Hello and a good week to everyone. It’s been a funny past week here in Nigeria, what with the scare of the predicted acid rain that would fall in this region and cause skin cancer to many. It’s been hilarious watching even bus conductors, market women and truck pushers scampering frantically for safety in the nearest shelter. The white patches I have seen on my car after the rain have given me some concern; curiously enough, soon after this discovery, my skin has begun itching ( I’ve been caught out once or twice by the rain too) on my forearm. I’m wondering if the itches are imaginary or real. No one has tested the rain to know if it is acidic or not or is the government stopping scientists’ mouths to prevent a panic as some of us conspiracy theorists are wont to believe? There, just scratched an itch again.
I had a unique experience from a movie set I’d just concluded; I was “fallen” in love with. Is that correct English? Perks or hazards of the business as they say. Anyway, I had this actress who played my love interest in the project where some really intimate scenes came up. We had talked at length about what each person’s boundaries were regarding kissing and touching intimate body parts on set. She was a very good actress who took her work seriously and even though she hadn’t done very much as regards screen work, she showed a remarkable grasp of understanding the tools available to her as an actor – and she used them well. Because she made the character she played so believable, I found my work with her to be a breeze as we meshed in unison.
One of the scenes we played was one where, I, sorry, the character I played, had been an absolute bastard to the woman he loved, denied her a position he was empowered to give her even though she was more than qualified for the position, eventually realised the error of his ways and had crawled back to beg for another chance at love. The scene was a very deep one I had been dreading – I absolutely hate weepy scenes because they force me to go to depths I’m not comfortable with sharing with the outside world. Fortunately the director did what she could to make it as comfortable for us as possible by removing everyone from the room save the camera man, the boom man and the continuity person. The lights were soft, the air conditioning on and the stage set for an evening of romance – just joking! I shuffled towards her with the proud desperation of an egotist who recognises the time when pride has to be swallowed to avert being swallowed up by depression. I went down on my knees and clasped her right leg, saw the full hips at my eye level, felt the soft body beneath the denim fabric I was grasping and remembered why I was begging. Sorry, I went down on my knees and begged her forgiveness having seen the error of my ways, from which I was pulled up and very reluctantly professed my love for her. The character I played did this with his eyes averted, looking everywhere else but her eyes while he made the painful confession and when I finally looked up at her eyes they were flooded with tears as we closed in for the kiss. Everyone applauded.
The next day, she asked if she could have a moment with me. I acquiesced and we went outside. She told me she, for reasons she did not know felt very attracted to me. I smiled, because I remembered the very same thing happening to me some years back when I did a stage play with someone I regarded as a sister who played my love interest. We had this love scene during rehearsals where we had that moment. It was like this weird chemical love spirit that just passed through us at the same time and we both looked into each other’s eyes and knew we were hit without being able to explain why. I couldn’t sleep that night or for rest of the week for that matter. I knew it wasn’t right but I couldn’t explain or ignore its power and I could see my relationship with my then girlfriend, who was very dear to me, being threatened. Funny enough, a few days after the play ended my strong feelings for the lady in question began to dissipate. I realised then that I had temporarily opened up a part of me that was vulnerable but crucial to my craft as a tool for interpretation of my role. I also realised that an actor while delving into his reserves and emotions to do his work, must also have control over them and recognise their use in any project for what they are; transient. I explained as such to her and encouraged her to play around with her emotions without getting too caught up in them, because our job at the end of the day is just what it is, a job.
I haven’t heard from her ever since we wrapped up so my belief is that she’s okay now. Just thought to share that with you guys so amidst everything else, do have a great week everyone! Hi Frieda!