Good week to everyone! How has everyone’s week been? Mine’s been so busy doing nothing but networking and promotions; my initiation into the vile impersonal business world. I have recently found out, and this is just a hypothesis, that the most boring and humourless people in school are mostly the richest people today. They are usually the bankers, businessmen and accountants of today. I refuse to believe that it was because they had no sense of humour but that they maybe saw art, fun and humour as major distractions to be avoided at all costs even if they have to scrooge themselves doing it. I suppose the end justifies the means. At least, like Scrooge, they might get the chance to be unscrooged later in life. For those of us who began our lives with art, idealism and daydreams and having to learn scrooge language later in life. I wonder what our stories will be as night falls. It was a strange feeling for me at the Damage movie premiere two weeks ago.
The three days leading up to the date of the event were very physically depressing for me; I almost threw up in the bathroom an hour before I picked up my car keys. I usually hate watching myself in movies I’ve done because I keep seeing mistakes I make, and things I could have done better. It’s sometimes so bad I hide behind my couch to watch; it’s like watching a horror movie, the difference being that I must have company to be able to watch the latter. You can imagine how it felt having to watch myself alongside hundreds of fellow professionals, prodders, directors, investors and most nail biting of all, critics. Couple that with the fact that I was playing the role of an angry, violent wife beater who shouts himself hoarse for the most part of the movie, which, God forbid, might end up not being so convincing, and you have the perfect bowl of bowel pureed nerves.
The red carpet part went without a hitch although I did leave it with an aching jaw from yapping incessantly to legions of journalists and flashing bulbs, repeating myself over and over again while trying to look like I was uttering the heartfelt words for the first time. The last journalist to interview me took the largest slice of the cake. He looked in every possible direction there was but mine as he interviewed me as I talked; it didn’t last long and it was the last. I left there and headed for the cinema, was ushered to my seat and I sat. Not long after, the movie began.
It didn’t take long for me to realise why oyibo , sorry, our counterparts across the pond are always so skinny; I was humongous! I thought I was looking at a funny mirror! Every step I took was like King Kong was entering the building. I desperately prayed for some vestige of acting prowess to at least cover up the offensive smell I was looking at. All through the movie I kept ticking off the boxes in my head with my invisible pen, my buzzing ears not even registering the audience’s reaction, with my sweaty finger poised over the stopwatch of my watch. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated it would be. In fact the audience loved it. If you know how unforgiving a Nigerian audience is, you’ll appreciate the sense of relief I felt every fifteen minutes – yes, I had divided the movie into sections of fifteen minutes to measure the overall ratio of the parts that were bad versus the good – yes, in that order. I even noticed some quips and quirks I unconsciously chipped in here and there of which I was pleased and took notes of. It ended well.
What’s that saying again? Nothing ventured, nothing vanquished? I’m not sure if I got it right but that night was a definite victory for me. I learnt to believe in myself more, to trust my instincts more and the value of working with a visionary producer and director. Three cheers to you Uche Jombo and Moses Iwang( Sneeze)! Great job on the movie Damage! Have a great weekend guys and please please please do go watch the movie Damage. It’s showing in cinemas nationwide at the moment. Ciao!