COUCH - Casting

Couch Casting

We are now casting for the role of young Natasha.

NATASHA (18), a model – tall and thin, striking, but awkward – the type of girl that is not considered pretty by her peers, but is called beautiful by adults.

As much as I would like to consider all shapes and sizes for the role, the actress has to be believable as a model - so tall and thin. This has ruled out a number of talented actresses and means that I am doing what people once did to me - too big, too small, too shapely. When going for a part or job, actors and models open themselves up for rejection. Neither are jobs that one can feel secure in. Therefore it is important that power stays out of the casting equation . Sex should not come into it. We are promoting a #safecouch casting process. Therefore the casting of Couch is going to be as safe and transparent as possible.

If you think you are right for the role, please get in touch. There are also smaller models roles.

Thank you

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COUCH

Over the Summer, we will be developing the short film Couch.

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Eighteen years old and at a top model agency in New York. It should be a dream come true for Natasha, but instead she must choose: watching from the side-lines or submitting to her sexually predatory agent – and his friends. Will it be the agency sofa or the casting couch?

 

This short film is the story of an eighteen-year old girl with a one-way ticket to New York and the promise of a great modelling career. When LUCIEN (51) invites NATASHA (18) to his model agency in New York, Natasha is over the moon. TINA (32), her British agent, tells her it is a great opportunity and that her friend and fellow model, SIMON (21), is going to be there, too. However, when arrives in New York, she quickly realises that Lucien want to have sex with her.  She refuses and is banished to the agency’s sofa to “lose weight”. She watches as a succession of girl succumb to Lucien and his friends. Then Tina arrives. Surely Tina will know what to do?

 

Based on my experience as a model, this is my answer to a journalist who wanted to use my story to expose the real-life Lucien. As hideous and abusive as men like Lucien are, they are not always the ones that do the most damage.  

The Only Thing...

Having finished a job with London Bubble and Speakerbox about social workers and children in care which due to the subject matter we cannot post, here is the 3rd of the videos we did for the lovely Get 'Em on Up Boys. 

His Girl

His Girl

His Girl came out of a workshop that Marie Vickers and I ran for Southwark Youth Offending Services and London Bubble. It was to produce a film about (un)healthy relationships in young people. The film, His Girl, was to be devised by youth offenders and girls at risk of sexual exploitation with guidance by Marie and myself. It is now being used as an educational tool to start a conversation about the subject in school.

What we discovered was that neither the young people nor us really knew what a healthy relationship was, the stable happy nuclear family presented to us in media and by the government did not to exist. Rather it seemed something of a fantasy and not applicable to the everyday. Relationships are more messy and complicated than they are usually portrayed in youth fiction. Who defines what is healthy? The young peoples’ idea of what is a good relationship was also disturbing. Women seemed to be divided into virgin/whores, by both boys and girls alike. If a girl was to have sex with a boy she became a “sket” and a target for exploitation. “Sisters” were supposed to remain virgins and subject to an honour code. Lastly, relationships were demarked in terms of status. The world in which these young people live is limited so they see brands and symbols, including relationships, as a way of marking status rather than education or working, which would give a positive sense of self.

The development method involved theatre techniques and improvisation. This allowed the participants to share their experiences in a way that was safe for them. What we were given was an insight into a world that was disturbing. The work was producing ethnographic data of young people in South East London and it was data that was authentic. The participants were able to reflect on and refine the experience as it became closer to a script.  We used words and devised scenarios.  Then we honed them to fit into a script. While improvisation and re-enactments have a long history in ethnofiction (Rouch, Sjoberg 2008), scripting and filming with a cast of actor and a crew does not.  Contrary to what Picault (2008) feels, that to write precise and detailed scene before shooting would be predictable and the opposite of anthropology, the more detailed and precise the script became the more insights we were given. Being specific meant that the thoughts and motivations questioned the participants further and meant they could go deeper into the explanation without exposing themselves. While the development of the script was fun and safe for the participants, acting in the film proved not to be. A couple of the participants did not turn up on the day of the shoot. So actors from London Bubble’syouth program LB+ had to step in at the last moment.

A year later we decided to refine and remake His Girl. The starting point was the script developed during those workshops. The cast is made up of Young People drawn from London Bubble Theatre Company’s youth program LB+. We looked at the elements that were strong and for what might be missing. We continued to bring the actors experiences in throughout the production process as they are also young people living in London. Improvisation and theatre techniques were a central part of the rehearsal process as we looked at elements we did not deal with in the first time around such as the role of friends.  It was a successful and our audiences wanted to who what happened next. We have now completed His Girl 2 using the same actors and method. His Girl 2 looks at where you go when things have gone wrong. We are starting to write His Girl 3.

Here is the link to His Girl 1.

His Girl 2 will follow soon.

And we will keep you posted about His Girl 3.