We know she’s anonymous – but here are some insights into the life of the woman behind the infamous Casting Call Woe blog, Pro Resting…
1. Tell us about you – what motivates you?
I’m an actress who blogs and tweets about the ridiculousness of the acting world. My main focus is on sexist, exploitative casting calls and, what motivates me, is the hope that one day the industry will change. I hope, by raising awareness, I can do my bit in creating a more equal industry where women aren’t exploited and seen as little more than set dressing.
I wanted to provide an insight into what this industry is really like and what actors face on a daily basis. The casting side is something that people rarely see and I wanted to make people aware of how it operates.
If I can inspire one new filmmaker to create a better female character or teach one new female actor that they don’t have to go up for a role they feel uncomfortable with, then I’m happy.
- What does a day in the life of you look like?
I have a day job so I’m usually up about 8 ish. I get up earlier so I can get a chance to check casting calls and comment on any before I head off for the day.
My day job is pretty hectic so, when there are any quiet spells, I’m immediately on to the casting sites to see, firstly, if there’s anything I can apply for or, if there’s nothing, see if there’s anything I can add to my Casting Call Woe Tumblr.
I do an 11 hour day so my commute home is another chance for me to check Twitter, Tumblr and the casting sites before I get back, catch up & have dinner with my boyfriend, watch TV, have one more trawl of casting sites and then crash for the night.
You’ll know when I’ve got a day off because I’ll be tweeting incessantly about casting calls I’ve clearly missed over the last few days. These are usually done while I’m sat around in pyjamas, drinking tea and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
- What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Tweeting about terrible casting calls. It’s still not as courageous as I’d like as I still do it anonymously but speaking out about the industry was a brave step for me. In a job where you constantly feel like you have to impress and be in everyone’s good books, it can be a risk being so vocal which is why I chose to be anonymous.
I hope one day that I’ll be brave enough to not have to hide behind an account. I’m slowly getting there and have now started doing short stand-up sets about the work that I do. That felt like a huge step for me but it has been ridiculously empowering, especially finding the funny in what are often painfully awful and insulting casting calls.
- Tell us about your relationship to Change?
I am a huge supporter of change. I believe the first step to change is about creating awareness to show why something has got to improve. That’s why I started tweeting about the acting industry because I wanted people to know what it was really like and that the reality wasn’t what they were reading in interviews with successful actors in Sunday supplements.
Change comes from those who have been previously unheard or ignored getting their voice out there and showing the world what is really happening and making them aware of the real issues that are being faced everyday. Then, once that awareness is there, support and action can take place and then, slowly, change can happen.
The problem with wanting change is that you have to be patient. The issues we face in this industry are frustrating but I do feel, however slowly it may seem, we are making progress.
- Who is your role model and why?
I’m not sure I can name just one. But Jennifer Walters, Dawn French, Victoria Wood and Julie Walters will always be role models for me. They are wonderful, funny, empowering women that I grew up watching and loving. From a young age, I’ve seen fantastically brilliant women on my TV and I think that’s where my frustration comes from. How come I could grow up with all these inspiring women making wonderful television and then, now, we appear to have so little?
But they have always reminded me that, even in a male-dominated industry, women can be funny, powerful, inventive and a constant source of inspiration.
- What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve read, seen or done in the last month?
Jessica Hynes and her offer to give up 20 days of her time to visit 20 state schools to encourage pupils to enter the acting and writing professions. Giving access to state school pupils is so important to ensure that our creative industries remain rich and interesting. It’s something that the charity Arts Emergency is championing too.
As someone who went to a state school where there were very few opportunities or encouragement for pupils to enter creative professions, it’s wonderful to see this work being done. We are in such danger of these industries becoming elitist (if they’re not already) and we must support those who are ensuring that the arts are open and accessible to everyone.