Monday, February 14, 2011

Eat My Short

Date: February 2011
Job: Short Film
Location: Oakleigh

So here I am, sitting in a parked car with my dress hitched up, while a man I barely know fiddles with my undergarment and a motley crew of strangers with a video camera loiters nearby. Lesser beings would be fazed, but not I, for I am a short film pro and it's all part of the job.

Now, before you think my acting career has taken a rather seedy turn, let me explain. By 'pro' I mean professional (not prostitute) and what's actually happening is that the director of a one week film course is changing the batteries in the thingy which is connected to the tiny mic in my bra and reattaching the thingy to my back with gaffa tape, underneath my leggings. (Got a bonus back wax when I took it off later that day.) I'm in downtown Oakleigh filming 'Grapefruit' in which I play a crazed old lady who happens to be a drug dealer and cop killer. I'm wearing a floral dress from the op shop, teale leggings, red shoes with clashing red socks and a daggy cardigan which belongs to the one of the crew! There are some tense and mad moments on set because, unlike a student film where the student director is in control and has spent weeks or months developing a script, this crew has created the film in a couple of days and the production roles, including director, rotate throughout the two day shoot. But it's also lots of fun working under pressure with a new bunch of people from all walks of life and making a film about cops and surveillance and guns and drugs! I get to wield a double barrel shotgun, get splattered with fake blood and throw a little hissy fit about grapefruits in a real suburban fruit and vegie shop busy with real customers on a Saturday afternoon. Right up my alley.

And so, once again, with no extra work looming on any horizon in any galaxy in my vicinity, I have found myself in another short film. Actually, another two, potentially. The day after Grapefruit, I'm off to another audition on the other side of town. I run through the scene twice, struggling to get a sense of character and authenticity, and then I'm back in the car for an eighty minute journey home in afternoon traffic, wondering why I'm doing this. It's certainly not for the money (there is none-I use the term 'professional' loosely!). But I thought the same thing when I auditioned for Grapefruit, and it turned out to be a pretty good acting experience, so, it doesn't hurt to give it a try.

Unless, of course, there's gaffa tape involved.