Email 27th September 2004

Subject: Fish 2004 - Tales from the Blue house

The last week or so has been a frustrating time as I awaited decisions on two potential movie roles, both major projects. At the end the day I lost out on both. The first movie was "Doom" based on the computer game and now destined for the big screen through Universal studios. I was up for the part of "Goat", a large evil tempered bad guy mercenary seeking redemption type who was the "daddy" of the "cleansing" team sent to a planet to sort out some scientists who had inadvertently opened up a "wormhole to hell" through their naughty experiments in the local labs. Pretty standard fare for your about town "bad ass mother f****er" and I was hopeful to get a call. In the end I was shorted down to the last 5 from 20, the casting agent shouting my corner, and after 4 weeks I received the polite refusal. I was really looking forward to some good old fashioned stress relief blasting aliens and filthy hellish beasts and after the audition, which went really well, had confidently asked if I could have the really big gun if I got the role! I took the gamble, stalled all my other projects and waited on the call. During that 4 weeks The South American tour was lost as well as two Scandinavian shows and a show in Moscow! If I'd got the part it would have meant 4 months work in Prague. It's a tough call sometimes especially when in the middle of the waiting you get a call from the casting agents for Guy Richie's new film "Revolver". This was shooting around the same period and was going to overlap everything else in the mix. I travelled down to London just over a week ago for yet another audition to camera in the West End. This is pretty normal these days. Actor travels to audition rooms and performs necessary lines to a digital 8mm camera manned by assistants from the casting agency and said film is sent to the film director for him to peruse over at his/ her leisure. Sometimes you get lucky and meet the casting director or heaven forbid the director themselves. More often than not you are lucky to get a coffee.
My problem is the travelling and flying down to London at 6am to get to an audition studio for a 20 minute adrenalin freak and then back to the airport and home. It's expensive and as calls are made at 24 hour notice sometimes there is no chance to pick up cheap tickets. Business rates for weekday travellers are aimed at the deep corporate pockets rather than fluff strewn pockets of wannabe actors on long shot missions. Flight times are also not that helpful when you can save some money by flying off peak during the day. The "Doom" audition allowed me 4 hours to wander Twickenham High Street soon after till the audition at 2pm. I'd left the farm at 4.30 am to make the flight and was nearly arrested for vagrancy as I mumbled my audition lines "be sober, be vigilant, for the devil moveth amongst you seeking out his prey......." People crossed themselves and dragged their children to the other side of the street as I passed them by or stared in charity shop windows, "I know what I saw... the beast is here".
Next time you see someone talking away to themselves on a bus or in a cafe. Fear not it may just be an actor learning his lines before an audition!

The phone call today from my agent was to say that I'd lost out on the "Revolver" part which at the weekend was looking extremely promising. Recommendations from the casting agent after a "fabulous" audition didn't move those that had to be moved and suddenly I have a complete winter schedule to fill and a grand to find to pay for the money lost on flights/ taxis/ hotels etc for the auditions. And I am running out of garden activities to do! This endless bloody waiting has meant that I have been grubbing away getting the plots ready for next year. I'll have to start moving into other sections and double digging new beds to stop me going cabin crazy!
But this is what I chose to do and eventually something will come off. There's a movie out there which has a role with my name written next to it in the credits. I just have to be patient. The auditions are being well received and the casting agents are liking what I am doing. My agent agrees that it will just take one role in the right movie and doors will start to open more readily. Feels just like 1981 sometimes!

On the music side!
There is the chance of the SAS tour of Norway in early November and I'll be able to go to Dave "Squeeky" Stewart's wedding in November - that's potentially 7 gigs! :-) Also the pressure is off the Astoria show on the 22nd November.
I was very nervous about confirming this especially if the "Doom" movie had come off in Prague. But I can now officially confirm our presence there at what will be the last Fish band gig this year. I hope to be out and about at Chiddingfold with the SAS mob in December and there are some other dates kicking around on offer with Spike's band.

This leaves a lot of dark Scottish hours this winter and so I've decided to start work on the novel that's been grinding around in my head for months. It's a "fictional autobiography" of sorts called "Living With Dick" about a middle aged singer from an eighties rock band coming to terms with a twilight existence as a single man. I detect a round of laughter and knowing smiles and so it should be for this book is intended to be a dark humorous observation. I stress it is fictional although obviously rooted in a number of personal experiences and hopefully it'll hit a chord on a number of levels with certain members of the solo male population! Names/places/times and anything else will be changed to protect the guilty (or innocent) to some degree. To give you an idea the first chapter is called "Dildo Etiquette" and surrounds the dilemma of what to do with an ex partners sex toys. All done in the finest possible taste I must add! It's taken me some time to get the initiative and the confidence but circumstances now dictate that I have to commit to a project in earnest. Scary but I'm sure once I break the format open I'll get into a groove and discipline myself into driving the project to a conclusion in the Spring.

Discussions on the "Misplaced Childhood" 20th anniversary tour begin next month and with a great deal of preparation ahead I hope to be able to announce the first dates just before Christmas. The tour is already under discussion for South America after this autumn's dates fell through due to possible filming commitments and my health issues that were resolved in August. It makes sense to both the promoter and myself to take the "Misplaced" tour down there as the fans in Mexico and the other South American countries never had the chance to hear the entire album live when it first was released. More news will follow as we get to grips with the shape of next years activities.

The "Field of Crows" DVD and live album have been slightly delayed as I wait on the interview and live footage from Malta. The main programme from the Bradford show looks and sounds great and I only have to organise the bonus material before moving toward production. I want to simultaneously release the double live album from the tour and have had to hold up this title until the DVD is on line. I expect the Maltese footage end of this week and so if all goes well then we should be looking at finished product by early November. More news next week.

For now it's the last of the weeding in the garden and getting the "blue house" wired up so I can retire to writing mode with my laptop and contemplate "Living with Dick"!

Until next time
Onkel Fish xx

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