Mar 15, 2015

The Day We Wandered Into a Music Video

My high hopes for an afternoon nap were dashed when Lyra, on the way back from dropping Nicole off at work, became a very obvious non-sleeper. Perhaps a blessing in disguise as non-nap-days make for easier evenings, as a rule, but after our 20km bike ride this morning I was a little jaded and for an old codger such as me a nap rarely goes unwelcomed.

All that having been said, after we got home I did lay back and take a back seat to my inner monologue for a while with my eyes closed, and then, restored to full effectiveness, I roused the girls from in front of whatever low-grade American crap they'd conjured up on the telly to go for a swim.

With only an hour left before the pool closed, it was going to be quick but the day was a warm one and cool water would be just the ticket. So off we went.

Little did we know or could we have suspected that we would be stumbling into a music video shoot, but how exciting when we were told we could be extras! Well I will answer that question disguised as an assertion with: quite.

The pool was lined with what looked remarkably like members of the public. In the middle of the pool, in a strange flower-like thing made of what were probably noodles (of the swimming variety) was a young lady whose face was inexplicably blue from the nose up, undoubtedly the star of the show. A Young Man was bellowing the instructions through something approximating to a megaphone. Or a re-purposed hearing trumpet.

The instructions were complicated and involved synchronised diving-in by the extras so I decided that perhaps Lyra was not up to this particular challenge. Eloise became quite excited; with a thumbs-up we repaired upstairs to the viewing balcony while Eloise joined the pool-side melee.

Instructions were very complicated and the set-up of the scene, which seemed to involve geriatric aerobic performers, diving in, dancing, ribbons, beach balls and god knows what else, took figuratively ages, during which Lyra was making a handful of herself, first of all demanding to wear her swimming costume and then climbing around over everything and everybody with me in hot pursuit.

When I got a chance to have another look, with setting-up still in progress, I saw that Eloise had been singled out as a ribbon-waver, standing at the back of the pool, looking pleased with herself as we exchanged a little wave.

When the 'take' (that's obviously an insider technical term) began, I was expecting us all to be rocking out to the latest in teeny-pop tunery, but instead the pool was filled with complete silence with Mr. Young Man bellowing out instructions like 'GERIATRIC AEROBICS' (actually he just said 'Aerobics') whereupon the old people in the pool started waving their hands around like airport ground-crew, along with Ms. Pop Star in her Noodle Bloom; and then 'DIVERS' was the cue for the people around the pool to jump into it in a kind of waterborne Mexican wave, then 'RIBBONS' whereupon Eloise and her co-ribboneers started waving their ribbons around, balletically.

And then, much to Lyras delight, the beach balls were thrown in and everyone in the pool started splashing around and having a really good pretend good time with really big pretend smiles - really big.

And this was repeated four or five times.

I leant over and had a look in between fighting Lyra who just wanted to go for a swim to see Eloise waving her ribbon and was slightly bemused, given everybody else in the pool seemed almost literally to be creaming themselves with manufactured delight and excitement, to see that she was waving her ribbon around in, not to put too fine a point on it, a manner so nonchalant as to be almost taking the proverbial Michael.

I went down while the Crew were performing a "Re-set" to enquire as to her non-participation, as she is, you know, interested in the world of entertainment and performance and all that, and you'd think that she would not only understand if only from observing those around her what was probably expected, but would be only too happy to grin the grin, dance the dance, wave the wave and all that.

Only, she said, she really wanted to be in the pool, because actually we came here for a swim, didn't we? And a swim is what she came for, not standing around by the pool with isolated episodes of ribbon-embroidered gesticulation.

But, I responded in my usual highly motivational way, this is a music video, and you might be on telly, and this isn't a thing that happens to people every day, and it's an opportunity to be embraced and enjoyed, right? And you, a dancer, should understand that at least a little smile and perhaps a little movement in parts of your body other than your ribbon-arms from the elbow down might be a good thing.

So I got that "Whatever" look; but on the next take I'd like to think that my waving Lyra around like a cuddly toy with the sort of inane grin that rarely graces my usually impassive features, admittedly still in the absence of any actual music, led her to at least make a bit of an effort.

After all that, she didn't get her swim. And Lyra didn't get her swim. Lyra got a sticky jelly frog for her trouble, though. Eloise got zilch.

I found out from someone that Ms. Pop Star was called Catherine McGee. Or McKee. I've Googled her.

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