eyes and the walls have ears and all that, so I have to keep schtumm.

The end result (a 90-second commercial) should be out before Christmas, you’ll see it here first ;-)

La Copa Mundial & Paolo?

Friday morning was a tense time here in Lima. The World Cup draw!


With no chance of meeting any other Latin American teams in the group round (or England), some tough teams could be dodged and the Blanquirrojas will be tussling with France, Denmark and Australia next summer.


There is still a big question-mark over captain/leading goalscorer, Paolo Guerrero though.
He became embroiled in a mysterious drugs test result. Lemsip/magic tea/nosepowder?
Who knows?


However, if found guilty he will be dished out a year ban, so that’s him out of the World Cup.
The nation however seems to be completely behind him and he is front-page press material every day! Watch this space…

Running out of agua…


This was the week of the famous “Marathon des Sables” desert race in Peru (first time).
My mate Charlie, the machine from the mountains, was running and doing bloody well!
It was rather expensive to enter and no time off work and filming commitments (!) ruled me out, along with a thousand-million other excuses!


With everything happening this week, my running took a back seat. I’ve written it off to be honest until next year, but I was keen to get up in yonder hills at the weekend, so after a 4:30am alarm and a sweaty bus ride, I was on the fell by dawn. Summer is here so no cloud cover and when I reached for my water (I’d hastily packed) and it wasn’t there, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy one!

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I was going over a route I hadn’t run since the “big fall” in March. Semi-new ground (and new wild dogs to deal with!) Didn’t see a soul all morning, but as I was done, dusted and on the bus home by 9am, I guess most other punters were still in bed!

References and Musical Youth?

Next week.

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Sir, yes Sir!

Three brilliant things happened at work on Friday.
1) A student who never used to say a word (6mths ago) suddenly became fluent!
2) A student who used to be a complete beginner showed up in an almost Advanced class (and was good as fluent!)
3) A student called me “Sir!”


When I was at school, we used to have to call teachers by their name, or as “Sir” (or “Miss”).
Call it a mini-power-trip on my part, but I had waited 13 years for that moment.
So, for the rest of the class, the students all called me “Sir” (instead of “Teacher” or “Profe”).
They were of course all taking the mickey by the end, but it was all good fun :-)


Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…


I may have mentioned my neighbours in the past!
One or two nice-enough people, but generally at$eh0le$.
It is the complete lack of consideration for anybody else, ever, which gets me, but this is unlikely to change in my lifetime…

There used to be (until last year) a deserted, derelict single-floor building across the street, with a dusty patch of sand where I used to do all my Clunk maintenance. Perfect neighbours!

Then, it was demolished and made into a block of flats, so after a year of building racket the first inhabitants moved in recently and joy of joys, our “vecinos” directly opposite (same floor as us, so in easy earshot) are REALLY noisy.

A party/nightclub of sorts was blaring at 9pm Saturday and continued blaring until 6am Sunday morning. It had been my choice to get up at 4:30am on Saturday morning, but still I was hoping for a bit of kip, on Saturday night,  which never came.
Around 4am, the karaoke started (through big speakers) and this spread out onto their balcony. Earplugs just didn’t work.
Sunday was a l-o-n-g day.

The hopeful house move has been set back to 1st of February. The 60-day countdown has begun…

PC Singleton!

Will hopefully make an appearance next week.

And finally!

Which would be the quickest way to get up Arthur’s Seat?
Freerunning or riding a Raleigh Bomber?
One way to find out!
(I take my hat off to all of them, I’d break my neck several times attempting either…)


Have an outstandingly awesome week :-)
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper

p.s. Back on the coffee :-)



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