I’m back. After months of prodding my friend Tillman has finally gotten me to write another blog because, being ever so slightly egotistical and desperate, I like fame and attention. Even in small doses.
Here it comes.
I had another guilty moment on Monday morning, one of our FX supervisors Eugenie, had spent her weekend visiting the Warner Brothers Harry Potter tour just North of Watford – trooping around the Hogwarts film set learning about the world of modern film making. Of course she didn’t need to learn about the ins and outs of the film industry as she’s got four of the Harry Potter films on her CV – in fact there are probably many celebrated shots in the Harry Potter canon which are the direct result of her influence and skill. The reason for visiting, as for many of my colleagues, was to see Ollivander’s wand shop at the end of the tour. Here, as a sign of appreciation to the faceless masses who toil on modern feature films 4,000 individuals have had their names assigned to wand boxes that can be perused by Potter fans and aficionados in the stock room.
So I recently retired from Roller Derby. Sort of. Maybe. Due mainly to the fact I’m too busy to commit the necessary about of time to the Rec League but also because I’m crap. I’m quite hesitant in real life but chuck me on skates, get me to follow 10 women knocking eight bells out of each other at momentum and I’m next to useless. I’m like nipples on a jumper. I sort of just flap around retrospectively giving awful decisions and averting my gaze from irate women.
I’m a very lucky bunny. Not only do I look like a young Kenneth Brannagh but I also have a great job.
Until last May I worked in one of most infuriating jobs created by the fair hand of man – if I’d stayed in that role I’d now be doing intelligence products on the Olympic park for some government quango and drinking straight meths from a brown paper bag in the work disabled toilet (I miss that place). I used to be an intelligence analyst – it’s a flashy title – I essentially sat in a room for 7 hours a day surrounded by officious bureaucrats and unmotivated temps filtering my way through intelligence alerts – tutting at spelling mistakes and researching criminals through the power of facebook. It was crime fighting by moving grains of sand.
A journalist friend of mine has recruited me to read 50 Shades of Grey and to share my thoughts with her for a forthcoming article in a free glossy magazine. Apparently I’m to give a ‘man’s perspective.’ Whatever that is.
I’m so far on page 8 and bored. Oh so bored.
When does the fisting start?
Or narrative. I’d settle for some good fucking narrative.
Somehow amongst all the different activities I’ve undertaken in the last few months (Women’s Roller Derby reffing, filming music festivals and starting a rather time-consuming film production job) I’ve also somehow been absorbed into the world of Men’s Roller Derby, Merby, mainly at the behest of my girlfriend, Carrie and platonic Derby ‘wife’ Gareth.
So yesterday I pottered on down to the open air Lidl that is Stoneybridge (North East London meets Sarajevo) to attend my first session with Southern Discomfort – the men’s off shoot of London Roller Girls.
So last Monday night I had my first experience as a proper grown up roller derby jam referee in an East London sports hall, jam reffing a rec league bout. I was even entrusted with a whistle and everything – I was a proper grown up.
I didn’t have much preparation for the role, up until 3pm the same day I was banking on a routine evening practice until Sinister Mary offered me the opportunity to ref. As her post put it: “It’s just skating while pointing.” Short and simple. How can you say no to that? I could point, I’d also once skimmed through the rules (Johnny 5 stylee) and I was in enthusiastic. I was the man for the job.
Or so I thought.