Here's a weird way in which a blogging network can impact on your "real life". Some time ago I got an email from Dusk, who lives all the way on the other side of the globe in Australia, asking if I would be interested in an advertisement she had seen online for a flamenco dancer required for a short film to be shot in London. I applied. I met the director more than a month ago to discuss the project and never heard from him again. Suddenly last week he rang and said he needed to shoot it within the week. Always the way!
I'm not a movie star by any stretch of the imagination but in my time I have done the very occasional bit of film work as an extra with special powers - those powers being looking vaguely authentic as a flamenco dancer when done up in the costumes, and the ability to actually dance flamenco. None of the work has ever been well paid and is never likely to have been seen by the general public at large as they are usually small, obscure, fringe projects and I'm usually playing such a small role, I just blend into the background. But seeing how the whole filming process works and the creative process of directors is very eye opening. And hey, I just love getting my hair and make up done!
This time however we were talking no budget. So it was just two guys, a camera and me - dancer with hair and makeup capabilities rolled into one. I was not being offered anything in payment terms other than the possibility of some good footage for my own promotional purposes if I was lucky. It's kind of how the fund starved fledgling arts industry is supposed to work - you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. But man cannot survive on back scratching alone. That's why some of us keep our day jobs.
What do you wear on a film set? Well, when the film set was described to me as an industrial wasteland I decided on grunge, comfort and ease of getting changed quickly as my starting points. And wasteland it certainly was. The space was a warehouse occupied by squatters and had been converted into a makeshift nightclub the night before. The floor was covered in beer bottles, rubbish and mud. I decided it best not to touch anything but grabbed a couple of snaps of the place before I left.
The photos of the set were taken after the guys cleaned up a bit. This is "gloriously gritty London" to coin a term by Grit and Glamour's Vahni at its grimiest. Grit and glamour indeed - plenty of grit par excellence here with the only glamorous things on set being my flamenco costumes. It's a myth doing this kind of thing is always glamorous - unless your idea of glamour is trying find space to attach false eyelashes on the only semi-clean surface in a dark and dingy corner with only just enough light to see what you are doing.
By coincidence the botanical print on my tee shirt kind of complimented the makeshift decor on the wall. I should have taken a photo against it (except I was trying not to touch any surfaces!)
Harem trousers: Kaylee Tankus; Wrap cardigan: All Saints; Monochrome floral print tee shirt: Christopher Kane; Leather biker gilet: Oasis; Boots: Gap