Friday, 12 June 2009

Ascot Preparations

12th of June, 2009
In a week’s time I will be arriving in luxury bus glory to that venerable highlight in the social calendar year, Royal Ascot. This year, several of my nearest and dearest have banded together to hire a beautiful bus stocked with champagne and chocolaty goodies in order to avoid the hassle of public transport (there is nothing worse than arriving at the Royal enclosure perspiring and dishevelled. The looks that the gate keepers give you could shatter diamonds into pieces).

Transport, however, is only a minor hurdle in comparison to the mountainous task that is before me this weekend. The Outfit. I have booked in two marathon-like days complete with itineraries of the must-hit shops and boutiques. First on the agenda is Beyond Retro in Great Marlborough Street (if you see a crazed girl ripping through racks of 1950’s prom dresses and scrabbling wildly through the hat stands please stand back and do not make any sudden movements. If we are reaching for the same a particularly beautiful fascinator in an oyster hue please accept my apologies in advance, I will reimburse you for all emergency room costs). This icon of vintage shopping is one of my favourite places to go in London. Sometimes I’ll find myself there without ever having consciously planned to go shopping. I’ll just come-to within its subterranean depths idly stroking a red velvet riding jacket, or sliding my feet into a pair of bright yellow satin pumps. It has the appeal of your mother’s closest and jewellery drawer as a little girl, secrets promised within with new things to discover every time.

So standby for my next update, hopefully complete with pictures of me victorious in my perfect Ascot-esque outfit!

Frustration in Film

12th June, 2009
Last night I got screwed and not in the good way. Although my primary source of income is as a …………. in the media industry, I also do a bit of acting. The first pays in cash, the second nourishes my soul (but is conspicuously monetarily challenged).

The whole story:

So I got a role as a reporter in a feature that is being submitted to the Black Hollywood Film Festival in LA - pretty happy. Then three days before filming I contract a bacterial infection in my glands that puts me in hospital (and a subsequent body suit) for two days straight (still in body suit now). They send me date/time of filming at midnight the night before. Feeling quite frankly like I could die. Regardless I get up in the morning and head out to another audition that I'd already set up (filming is scheduled for the afternoon). Still feeling like I could die but struggle to audition. Call both audition people and filming people to see if one of them can do Sunday instead as doing both audition (in the sticks) and filming (in Shoreditch) seems impossibly Everest-like. Neither budge. Internal sigh then I suck it up and get to audition, do audition, leave audition and trek to Shoreditch where I meet a friend to while away the hours in Hoxton Square with nibblies and papers. Call half an hour before call time to check it's going ahead. They say yes, come now. So I get up, they call to say, no wait. I sit back down. Half an hour later I call again, they say they're running behind schedule (big surprise), can they shoot my scene tomorrow. I say, ok. I go home (I live in South London). Next day call to say when do they want me, they say 9pm. 7pm I call to make sure shooting is going ahead, they say not today. They'll call me to get me in sometime that week. Two weeks later, multiple emails/texts/voicemails on my side - their side nada. Last night finally text back saying and I quote "MM we are in LA. We have finished shooting. As you couldn't make it on Sat we readjusted the schedule. We really wanted you for the role but you said you couldn't make it on Sat morning. Regards etc".

WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE SMOKING?!?!?! GRRRRRRRRRRR!!! I don't know how I could have been more accommodating.

And that's how the little blonde girl from Sydney got screwed by the film makers of London town. A cautionary tale indeed.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

The Train to Liverpool

I’m currently sitting on a train whisking me rapidly toward Liverpool, home of those behemoths of music history, the Beatles. For some reason, when I was regaling everyone with what I thought were rather spiffy long weekend plans, the first question to leave every single person’s lips when told the destination was invariably ‘Why?’. And that, I think is one of the most permeable differences between a person born in a particular country, and one living there on a less permanent basis. Particularly when the conversation involves going anywhere other than London for a long weekend, at least within the borders of the UK. Even the spattering of native Liverpudlians among my acquaintance seemed almost horrified at the thought of me exiling myself to the cultural wasteland that apparently is Liverpool. I’m unsure as to whether I should be worried by this or not. Nevertheless, it is far too late now. A friend of mine who works within the music industry approached me a few weeks ago with a proposal. She was covering the Liverpool Soundcity festival for work and said that were I to come along she would procure for us press passes for the event. If there is one thing that I never turn down, it is the chance to see the inner machinations of the culture industries. I’m not really fussed as to which industry it is, whether music, fashion, film or tv; I find them all equally fascinating. And they inevitably supply wonderful opportunities to watch would-be celebs and on the odd occasion, the real deal celebs, in their natural habitat.
So off to Liverpool I go. 3 hours in a train is softened ever to slightly by the rather dishy young thing sitting opposite me. Lord knows it would be incredibly rude of me not to offer him a glass of my rather lovely New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, wouldn’t it? And I’m nothing if not polite.