"Step back fans."
"Form an orderly queue."
"Yes madam, you can touch me."
"You want me yo autograph your chest? No problem!"
These are the sort of things I should be saying now, but alas I am not. Despite spending no less than 14 hours in Bollywood yesterday, I don't believe I am any closer to achieving my goal of becoming the star that you all know I so deserve to be.
But it was a pretty interesting day, and we actually, for the most part, had some fun.
I didn't get off to a great start however. Dan was under the impression we were set to get picked up at 7 in the morning. I was sure it was 8. Lo and behold, Rob was right again, so we spent nearly two hours waiting on a street corner like a couple of inappropriately dressed hookers. (Are there any other sort?) Dan did get his penance though, as while we were waiting a man started to chat to him, and informed him that he had spoken to God and has been told that Nuclear War is coming very soon - I left him to that conversation and waited a little further down the road. I don't think you can take him seriously. If he really had spoken to the almighty, he might have asked for some better clothes, and maybe some teeth before conversing about World War Three!!!
So, eventually we got on the bus to take us to the studios, along with 20 other Westerners. The reason they want us all as extras is apparently to make the films more authentic.
Clearly though, authenticity was not their ultimate goal.
As we pulled up to the ramshackle studios, (where was the glamour???), we were promptly ushered to our changing room to put on our costumes. The film we were set to be working on was called 'Mission Istanbul', so I thought we would be provided some suitable clothes for that title. Instead, all the boys were given 70s style large collared shirts with the loudest floral patterns on them I have ever seen, and slacks. In fact, my shirt was so bright, as I arrived on set I was sent away to change it as the people in charge thought that it was far too distracting, and in the end had to make do with a plain white one! ( I was a little bit gutted. In contrast to almost everybody else, I quite liked the one I was given, and was even thinking about trying to steal it!!!)
The girls were not left out of the embarrassing costume competition, returning in no end of sequin dresses, boob tubes, and miniskirts. Instead of an air of authenticity, I think what they really were trying to do was degrade us all on film. Instead of some Western people in a club in Istanbul, we looked like the cast of 'Hollyoaks' on a night out.
Anyway, that all done, the filming began. The scenes we were shotting were all set in the same club in the studio. The set was actually pretty impressive, especially considering the way that it looked from the outside. Once you were in there for a while, you did sort of start to believe that you were in a nightclub somewhere, and when they started handing out drinks, it got even better,. Dissapointingly though, you could not tell what they were - some sort of flat fizzy drink that, as it turned out, got quite sticky if you spilt it!
We had to dance as if we were in the club, whilst professional dancers did there bit around us. I found it quite easy, loving the oppurtunity to strut my funky stuff for the first time in a while. Dan, I think, was a little less enthused by the whole thing at first, and took a little while to get into it, managing eventually to sway gently in time with the beat!
We had to do this at various areas of the club, and always to the same song, whilst they filmed from different angles, and I think, at about the tenth hour, the constant cries from the director of 'Have fun....now' and 'Smile - Dance' began to get a little tedious, and many people started to lag. Being the professional that I am though, I soldiered on gave the performance of my life, maintaining 110% effort all the time in an effort to get noticed and maybe begin my quest for stardom.
Worse was to come when the male actor Mickey or Ricky or something like that was bought out. He was completely useless, and literally could not manage anything he was asked, and after every take the director would take him aside to expalin to him what he wanted, only for him to do it EXACTLY the same again. Eventually I think the director gave up, and his favourite phrase "mind blowing' was thrown in the direction of his male lead - although I'm not sure if that was because he was so good, or he shot himself in the head through frustration.
And then, about an hour before we were set to leave, the female dancer had a moment and was told she was finished for the day - the pre-madonna. She had barely done anything, and couldn't get the dance right, so was asked to leave. We thought this might be the end for us too.
We had to stay on because apparently we arrived late in the morning. The traffic was bad and held us up. It was not our fault. A revolt was nearing. You could feel it in the air.
But it never came.
Instead, we made do with a chai and continued to film, although I think it might be safe to say the smiles were off most peoples faces by the end of the day, and no amount of being ordered to enjoy ourselves could change it!
Overall though it was a really good day I think. We actually met some pretty cool people, and through the shared experience of 'Mission Istanbul' we may even keep in touch with a few! We arrived back not long before midnight, having had a bit of a sing-song on the bus on the way home.
Fame though has escaped my grasp once more, and I must now find another way to find it.
I hear mass murder pretty much guarantees some recognition....