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Stateside With Rosalea: Cinquobossy

Stateside With Rosalea Barker


Last week's triple digit temperatures gave way to a balmy Sunday for the Pride Parade in San Francisco. It's one of the largest transgender, gay, bisexual, lesbian parades in the country, but to watch the TV news you'd think there was only one theme this year, and that was S and M. Sodomy and marriage. Hear, hear! I'll be buggered if I ever get married, that's for sure. (Non-Kiwi readers unfamiliar with the lingo should ignore that remark.)

Kate Hepburn, single woman, turned into her grave at the very idea of a new must-be-married militia arising. Barbara Walters, news crone, obviously found the actress a big inspiration because her Hepburn obituary on the Sunday evening news lead the newscast and took up the entire first segment. Good on Kate for not wanting a memorial service - more folks in the public spotlight should do the same.

I spent Sunday in my weekday best being an extra in a music video that was being filmed in one of Oakland's many beautiful public buildings. Like Wellington, Oakland City has a film liaison office and it's been successful in getting a lot of projects filmed there, including features and TV series. The director on this shoot said he found the Oakland office easier to work with than its San Francisco equivalent.

Last time I was in a music video, Shane was the artist and Foxton Beach was the location. In fact, I think it wasn't a music video but an ad for Fanta. It involved a couple of busloads of people running along the beach after Shane while being filmed from a helicopter. Those of us with any sense slunk off into the dunes and had a nice relaxing time in the sun then climbed back in the bus and went home. No doubt we stuck out like fresh daisies amongst our exhausted co-extras who'd run up and down the beach seven times.

This time I confess to opting out a bit at the end too, but on account of me gammy knee rather than sheer laziness. By then we were into the Busby Berkeley part of the video, which the building - with its sweeping staircases and circular balconies - lent itself to perfectly. That was after the Thriller-meets-Matrix sequence where I got to put my short sweet life as a marching girl to good use. It was great fun and really well organised.

First up in the morning I'd been in a boardroom scene, throwing a tantrum. Unfortunately, my trantrum would have been better suited to the back of a Pride Parade float as a loud and large Sister of Self-Indulgent Petulance - not to the intimacy of an Arriflex seven inches from my ugly mug. Since my only instruction was to get out of the shot as soon as possible I'm hopeful I ended up on the cutting room floor, or as an electronic furball in the editing.

I can't tell you who the artist was because I never did get a yes or no answer from the production company about whether I could write about my experience, so I assume the answer is no. (OK so I'm writing about it anyway but I'm doing my best to protect the innocent!) The artist is a rising star who writes really great lyrics, and the director is likewise very talented. Seriously! Will it put you off the scent if I tell you the music genre is the sort someone named LeAnn Ginsberg-Snyder might belong to?

My first task for the day, though, was to sign the release form, giving up all my rights in the work, in perpetuity, "for the entire Universe (including the Solar System)", which startled me somewhat. First, the wording was so like what kids everywhere include in their address at a certain age. Second, is there a possibility the solar system doesn't belong in the universe so it needs to be singled out for special mention?

Is the earth's atmosphere part of the earth or part of the solar system? I mean, legally, somebody must have made a determination of that because of all the communications satellites up there, and the fact that astronauts like to listen to music and watch videos too. And now that Irish group is on its way to Mars it's only logical to include the solar system in contracts. I wonder if they took along a copy of Cinquobossy, the Bond movie whose eponymous lead character is a middle-aged fishwife. I didn't sign away my rights on that one!


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