Saturday, March 7, 2009

CC: Bollywood!

I’m standing at the entrance of a futuristic looking, blue pulsating club. I was originally meant to enter, escorting my female companion, down a grand stairway covered in brightly coloured flashing lights. Perhaps wisely though, the powers that be decided to cover the stairway with scantily clad dancing girls instead, so I’ve been relegated to the bottom.

“You will all groove to the music! I don’t want to see anyone sitting idle! Nobody!” An AD yells at a group of people seated on couches to the side of the stage.

“Before you start walking you need to react to the music. Look like you are having a good time,” says another AD to me and my partner.

“Yeah, just pretend that we’re fantastic!” Says Kylie Minogue as she walks by on her way to the stage.

My fellow clubbers and myself hanging out on the lot, (questionably) dressed for a serious night out.

The shot is set, the music starts, and it begins. Kylie starts lip syncing to her song that’s been played on the speakers all day as ten Indian men in shiny pants burst forth from the wings and start dancing. We all start acting like we’re having a great time. For about ten seconds. Then they cut the music and send us back to ones for the next half hour that it takes to set up another shot. Meanwhile the ADs continue giving us conflicting instructions and treating us like cattle. In the western style of cattle treatment that is – they don't just let us free to wander through the city and block traffic.

It seems like being an extra is the same thankless work in India as it is in Toronto. Except that since all the other extras are all interesting Western backpackers, you get to avoid the usual crowd of the serious over-actors, the clinically insane, and (as Dan Voshart would attest) vampires, that usually populate the extra scene.

And I got to be in a Bollywood dance scene with the green fairy from Moulin Rouge. So mustn’t complain.

No comments: