space girl in a dinosaur research laboratory.

Just another Thursday afternoon in the office, editing a brainy bubbly bug script when an incoming call shakes my desk. ‘Do not say ‘yes’ if a guy comes in and asks you to try on a skimpy space girl costume’ ummm….OK? Laughed at, processed, moved on. 1minute until clock-out time, when who appears, but Mr.Please try on my skimpy space-suit. I’m told it’s for a film. Yes, I’ll come try it on. Off I go to the executive suite, critical glances at my size, my shape, my face. The Chinese space girl is told she’s too fat. Yes, that’s right. So I take her place. Sometimes this country is too honest. I have to squeeze into this miniature silver space dress. On any other girl it would cover the bum, thighs etc. You can imagine. Powder brushes, pink shiny lipsticks, high ponytails, silky black gloves and boot-socks. Being whisked off to some superior office filled with business men and video cameras and curious glances. Given the ‘yes’ we’ll use you look by the floppy-haired,cap-wearing director. Then shuffling down the corridor at top speed, using both hands to cover my behind from being on full-view to the ushers snailing behind me up the winding, smoky staircases.

Friday arrives and I’m squeezed into the back of a car with make-up girls and P.A’s and scripts. We drive through endlessly, slow tunnels of pitch black, in and out of dreams, finally waking up in an industrial zone, the film studios. We hurry up the paint-fumed stairs, given black bin bags to wear on our feet. My mask is painted on, adorned with silver blue eyeshadow and again, a high ponytail. I scramble through the words in my head, stepping into the spotlight. 3D glasses covering half my face, staring into the camera against a backdrop of bright green. Take 4. Pass. Done. Jumps of excitment and scrambled lines of flurry finished. They’ll be dubbed over in Chinese anyway. All that will remain will be my silver face and expressive enthusiasm. I think.

3D film complete. A daze of Indian feasting and ‘The Way’ and white Chinese wine. Snuggles, then an early morning call. Please can you come back to the studio for another film shoot. SURE. Sunday morning comes around and off I traipse to the basement of work. This time took longer. This time was hard work. This time I was suspended in mid-air on a shaking, moving platform, which I had to be attached to (for safety reasons) by a harness. Flying through space, being laughed at by audiences, feeding new-born baby dinosaurs fresh from a cracked egg, being chased by a big daddy dinosaur and screaming whilst covering my head with my notebook. All in a day’s work right?! Hairspray sticky hair, a strange blue-almost airhostess-like scarf tied around my neck, flying on this shaking rotating mechanism, as you do, all the while grinning and giggling at baby dinosaurs being born.

Well, if this isn’t food for the imagination, I don’t know what is!

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