The Star Trek audition
Apologies for going AWOL – life kind of attacked me all guns blazing. I’m still here, but something odd’s happened while I’ve been off the ether: the children have grown up. When I started this blog I had a baby, six months old, and a little girl, just turned four.
I now have a six-year-old and a pre-teen who’s 10 going on about 16 on a good day. (Other days, it’s more like 25, especially when she looks at my outfit and just gives me “that” look – the withering one that says “Like, seriously, Mummy? You’re going out looking like that?”)
Anyway, I digress. Star Trek. A show I remember little about except some writing disappearing off into space and a voice saying “In a galaxy far, far away…” , Dr Spock, Captain Kirk (come to think of it, with outfits not unlike The Wiggles) and something about “to boldly go” which, even has a child, I realised was incorrect use of grammar. Split infinitive. Always a pet hate.
But it seems it’s a badly kept secret that the latest Star Trek movie is to be filmed here in Dubai next month and a casting call was put out for Dubai residents to try their chance as extras.
The kids heard the ad on the radio. The casting was taking place across the road from our house.
I tried to come up with excuses: trust me, I did. I utilised every creative bone in my body to come up with excuses, and when that didn’t work, I switched tack: “It’s only to be an extra. You probably won’t even get picked. Even if you do get picked, you’ll be a tiny face in a crowd. You might even be dressed up as an alien wearing a mask so no-one will even know it’s you. You’ll wait about for hours on the day of filming. You’ll have to miss school. We might even be in the States for Eid.” (Technically a lie, but I’m not beyond making it happen.)
So we went to the auditions. We got the wristbands, we parked in the ‘Extras’ car park. We walked the walkway through to the studio. DD minced along like a Hollywood starlet, practising her walk for when she’s on the red carpet. I told them both to lower their expectations and prayed for a short queue.
We entered the building. The queue was short. The security guard stopped us.
“We can join the queue?” I asked, edging towards the straggle of people waiting.
“Shway-shway,” he said, holding up a hand. He had épaulettes. We waited.
A stampede of people turned the corner from the opposite direction and joined the queue.
“Now you go there,” he said and pointed us in the direction from which the stampede had just come. We stood on the brink of a film studio the size of an aircraft hangar, packed with rows of chairs. Chairs with people on them. Tired-looking people. Bored people. People with bums numb from sitting so long.
“Join the back row,” said a man wearing a ‘Crew’ lanyard. “Wait’s about three hours.”
What would you have done? Would you have stayed?
In my defence, I’ll say it was it was 4.15pm and I knew the children wouldn’t last three hours. But I am now officially the meanest mother “like, ever!”