Happy. Angry. Sad. Surprised.


Today I did something I’ve never done before. I auditioned for a part in a movie (I’m not kidding).

A local Malaysian production company, the wonderfully named Woohoo Pictures, are in the process of making their fourth feature film. It’s called Ola Bola and it’s about the history of Malaysian football.

I was auditioning for a part as an ‘expat footballer.’ I rather suspect this is not the leading man role of the movie.

It was 6pm this evening when I turned up at the small but professional looking studio of Woohoo Pictures to be greeted by Ning from their casting department.

My first task was to fill in the ‘talent particulars’ form which included such detail as height, weight, and eye colour. I left the ‘vital statistics’ section blank.

With the form completed it was time to take some pictures. Front, back, and both sides. Prepared for this eventuality I had taken some considerable time over my hair before leaving.

Then the camera was switched to filming mode. “We’re just going to run through a few emotions,” Ning said. We started with happy. “I want you to give me an expression of being a bit happy and then gradually get happier.” This turns out to be surprisingly difficult when you have to think about it. I’m pretty sure I produced a cheesy grin that got gradually cheesier.

With happiness ‘in the can’ as it were, we moved on to anger. The idea was the same: look a bit angry and change the expression to convey increasing anger. I thought about the time that Dundee United were so badly robbed at Ibrox that Lorraine Kelly called Sportsound to register her outrage. This may have meant that I started out looking very angry while gradually becoming apoplectic.

Ning was giving nothing away so I had no idea if I was in any way convincing or indeed whether I just looked ridiculous. Next up was sad. I thought about Steven Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea. There was maybe a slight tear.

Finally we tackled surprised. I thought about the time I was at Hampden when Scotland beat France. I rather fear my surprised look was overly reliant on the eyebrows and may have had a touch of the ‘blue steel’ about it. Fortunately, that was the last emotion to be wrung from me.

Ning handed me a script. Well I say script, and that’s what she called it, but it was a monologue of about seven lines. It was about being wrongly accused of accepting an offer to sign for another team. It was to be delivered in an angry tone (convenient then that I’d been practising anger just moments earlier).

I read over the text. After no more than a minute Ning said, “ok, ready?” I gave my surprised look. “Eh, not exactly.” She told me not to worry too much about the actual words on the paper, just use my own and get the general idea across.

We did two takes. After that, she informed me that the video would be sent to the director and then they would be in touch. My audition was complete. Filming is in March and I’ll let you know if I get cast.

I’ll either be happy, angry, sad or surprised. Or maybe I’ll just be acting.

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