Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Real Costume

Yesterday was a really busy day for me. A long one, as well. First, I went to my day job, at the restaurant, arriving at 7:45AM. After working till 11:15, without my usual break at 10:00, I left and rushed over to Pinewood Studios. Traffic was moderate and the drive took 35 minutes. I made my costume fitting, scheduled for Noon, with a few minutes to spare. Walking from the gate to a temporary structure behind the 007 sound stage, a fellow supporting artiste asked me to show him the way. I am usually slightly less enthusiastic about helping guys, as opposed to pretty women, but what the hell. As I was leading the way, my new, talkative companion let slip that his father is a producer. Hello! Major networking opportunity.
Upon arrival at the marquee, we were given payment paperwork and confidentiality agreements to sign. Because of the latter, I can't say which major motion picture it is I will be working on next. The film industry can be so secretive sometimes. Usually, when I have attended a costume fitting for supporting artiste work, the costume ends up being primarily my own clothes. They look over what I have brought, add this, or takeaway that, but I end up wearing my own clothes. What fun is there in that? This time was different. I was given a complete costume, shirts, trousers, even shoes. Finally! This feels more like acting. I will enjoy playing my small part much more, knowing that I am wearing a real costume, not just my own clothes. The only items of my own that I will be wearing will be socks and underpants. Producer's son was going a bit slower and I needed to get back to work. I bade him farewell and scampered off towards the parking lot. Hopefully, I would talk to him more during filming, next week.
Rushing back to work in my rented, Italian car, I got there by 1:05PM, just five minutes later than I had hoped. I was in a great mood, having listened to my favorite Black Eyed Peas song, "Hey Mama," on the radio, in the car, while speeding down the motorway. That was the first song I ever liked by B.E.P. and every time I hear it, I can picture Fergie in the video, shaking her...ass-ets. Back at work, I struggled to catch up on my work, which had piled up while I was gone. There was no time to relax. I needed to get finished as quickly as possible, so I could head to my next project for the day.
I finished at the restaurant by 4:50PM. After a quick break in the lavatory, I raced off to return my rented car. The rental firm dropped me off at Hatton Cross Tube station. As I rushed down the stairs, to the platform, I heard a train pulling out. I reached the platform just in time to see it was an eastbound Piccadilly line train. Just the one I needed. Trains on the Heathrow spur of the Piccadilly line run a bit infrequently, so I sat down to wait for the next one. I was racing to meet my good friend, Mucky Sarah. She was producing some project of her own and needed a male for voiceover work. When she offered it to me, I jumped at the chance.
Catching the next train, I figured out I could change to the District line at Acton Town. The District line would take me to Ravenscourt Park, the nearest station to my destination. From there, I could walk to the studio where we would be recording. Unfortunately, the London Underground system was recovering from a strike, which had just ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Even though it was now Wednesday evening, full service had not yet been restored. The District line was running again, but only on a limited service. I ended up with a long wait at Acton Park. Sarah called me on my mobile. She'd beaten me to Ravenscourt Park. I told her to go ahead and I would meet her at the studio. Trying to be helpful, she offered me directions from Ravenscourt Park Tube station, to the studio. Even though I had a map, I took note of Sarah's directions. After all, she'd been there before and was traveling the route at that very moment. I had never been to that part of town before. Surely, her tips would save me valuable time fumbling with my map, printed from the internet.
By this time I had been going for over twelve hours. I guess was tired, or something. That could explain why I totally forgot that Sarah is navigationally challenged, even more so than most women. When driving her car, she's almost completely dependent on her GPS. When her GPS wasn't working for a while, this summer, even with computer generated directions from the internet, she still managed to get lost, twice, while driving us somewhere in northwest London. None of this was in the forefront of my mind when I left Ravenscourt Tube station. I blindly followed Sarah's directions and lived to regret it. Subsequently, it began to dawn on me that I was going the wrong way. Consulting my map and struggling to find a street sign, I eventually figured out that I was on the wrong side of Ravenscourt Park. One of the quirky things about Britain is that many intersections lack street signs. This makes navigating much more of a challenge than it is in the States. I made a right turn and cut through the park, trying to get myself back on course.
