Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Quest for Fame Part One

During one of those OAU’s very long strike in my university days, my friend informed me about an audition for a TV soap production by June Jack (a Nollywood producer). She asked if I was interested, I answered in the positive and her sister helped me secure an IV to the audition.
According to the IV, the audition was to be conducted by the acting veteran, Sadiq Daba. When we arrived at the audition which held on a Sunday afternoon, the IV proved useless as there were throngs of young and old people in different shapes and sizes present and when it was my turn to audition, I found out I was sitting in front of a man that was no close to Sadiq Daba. He tossed a script to me from across the table and just started reading from a scene. Then he peered at me from the rim of his glasses and I explained to him that I didn’t know where he was reading from. He directed me to the page and said ‘I read father, you read daughter’.

In two minutes my audition was over and we were all asked to come again the next Sunday for the audition result. When we got there the next week, they had a list of the successful actors and actresses pasted. My friend and I saw our names on the list and we were told the next process was casting for specific roles.

They passed around the list of characters in the soap and asked us to fill a form indicating the role we would like to play. I don’t know what Nollywood is like these days but back then roles could be categorized into major (appearing in most scenes), minor (appearing in few scenes) and waka pass (appear only once with little or no lines to say). I picked a major role, my friend picked a major-minor role and we submitted the forms. On submission, we were all asked to leave and come again the next Sunday. That got me angry but the dream of playing the major role got me going.

We returned again for the third time and they said they wanted to conduct another round of auditions for some people meaning we had to wait till they conclude auditioning for the new set of people. At about 5p.m, they called out a cast list for minor roles.

My name and my friend’s were on that list and I was cast as a friend of the lead character. We were told to expect letters informing us of our specific shooting dates and meeting points. We also signed some contract stating the amount to be paid as N1,500 per scene and that we wouldn’t get paid until the production starts airing on TV.

In those days, there was no GSM and after I had waited long enough in my house looking forward to receiving my letter inviting me to location for shooting, I went to my friend’s office and she had received her own letter inviting her to location on Saturday. We both decided that I should come along on the Saturday.

At the end of the day I played a waka pass and till date I never saw the play on TV and never got paid.

Stay tuned for more on my Nollywood Experience……….


jetbaby said...

ha ha ha, na real quest for fame! i had same experience years back, but now i'm wiser. beware of road side producers! meanwhile, i've been following ur blog for a while, you are doing a great job. keep it up sister

January said...

very funny post. i guess that's the price you pay for fame. you cannot imagine what the likes of Genevieve would have gone through before hitting stardom. great post