My insomnia is back. It snuck up on me while I was sleeping. I haven't slept more than three hours in as many days. It makes the world that much more colorful and silly, except that I'm often so grumpy, I can't see the funny in it.
We've been in pre-production on the new movie, Coventry Lanes, for about a month. Which is a woefully inadequate amount of time for pre-production, considering we start shooting next Friday. During this time, we've been raising money, booking flights, arranging crew and holding auditions. I dislike auditioning. Fortunately, out of the two hundred people from all over the world who sent headshots, only four people showed up. On the other hand, we only had three roles to fill.
Two weeks later, two of the three people we cast dropped out. One guy, who had been a stand-in for a big budget movie just released featuring a comic book character who's name, in German, means "flying mouse man". He didn't want to read for one of the roles we had sides for (scandalizing Nikki McCrea but making me think, 'Awesome, if he sucks, he won't waste my time!'). We cast him in the role he did read for, then, after three weeks of careful consideration (or something), he decided to decline. The nudity was an issue. It might prevent him from standing in for some other big actor in the future.
The other declination came because of personal reasons, so I couldn't hold that against her. Another actress begged us for a role then vanished from the face of the earth. Personal reasons reared their ugly heads for numerous others - all for the same damned role! It was Splatter Movie all over again, but at least we weren't shooting at the time of the cancellations. Ultimately, we found the perfect actresses right under our noses, so the Universe was giggling at us all along.
During all of that, we wrestled with SAG, with managers, with the insanity of others and tried to prepare ourselves for working with Hi-Def for the first time. And I wrote two more drafts, lost one, rewrote it, did an entire shot list in one day and tried to learn lines for a test shoot for a completely different movie in the interim.
And come next Friday, we'll have a house full of people ready to aid us in our fifth feature. Which is just weird. We've been doing this for ten years and we've done four previous feature films. Some of which people have actually seen!
And for this one, we have all sorts of new people doing things we would usually do. We have, for instance, a costume designer on this one. And two glamour artists, including one for hair! And an art designer! And a full crew coming in from Quebec. And we'll have a crane, two cameras at our disposal and, oh yeah, a publicist! For the first time ever, I'm not doing my own publicity. I don't even know how to mentally process that one!
Still: stress. For both of us.
To help, Tara booked Amy and I appointments for massages on Wednesday. It sounded great. Until I realized, half-naked, lying on a table, beneath a sheet, in a dark room, that the masseuse would have to touch me. I don't like to be touched, particularly by people I don't know or even have just met. Strangers touching me literally makes my flesh crawl. I almost decked an old woman in a supermarket because she, after bumping me accidentally, grabbed my arm in apology. I felt her fingers all the way to the bone. Any time I get an unwelcome touch, I feel like Khan jammed a Ceti Eel in my ear (screw you; Jeff Waltrowski gets that reference).
And I let "Little Allison", as Tara calls her, know about my malfunction. Not to discourage her but to be aware that my muscles were probably not going to co-operate once she started. "Your shoulders are like bricks," she said at one point, after all of her knuckles cracked like gunshots. I sympathized. I felt like I was letting her down. I tried to relax. I couldn't think of how. Literally, I hadn't the faintest clue how to relax. So I focussed on that for a while. It took my mind off the fact that this stranger had her hands all over my back.
She started working on my internally-scarred rotator cuff and I thought she was going to get up on the table and start stomping on it.
Half an hour later, I felt like I'd been hit by a car. My shoulders felt slightly looser. Yes. But I had to go back into the room to retrieve my skin, which had scurried under the table.
This is what it's like to be me.