Have you ever walked into the bank and had to wait at the back of a long line for what seems like an interminably long time, and then when you're done at the teller and you turn around to leave, there's not another body to be seen? It's like you were the end of the rush, and with your departure, the staff will all lapse into relaxation and levity that the customers just never see. I dunno.
That's how I felt today when I popped into the bank to deposit a cheque and put a PIN on my card, both of which were the results of actions which prove that people are about as fallible as they are thoughtless: The cheque was from the SPCA, who refunded us the money we paid to adopt Lucy, except that they overpaid us by $150.00. So to save them the $25.00 fee for cancelling the cheque and issuing a new one, I'll take the difference back to them once the cheque clears. Someone apparently sent the accountant an email telling her that was how much she was meant to refund, and we are not the sort of people to unjustly keep funds from a charitable organisation due to a clerical error.
So I found myself at the bank, where I got to right an error of my own; a while ago, they sent me out a brand new card with the PIN loaded on it already. Ever the paragon of efficiency, I duly took my old card and chopped it in half. Then I realised that I had not in fact cut up the old card, but the new card. Er... So I had a new card issued, and it arrived without a PIN in it, so it's been floating around in my wallet for two months; absolutely useless. Until now. This is all quite fascinating, I'm sure, and you're asking, is there a deep and sobering point to be made about all this? Being left behind, maybe, or the gradual demise of the brain that clearly occurs when something starts to happen...
Yes, it has started. On Saturday I was brushing my teeth (this story just keeps getting better, doesn't it?) when I spied an anomoly on my lush scalp of dark brown hair. While I wept gently, my lovely Dessert Chef reassured me with the solemn platitude of "it's not grey, honey, its just a hair that's lost its pigmentation."
So it has begun. Will my sharpness be replaced by the pigment-less silver of aged wisdom? Will I finally stop getting asked for ID when I pick up a bottle of wine at the supermarket? Will people stop mistaking me for a fresh-faced teenager out of his depth in his field, and instead recognise a greying master of his craft, fully deserving of the accolades heaped upon him (mostly by himself, but heaped nonetheless).
Sometimes, then, you have to do things that make you feel young again. Some people enter triathlons, others find a new girlfriend. Me, I got back into something I haven't done since I could seriously say I was young. It's been almost 2 years since I actually worked onset (as a Film Lighting Technician), and probably 6 years since I worked for free on a job with no money in it.
Before I started working professionally as a Lighting Tech towards the end of LOTR, I had been a prolific writer/producer/director of short films, all of the no-budget variety. I had thought that when I got into the real world of film work I would develop a network that would help me take my no-budget projects to another level. As it turned out, it wasn't long before I was too tired to work on my own things, and then I was too jaded to work for free. Eight years passed.
Then someone I don't know, but who knows someone I know, asked me to look over a script he was working on. In a fairly short space of time I went from Script Consultant to Consulting Producer to First Assistant Director, as well as Gaffer. On Sunday we shot the first day of what will be a few sporadic shooting days over the next couple of months. It was a pretty full-on day, but it came together well. Truth be told, I was dreading having to work with a largely inexperienced crew on what seemed like an overly ambitious script, but I guess too many years of playing the professional game had diminished for me the memory of just how well a bunch of people who are really keen can actually be more productive than a handful of cynical, jaded professional film techs, especially when guided by someone who knows what they're doing.
It surprises me to say it, but I had fun. The crew and cast gave the day thier all, and not only did we shoot the schedule, we got an extra 2 pages shot and we were wrapped out almost an hour before my scheduled wrap time. Nice work, all of you. It's refreshing to have one's faith in the bottom end of the market restored. If all goes well, this keen and talented band won't be at the bottom end of the market for long.
Was I meant to tie this in with those bank stories and the tragedy of finding a grey hair? Oh well. I have a letter to write (And so should you).