This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Parisian Woman

With the Screen Actors Guild still negotiating their contract (today's the official deadline) there hasn't been a whole heck of a lot of work lately. However, last week, I worked a day on a French commercial. Most of the "crew" was American, but all the "Creative" people were entirely French-- which made for an interesting mix of people. The entire day they were far, far behind... more so than is usual for crews, even. I thought perhaps the French were taking their cinematography too seriously or they'd decided to take a beautiful, lengthy European lunch break [in some hidden place that still allows smoking.]

A friend of mine worked in France for awhile teaching English. She said it was funny because every other day it seemed, some segment of the French was on strike. Given the year in entertainment, strike upon strike, perhaps we have more in common with the French than we thought.

However, none of this was the case for their tardiness. No, no. It turned out that they were a full day behind for one of the most ridiculous reasons I'd ever heard. Apparently, when a crew member went to pick up the lead actress the day before, she said something to the effect of:

"I do not work today. I've scheduled a hair appointment."

Wait, what!! A hair appointment??? You can't be serious. [She was.] They ended up canceling the entire day's production which baffled the American side of the crew. They ended up moving that day's location to the following day--tacking on a 2nd dreaded company move to what was already going to be a LONG day.

Now, I don't know if this is the only reason, BUT I cannot imagine an American getting away with that. Time costs money. Production costs money. And canceling a day's shoot is time and money wasted. And come on, hair? Really, just how important is that?

To a French woman? VERY. I still think it's ridiculous, but you know what? I've always liked the French. I admire them for making living a priority in their lives-- something very few Americans actually do. I admire French women for taking pride in their appearance, but not to the extent that they jeopardize their enjoyment of thick, crusty homemade bread slathered in creamy fattening cheese and a healthy goblet of wine--French, of course. And seriously, is there a sexier-sounding language? I mean, really? You hear the beautiful noise coming out of their mouths, even if it's thickly accented English and something in you melts.

Hair appointment? Oh sure. I understand. A French woman cannot neglect her tresses, nor can she even consider canceling her hairdresser. We can reschedule everything.

Seconds later, that crew member probably got a phone call from producers.
"What just happened?", he/she would inevitably ask.

And all that crew member would be able to say is:

"I don't know. I melted. That beautiful noise. The French."

Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
Photo credit: pihka4/flickr "Parisian Woman"

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