They went out together to the set, Kim was already filled with anxiety and was speaking animatedly with the Director, a young Ghanaian man in his mid-thirties. He was stout and was rigorously nodding at whatever it was she was saying. The man seemed unfazed by her pose neither did he seem to be paying any attention. He was probably just nodding not to seem rude, while his eyes was busy reading through the document he held in his hands. She snatched the document from him.
“Mr. Kwame! Will you pay attention?!”
“I apologise ma, however I think you should calm down. Everything is going to be fine. We are good to go. Sarah isn’t here yet but I am sure she would be here soon and here comes Kosi. He was the only one Akunna permitted to call her a short form of her new name since he couldn’t get the glide in tongue when pronouncing her name. Truthfully he wasn’t the only one who missed the correct pronunciation of Kosisochukwu, a name she had taken to hide her identity; there was the Yoruba technician who murdered her name on a daily basis and then the other Calabar actor who almost got it. She had gotten used it by now at least they were close. She greeted Mr. Dongo, the comedian on the set whose chatter never ceased. He could go on and on all day. She loved his spirit and hoped that his presence would work some magic on Ezinne too.
She went around with Ezinne saying hello to all the actors and actresses present as well as to the technical guys, introducing her child hood friend to all of them. Ezinne was thrilled, if only she had brought Chizaram, she was certain that the girl would be excited to meet some of these people whom she saw on screen now and then. She had left her at home with her grandfather who had himself been more than excited to have her around to play with.
“Hey gather around please, everyone we are about to start. It’s 10 O’Clock and we did say we would start at 10. Clara, where is your friend?” Mr. Kwame stood akimbo, his right hand tucked into the pocket of his pant. His firm chest obtruded in his compact figure, leaving his belly unfound in the picture. Ezinne watched his lips as they moved, the power and confidence with which his words resonated, the balance and finesse, all reminded her of a man she was trying so hard, rather too hard to forget, the man whose charm and beautiful looks swept her off her feet with one look.
“I have been trying her number but it’s switched off, we spoke yesterday though and she assured me she would be here this morning. I don’t know what is wrong” Clara responded with her fake British accent that almost sounded like Hausa.
“Ok fine, we would have to fill her role pending when she comes in” Tosin, one of the other actors suggested, she didn’t like Sarah for any reason and the fact that Sarah always arrived late fueled her anger not only because she came late but because she had someone covering for her whenever she was running late.
“Good thought Tosin…” Kwame pronounced Tosin like Tosan and she sneered.
“So who can stand in for her?” Kwame continued ignoring Tosin’s sneer. He was certain he could never get the correct pronunciation of their names and had given up trying.
“I can” Tosin offered, Kwame looked from her to the rest of the crew, he knew the hate that was brewing between the two and if Tosin was volunteering to replace her it could only mean one thing-trouble- and that was one thing he was sure Kim would not take lightly.
“Sure Tosan I know you can but you have your own role and we need to brush that up”
Tosin eyed him, making a click with her tongue to say whatever. It was his loss anyway, she wasn’t going to lay her back on the floor for him too. Kim had seen the good actor in her and chosen her. She wasn’t going to sleep with him just to get a good role. One day Kim who saw how good she was would see the need to push her up. Some of her colleagues had told her that she needed to be in the major role for Kim to see her potential but she maintained her resolve.
Kwame ignored her attitude; as far as he was concerned she should be kicked off the set. The girl was lazy yet blamed everything and everyone for all her faults. She would never accept responsibility for her errors rather she kept complaining about every other person, it was either that the other person didn’t say what he would say so she would say hers or that she was being distracted by people talking or even moving about. He had recommended to Kim to kick her off but Kim thought she was a good actress without the attitude and would with time outgrow the attitude. How he wish that time would come faster. He had never been a patient soul. His eyes fell on a new face who was sitting beside Kosi, listening to Dongo’s jokes, he wasn’t exactly a fan of Dongos’ yet he enjoyed the guy’s jokes.
He walked up to them in a calculated stride “Break it up guys, we have a situation here.” When he had gotten their attention “Sarah isn’t here yet so we need someone to take her role pending her arrival”
“Oh sure, my friend here is Ezinne and she is a great actor. I am sure she can take over the role from Sarah.”
“Excuse me?” Clara jumped in
“Ladies?” Mr. Kwame stepped in, no need for the ladies brawl this morning, he couldn’t stomach any more drama today.
“Its all good” Akunna said, signaling to Kwame she wasn’t in for a battle.
“You are right, Kosi. I am sure Kim wont mind the Role fill until Sarah gets here, and if Sarah doesn’t get her soon, it is definite that Kim would kick her off herself” he concluded turning to Akunna and Clara as he spoke on each point that concerned them. “I hope we are clear on that”
“Ok, so we are set. Ms. Beautiful skin, can you please read the script so you could catch up?”
Ezinne looked up at him and smiled, it had been a while since she got some complimentary look from a man. She was certainly looking great after Akunna’s work on her, the clothes, the jewelry, her hair and her make-up. She wanted to kiss her friend and when she turned to her all she saw in her face was the script and Akunna’s questioning look.
Ezinne’s smile broadened she hadn’t realized she was blushing and that questioning look on Akunna’s face was definitely what was on every other person’s face. Well they couldn’t understand how she felt now, could they?
“Thank you. I would take the role” she said when she finally found her voice letting out a chuckle as she did.
The ‘action’, ‘cut’, ‘camera rolling’, was completely intriguing and Ezinne enjoyed every bit of it. For one she had that feeling that she was part of something much bigger and that she was making a difference. Thankfully Sarah failed to show up and Kim recommended that Ezinne replaced her, there was no protest from even Clara who kept completely mute at the change, as far as she was concerned Sarah’s absence was her own fault. Hadn’t she warned her against going on a drinking spree last night but she had refused and gone with those stinky guys, now she was going to lose a movie of a life time for it.
The crew was exhausted when they called it a day at 8pm. It wasn’t as though they had acted all day though. They took some break during the day and moved some scenes to be acted during the evening hours while some scenes had to be perfected. Kim loved Ezinne’s interpretation of Sarah’s role, at some point she jumped from her seat when Ezinne broke into tears. The point between which she said her line and broke into tears felt too real. Ezinne herself was all too glad to take the role of a broken and hated wife otherwise how else would she have interpreted any other role. It was as though the role was cut out for her. It told her story though not every part of it but the most of it. Her role wasn’t the major role in the movie, no that was Akunna’s role, but at least she made a little impact.