Friday, September 14, 2012

The Big Question

Sir Cess poses a changeling question to fellow thespians and jobbing actors.

How many roles have you played in one day?

Before you leap in to an answer, please bare in mind that Harrison Ford was a carpenter, Chuck Norris was a Ranger, Steve McQueen did race sports cars, Elizabeth Taylor did marry four or was it six men, Peter Ustinov was a writer, and Angelina Jolie professed to being a lesbian. These are all vital facts you need to consider before you answer the question. “Great thought is required!”

 This is a genuine Sir Cess quote, you may share it.

Only the other day I donned my working costume robes. I was off to finish re-wiring a kitchen electrical circuit. The said circuit was wired in the late nineteen fifties and carried power to a switch, a central kitchen light, and two exterior lights. It was not earthed! So off I went in the early hours fully wardrobed and completed the job.

New T& E wiring, that’s twin and earth to the unknowledgeable. Role one, an electrician. I applauded myself for a job well done and moved onto my second role. 

Cleaner. Clean up the mess I had made.With an almost defunct brush I swept all the trash into a corner of the kitchen, engaging the use of a pan and hand brush I discarded the trash to the bin and moved on mop in hand to clean the kitchen floor. Time for a celebratory sip from my ever faithful “Toddie”, I thought. Damm! Or any other expletive will do! Empty.

But? The roof! The thought sprang into my mind with the distant rumble of Highveld thunder. I had not nailed back the Marley tiles I had removed to access the wiring. Up onto the roof I went, clout nails in pocket, and quickly restored the roof to its weatherproof state. 3rd role completed, Roof Tiler!

Definitely time for refreshment. I loaded my tools onto my bakkie as the though of an espresso coffee and Hungarian snaps sent my saliva into an orgasmic state. But the premise’s garage door needed to be closed. This was a strict order from my client, an easy job. Now I ask, have you ever closed a nineties-fifties concrete weighted 100kg garage door? Yes? No? But,whatever the answer, I bet you’ve never closed one with a carrier cable that only had had one thin strand on metal wire left to support the mechanism. “F…….u……c….K!” was the next Shakespearean oral emission I made. The door came crashing down, and if it had not been for my speedy response some future fellow thespian could have been clutching my battered cranium whilst he uttered, “Alas poor Yorrik.”

Seeing as I was still attired in my electrician-odd-job’s costume, I man-handled, with much exertion, the now un-cabled and derelict garage door to a safe place where it would pose no problem to the returning residents.

Off I sped to my friendly director who lived nearby, as I realized my role number four as a demolition survivor was an Oscar nomination performance. Oh yes, an espresso and Hungarian snaps went down extremely well, while I listened to the trials and tribulations of my directorial friend who was going through one of those soap opera dilemmas following a divorce. This was an unexpected 5th role. Consoling friend and psychiatrist.

It was time to depart, as I had to return to my place of residence to feed the gardener his meal for the day. I climbed into my 1984 Nissan 1400 Champ bakkie and moved the gear into 1st, “C-Chucnk!” and I had a clutch pedal that sank un-tensioned to the floor. The cable had snapped. “Ah, ah, role number 5. A car mechanic!”

This is a role I have never played before and had no intention of playing! My friend, “Jurgen-The-German” sprang into my mind and after a quick phone call, the 68 year old, with a gambling addiction, arrived at the location and gave his honest appraisal of the situation. “I ‘ave one?, Might not right size, give me keys, one hundred Rand, I fix.

Now another question I have to ask all you thespians is; have you ever driven a car with no clutch? Answers on a postcard will be accepted.

Off he went and another espresso and snaps were consumed. Role number 6 was assumed. This is a role that all jobbing actors know well. It is the role of “Out-of-work-jobbing-actor”. In the UK it’s an easy role to play, as the signing on in the dole queue requires no talent at all, only a reliable alarm clock. The same applies in the US of A as long as you are a Union member and you’ve kept up with your annual payments. However in other parts of the globe including the Republic of the New South Africa, it means that you are in the proverbial shite! Your mind has to work, or rather, my mind has worked . And believe it or not, is still working. Play an electrician, a cleaner, a roof tile fixer, a psychiatrist, read, and do crosswords and play Soduko!

So, I reclined in my directorial friend’s chair and read the local rag. The “Melville Caxton Times”. This publication is a hive of information. It is packed with so much advertorial garbage that you could spend a good hour on the big white telephone having a quiet shite, that you’d believe you were playing the lead in the 2013 re-make of H.G. Well’s “Time Machine”. After an hour and a half I had found out where to buy the cheapest chateau cardboard dry white wine, the cheapest cut of shin beef, from which Hyperama I could buy the cheapest recycled spam, and I had discovered that the residents of Melville were being terrorised by vagrants!

All very enlightening. Jurgen-the–German returned, asked for the loan of one hundred Rand, which I could not oblige him with and departed. The bakkie was fully operational and I sped homeward to engage in my 7th role of the day, that of a chef. As the Lady-in-Wedlock was away taking a holiday in the Mediterranean climes on the island of Majorca, I had indulged in purchasing some of my favorite cuts of meat, tripe, brains, sheep’s tails, ostrich livers and other beautiful delicacies. When the Lady-in-Wedlock is in residence I unfortunately can’t cook any of these superb childhood favourites, as the smell that emerges from the kitchen sends my dear lady into convulsions. I also had to prepare for an organized meeting with the director of a student film in which I had been asked to perform.

Two roles at once. A Chef and an actor. 

I was returning to my roots, as I got the tripe boiling, lowered the sheep’s tails into an overnight marinade of red wine, and blanched my pig’s brains. Tripe a simmering, brains a blanching, and tails a marinating; the young highly enthusiastic director arrived. Chef hat off, and convivial out-of-work-ageing-actor’s hat on.

Role number eight. “Have you looked at the script?”

“Of course, in fact I’ve made a couple of changes.”

He sank into a deep hole, as he was also the scriptwriter of this virginal creation that came from his own life’s story.

“Goldmann? He’s a money grabbing arse-hole, a highly manipulative man, he doesn’t give a fuck about either of the two juve leads, he couldn’t care less which one of them fights. He’s an East-End cockney Jew-boy! Shall we read the first scene?”

God I was rolling. I was about to enter into my 9th role of the day. An actor. 

“Ja, well, I’d like to hear it as a cockney…… but It’s a South African story……. I thought maybe Lebanese , or Portuguese.”

“No, no, East-End Jew! Listen!”

The words rolled off my tongue, “What a fight! What a fucking fight! You know who called me? Don King, Don fucking King! This next fight for the two of you is going to gross more bucks that the Ali verus Foreman fight!!!!”

The young director and two other cohorts that were with him were thrown into a trance. “Ja, I like the cockney.” Was all he could say. And thus I had completed the 11th role of my day.

A scriptwriter!” So, have you answered the question? Till next time, Sir Cess Poole.


zakerna said...

Good to hear from Sir Cess again.

Divided up into paragraphs it would be less strenuous to read.

Catharina said...

haha oh my, that sounds like a loong, exhausting day.

And the last part sounded the worst; you shouldnt end up doing their job even though they cant.

It's so nice to have you back writing!