Extra, Extra, Doc Martin Is Back In Cornwall

Port Isaac is sometimes home to the cast and crew of the hit British television comedy, Doc Martin and as I discovered yesterday, will be again this summer.

Whenever John and I walk in on the coast path from Port Quinn, we can usually see people posing in front of the cottage below which is used for both Doc Martin’s home and office or doctor’s surgery, as they call it here.

Doc Martin’s Cottage

This is the flyer I spotted in my doctor’s waiting room when I went for an appointment yesterday.

A copy of my last headshot, a memento from my acting days.

When I was working as an actor, which really means when I was auditioning for work because that’s what most actors do the bulk of the time, I used to get sent out on auditions for a variety of roles such as Police Woman, Firefighters, Moms, and Waitresses. Once I went to an audition dressed fairly provocatively under a long overcoat for the role of a ” New York City Street-walker ” and ended up being cast as a ” Butch Lesbian ” instead.

Cast as a Butch Lesbian

I think it was the military training listed on my headshot that actually got me the callback for the ” Butch Lesbian ” part as they assumed the army had taught me hand to hand combat and the role called for my character to get into a physical fight in a jail cell. The director saw me during the callback and thought I might be ” too little ” to pull it off, but my tough girl swagger convinced him that size in this case, might not matter.

Getting an agent

Getting an agent was a necessary step to finding work as an actor and you can read more about how I did it in the post, ” Picking Up Steps “ on my first blog if you’re interested.

When you first get an agent you generally will have to work a few times as an extra before being sent out on a proper audition. It’s a good way to become more comfortable on a set where there’s no time to waste with the untrained. I did it a few times before Joan felt I was ready to represent her agency in front of a casting director.

Extra work and Kevin Kline

Because I had been working as a principal for a while, I was surprised one day to receive a call asking if I was interested in doing extra work on a movie being filmed in Atlanta. Just as I was saying, ” Joan, you know I don’t do extra work anymore … ” she cut me off with the words, ” Kevin Kline is in it.”

” Kevin Kline,” I said, with the next words being, ” Will he be on set while we’re shooting? ”  Now, I’m not usually one to go starstruck, but having loved Kevin Kline since his brilliant role in Sophie’s Choice, I said, ” Yes,” immediately after hearing her answer.

Never mind that it also had Kevin Spacey and Forest Whitaker in it, I was totally focused on the possibility that I might get to see Kevin Kline at work. And see him I did, as I stood next to him in a scene where he and Forest Whitaker were seated at a table in a bar. There’s more to that story, but that’s all I’ll say here. It’s nothing shocking, so put down the phone number for The National Enquirer or The Daily Mail. It does involve Kevin Kline and it adds to the story, but I’ll save it for another day.

You can see me clearly in two shots in Consenting Adults, ironically the extra work I initially didn’t want gave me the most visibility on the big screen.

I actually worked a good bit for a part-time actor who also had a busy day job in the pharmaceutical industry, but much of what I did as an actor was not very exciting and was often an industrial training film like a two-day shoot I did for UPS.

Doc Martin

Next week, I’m going to take a ride over to Port Isaac to see if I can do a little work on the next season of Doc Martin, a quirky comedy about a London surgeon who develops a blood phobia and ends up working in a small fishing village in Cornwall.

Martin Clunes character has no bedside manner and isn’t as charming as Hugh Laurie’s character in House, M.D., but I find him screamingly funny and I hope they’ll find my American face  ” Cornish ” enough to spend a bit of time on the set.

Do have a look at the video below if only to see more of Port Isaac. It’s about ten miles from where we live and interestingly where the main office or Doctor’s Surgery is located for the doctors I see when I need one.

20 thoughts on “Extra, Extra, Doc Martin Is Back In Cornwall

  1. I love Doc Martin! I watched all the existing seasons in a Netflix binge last year, and mourned the unfinished state. I am so happy to hear they are in production again. 🙂

  2. GOD you are so lucky! I love Doc Martin series so much, I am coming to Port Isaac in September. Let’s figure a way to meet yeah? I am coming from the US, so be patient, but I do have a friend who lives in Devon so. You toally would be an excellent character I am sure. I am DYING for the 5th season….as I have to wait a long time to get it even on pal dvd.

  3. I’ve only just discovered Doc Martin. I think I caught one of the Episodes and PBS didn’t post it on its website, dang it. I just watched the first episode on YouTube and see that Episode 2 is there as well. Yippee! Good luck on getting a part. I think it would be loads of fun. Doc Martin reminds me a lot of Ted Danson in Becker right down to Elaine. Very entertaining.

  4. That is so cool. I enjoy Doc Martin tremendously and love the village. Have not watched much though as do not have access to any of the television channels showing it or to DVDs here in Kuwait.

  5. OMG – you naughty girl getting me totally hooked, and enchanted, by this series. I watched several episodes, thanks to Netflix, on my iPad in bed last night (DH is in LA this week!) well into the early morning hours. More tonight I’m certain! The characters are wonderful. It’s fabulous, and the Cornish scenery so beautiful naturally.

    Hope you get a big part in the new series – what fun that will be! Thanks for sharing this great news.

  6. I’m SO jealous. I enjoy that show a great deal and it would be fun to be part of making it. It’s fun to hear about your acting past (as well as your family past). All quite interesting.

  7. How fun and what a beautiful little town. Your acting experience sounds a lot like mine. I did the first commercial for the stain remover, “Shout” back in ’75 and lot of extra stuff, too.

    Hope you get work on the show!

  8. I love Doc Martin and want to visit or move there!
    it would be so aweaome to be an American extra.Please give tips on how to get there, where to stay and sign up.
    Thanks so much!

  9. I am delighted to hear that Doc Martin will resume filming. Have they started? Did you get a part? I do hope so.
    Best of luck.

  10. Did you get a part in the program? We are visiting Port Isaac in late July and hoping for a chance to see them filming. Can’t wait to see that beautiful fishing village.

  11. Forget the show – that’s cool enough – I’m jealous that you married an Englishman and get to live in the most beautiful country in the world (in my opinion!) I’ve wanted to move there for, oh, about 35 years now!! (I’m 49!). How great for you that you get to live there! I’ve been trying to get my husband to move there but he thinks as Americans we could never find work! My feeling is, you never know unless you try! What do you think? Do Americans have it hard over there? Good luck with Doc – that’s really neat to be an extra!

  12. This brings back memories – my old man (Britspeak for husband) has been an extra in many films in Cornwall. It is one of those places that film crews love. He has been in a couple of films made by a German company of Rosamunde Pilcher novels. He loves the work as he usually gets to walk hand in hand with attractive young ladies … bless him! He’s easily pleased … 🙂

  13. My sister, sister-in-law and myself will be in Port Issac on July 1 in the hopes of seeing the Doc Martin crew filming..
    We are coming all the way from California, USA because we are such huge fans. Wouldn’t it be a kick to be an extra!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. I absolutely love that show! I have got friends of mine hooked on it to. Maybe it’s the location, but I love Doc Martin.

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