Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Love Scene

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!

19 comments:

  1. LOL AT FALLEN IN LOVE WITH. WELL MAKE BABE GO NURSE HER CRUSHD EMOTIONS.LOL. @ACID RAIN: BERA GO CHECK DAT ITCHING SKIN WIF A DERMATOLOGIST OOOO. AVE A GR8 WK TOO

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  2. "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" lol beautiful line.............
    poor girl, a victim of her trade. she's courageous for telling you about her feelings.

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  3. The hazards of the act. At least you take the high road. So when will the movie be released?

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  4. Yes, we need to take control of our emotions...and you know the stubborn ones frizzle out with time.

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  5. Wow! Ur blog is just outta dis world! Number 1 of ma many many Number 1 Blog lists! Lol! Pls, add me on FB! Ma request's been hanging for eva! Would love to catch up with ur FB page too ... i don tire to dey use ur FB badge! Great post!
    p.s. Hope I don't sound like an over enthusiastic fan! holla!

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  6. Hi K,

    Know yourself and your work and you will win all battles.

    Happy Easter in advance!!

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  7. It is nice to hear that you guys actually get caught up in the roles you play cos I always wondered..... She was quite bold coming out to admit it.

    @Acid rain- you should have seen the way people scampered on sunday when it poured. Some guy wanted to know what is the antidote if the rain touched you and his friend told him saliva. The guy now spat on his arm.

    Nice post

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  8. awww, poor girl. "hazards" of the job i guess. lol.
    have a great month

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  9. Great..............thanks for sharing with us!

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  10. Now I will be checking every film I watch for a scene such as the one described so I can see who the poor girl could be... just kidding! I once read an interview given by Joke Silva and in it she said that the danger of the profession is to believe what you are acting... such relationships don't last because they are being driven by the energy of the movie. That's it roughly paraphrased, but this story is a case in point. I guess certain scenes depending on their intensity require you to lay your emotions bare in the way you would normally do with a loved one, or with that certain someone. The professionalism comes in when you can recognize it for what it is. Pretty brave to share this one.

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  11. Kissing, touching is equal to feeling in acting??? Mhhhhhhhhhm, thought it was a script and emotions should be left out no matter how painful. Nollywood here we come. Awesome blog kalu. Keep it up!

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  12. Thanks for the laughs! "Falling in love with" and naija with "acid rain". Creative writing and cute story too. Happy Easter to you Kalu.

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  13. Thanks for sharing this with us.....another beautifully written blog from you..Have a great Easter.

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  14. Nice Write Up Kalu - You made me smile this easter morning - Happy Easter

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  15. :-) think the acidic rain episode is more pyschological, i know i spent the rest of the week reading up on acidic rain and the effects on humans... well i guess u know how that ended:-). yeah i wondered sometimes how actors(artist) go thru the emotnal scences and come out sane, more grease to ur(the whole lot of you) elbows, i m sure if i was in her shoes i ll be more embrassed compared to anythg o well like they the say 'life's a prison when you're in love alone' thanks for sharing, very brave!!! hope u had a good easter.

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  16. @ Mo, they don`t come out sane, abi body na firewood? You really need an understandable partner and as an actor develop thick skin too. Which babe want to see his guy or girlfriend in that position for the whole world to see? In as much as I want to see much love in films, I do pity those who acted in it `cause of our sterotyped society. I hope one day, Kalu will write about how his loved ones (girlfriend, family and friends)react to such love scene. Beautifully written.

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  17. I hope the acid rain was a hoax. Very brave for sharing the story. Something within the reader, in this case myself, unlocks. It goes to show, how safe and secure you and your significant other are.Way to go and I salute both of you.

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