White Van Man Creator: Auditioning for a role in my own show
It's a sensible question I guess. Most of them knew me as a stand up comedian and comedy performer as much as they did a writer, so of course they assumed I'd be in it. Truth be told, it wasn't until they started asking that I even really thought about it. I'd just been writing the thing and putting words in these character's mouths. I hadn't really thought about who would actually be saying them, let alone if one of them should be me. And was it even that easy? Just because I was the writer didn't mean I could just go - I want to play so and so - and that would be that.
The cast of White Van Man
But the question kept getting asked and I started to think, yeah, maybe I should do something. I even knew the part I should/could play. Martin the Policeman (I wont tell you his surname because it's a joke in the show - let's just say this. His surname is awesome).
So then, one rainy day over a coffee in the production office I decided to 'put it out there' and I mentioned it to the producer. Bless him, he just smiled and said - 'Good. I think you should'.
He however wasn't the only one to convince. The Execs and more importantly the director had to give me the okay. Iain (the director) did something I love him for. He asked me to audition. And so he bloody should. He didn't really know me at that stage and although he knew I could write, when it came to acting, I might well have been a plank of wood.
Now, when I say he made me audition, he made me audition. I think Iain hoped I'd be good (mostly because he didn't want to have a very awkward conversation if I wasn't), but he made me audition properly, in front of him, the producer, the casting director AND then sent the tape to the Execs for approval. And so he should. It's not fair to anyone otherwise. You can't just point at a character you made up and go 'That's me that is.'
Ricky Grover as Terry and Will Mellor as Ollie in White Van Man
So, how was it? I had the time of my life on set. I was just giddy. Being there, acting in something that fell out of my head was such an amazing experience.
How was it for the director? A nightmare I think. Turns out, I'm a giggler. I think I make it through 3 out of 5 takes. Hey, if you want a great outtakes reel, I'm your man. You want to film the show you're supposed to... yeah, that might take a while.
I've filmed TV stuff before and I have never been like that. Never had that problem. And I blame a few things.
- The silliness of the whole thing. I was acting in a show I had written. That's enough to turn anyone into a giddy child.
- I 100% blame Will Mellor, Naomi Bentley, Rufus Wright and Georgia Moffett.
They're all hilarious, tell the dirtiest stories and really make filming fun. The only difference between them and me (that day) was they could just turn it on and off when needed. I can normally do that... I've done it on countless acting jobs... just not the set for my own show apparently. At one point I had to walk off set and have a bit of a word with myself. I really didn't know what was happening to me.
Will Mellor in White Van Man
But I think we got through it. I'm still in the show, didn't hit the cutting room floor.
Am I any good in it? Well, that's for you to decide. If you think not - well I'd blame Mellor and Co. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.*
*That's of course not true. I really do only have myself to blame.
Adrian Poynton is the writer and creator of new comedy series White Van Man. You can watch him play Martin the policeman in tonight's episode at 10.30pm.
Watch previous episodes of White Van Man
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