A Little Brit Red in the Face

So after all the awkward auditions, self-tapes and rejection, when that much-coveted booking FINALLY comes along, I can breathe a brief sigh of relief. And then… the real pressure begins.

Sometimes I’ll wait three weeks between an ‘avail’ and the actual shoot date. And those three weeks usually involve me going out of my way not to change a single thing about my appearance: Don’t get any more of a tan, don’t cut my hair, don’t lose or gain weight… so I can avoid arriving on the day of the shoot to a bunch of people yelling, ‘Who is this girl; this isn’t what we hired?!?’. I’ve spent many beach and pool days cowering from the sun just IN CASE I booked the job and IN CASE I get a tan and look different from my original audition.

A few weeks ago, I booked a really cool gig that would involve a close up of my face. Score! The days before I made sure to stay out of the sun, get lots of sleep and drink plenty of water (and less alcohol!) to avoid any wrinkles, pimples, dark circles etc. All was great, until the night before during a trip to the cinema, I had the genius idea to try some Hi-C Fruit Punch for the first time.

For those of you unfamiliar with Hi-C, it’s a very sweet fruit juice that they usually have at soda fountains, rich in sugar and some kind of red food coloring. And therein lay the problem. It would appear that I am in some way allergic to said food coloring. By the end of the movie, one side of my face was swollen, red, itchy and burning. I tried not to freak out but all I could think of was the camera close up on my elephant woman face and an angry crew yelling that I would never work in this town again!!

I’d like to say that this was a freak accident but in reality, I SORT OF knew I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink stuff with red food coloring in it but I’m also SORT OF a piggy and can’t say no to something that looks yummy, no matter how bad for me it might be. One time I ate some red ‘off-brand’ wine gums and woke up the next day with hands that looked like those foam fingers you get at sports games. And giant fat ankles. So ….you can understand why I was a little, ok A LOT worried about what I might wake up for my 7am call time looking like.

I spent that night putting ice on my face, taking Benadryl and imaging all of the awful scenarios that the next day could bring. Not to mention the fact that my mum was most definitely going to kill me when she found out what her idiot daughter had done now.

When my alarm went off at 5.30am and I stumbled into the bathroom, heart racing, I was relieved to find that the swelling had gone down THANK GOD, although the redness remained.

Thanks to the wonderful magic of make-up and a great team/army of ladies who knew what they were doing, my face was much more human by the time we began to shoot and I didn’t hear any comments or whispers that involved the words ‘elephant’ or ‘red’ so I think I got away with it. We’ll see!!

Note to self: You must resist the red sweeties/drinks/desserts the day before someone wants to put a HD camera directly in your face!!!

Aaah who am I kidding. Once a piggy, always a piggy.

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