Come along with me back to Tuesday, November 9th … It much simpler time, the Berlin Wall had been torn down for 21 years and I was spending another day at Eyeworks doing research on Paris Hilton and Bono for the television show currently under development (we’re shooting the run through/pilot in 2 days). I was particularly excited that day because I was meeting up with Monique after class for dinner and to discuss Paris. Now while going to Paris is all very exciting, it’s almost as exciting when someone you know is just as excited for you. Thank you Georgie Jessop, you’re wonderful darling! When Georgie was in Uni, part of her course included French and she studied for a year in Paris. I guess it pays to be fluent in another language, no? When I mentioned to her that I was planning my trip, she got so excited and started making a list of everything I should go and see on the spot. I just need her to teach me French first! But all the same, after watching dozens French films, reading Jeni’s guide book, studying Art History and talking to Georgie can’t help me figure out Paris, than I shouldn’t be allowed to go.
Class was a laughable disappointment. That week we took a personality test! Wow, guess what, this is supposed to be psychologically accurate because just like Match.com, you’re tested on 16 different levels of your personality. I’ve taken much simpler personality tests that have scored me more accurately. This one put me in the middle of everything saying that I didn’t really feel or act strongly on everything. I doubt this. In fact, I have a very strong feeling towards that test, so clearly that shows how wrong my score was. I always find those test silly anyways. It should really be called a, “How am I feeling right now?” test. Oh well, nothing like Pizza Express and good company to cheer me up! Monique’s friend Matt came to dinner with us, and while he was an enjoyable person, he was very very chatty. I should introduce him to Dariya! They’d get along super well, only problem is they would be fighting over who got to talk the whole time. Who’d win the war for conversation dominance? While the first 5 minutes would undoubtedly be funny, I wouldn’t like to stay to find out.
Wednesday was one of my up and down days at work. I find this happens more when I stay for whole days rather than half days. Half days, I usually can complete whatever task they had me do, and whether I was successful or not, I generally leave right after lunch when everyone’s still in fun lunch mode and no matter the day, leave on a good note. When I’m there for the whole day, the afternoon takes on a different feel; everyone is more centered on their task and the office is a bit quieter. The morning was successful because I found a video that Georgie couldn’t, but the afternoon wasn’t because Sarah was being her superstar self and I felt like I wasn’t contributing. I guess you can say my happiness at work is in direct correlation to my usefulness. Sometimes when I’m there all day, I feel like I run out of stuff to do and I feel useless. But no matter, because before I knew it, Thursday was upon us!
When I showed up to Art and Society, I was bummed to find out that Peter wasn’t there again! And who was in charge but bald professor man, who’s name is Stephen. I shouldn’t have said anything when we went to that National Gallery because now I was on his radar as “the girl who knows about art” and he kept trying to talk to me. Arg! How am I going to slip away from the group to look at what I want now? That week we went to see The Wallace Collection, which is located in this very old Aristocratic house. I was slightly put out by the fact that the museum is actually right around the corner from where I live. Why on Earth did I get out of bed and go to class in the rain if I was just going to come back here? I could have gotten another hour of sleep at least! Oh well, at least now I have a hot chocolate and I’m getting a walk in. The good thing about this museum is that it’s too small to tour in such a big group, so we were pretty much free to roam about at our own leisure. This makes me happy! I can take pictures of what I want at my own speed and not have to listen to Stephen. I was particularly excited because The Swing by Fragonard was supposedly located there. It was one of the few Rococo paintings we talked about in Art History and I was anxious to see it in person!
Sure enough, as soon as we walk in, Stephen comes up to me and starts asking me about every single paining on the wall in the first room. No, I don’t know anything about them, please leave me alone Stephen. I spent the rest of the hour enjoying art and avoiding Stephen. Turns out my Fragonard, which is usually located in the room currently under construction, wasn’t on display that week. Boo! All the same, I’m glad we went there. The basement is covered with suits of armor and old swords and guns while the ground and first floor are rooms filled with paintings, antique furniture and other collector pieces. The look of the place was incredible and one of my favorite things about this house was that each room had it’s own color and was decorated accordingly. I also liked getting to look at the museum at my own pace because it allowed me to slip out slightly early.
