04.05.2005 08:38 - Hollywood Calls Pt. 3
Last night was costume-fitting night. I arrived at the production company and was sent down to the cellar, to Wardrobe.
When they say Wardrobe, they ain't kidding. It was HUGE, filled with 1940's costumes of every type.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I'm not the barman, I'm the Landlord, so watch it, sonny, or you're barred.
I was ushered into Wardrobe, and greeted by the wardrobe girls, who seemed very cheerful despite having outfitted most of an airbase and a significant minority of Dresden. I was handed some woolly, well-patched trousers and a shirt, which I changed into. You can work without glasses, can't you? Yes. Good. They added a green waistcoat (which smelled musty), and some brown boots, I was given the once-over. Not quite right. New shirt, braces, and an undershirt which had been painted to look as though I'd been sweating like a pig. Ahah! Much better. I rolled up the sleeves. Even better! Green waitcoat? With that shirt? Nah. Change the shirt, keep the waistcoat. We want green - there's going to be too much blue on show with all the airmen. How about an apron? I was shown the apron, which was leather and looked like it was used by a blacksmith. Nah, no apron. Another shirt was added, as there's two separate days going to be shot. Time for photos. I held up a card with my number on it -123 - and was recorded for future reference. right, upstairs to makeup. Off I went. Oh dear. The boots are a bit big and clumpy, and I've got to climb three flights of stairs in them.
Ok. I arrived at makeup, went through the wrong door by mistake, and accidentally went into the director's (Helmut Fulss') office. He seemed pleased to see me, and how I looked, and we had a little chat, then he took me to make-up.
Make-up in this case was hairdressing. Yes, one of the perks of the job is a free haircut. I had to wait behind several of the female extras, who'd been transformed from scruffy 21st century students into elegant 1940's ladies. The effect was stunning, although the Nora Batty-style silk stockings looked a bit crappy and spoiled the effect slightly. Once they'd been done, I was stuffed in the barber's chair and given a standard 1940's short back-and-sides. My hair wouldn't sit the way the hairdresser wanted it to, so they plastered it back with brylcreem. I looked into the mirror in front of me to discover Oliver Hardy staring back at me. That's another fine mess you've gotten me into, Stanley. Apparently, haircuts are done a few days in advance of the filming, to allow them to grow out a bit and look "lived-in".
After the haircut, more photos were taken, and then I was allowed to go home. Changing back into my normal clothes made me realise how heavy the costumes were - no wonder I needed braces to keep the trousers up. Thankful to be back in the 21st Century, I returned home to discover Her Maj in an utter panic, due to her dad breaking his ribs falling off a ladder.
So much for showbusiness.