Today's job was just to drive to Wales, find the place we'd be filming, get tested for Covid and then meet the cast, have dinner and go to sleep. I managed the bit involving driving to Wales OK.
It was from then on that it turned to a farce that might actually make a better film than the film I'm in.
I was driving the big car for the first time since August and was finding it slightly unfamiliar and difficult to park. But it got me to the right place, at least roughly.
Firstly I had to find the place to get tested, but when I followed the signposts I got to a lorry loading bay and was told that I was in the wrong place. The oral instructions to get to the right place were a bit convoluted and though I headed off I didn't really know where I was going. But no matter, when I pulled over to check the email I'd go with directions I saw that I'd got a text saying I should go somewhere else.
I headed there and up a long windy road found a castle where some men directed me through a check point. They seemed to know about the filming, but I forgot about that in the confusion that followed. I pulled into a car park and saw signs about Covid and followed a few people heading that way. I got to a big room with a roped entry system, but when I got in I found they were doing vaccines in here. I told them I was filming but none of them knew about that and suggested I head to the crematorium which was the only place that they knew there was testing going on. A bit on the nose with your choice of location, Wales.
I got back in the car and tried to ring the production people for clarification, but it was going straight to voice mail. I was getting a little fraught. I had arrived basically on time and knew dinner was 50 minutes away and didn't want to let everyone down on the first day.
So I drove back to the main road, having to go over one of thos spiky things in the road that burst your tyres if you go over them on the wrong direction and tried a couple of other turns, finding myself stuck in a narrow private road at one point and having to back out.
I headed back to the castle to see if I'd missed a turning on the drive and tried ringing people again, but to no avail, so I went back to the road and drove the other way, before deciding to go back to those original men who seemed to know about the film. Why hadn't I asked them when I left the vaccine room?
Because I am an idiot.
I drove back up the drive, but had to go round a car that had parked up near the gate, maybe cos they were confused by directions too. Suddenly the car was making a weird noise and driving a but funny. I got to the men at the checkpoint who told me I had a pretty bad flat. I had realised this already. I had somehow clipped that spiky thing in the road with my back wheel as I went round the other car.
I was not only really late, but had broken my car.
And then I was told that the film crew were up on the bit of the castle on the top of a hill, so then I had to leave my car and carry all my stuff up the road in the dark. It was much further than I'd thought and when I tried to take a short cut across to a gate I discovered that the gate was locked and for a second wasn't sure I could even find my way back to the road.
I thought I might perish up here, but instead I kept on walking until I got to the door. I had been on time on first arrival and been in the right place on my second attempt, and yet I was over an hour late and my car was fucked.
Then I had to wait outside for 45 minutes while I queued for my instant (10 minute) Covid test. At which point a man stuck a stick so far up my nose that I think he got to my brain. But my brain doesn't have Covid.
It didn't really matter that I was late as it turned out the accommodation we were meant to be staying in had no hot water or heating as the boiler had broken, so they were scrabbling for places for us to stay. So we had a weird dinner of cabbage and potato with potato and sat in a small room whilst trying to get to know the other actors.
In the end things were taken so long and I was tired and emotionally broken from my car mishap (the only positive being that I could use this feeling for my character) and I decided that I didn't care about heat or hot water and elected to stay in one of the rooms here anyway. It was freezing and my bed was tiny as this is a discovery centre for students and I had the choice of four bunks, but I knew it didn't matter which one I had been in, they had all been wanked in by 1000 young students. And however much you wash the sheets you can't get that amount of semen out.
This wasn't the Hollywood treatment I had been expecting, but hopefully we've got all the bad luck out of the way on day zero. In the next few days we make an entire movie with improvised dialogue. And unless I can find someone with a mobile tyre business I am spending the rest of my life in Wales.