Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Just Another Gameshow

The feeling that I used to get when I woke up was one of dread. I remember convincing myself that I had things to do that day. There were tasks/chores/duties I had to get through and accomplishing them regardless of whether I wanted to or not was what gave me the confidence to get out of bed. The days where I had a television record to work on that night, where my job consisted of herding up the audience, corralling them to sit in one of the hundred plastic chairs to watch just another gameshow, yes those were the good days. Good not because it had anything to do with enjoyment (it didn’t) but because I could see the point. One hundred drooling audience - no, that’s not fair not all were drooling some only plain keen - would file up and bicker on the cold grey pavements, often wet from the unending drizzle of the Tuesday. I would walk down the long line, talking at and looking each person in the eye, I’d peel off a sticker from a soggy wad of paper sandwiched in the clipboard and say, ‘Enjoy the show’. 

I had one of those stupid lanyards round my neck with the colourful show logo on and it felt like I’d been given a shit medal. But at least I could see the point. The people wanted to see their comedian perform on a big glitzy stage with lots of cameras hanging off the tracking on the studio ceilings, and when the applause roared as the opening credits theme tune played over the speakers and the star walked on, I could see the point. This stuff I was doing was making a TV show and the audience I was leading to their pens, sorry, seats really liked this TV show. Personally, if I had a television I’d watch Frozen Planet but maybe that sort of attitude is what led me to imagine the audience as baying birds, as penguins flapping their short stubby wings against their bodies to make claps.

When the show was over, during which I’d be twiddling my fingers through the lanyard and scanning through the work-phone in the green room munching crisps, I’d say ‘good show!’ to any of the production team if I were to pass them on my way out, and sometimes to the act if he was walking down the corridor to jump straight in to his dressing room for a post-show debrief. A committed act. I’d walk on through the grossly lit corridor, through the streams of audience scurrying to the toilets or worrying about their last trains, I would carry on palming this stuff off and gladly reach the glass front entrance, where there would be kids waiting outside hoping for the chance to get an autograph. I’d scour the dark streets for the company taxi and look up at the stars and I would then maybe consider, ‘today was a good work day’.