A man pulled his car over specifically to get out and yell at me. He told me, very loudly and aggressively, that I was both stupid and going the wrong way. He was right. I was most certainly lost. I’d already asked six people for directions. What made the pain of being yelled at by a stranger worse was that this man wasn’t one of the six. I have never seen him before in my life.
I had a map. I’d retraced my steps four times and tried to follow the line of highlighter which logically should have taken me where I needed to go. It didn’t. Roads didn’t look like the line said they should, the numbers weren’t stamped on the buildings like it said. And every single office had a locked door. One office was all white. The walls were white and the roof was white, the carpet and the sign and the chairs were white. The computer was white. They even had white flowers in a white vase on a white coffee table. The only thing that wasn’t white was the receptionist and she ignored me. I was beginning to agree with Thursday.
The previous Thursday I’d decided I was making a very large mistake. It still baffles me what would posses a fifteen year old to fly all the way from Grafton to Sydney to do work experience with a television production company. The only motive I could think of, as I was standing lost on the side of the road, was a serious desire to harm my self esteem. When I eventually found the office, almost in tears and half an hour late, I realised why I’d come.
GNW-TV is hidden deep within the bowels of Fox Studios. ‘Bowels’ is a particularly accurate term in this instance because you have to pass through a sort of intestine to get there. The corridors are very thin, wind in circles and are a sort of sickly grey-brown that backs up this particular simile beautifully. And I’m sure moving out of actual bowels brings a similar rush of light, colour and relief as entering those offices gave me.
GNW-TV are responsible for Good News Week, The Glass House and The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Great Debate each year. When I was there in 2007 they were making The Sideshow for the ABC. They also keep their printer in a telephone box.
That place in one short week gave me the top ten most surreal moments of my life. At one stage I ventured into the intestines to go to the toilet. On the way I passed a large squarish brown lounge that was taking up most of the corridor. The sheer effort needed to get the thing around the corners would be mammoth; it would take several people and several hours. It was baffling. I ignored it.
About an hour later I went back into the corridors with the head writer (Ian) and Paul McDermott on our way to rehearsals. The lounge had changed. It was now scarlet red and rounded. In less than an hour they’d not only moved the previous one but replaced it with another. HOW? My mind boggled painfully. Ian glanced sideways at the lounge and said very calmly to Paul- “Oh, look they’ve changed it again.”
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