At the airport in Paris there is a taxi driver sent by the agency, waiting for me. Yes, he has a card with my name on it, but suddenly I am skeptical. I have just realized that I am not as well prepared for this trip as I thought. What do I do and how do I get to the agency when I land are not questions that I investigated before coming. That won’t happen again for sure. This is my lesson number 1.
Hiding in the corner, I checking on the guy for ten minutes. In my head are different “what if” situations. Mum told me to think twice before I do or say something, because usually “what is on my mind is right away out of my mouth,” and that is not good. I have no tactics at all and I have to change that.
And it won’t be interesting either if I start describing what kind of “what if” situations I have passing my mind in those moments looking at the taxi driver. I’m feeling smart to think of those options, but a few minutes later I see that I’m being childish. But it is important that I have taken Mum’s advice and thought twice. I didn’t run around like a headless chicken.
I am not sure what kind of observations makes me certain that the taxi driver is ok and that it’s time to step up. I think it’s my name spelled right, or just that I simply don’t have a reason to be suspicious, I don’t know. But it’s quick. Pointing with his finger at me, then at a name written on the card, he makes sure I am the right person; he takes my suitcase and we are on the way to the car.
My English was very basic at that time, but his English didn’t exist. So the driving goes in complete silence.
The meter is not working, so naively I am thinking that I don’t have to pay for the ride. But it happens to be the opposite of that. It is not just that I will pay for the ride; actually, money will be taken from my account at the agency after I earn some. I will even pay double the price, as if I had stopped a taxi by myself at the airport. I have never gotten an explanation of that strange phenomenon.
I have the name of the person who is my booker. In front of the door I am practicing how to introduce myself and how to ask for that person, imagining that, like in movies, when I open this door there will be a girl at the reception who is going to escort me to the booking table and introduce me to bookers. But there is no girl. I am by myself in the middle of a huge room. I have been standing already for five minutes and no one has even looked at me. Absolutely nobody has paid attention to me, and I am not sure how to get their attention. So I am still standing with all my bags next to me.
During this situation and at many other times in my life I will ask myself if I am transparent or invisible when people ignore me, but this is the first time in my life that the question of my transparence has come to my mind. After an extra five minutes of waiting, Blondie with red lipstick notices me finally. Suddenly she bursts with warmth. Then the rest of the crew copies her reaction, like they are so happy to see me, more than that actually, with acts worth at least one Oscar. One by one they come to meet me now, to shake hands, to hug me, so happy and appreciative that I have chosen their agency and finally gotten here. They have huge plans for me. I am a future star. Total craziness.
Now it is time for some questions, just to be extra polite to me. How was my travel? Am I tired? Am I ready to conquer the world? All with a big smile.
We are doing some Polaroids now. Man, I look “wonderful” on them. As if I was eight hours in a spa, not travelling, but I will keep my mouth shut. For now. There will be a day when they will hear what I have to say about this craziness.
Someone is handing me a list of castings for tomorrow.
“There is enough time for casting today,” she says,” but we will let you go home and rest.”
Oh God, they will have mercy. Oh my God, they are so nice and generous, thank you so much. (I AM SARCASTIC HERE)
Because of that generosity today, tomorrow will be a hell of a day for me. I guess that they advanced the money for my ticket and place to stay, so there is no time to waste. They have to make their money back as soon as possible.
So, they give me a map. No one explains to me how to use it, they just escort me out.
The same taxi driver drives me to the apartment. Why am I dragging all my suitcases and bags with me upstairs to the third floor with no elevator?!