intro day

11 Nov

Night before : Sleep. I need sleep. I have to pack a bag for the next day. Headache tablets. Lipstick. Should I take a pillow ? Into bed. I set my alarm for 2.45. But my head is buzzing. Can I sleep? Lets see. 3am the alarm rudely awakes me. I gotta get up and go. Wow can I do this for a possibility of 6 weeks? I really don’t know.

Rush. Rush. Shower. Hair. Makeup. Go off to pick up Brendon. Sweet soft spoken Brendon.

We reach the studios and are piled into the Jeeps. Off we go – on a mystery tour to the East of Jhb. We are all abuzz as to what we are doing for the day. We are all anxious to know. And each of us make up our own story. This was to become the norm. Its amazing how 15 people can have such vivid imaginations.

We arrive at an abandoned set in Boksburg long before sunrise. It was a old railway carriage erection plant. Massive metal structures. We were all amazed at this place for photography. Massive lights were set up and the place became a film set in the matter of minutes.

Many of the contestants are still talking up a storm and sharing with all of us how good they are. Or at least sharing the intimate details of all the amazing work they have done.

We have to film the intro. We are told to go and get into the jeeps. No particular groupings. I land up with Ian and Andrea and Johnson and Mbali. We joked about us having a real South African family and Ian I were the Mom and Dad. Didn’t quite realise that from here on forward I would be known as MOM !
“Windows up” screamed Dennis.
“Windows down” screamed Kobus. “Listen to the director”, he let us know.
Right we know who the boss is then!
We practice the drive in to the spot they want us in over and over again. We wait for the sun to be in the exact right spot above the trees. We realise that perfection is going to be the name of the game.

Breakfast is served. A typical catering company on-sets breakfast. Many of the contestants are oohing and ahhing about how awesome it is.

Tasmin is flaunting her stuff and the guys are drooling “ I am on Web news. It’s a site where I read the news in my lingerie!”. Guess what the guys wanna do the minute they get home. Watch her. She works the guys well. She knows it. Wonder if her “ I know nothing” is real? MMMMM I wonder.

After breakfast we go off to another part of the building to do a walk in. The guys are pushing Tasmin to the front and she certainly is loving the attention. We walk in a group of 15 people in a row. There are damn blackjack bushes in the way. And I keep getting covered in them cos we have to keep on walking. Pretending nothing is wrong.

Craig says : “ I am about to tell you what teams you are in” . My mind spins. I wonder who will be in my team? He announces the first team. Lola, Ian, Brendon, Renelle, Judy.
“Team Optical “. The name brings a lot of sniggers. Lola spatters a laugh and almost can’t stop. But we realise that Kobus doesn’t think this is funny so it goes nowhere. It’s a nice team. Experience, Creative, Considered.
“Team Aperture” – Myles, Johnson, Chad, Andrea, Kwena. Wow now that’s a team. Young. Creative. Hip and happening!

My name isn’t called and I am desperately trying to work out who has been left out. My heart sinks. Pierre’s name hasn’t been called. Wow he’s loud. Obnoxiuos and know it all. Man he is in my team. Who else ? I desperately try to remember.
“Team Exposure “ – Pierre, Tasmin, Paul, Sam and Mbali.

We all stand in our groups. Chatting. Our chatter is so forced and with the cameras in our faces it is all forced and weird.

We are asked to go back to “the pen” and await our interview.

I am up for my interview. “who are you?” “ what do you want out of the competition?” “Can you compete with the youngsters?”. I KNEW I was going to be billed in this role. “What do you think of the team ?“

I go back to the pen and everyone does their own thing. Some people read. Some sleep. Some play with their cameras. Some read the manual.

I think about my team. It’s not going to be easy. Pierre, who knows everything 🙂 , to Tasmin who knows nothing (ermm about photography) She could drain us, but so could Pierre in a very different way. The others Paul and Mbali are “normal” people with a passion for photography. I know I can work with them. So maybe majority can rule…..
Wow 4am call time tomorrow again. Hey this is going to kill me. Lucky I have Ian at home cooking and waiting to hear all my stories….. Task one looms, starting tomorrow. Sleep …I need sleep…


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