Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Hardest Working Man in Show Business?

I went to two jobs, today. First, I did most of my shift at the restaurant. The management agreed to let me go a little bit early, so I could go to my second job, which was a costume fitting at Shepperton Studios, for a motion picture I am working on. So much is done on location, these days, that this was my first time actually going to a major motion picture studio. I'm not counting that time I went to Universal Studios, in California, back in 1981. That was to ride the "Jaws" and "Battlestar Galactica" rides and I wasn't paid for that.
Walking around Shepperton Studios was cool. It's like a whole town of its own. I passed a couple of different model maker's shops, the studio barbershop, a restaurant, a camera warehouse, and several sets of offices. Now, these costume fittings I keep going to seem a bit misnamed, as I end up providing my own clothing. I seem to be typecast already, as a guy in a suit. I was lugging all this stuff I ended up not needing. My agent said to bring alternative shirts and ties, plus a jacket, a bag and a briefcase. How many hands do they think I have? Okay, the selection of ties came in handy. The woman who seemed to be making all the decisions didn't like the tie I chose to wear. "Do you have any other ties," she asked?
"I brought a selection, with me,"I responded cheerfully. Then I opened my bag and pulled out an assortment. She was pleased I had done this. First, she picked up a paisley one a gay guy gave me. She was about to pick that one, but then she spotted a dark blue one underneath. She put down the paisley and picked up the dark blue.
"Wear this one," she commanded. Now? She walked off to fiddle with someone else. Did she want me to put it on, right then? They took some Polaroids of other people, so I decided to put the tie on. A young woman asked if the first woman, the older one, had seen my tie.
"Not on me," I replied. She led me to another area, where I caught up to the first woman again. She confirmed that I should wear the tie I was now wearing to the shoot, on Sunday. I signed my pay slip and I was done. In less than ten minutes, I had earned almost as much as I earn in a full day at the restaurant. I think I spent more time walking back and forth from my car, than I did actually "working," if you can call wearing your own clothes and being looked at, work.
Driving home, I tuned in to "the 3 and 1/2 Hour, 3-6:30, Iain Lee Afternoon Wireless Show," on LBC 97.3, London (Sky 0177 or via the net, at: ). Iain went to some music hall of fame event, last night. He was talking about it and discussing James Brown, who performed at this event. Iain said he never thought he would have seen James Brown perform live. He seemed underwhelmed by James' performance, saying that the singer spent brief periods of time on stage, letting his band play the rest of the time. I remembered that the darling of UK radio DJs, Opal Bonfante, had attended the same event. There has been an ongoing controversy regarding Iain and Opal. Iain claims they are friends, but Opal denies this. I wondered if Iain bumped into her and if he'd mention it on his show.
It was early enough that I decided that I could get home in time to phone Iain on air and ask him about Opal. Another topic Iain was talking about was if it was possible to change your accent. I decided to tell Iain that my accent changed, when I phoned in. Then I would ask if he saw Opal. His producer, Agent Chris, answered the phone, as usual. When he asked what I wanted to talk to Iain about, I mentioned the changing accents, first, as it was "on topic." Chris feigned excitement at that and said he'd call me back shortly, before I got to mention asking about the music hall of fame event. Of course he didn't call back and Iain never mentioned Opal.
Listening to Opal, tonight, she was talking about the same event. She also mentioned James Brown, but she seemed really impressed with his performance. Opal said James shouldn't have just been the opening act. Ironically, I have a distant cousin who looks like James Brown, only female. She could be his sister, I swear. So who's the hardest working man in show business now, James Brown, or me? Hey, James Brown and I have the same initials, J. B. Coincidence?


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