That week, my theatre class wasn’t meeting at our usual class time, but two hours earlier and at the National Theatre on the Southbank. This meant I had to leave art class early to make sure I’d get there on time. Fine by me. Any chance to walk along the Southbank puts me in a better mood. Sure enough, I got to take more pictures of the skate park, the trees, and just general ‘fall/winterness’ of London. I was also glad that it wasn’t raining since it had been raining off and on pretty hard all morning. This didn’t just interfere with my everyday life, oh no, this messed up even bigger plans of mine. That evening was the red carpet for the World Premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I and Laura, Matt and I were planning on going to try and see the stars. Laura and I had been texting all morning trying to decide whether or not we should still go. By noon, I had pretty much decided that I was in London, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was going, bad weather and all, damn it! First I just had to survive theatre class.
That turned out to be quite easy. The reason behind meeting at the National Theatre was due to the fact that we were getting a behind stage tour. Unlike the Globe, the National knows how to give its fans a proper tour and I was quite impressed. We got to see all the different stages (they have 3) and talk about the different advantages to the three different kinds and what a director/set designer is looking for. I had previously seen a show at the National with Matt and Laura called “Blood and Gifts” so I was pretty interested in seeing how the stored the different sets. Unlike most theatres, the National will rotate shows out nightly so that they can offer a greater variety. This means that if a show ends at 10 o’clock that night, a crew comes in and immediately starts pulling the set down to put up the other set for a completely different show at 7 pm the following night. Phew! Too much moving and stress for me, thanks. We also got to see the giant horse puppet they use in War Horse, which made me think of my Uncle Tim. I’d bet he’d get a kick out of playing with a giant horse puppet that you have to wear.
When the tour was over, I wanted to go straight to Leicester Square, but Nicole convinced me to be a good student and actually go to the second half of class. Finnne, but you owe me Nicole! So off we dashed to Regent street to talk about a play I didn’t actually see before running quickly out the door at 3:30 to Leicester Square. That was probably the worst walk anywhere I’ve had in my entire life. It was incredibly windy and still raining. Walking with an umbrella was pointless. I know, I tried. As did Nicole and everyone else on the street. It got to be pretty funny when the wind started turning everyone’s umbrellas inside out, but not so funny when it was strong enough to actually push you back and splash rain up in the your face. Cheers, London!
When Nicole and I finally got to Leicester’s Square, it was already packed. People had been camping out the day before, so I knew we weren’t going to get the most amazing spots, but I still hoped that we’d be able to see the red carpet. The actually carpet stretched zigzag through the park leading up to the theatre and was packed with people on either side. There was a giant screen showing the trailer on loop, giant torches of fire and thousands of screaming girls. All in all, FANTASTIC! You could practically feel the buzz in the air of all the diehard Harry Potter fans who made the pilgrimage to the Square.
So around the square Nicole and I went, looking for any sort of opening. I found a gap by some girls holding up a sign that said “Fred and George, look over EAR” only to see the press leaving. Hmm, that can’t be a good sign, keep moving. I doubled back the way thinking how the hell am I going to see anything and then, I found it! The perfect spot where a stretch of red carpet was visible without being covered in fans, in fact, no one had even realized the potential of such a spot! SCORE. It was inbetween an ambulance and a media fan, right behind the park’s fence. It was located at a stretch with a corner, so I could see down the stretch of carpet where the press lines up to take photos and then where they actually start the walk down the carpet to sign autographs, take pictures and begin what must seem like a 100+ interviews that night. DOUBLE SCORE!
