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Published: July 12th 2011
Cloudscape looking almost like Hoth.
So, because my parents are far too kind to me, I once again find myself hanging upside down off the Earth in the lovely land down under. To those of you who expected me not to add any new blog posts after my semester abroad ended, or at least not to add any until I was already back in the states, thereby rendering any blog posts more or less pointless... SURPRISE!
For any of you who don't already know, the primary purpose of this trip is to visit my wonderful boyfriend Mike (who has previously been referred to as Gorrie on this blog) and the other awesome people I met while studying at La Trobe last year. And instead of spending most of my time on lame things like homework, this time I get to be in a feature-length student movie! Earlier in the trip, I wasn't entirely sure I'd get to write that, because this movie seems to be about as cursed as "the Scottish play."
We literally went through eleven Florences before Alex (the writer/director/producer who also had to cast himself in his movie out of desperation) finally had no choice but to change the script, turning
On the set of Isidore.
Thom into a tomboy and merging the characters of Florence and Amelia into one. And that's a big deal, because Florence is kind of the female lead, and it changes quite a bit to merge her with Amelia. Amelia was my original role. The one who dies in a cake near the beginning... So yes, I am the twelfth Florence now. We have surpassed the current number of Doctors, and tied with the rest of the cast. But seeing as I'm here for the full duration of filming and don't have commitments to other things like work, I was the safest bet for a Florence who would actually stick things out. Well, maybe "safe" is a poor choice of words, because in accepting the "cursed" role, I felt kind of like I was agreeing to take on the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, but so far nothing has happened to prevent me from being able to complete the movie. Knock on wood. And on the subject of superstition, when everything conceivable was going wrong, we began following Macbeth tradition and referring to the film as "The Film of a A Thousand Deaths" rather than its title, and
Mike channeling a bird that wants to eat the flower he stuck in my hair.
calling Florence by the Italian name of the city of Florence, "Firenze." (Anyone who either speaks Italian or has played Assassin's Creed II can tell you how to pronounce that.) So that's the explanation behind my name change on Facebook. I'm not actually calling myself Firenze Welch. And as an extra bit of trivia, the character of Florence was named after the singer in the band Florence and the Machine, who I just saw live at the U2 concert! I thought that was a cool coincidence.
Anyway, filming has been a lot of fun since it finally got underway, which we certainly never took for granted. Seriously, we had two actresses drop out the first day of filming, after
arriving and going out for lunch. And that was after a day of panic due to losing and trying frantically to recast three guys the day before. The up side is that if we actually finish this movie, it will feel like the greatest accomplishment since the invention of Tim Tams. (Sorry, they're just on my mind because they're on sale this week for $1.50. So we stocked up. Yum!)
Movie-related stress consumed a lot of the first week here, but it certainly wasn't all doom and gloom. (Or maybe manic and panic would be more accurate.) Mike, Emma and Rachel threw me a hot tub party on the second night I was here, so I got to see a lot of the old crowd and meet some new people too. And alternate between feeling like a cooked lobster and an icicle. I can say, speaking from experience, that it was not nearly as bad an jumping in and out of a hot tub and rolling around in the snow, but the warmth of the hot tub was a serious factor in my decision whether or not to go to the end-of-the-semester party at the Eagle Bar that night. Mike already had tickets, so we ended up going, largely just for old time's sake. (The Eagle is the bar on campus, where I passed several thursdays during my time at La Trobe, and also where Mike and I first told each other we liked each other. We didn't start dating right away, because we've always been fully aware that striking up such a long-distance relationship is more than a little insane, but when it's so totally worth it, that's not much incentive to be sane.)
It was a little surreal for a while, being back here. It's been a long time that Melbourne has only existed in my memory and my pictures, and that these people have only existed on facebook and skype. It was almost like rediscovering that Australia and Melbourne and La Trobe still exist, and that people over here carry on driving on the left side of the road and eating Vegemite and attending the classes I'm no longer taking. I knew that of course, intellectually, but it doesn't quite sink in until you return to a place and actually feel it.
Before arriving, I was a bit concerned that Mike would be the only person who was really excited to see me, but happily that hasn't been the case at all. A welcoming party too big to fit in one car was waiting for me at the airport, and it's been great catching up with everyone ever since. In other words, Aussies have a reputation for being friendly for a reason. I also had some good conversations on the airplanes, none of them involving anyone trying to tell me I should become a drug dealer. So I would say this trip has been a good one so far. Stay tuned for another update at some indeterminate time in the future.
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