Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My screen career begins ... at the lowest rung of the ladder


Another scorcher, but I didn't feel like sitting around the house, so spent a few hours looking around inner-city Cardiff. It's a very pleasant area, mainly given oven to pedestrians, with plenty of outdoor eating spots and (joy!) places that can actually make espresso. Without the traffic noise, it's a very quiet urban centre - just raw human sounds and bits of music leaking ut from some stores and cafes.

I found a store that sells Welsh tartans, so I could order a family kilt for the small price of £350 + trimmings, or get a St David's kilt for £150 ... but maybe another day.

My host Ian is shooting a small ghost-story vignette for the BBC and asked me to help out as stand-in for the protagonist, a small haunted woman.... hmmm. I can see myself being typecast already. Initially I'm covered by the bed quilt and I have to toss and turn but in a way so that no overtly masculine anatomy is visible, and then I have to make a corner of the quilt move in ghostly fashion. Luckily the sound is not being recorded as neither of us can stop laughing during the process. I warn Ian that's it's not the first time a man has tried to lure me into his bed under the pretext of shooting a horror film.

The shooting directions require that the body be sown with copious amounts of sweat. Ian asks which bits of me are most feminine (not, my bweasts) or at least the least hairy. We settle for my back in poor focus, which he sprays with water and videotapes heaving against the night's ghostly presence, then it's my forehead. This time I'm of course facing Ian and realize that my sweat is water sprayed from a clothes iron. The budget is so huge, that I wonder how he's going to afford my scene wrestling with a giant octopus or Bela Lugosi's narration.

My back doesn't seem to carry the effect of a petite female (duh!) so I spray and film Ian's back. Will the viewers notice this substitution????

We left it there and I await the finished product. Hopefully the BBC will respect my rights and my back will not turn up gratuitously in some future BAFTA-winning costume drama, doubling for Helen Mirren or Keira Knightley.

Clocked over 3000 miles on the (rental) car so far in my 7 weeks here. I've received word that my car will be ready for collection in Ipswich on Monday morning. I need extra paperwork from Wigan, so will be heading back there tomorrow morning, and then heading to London for a few days to handle the car change-over. I might even make a stab at visiting the General Register Office for some family tree matters, and also the Spanish Consul regarding my language study plans.

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