That was the breaking point, when the Harp started playing.
Up until then, I’d been doing okay with the curveballs that were being thrown at me. One of the things you have to get used to when doing film related interviews is that plans change. Times are altered. What’s arranged one day can be de-arranged the next. So, when I turned up at 3.05, expecting to interview Dave McKean (Sandman cover artist and director of MIRRORMASK, amongst very many other things) for half an hour between 3.30 and 4.00, and the PR person told me it was actually going to be ten minutes, and would be happening in ten minutes time, I rolled with the punch. I was led through the monumentally posh lobby, and left in “the Pink Room”, so named for its shocking, eye-searing pinkness. I sat on a sofa for a few minutes before an Asian waitress came along and started asking me if I wanted Afternoon Tea. No, I said, I didn’t. Then she asked me again. No, I replied, I didn’t. And then, finally I managed to work out that actually she wanted me to move because apparently only people who are having afternoon tea are allowed to sit on the gigantic pink sofa. This is one of the things they don’t tell you about expensive hotels, that they always seem to have more fiddly rules and regulations than the cheap ones. You pay exorbiant amounts of money, simply so that you have nice furniture to look at and you know none of the proletariat are going to be cluttering up the Pink Room when you amble through for afternoon tea.
Anyway, I shuffled myself into the corner, and was just scribbling down some random doodles and trying to ignore the conversations that were going on around me- when suddenly the sound of Harp music started coming from nowhere. For a moment, I thought I was having a non-acid-related flashback to Tris’s wedding, which had also had a reasonably strong Harp quotient, and then I realised that the Pink Room actually came with its own resident Harpist. And me, armed with a humble tape recorder with a minimal range, and which didn’t care for too much background noise.
Roll with the punches, you tell yourself. Well, after fifteen minutes waiting had slid past, I was getting a litt;e vexxed, and just trying to think of strategies for coping with this (most of them involved brandishing the tape recorder in Dave McKean’s face- an idea I didn’t really like that much…), the PR and Dave McKean turned up- and the gods were finally smiling upon me. We got moved downstairs into a faintly intimidating conference style “meeting room”, with a couple of big Mirrormask posters that I would have nicked if given the opportunity, sat down, and proceeded to race through the questions that I’d plotted originally thinking I was going to have thirty minutes. Getting the salient facts seemed to be the important thing, and it all went great- very nice bloke, very chatty, very honest about some of his misgivings about the final product. So, we’re going great guns, I’m getting enough footage, I get to the end of the questions that I’ve highlighted as important, the ten minutes is just about up, Dave Mckean finishes answering my most recent question…
… and nothing happens.
So, we carry on talking. Turns out, we get almost twenty minutes before the PR returns, plus I manage to get Dave Mckean to sign my copies of VIOLENT CASES and ARKHAM ASYLUM. I dash out of the hotel, and immediately call George and excitedly tell her that everything went well in a slightly excessive amount of detail. Sometimes, I feel sorry for her. As do others…
I may have another article to do soon. It also occurred to me that it might be wise to stop complaining about being so busy, as I’m doing it an awful lot, and am probably in danger of becoming exceedingly boring. The trouble is, I’ve expected this busy spell to end virtually from the moment it started (I mean- it’s getting on for two months!), and it feels like the moment i start actually accepting it, it’s going to stop, something that both scares me and actually sounds quite nice. You can’t please all the people all the time, I guess.
Today was mainly sorting out stuff. George was home, and it’s nice to spend a day hanging out with her, even if I had a brief spell this morning when a shelf collapsed on me which, as you can understand, put me in a bit of a funny mood. As a result, I chilled out this afternoon and did some painting on some of the vehicles for Dark Future, the game which i still haven’t had a chance to play yet. Hmmm. The screening tonight was NIAGRA HOTEL, which was a small indie ensemble drama that occasionally got a little silly and theatrical, and yet had enough energy and likability so that it was great fun to watch. Hardly a classic, but a film where you happily sit back and say “Let’s see what happens”- which hasn’t happenned for a while.
The next three days have to be fairly well planned if they’re going to work. There’s a bank manager to see, things to buy, and lists to be made. No rest for the wicked.
As promised, another Mash-up: