Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What I Did This Afternoon

I thought I was over the whole show biz thing. I've done a few commercials and crouched down by Daniel Craig's tight pants - I mean really tight pants, what could be better than that? Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but there is so much editing here to be done. Tons and tons of editing. Academic books and emerging markets presentations. I have big important decisions to make - should I go with bio-gas or biogas? And in Turkey, an editor's work is never done, even if I have already edited something from 'man' to 'humanity', my clients like to re-edit me so it says 'human' on the next go round so the sentence makes no sense. Yes, exactly like the labors of Sisyphus.

Yesterday, in the middle of editing some exciting statistics about Turkey's regional dominance in 'white goods' (that's major appliances, America.) I got a text that read, "Hey Alba, I called you for the movie of Russell Crowe. They wanted to see you for supporting role. Call me when you see this. Thanks."* I replied, "Oh, that Russell Crowe...why doesn't George Clooney ever call me?"

Was I free today? Well, no, I now needed to find out what 'brown goods' are (that's small appliances) and edit 30 slides by Wednesday. And it takes me a long time because I may not be an editor so much as someone who quite possibly has obsessive compulsive disorder in regards to the English language.

But show biz had called again. I would be playing a nurse who works in a hospital here in Constantinople immediately after World War I. I would have three lines that I would deliver to my co-star, Russell Crowe. Yes, this Russell Crowe.

So I really wanted to nail the audition and get the part (Seriously, I know there are a ton of jokes that I could make here, especially using the word 'nail' and 'piece'. Go on, be creative and make your own jokes.) I got my lines and began memorizing them in between the GDP and CAGR and a bit of TUBİTAK, but only once in a while. I gave a hundred million line readings to the lines, but I kept forgetting things. As a kid I had a photographic memory, where the F did that go because now I could not remember "forwarded relief packages" for the life of me. There were only three lines. I read them before bed and when I got up - all the while sweating my 'white goods' deadline.

At 3:30 off I went to Cihangir. Why was the Harbiye Military Museum covered in banners that needed editing? Why was the verb 'are' not in title case? Why was 'commission' misspelled? These were the things that were running through my mind along with the lines. When I got to the studio, a series of tall, handsome men led me to the audition space. I was asked to fill out a form with my measurements. OMG, why is 'shoes' misspelled as 'shouws'. I have to stop this. I am an actress now. But really, 'shouws'?

On tape they wanted me to do two line readings, one of a soft and gentle nurse and one of an angrier nurse. After 5 takes I still couldn't get the lines right for 'gentle nurse'. The 'angry nurse' I nailed in one take. I guess my year of the bitch project is rolling right along.

As I walked home, of course, I re-wrote the scene in my head.

In the bowels of a hospital in Constantinople, Russell Crowe and I are talking.

Bitchy Nurse: World War I happened. Get over it.(beat) I know this cute little restaurant here in Sultanahmet. They rent rooms upstairs. We could grab a bite and then I could help you forget all about the big, bad war.(Holding the top of one fist to my ear and the other to my mouth...wait, no...I love how your dirty little minds went there, but that's how phones worked back then...and mouths.) Call me.

This is a movie I really want to see. In fact, I could edit out movie completely and enjoy it a whole lot more.

*Only uptight people edit text messages.