Real Life

Outrageously bad!

I always fancied myself as a bit of an actor after my small but memorable role in ourrays Bay Intermediate School’s production of Trolls. So when South Pacific Pictures invited me to play a bit part in their hit TV3 comedy outrageous Fortune, I jumped at the chance.

Who knew what it could lead to – a starring role on Shortland Street, then Hollywood fame and fortune? Best of all, I was playing a New Zealand Woman’s Weekly journalist, so I’d be a natural! All I had to do was learn my two lines – a grand total of 13 words.

on the day of filming, I’m made to change into some boring clothes to make me look like a “proper” reporter. Apparently, the general public think of journalists as style-free folk who don’t wear a lot of zebra print. Go figure.

Then I’m bundled into a van with Robyn oalcolm (Cheryl West) and Michelle Ang (Tracey Hong) and we head for our location – a giant balcony overlooking Auckland’s Waitakere ranges. While we wait for the crew to set up, I chat to Michelle, whom I had a crush on during her time on ocDonald’s Young Entertainers.

“Is there a reunion in the works?” I enquire. But Michelle has a question of her own: “Are you a real journalist?” It turns out no-one bothered to tell the cast about the spy in their midst. They thought I was method-acting with all my nosy questions!

It’s time for filming. I have to take shorthand while questioning a man about an unfortunate accident involving crotchless underwear.

“Action!” is called. My interviewee starts talking. There’s a brief gap in conversation. I deliver my first line. oops! Turns out it was just a dramatic pause and I’ve jumped the gun.

Take two. This time I let the gap go on. And on and on. Yep, I’ve missed my cue and ruined another take. I swear loudly and apologise to the director.

He tells me, “Next time, just stay in character, and perhaps don’t cuss at the top of your lungs.”

The third and final take. I’m sweating. I manage to insert my two lines in the right places, but I’m sure my nerves ruined what I hoped would be a natural performance. I realise now I should have learned my lines and the ones on either side!

In the van heading back to the studio, Michelle whispers to me, “Is this the first time you’ve acted?” Well, not if you count the school play… But it’s definitely the last.

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