So where are we – it’s August, just three more days before I go on holiday, yes I am going away – it’s been four long recession and cancer ridden years and now I am actually going to Florida for two whole weeks. I always choose July and August for holidaying which stemmed from Ellis’s school holidays – but with him now going on 27 and somebody who wouldn’t be seen dead on holiday with his Mum and Dad for the past 10 years – I suppose it’s to do with July and August being the quietest time for work. Corporate entertainments avoid the summer holidays, in fact all holidays, Easter hols, Xmas hols, half terms and Bank holidays. It’s obvious really, corporate entertainment is for the employed. Employed people have normal lives and they have children and so are not around in the holidays. It is a generalisation, but on the whole true.
I felt quite confident booking my trip that I would not be missed and Helena and Christie would be pleased to have me out of the way, but I didn’t put Alison Jackson into the equation who erupted last week with a new book to shoot (for the Christmas market) which has to be shot during the week of the 8th of August. Pretty difficult to do at any time but obviously made more problematic by the fact that lookalikes also take their holidays in August. Alison with casting lady Nicola Topping is also searching for missing characters that she needs i.e. Clegg, Murdoch’s, Milliband’s and more. Plus some we do have have on our books that she hopes to find ‘cheaper’ i.e. new to the business or contact existing lookalikes on our books directly (i.e. cheaper). So it is pretty fraught here yet again this year when we thought we would be resting on our laurels, once the wedding was over.
Apart from Alison, the last few weeks have been busy – again surprisingly for July – well they have seemed busy but we have had a few jobs that have just not gone as smoothly as we would have liked, it happens. An awards ceremony for a new company part of ‘The Detective Agency’ (which had been in planning for months) at The Royal Garden involving five lookalikes and every person on the job had complications. Pierce Brosnan’s (Mark William’s) partner was in the midst of breast cancer surgery and needed his support. Luckily our client turned to Captain Jack in Johnny Depp mode and Colin White stepped in admirably at the last minute. Colin also did a nice TV job for us as Edward Scissor hands and looked fabulous (had to shave his facial hair for it, always a problem for the Johnny Depps) but worthwhile to get the ‘look’. Kirstie Barton Grimley, the fabulous Kylie Lookalike, had planned a weekend away in Scotland and had to be flown down. Amongst the other lookalikes on that night was Rachel White (Beyonce) of Big Brother fame – a really nice lady to work with – whose only problem was having to journey from Leeds. While the final lookalike of that night was Michaela Weeks as Britney who also had to travel from the North but looked just great despite having to wear a black ‘red carpet’ dress for the awards ceremony rather than her instantly recognisable schoolgirl outfit or ret shiny catsuit. Always problematic to dress lookalikes in ‘something different’ or do a ‘make over’ on the Queen for instance and then they no longer look like their character. Lookalikes do need their costumes and props on the whole however good they might look.
Wimbledon brought some tennis work Bjorn Borg (Stuart Probee) and Federer (Andy Cobb) playing swing ball at Kings Cross station. While our Kate and William (Kate Bevan and Andy Walker) played ping pong in ‘Ping England’. Plus Federer (Andy Cobb) and a new Andy Murray (Jack Harris) shot a spoof video – we had thought they would use our other new Andy (Andrew Tainsh) but the budget wouldn’t stretch to bringing him down from Scotland. Both look great.
Alison Jackson has been busy shooting with Cheryl Cole (Halima) as did Closer magazine. We had a disaster with one Captain Jack (Adam Collier) not his fault – the Thames boat left the pier early and despite frantically trying to catch up with it, sadly it did not happen. But since then Adam has had 2 more nice jobs, first at an end of year party at a S.London school and secondly a hen party in a Greek Taverna. While Terry Austin (also Captain Jack) did a sterling job whipping up customers for the opening of a new Costcutter store in Hockley in Essex. Mary Reynolds (The Queen) has done another ‘tea time’ event for the Royal Butler Steven Randolph, this time at the Mandarin Oriental. We had three guys on ‘League of Their Own’ Matt Francis (Rio Ferdinand), Dave Coles (Ryan Giggs) and Andrew Wesley (David Haye), while Caroline Bernstein went to Leedsfor the Right Address as Sharon Osbourne for Red Bull. Added to this Michael O as Tinie Tempah visited a Vodafone call centre in Stoke, Martin Leverton (Spielberg) did a little bit on Top Gear and Charlie Frame (Jamie Oliver) filmed for channel 4.
It has been all ‘go’ and now I’m off on my hols. Still looking for Nick Clegg – is there anybody out there?