I must have gotten slightly disoriented in the park, because I ended up on the east side of it, rather than on the north side. However, I wouldn't figure that out until later. I tried comparing the streets I was seeing to the few that were named on my map. Instead of relying on this crappy Mapquest printout, I should have consulted my trusty, old, London A -Z, but as I said, I was tired. I pressed on in what seemed like the right direction. Sarah called to find out where I was. "I don't know," I said. "Your directions were shit," I informed her. A brief discussion ensued and she admitted that she had given me a wrong turn, sending me left out of the station, when it should have been right. Oopsie! Sarah started making unhelpful suggestions, based on her own habits. This included suggesting that I go back the way I came and start over. That's a well known tactic of hers. I had been walking for half an hour, by then. No way was I going to redo that, then still have the walk to the studio to do. Next, she suggested asking someone. Asking is a stereotypical female, navigational tactic, but I am a man and real men don't ask! Did Christopher Columbus ask? Hell no! She started debating with me, which wasn't helping. In fact, it was distracting. I pretended that I was getting a bad signal on my mobile and couldn't hear her. Then I hung up, saying I would call her back. When I didn't, she called back, a few minutes later. I just let my phone ring and didn't answer.
Having finally found a main road that was on my map, I tried to figure where I was along it. Lack of street signs again caused me to walk along it in the wrong direction. Those street signs I did find didn't correlate with the ones on my map. Reaching a bus stop, I consulted the local map displayed there. Finally, I knew where I was. By reversing direction and walking a bit, I was able to get to the street the studio was on. I finally arrived there, an hour late. I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would sing. No asking strangers for directions! Male honor was satisfied.
In the studio, I offered Sarah and the sound engineer croissants, but they declined. How cool...I was able to appear generous, but without any of the negative side effects. She gave me a copy of the script I would be reading. We were recording a segment of her book, which is based on her blog. Sarah writes a sex blog, "Naive London Girl." The book is based on her blog and real life sex exploits. The publishing company she is negotiating with want to put it out as a podcast book, as well as traditional print, and wanted a sample. Sarah writes under the pen name, Anjelika Jinxs. You can check out her sex blog at: . That site also has her podcasts, including a couple with me on them.
Looking over the script, I noticed that the male parts I was doing involved some very sleazy sex talk. This script required me saying all sorts of pathetic, sleazy things that I just wouldn't normally say to a woman. Noticing my distaste, Sarah said, "it's called acting." Sarah and I sat in a studio, together. We did a couple of practice run-throughs of the script. It's funny how Sarah can be so inhibited about so many things in day to day life, like driving without a GPS, or eating vegetables, but the filth that calmly spews forth from that girl's mouth is enough to make a sailor blush. Once we started recording, Sarah did a few bits on her own, then we did some together. Listening to the criticism of the sound engineer, we did a couple of takes of some parts, trying to get it right. Finally, we came to my last part. It was a single line, but it involved me pretending to be having an orgasm. Faking orgasms is what women do. I have no experience with that. It was my turn to feel inhibited. I did it over and over again, but Sarah wasn't satisfied. She kept urging more out of me. The problem is the character is saying things I would never say during an orgasm. Finally, the engineer said to try ad libbing it and saying whatever I was comfortable with. Once I did that a couple of times, he said he was satisfied that he had enough. He will edit parts together to produce what he and Sarah want. Sarah teased me that I don't make noisy enough orgasms. I teased her back that her scriptwriting was crap. My parts finished, I was free to leave.
We had finished a little earlier than I expected. Not wanting to repeat the disaster of my journey there, I caught a bus to Hammersmith Underground station. From there, I walked to the bus stop for the coach to Bracknell. I was happy to get the 9:50PM Coach from Hammersmith. Originally, I had been expecting to end up on the 10:50. Arriving in Bracknell after 11:30PM, I walked home from the town centre, as the local buses had stopped running by then. A Taxi would cost the equivalent of an hour's wages at the restaurant. It only took me half an hour to walk. That's the like doubling my wages. It was after midnight by the time I waked through my doorway. I felt hot and sweaty. I had just endured an 18 hour day. Uncharacteristically, I had a shower and went to bed. Blogging could wait for another day.

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