When I tell people what I do for a living they
are filled with suspicion. A person who acts and writes is to be handled with
care. They can never be quite sure when I’m acting or playing a part. Or
perhaps I’m observing them for material? I probably carry a raw onion in my
handbag should I wish to shed a tear. And the sincere sounding laughter is
possibly nothing but a breath taken to the correct corner of my abdominals as
taught at drama school. Anybody who lies for living should not be trusted, I’m
told. But I defend myself by saying that acting is all about being truthful.
I can’t lie
to save my life but sometimes I do get tempted to use my acting abilities
outside the stage, often in most dubious circumstances. Like once when I was
chilling out in a London park with a friend. I saw these twins enter through
the iron gates and the urge to act came upon me. They wore identical dark suits
that had seen better days, and, as proper English gentlemen should, sported oak
walking sticks. The choice of the colour purple for both their hair and their
socks suggested an eccentricity I’m hopelessly weak for. With rhythmical steps
they headed towards a park bench and sat down.
mesmerised. I had no other option but to talk to them. I grabbed my friend’s
camera and walked up to them. I put on my most innocent face and rolled my r’s a bit to create the air of a
foreigner not used to the social code of the British Isles. I told them I was a
photography student from Finland making a project about twins and I asked if I
could take a photo of them. Without hesitation they posed for me in a way that
immediately betrayed a background in show business.
later when kissing the twins goodbye I had heard stories from the set of Wizard
of Oz and from singing for the troops in the World War II. They showed me the
steps of the musicals they’d performed in and reminisced about the good old
days with Lawrence Olivier. Before hugging me the very last time they told me
I’d make a lovely actress but advised me to stay well clear of the show
business. ‘It’s a rotten business, it is.’, they said in perfect harmony.
I did feel
guilty for my deceit. But then again we all enjoyed the little encounter and no
one was harmed during the scene. I think these delightful gentlemen had
pleasure posing for the photographer played by me and I have the photos to
prove that I once acted with these kings of show business, even if the stage
was grass fringe.