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international librarian of mystery

Friday, February 11, 2005

Finding My Character

Despite the instructions, I got lost trying to find Artemis's school, and arrived twenty minutes after the rehearsal start time.

Artemis goes to a swanky school in town - one I thought was boys only, but which I have since discovered has mixed senior classes. The private girls' school down the road is apparently too small to be able to maintain senior classes on its own, so the two schools join forces when their pupils 'come of age', so to speak.

Wandering between the I finally heard the distinctive tone of projected speech coming from through an door. I slipped in, un-noticed, and took a seat down the back. They were doing the coffee shop scene, where, in the play, Artemis lets me in on his 'secret plan'.

I took a good look at the actors. The younger version of Artemis was a normal looking lad: the hint of an afro starting to emerge from his unruly curled locks, a cute face, not quite as handsome as Artemis, but definitely headed in the right direction. Natalie, however, was ... well ... beautiful. Her Scandanavian cheekbones were nearly as sharp as the cut of of her jet-black bob-cut. I could see the dazzling green of her eyes from the back of the hall, and when she smiled - wide and toothsome - she transformed from ice-cold vixen to warm-hearted maiden. I was torn between hating her for being too beautiful, and being ecstatic that such a lovely girl had been chosen to play my role.

As I juggled my thoughts, the act ended, on a slightly different note to the way it had in the draft Artemis had already given me, and the assembled cast and crew near the front of the stage assembled into a huddle. An older man I had initally assumed was a teacher, but whose clothes now told me otherwise, spotted me at the back, and came down to where I was sitting.

"Natalie? Natalie Biz?"
"Um, yes. Hello."
"I'm Artemis's father. Dougal. Hello. Lovely to finally meet you."
"Oh! Oh, hello. Dougal. Hi."
"What do you think so far?"
"Ah, well, I just arrived, really. I was still getting over the shock of seeing someone acting me. Especially someone so pretty."
"Ha! Not quite as pretty as you."

Charmer. We chatted a bit about the play, and how Dougal had been so pleased that Artemis had turned his hand to a creative pursuit, when, up to recently, he had been more into conquering various virtual worlds on his computer.

"He'd be good at that, I imagine," I said.
"Ooohhh yes," said Dougal. "I suspect the only reason he stopped was because he'd run out of games to beat. And Anna, I suppose."

He gestured at the Nordic goddess girl.

"I think he might be a bit smitten," said Dougal.
"So," I said, changing the subject, "what do you do?"
"I own a production company," said Dougal.
"Producing, um...?"
"Television mostly. Ads, drama, documentaries. In fact, I was going to ask you about something. Are you still planning on going to South by Southwest? To the Bloggies?"
"Um, well, 'hoping' would be a better word than 'planning'. But yes, fingers crossed."
"Look, " said Dougal, "I've got a team headed over to film some of the New Zealand bands that are playing at the Music Festival there this year. I've had a look at the schedule, and my guys are going to be in town the week before the music stuff, when the Interactive Festival will be taking place. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind the team tagging along with you for a bit. I can't promise anything, but we could end up getting enough footage to make a documentary on the whole thing. You know, you, the blog, the Bloggies, the whole story."
"Um, well, yes, that'd be amazing."
"Great!" exclaimed Dougal. "As I say, nothing's ever for certain in TV-land, but drop me a line in the next couple of days with your plans, and I'll get the wheels rolling."

He gave me his card, at which point the third act got under way, and I sat and watched the dramatic conclusion of my story in a sort of out-of-body experience.

Which was all for the best, considering the revised, unauthorised ending Artemis had written.

There was no chance to talk to him properly in the throng of post-rehearsal chit-chat, and Dougal and Artemis disappeared while I was stuck talking to Anna. She wanted to probe my personality so she could 'really, you know, find my character.'

Really. You know?

Continued here...