Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Bear and the Hungarian Princess

I wish I was a bear. Let me elaborate and broaden this statement. I'd like to be any type of hybernating animal. Why? Consider this: in the Spring and Summer, you frolick around in the lush grass of the meadows, stuffing yourself silly with berries and other wild fruit and honey (if you're a bear that is - and I'm quite partial to honey, especially since it's excluded from the Dukan Diet, hence my preference for bears). You get as fat as you can. Then, when the days start to shorten and the leaves start to fall from the trees, after a last meal of gorgeous hazelnuts you bury yourself deep underground in an accommodating and comfy den and then sleep for months. Then, when you wake up, it's Spring and - here's the best part - you're skinny!

Look me in the eye and tell me that you don't want to come back as a bear next time around... (of course, make sure to specify what kind of bear... you  don't want to come back as a panda and be stuck in a zoo eating bamboo leaves and being encouraged to copulate with your panda mate that you don't fancy one bit.)

Now on to the Hungarian princess bit. Kate Middleton and Prince William are engaged to be married and of course everyone is very very happy for them... but the BBC seems very keen on pointing out every five minutes that she is a "commoner". How progressive! Hey, at least she's English, she's not a benefit fraud, she's not a divorcee, and she's even from the Home Counties. What more do they want? Actually she's from good middle class stock and apparently a 15th cousin of Prince Williams so there's a bit of aristo in her. And unlike journos her grammar is near perfect...

Speaking of perfect grammar. What passes for my British accent overseas disturbs the English. I don't have an accent: no regional twang, no social class twang (genuine or affected), so they can tell I'm not from here. I'm tired of having to justify my accent to everyone from Taxi drivers to call centre workers...  Did you ever watch "My Fair Lady" ? When Professor Higgins takes Eliza Doolittle's to a very posh reception as a final test? One of the guests is heard commenting: "Her accent is too perfect... she must be a Hungarian Princess!". More of that please, and less "Where are you from?".

Moving on, I had a casting today for a well known chain of eyewear. It was right behind Oxford Circus and I'd never been to that particular studio. I arrived early, rang the interphone and duly climbed the stairs, all five floors, to the casting studio. I whiled away the time chatting with a fellow actor as we waited our turn. Me: "Boy, it's a long way up! I'm pretty fit I think but I was starting to struggle there towards the end. You wouldn't want to come up those stairs if you had a dodgy ticker!." Him: "I don't know, I took the lift..." I hadn't realised there was a lift... Anyway, his name was Toby and he was about 6 foot 2 and we auditioned together standing side by side which must have looked quite hysterical. He was really lovely and warm and I wish him all the best.

So here's to happy couples, long royal marriages, Hungarian Princesses and hungry bears!

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