For some no specific reason you are tired. You feel dehydrated, your lower back is sour and your head throbs a little. Yet you have to stay at it since it’s now your turn. Or did you? You know you had a number of choices available to you – you could throw your hands in the air, wave them like you just don’t care and walk out. You could choose to go and throw a tantrum because surely people need to learn how to respect other people’s time. You could have been elsewhere- don’t they know?
But you choose to suck it up and stay.
It’s your time to shine- your 5 minutes of fame to really impress the Director. You are going to show them how it’s done! I bet you are going to make a mistake which I’m only going to warn you after you have made it. There! You thought you would be a one-take wonder didn’t you? Even worse you thought it was like theatre where you perform to an audience once and you are done and gone. You did the first take and gave it all the energy you have…with oomph and gusto.
Oops, sorry! Now the Director wants you to do it again, exactly the same way. You wonder if you can remember all the gestures and facial expressions you had used. Then he wants you to do it again…. and again and ….again until you can no longer locate your genuine emotion and now you are overacting. You are even worried that you are repeating because the Director is not happy with your performance. Your favorite catch phrase soon becomes ‘again.’ You start hearing it in your head like a particularly bad chorus.
Relax. You passed the audition. The D.O.P has to take an average of 4- 6 shots in one none movement action. He might start with an establishment/wide shot, then a two shot if you are with someone, then medium , then close up , then medium and close up of your fellow actor – Lord, since in this scene you are dialing a specific number and hiding something in your wallet, numerous cut -away shots are needed.
Two hours are now gone and you still wonder when it will start being fun. Now the producer is back and highly concerned that “we are losing light”. Indeed the sun is setting and the Director shoots the second scene as hurriedly as he can. They can’t get to the third and last scene so they kindly ask you to come back tomorrow. Did you hear someone mention TOMORROW? And you have no guarantee that it will not be a worse routine. You obviously have had one of the most frustrating days in your life. You secretly wonder if this is what you signed up for- did Lupita have to go through this to get an Oscar? And there you were ranting about her skipping Kenya for Uganda!
It is now 7 p.m. Crew complains that they are tired and want to be taken home first even though your house is on the way to theirs. At least you (re)discover how big Nairobi is as you drop people on the other side of town. You finally get to your house at 12.30 a.m. (The rush hour jam didn’t help either). Never in your life did you realize that you had the capacity to be this exhausted. You finally manage to leap out of the van and the driver harshly urges you to be ready at 4 a.m. Breathe.
Hand-ball: [In acting: when everything that can possibly go wrong, does in fact go wrong]