I often muse to myself, when I'm standing outside an improbable location or picking my way through dark streets looking for an address, that I must be either very trusting or completely bonkers.
For example, I got a small bit-part job on a low budget film. Couple of hours work, nice bit of showreel material.
Their previous actress had to drop out at the last minute so they had no time to audition, the bubbly production assistant said on the phone, just pop along to location for 8pm tomorrow and we will meet you there. Sweet.
Off I trot, map in hand to the address in North London. A good ten minute walk from the nearest tube and the further I progress down the street, the more apparent it becomes to me that I am alone, walking down an unfamiliar London street, in the dark on a Friday night. Late night takeaways and mini cab offices as far as the eye can see. Even the drinking population has thinned out once I reach the location which would appear to be a flat above a kebab shop.
Of course there is nothing to indicate that it might be a location for a film shoot. Not a soul in sight.
8.00pm strikes and I start to ring the production assistant, whose phone rings out.
At 8.15pm I’m starting to wish I had told someone where I was going.
At 8.20pm, Production Assistant calls to say they are “soooo sorry, they are on route from another location and they’ll be there soon”.
At 8.30pm a van rolls up and two large men start hefting what looks reassuringly like filming gear out. They come up to the doorway where I have been cowering and trying to look like the wall and I decide to ask them if they are with the film. They open up the flat and send me upstairs to wait and as I start gingerly picking my way up 8 flights of cold concrete stairwell that smells a little too much like wee, I think to myself..
“I must be mad. I could get murdered here and no one would ever know.”
Of course by 8.45pm the rest of the crew roll up, tired and hungry and indulge in a Chinese before starting my scenes. But all in all I was still all done, costume, make-up, read through, shooting, re-shooting, pickups, by 10.30pm.
It’s a miracle frankly that more people haven’t realised the ridiculous risks we run in the pursuit of work. How trusting we are that people are genuine. Americano with Soy is always calling me outside auditions and shoots going “What do I do there’s no one here…” “I’m bored waiting, how are you…oh wait there they are, bye!”
It’s always nice though when you see someone else in the same place, with a mobile and an Equity diary obviously thinking the same thing you are.
I thought it again a few days ago when I was looking for a random basement flat where I was supposed to rehearse. As I picked my way down the dark street I thought…
“Trusting? Bonkers? Both?”
Jury’s still out on that one.
Frothy Mocha x