Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Jane continued on with the million tasks she had that day.
Remembering to put the towels in the dryer; making sure Jack had his banana for play lunch and his sandwiches cut in neat triangles so that they would fit into the lunch box; changing the water bowl for Henry who was now tearing up an old sock; putting on the dishwasher; keeping her eye on the time so they wouldn’t be late for school; picking up some milk and something easy for dinner before making sure she still had time to have a quick chat to the girls outside the school gate about the dance school concert tickets, before opening her laptop to read the incoming emails and then sending the important replies to the New Zealand company from which she’d ordered more online purchases.
‘Hey, hon, do I have a clean shirt for work?’
‘Babe, you’re not listening. I said, “What sort of wrap do you want for lunch?”’
‘Wrap? What exactly are we talking about here?’
Is he thinking 'shawl'? she wonders, flapping a piece of pita bread in the air.
That's a wrap
What immediately springs to mind is the flooding relief felt when the First Assistant calls out these words on a drama shoot. Techs suddenly spring into life, hefting around cables and packing filming gear into big silver boxes and crates as if their lives depended on it. The rush to the local drinking hole, or home for a few cold ones from the fridge.
Only minutes before the film set had resembled a retirement village: people idly hanging around, maybe doing the crossword, checking their mobile phones, sitting in their own thoughts; all trying to look both alert and relaxed at the same time; ready to spring into action when needed.
After the anticipated words ring out, some actors dash to the dressing trailer to get their heavy makeup removed. Others parade around still in costume and still coming down from the adrenalin rush of performance, and more than a few puff gratefully on a cigarette. A solitary one or two hang around on the edges of the set, just quietly observing and contemplating, lost in their thoughts.
A film set mirrors real life in saying goodbye to the old year in this respect. Many rush into the new year and back to old behaviours, as if the year's end has never happened.
'Party time,' they yell to each other.
Some pause and ponder how the year has changed their daily lives, maybe even challenged their old roles in society, and what its purpose has been. To paraphrase Shakespeare from As You Like It, we are all but players on the stage of life.
'That’s a wrap' is a welcome cry for many, but a cause of melancholy for others who have welcomed the break from 'business as usual'.
Copyright: Meg Mooney and Ros Lawson. Photos: Wix.
SSOA writers' blogs are made possible through the support of City of Sydney grant assistance.