a film by Gillian Wearing
I’m 35 years old, married, and work as an arts development officer for a local authority in London. In my spare time, I write for music magazines while surrounding myself with literature, cinema, theatre and as good a food as I can afford. Making Self Made was the creative highlight of my life, and I have since attended Sam’s Method acting classes to build on the experience.
From the moment I said yes to joining the lucky seven, I was dropped into the unknown!! It has certainly been a rollercoaster ride with early thoughts of “can I get off now?” but I knew I had to go on. We bonded well and have experienced both highs and lows and have taken inspiration from each other. My contribution to the film was to go on a journey and escape to a world in which I hope someday I will find myself in again – with happiness and love. And the funny thing is… it costs nothing!
My name is Dave Austin, I’m a warehouse worker. A single chap living a fairly routine, mundane lifestyle. I enjoy long walks and radio phone-in shows. I sometimes like to push the button and see what happens. I saw the Self Made ad in the back of Time Out several years ago, I thought about a character that I’d like to play and came up with Mussolini, but by the time I turned up for an audition that particular idea had morphed into a character who (after waking up in hospital after taking a severe beating) believed he was Mussolini in a previous life. I wanted to be in Self Made because I wanted to do something different and thought it would be an interesting experience (and it was). To be honest I’m not sure where it’s taken me, but I certainly enjoyed the ride (or at least most of it).
Self Made really helped me discover the true me. I discovered a different side to myself and I think it’s made me a better person. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I didn’t want it to end.
I am 29 years old and I am from Newcastle Upon Tyne. I live with my boyfriend and we have been together for nearly three years now. I work for an airline as cabin crew and love my job. In my spare time I enjoy socialising with my friends, going to the cinema, out for meals, and shopping with my mam, and I absolutely love going on holiday. My part in the film was about me and my relationship with my father, which I felt I never had, and I craved this, and for me this was very emotional. I really enjoyed the whole experience of Self Made right from the audition to the very end, and I also made some lovely friends, and these memories I will cherish forever.
I saw an ad in the free paper, asking to get in touch regarding my experiences of life, for a feature film. I took this chance up, mainly through seeing a way out of the day to day. I was working in a call centre at the time, it was November, things were dull. I basically poured my story out in an email to Gillian, in not too much detail, but pinpointing life changing events and turning points. It was not over dramatised, just factual, I had nothing to lose and then I just waited. My part in the film is basically just myself… I am being myself, but being given the chance to explore myself, to try and dig into a wealth of treasures that I have been carrying around in my mind and body for years…basic, untapped emotion, and channelling it into acting. I found the whole experience 100% exhilarating.
Being a male model with my ethnic make up, it is very easy to fall in a certain category and most of the times these stereotypes became a self-fulfilling prophecy, but taking part in this project has taken me on a journey of self-discovery. It was a very surreal experience, it was an emotional rollercoaster, we’ve had laughter, tears, tantrums and almost a tiara ahaa! But I can say that I am proud to be a part of this project. I had the opportunity of working with a great team and have met some very interesting characters. It’s a very deep and meaningful project, which makes it all worthwhile.