Saturday 8 September 2007

21 hour Friday...,,.aspx

My second time working for Chris Smart of Silva Productions was yesterday, filming a performance of "The Handless Maiden" by students and Opera performers at the Trinity College of Music in London, a bloody long day indeed, so here's the breakdown of my bloodshot-eyed-day:

Thursday night - watch about 35 minutes of BASEketball after getting hot under the collar for it after hearing Trey Parker and Matt Stone talk about it during various South Park commentaries that I'd be listening to over the last couple of weeks (I'd seen the film a few times before). Then two hours of comedy genius. Mock the Week and Saxondale on BBC2, then Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on More4 (why-oh-why did they cancel this show in America, are they feckin' idiots?!)

Then odd to bed to attempt an early night at just after 11pm (I'm definitely a night owl sort - or at least, not an early riser), but come midnight I still wasn't asleep. Then, the horrid noise of my mobile phone giving me a wake up alarm at 4:50am (I need plenty of time to warm up for a day, especially one this early starting and long in duration). I was surprisingly quick to get up, probably because I'd barely gone to sleep and had maybe scratched together a frequently interrupted and unsettled 4 hours of kip (I'm the sort of person who just simply needs 8 hours).

I watch the rest of BASEketball and get breakfast, grumbling at the fact it isn't even dawn yet. The sun does come up and I do final equipment checks before getting picked up by Chris at 7am. We barge it to London - a city which I famously despise and resent in equal measure, a city which I've not been to in about 6 years. The last 12 miles of the journey takes TWO HOURS due to London traffic and a SatNav which can't cope with dense urbanisation and is about 10 to 20 seconds behind real time, so wrong turns aplenty in London.

What a hodge-podge London is. We had to drive through most of it, and not the glamorous side, at best the normal and mundane, at worst, the broken down and depressing side - full on East Enders, haha. Traffic and people within the traffic are officially insane, like a diluted version of India - people just barge out into traffic whether they're in a vehicle, on a bike or on foot. I'm entirely glad I wasn't driving.

We get to the Trinity College of Music, on the South bank of the Thames just after 12pm and set about getting our gear set up and meeting the people involved in the project. We do some interviews in the afternoon, and then the main performance kicks off just after 6pm - an Opera, performed and crewed by a mix of able-bodied and disabled folk, a story about a poor family who accidentally sell their daughter to the devil. Afterwards there was a Q&A and a demonstration of how a Wii-mote was used to provide signals to one of the blind performers to guide them in their movements around a pre-set track.

After all that, we have to pack up the lights and then set off at around 9pm for a less-than-trouble-free journey out of London, although this time getting to see the posh side and some of the sights - The Oval, the place where they're doing the BBC Proms (forget the name now - Albert Hall?), the Apollo, Parliament & Big Ben, the West End, Harvey Nicholls and so-on.

A long-ass journey later, I arrive home just before 1am. I proceed to cover up those bloody lights on my new extension lead which have been belching light out into my room for the last week (I kept forgetting to cover them up). I then decompress, watched a bit of Gone in 60 Seconds on ITV2+1 and then nodded off around 1:50am for a nice, long kip-in until 11:15am.

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