If it hadn't been for Ricky Gervais a lot of people would never have given film and TV extras a second thought. Through the humour and frustration we learn, basically, that their work is badly paid and offers fewer prospects than a professional dog-walking agency (providing you don't doorstep Patrick what's-his-name on a good day). One of Mrs. Fingers' various skills is the fact that she's trilingual and her CV credit of interpreter on a theatrical production here in France earned her a phone call from the local Job Centre, asking her to please submit a suitably seductive full-length photo of her good gallic self for consideration for extra work on a TV series being filmed in the city. She can only have passed with flying colours as a stressed but pleasant Parisian TV functionary called her with instructions on where to go and when and, please, to dress in such-and-such a manner. Meat and drink to the eclectic Fingers clan, so off she went this morning, dressed like a psychiatric nurse i.e. white trousers and pumps armed with a couple of books and a lot of curiosity.
Needless to say, her main encounter of the course of the day was with the refreshment tent but come 2 o'clock she and her colleagues got 'the call' and duly trotted off to be filmed briefly chatting, responding to questions and leaving shot. My newly-incarnated TV actress spouse came back about twelve hours later, tired and rather frozen. Twelve hours of sitting around in a disused hospital (yes, they even have those in France) in near-zero temperatures is not everyone's idea of a fun day out but observing the machinery of TV production was, by all accounts, pretty interesting. According to a couple of other extras, it was a fairly satisfactory day; one told of having to spend hours running back and forth over a bridge in pouring rain...
So, who knows? Maybe this will be Mrs. Fingers' big break and she'll be off to Hollywood to ingest illegal substances at some bimbo-waitress-actress' house party before falling into the swimming pool with Leonardo di Caprio.
My day as working househusband started with getting the Fingernails fed, washed and dressed, off to nursery school and crêche, putting in a few hours at work, picking up Fingernail II at noon, making lunch, picking up Fingernail I from school along with a couple of friends' short people, coming home, plying them with something to keep their bellies full and their mouths closed before getting the evening meal ready. A routine, in short, as endured by millions of dutiful parents all over the world and one which I sample only intermittently. If my work could take care of itself I'd be happy to do it more often.
If any of my non-existent readership have never heard 'Oedipe' by Georges Enescu, I sincerely recommend that you remedy that situation immediately: it's phenomenal. Matter of taste, of course, but a juicy chunk of opera right up my alley: like Debussy and early Schoenberg on drugs. Intoxicatingly mellifluous harmonic shifts couple with sublime orchestration and theatricality in spades. Live recording from Vienna, available on Naxos.