As I was standing there, several other passerbyers clued in to my fab spot and a small gathering started forming behind me. I stood there for about 30 min on cloud nine about my excellent scouting abilities before a police man came up and told us we weren’t allowed to stand there and to shoo. Ughh, fine! So I ran to stand behind the portable fence they had set up right behind the vans, putting me at the same viewing point, just about 7 more feet back and with a fence in my face. No matter, still the best I was going to get and I was in the first row! Now I was only about 30 ft from the red carpet, but I was going to SEE it!!! (And despite how these pictures look, the view was actually pretty good, my camera just has problems zooming in on anything farther than 5 ft away.) I was so jazzed…
And then the wait began. By then it was about 4, 4:30 and the stars didn’t actually arrive till 6:30ish. So Nicole and I waited in the cold and oh yeah, it decided to rain some more for 2 more hours. In that time Matt and Laura showed up to join the crowd I had gathered (which had started to squish me into the fence a little bit and were attempting to take pictures over my head which I did NOT like!). Every now and then you’d hear a mumbled voice over the speakers being met by a huge scream from the fans and roaring blasts of fire from the torches but there weren’t any stars! They were just trying to pump the crowd up, as if Harry Potter fans in London need pumping up at a premiere! Every time the screaming started I would check the press walk of the red carpet for flashes, but alas no stars, so I started watching the reflection of the big screen in the rear window of the ambulance. And then all of the sudden, I saw flashes. And standing on the little block platform they put the fence in, I stood on my tip toes and saw two men in matching suits with darkish hair and … “OMG, IT’S THE TWINS, IT’S THE TWINS!!!!” Yup, I saw them first! And then the whole group went crazy screaming and taking pictures. I was actually too close to the fence to take an accurate picture when everyone behind me was pushing, so I threw my camera at Laura to take pictures, but she was having a similar problem, so she gave it back and I ended up getting a picture of them staring to sign autographs. Arg, damn that statue in my way! But stars were finally here!! This lead to Devon doing play by play for everyone behind me. “Alright, here’s more flashes and it looks like… yup, it’s Daniel Radcilffe!! HE’S COMING!” And here I was thinking 'I’m not going to be one of those screaming gi- "OMG IT’S DANIEL RADCLIFFE, AHHHHHHH!" Yes, sadly, I was one of those. But you know what? Were you in Leicester Square during a Harry Potter Premiere, I think you’d scream too!
All in all, we ended up seeing the Weasley Twins, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, the girl that plays Fleur, the girl that plays Cho Chang, Zac Effron (I swear it was him, and several girls behind me said it was him too, why was he there??!), Tom Felton, The girl that plays Ginny, the girl that plays Fleur's little sister, one of the Parvati twins, and more! The best was when Warwick Davis showed up with his whole little family! I felt privileged! I met him just last week, and here he is on a red carpet! Funny enough, I think we was wearing the same suit… And then the people we had no idea who they were showed up. Turned out it was the ‘stars’ of X-Factor, the crazy popular British TV show which is a lot like American Idol and in my opinion, complete crap. Boo you girl in shinny glittery dress with crazy hair who we thought was Helena Bonham Carter from 30 ft away! You’re not in Harry Potter! We left when we saw JK Rowling on the big screen and had seen most of the big stars. By then it was 7:30 and I was freezing! I was standing pressed up against the fence for the past 3 hours and couldn’t move my legs. Nicole was laughing at me as we made our way back to the tube, me walking slowly and with a slight limp. Hmm… I think this means I deserve a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks, the likes of which I’ve been denying myself saying I need to ‘deserve’ it first. Hmm cold for 3 hours, I just decided that counts!
When I finally got home to the comfort of my room and uploaded pictures, I was all ready to sit down at my computer, blog, watch some Modern Family and go to bed, but Miss Bell had other plans. “I wanna go outttt!” And by out, she meant a pub-crawl with Sarah (not to be confused with Super Star Sarah from work), Tom and J. As Jeni would say, “The gang’s all here!” Ah well, I guess there’s no better ending to such a full day, eh? As I was getting ready to go out, I saw fireworks in the sky looking as if they were coming from the direction of Leicester’s Square. Ahhh, what a little tease you are Harry Potter, now I had to wait a whole week to see the actual movie!