Early morning, and I’m quite happily posting International Times to Facebook, when I notice I can’t read the writing on the screen. It’s like I’ve stared into a bright light and have an afterglow. After a few minutes, what I’m seeing is three lines in each eye. The top and bottom image are repeating the middle image, only smaller. I’ve got to say here, I wasn’t feeling things were going well towards the 11 am shoot where I was commissioned to do my first acting gig, alongside star of stage and screen David Bedella. My contribution certain to draw rave reviews and advance the art of acting, shame about David Bedella, Kevin Short the director and Jim Nilsson the artistic director.
“Well I’m not going on now am I? Too sick, too fucked up!”
It dawns, after a correctional chat with my missus Claire, who spent years acting and dancing and knows a thing or two about the ups and downs of show business: “You’re having a panic attack,” she says.
“Really?” I says. “Yes,” she says, and proceeds to sleepily, having been dragged out of bed, give me love, attention and soothing healing.
Fighting fittish me and Claire set our course for the Southern Belle at London’s Fulham Palace Road.Which was going to be, for the sake of the film, translated into a bar in the USA. The proprietor was accommodating, if a little goggled -eyed and hung-over when he arrived an hour late. Meanwhile David Bedella had a 1:30 call to go on stage at the New Wimbledon Theatre and it’s already 12 noon! Meanwhile David has put his total man to lady make up on in the front seat of the car, commenting only, “An actor’s life is so very glamorous.”
Everyone was unbelievably calm as we set up, Claire was roped in as production assistant – usually it’s me that’s roped!
Straight into the acting – Jim Nilsson starts shooting. I’m in a floral shirt and pretending to be an American with David in total drag regalia. We’ve betted each other that he can’t pot all the balls. Well of course he does, to the amazement, shock and disgust of me, the hunky, thuggy American. Here’s where it was all unexpectedly easy. David gave me smouldering I-told-you-so looks. Making it easy to react naturally, just like in real life but with my pulse and perceptions raised. He potted his balls one by one agonizingly slowly and my mouth dropped further and further open ’til I had to reluctantly hand over his winnings. A few more words from David at the bar and I was rushing off to get the car and steam up to Hammersmith station to get him to Wimbledon and on stage by the skin of his teeth!
Then we were off to Sussex for the final few shots so Kevin could say those classic words “It’s a Wrap.”
With thanks to the characters:
Kevin Short…director,writer etc.,etc. and etc.
Jim Nilsson… co-director/dop/editor
David Bedella… actor, drag pool hall hustler.
Claire Lewis… P.A and best of women
Nick Victor… American pool gob smacked player
Film web pages http://areellife.org/