Monday, 18 November 2013

Dances With Doorknobs

An important part of the "aspiring actor's" world is the infamous, dreaded, less-than-glamorous day job. Since I'm terrified of trying my hand at the obligatory serving position, I currently work in a smelly fish-distributing office. And it is there that our story begins.

The biggest perk of my job, is the flexibility I've been given, and I never have a problem taking off for an audition at a moment's notice. Insane, right? I know. They even understand when I take the morning off before an audition, in case I need a little extra time to prepare. But this particular morning, a Monday - I think, I decided to suck it up and squeeze in a couple hours before that day's audition. I'd only stay for 2 hours, then head out, and be back in time to get in (close to) a full day. Perfect. Plan.

When one makes a plan as perfect as this, one never expects that said plan may be put at risk of crumbling apart by the very maker of the plan being LOCKED IN A SINGLE STALL BATHROOM.

...Clearly, one needs to be a little more inclusive of all potential outcomes of a single scenario when making 'perfect plans' in the future...

Yes, my friends. The actress managed to lock herself in a freaking bathroom. How? I don't know. Ask a freaking engineer maybe. All I know, is that I went into the wash room...did the...thing one does...in a wash room...and then attempted to leave by turning the doorknob, and it did not turn. It didn't budge. The little sticky-out thing that goes into the little square thing on the door frame, wasn't retracting and the door couldn't go anywhere!

It wasn't long until my one co-worker walked by...I knew she was there, because I was in defensive, "Dances With Wolves" mode and my senses were heightened...and also I heard her footsteps as she walked by. I frantically called out to her, and after having to convince her that I truly wasn't making it up, she called for back up and pretty soon the whole office had gathered outside the ladies room. As each new person arrived, I joyfully greeted them, as if they had come to visit me in my low-security, prison cell. Yeah...I was getting a little dramatic.

I think it was warranted, though. My state of desperation, that is. At this point, nobody could quite figure out what the problem with the stupid door was, and the more that anyone tried to fix it, the more the doorknob disintegrated and fell apart. And to top it all off, I'd left my phone on my desk, so I didn't have Pinterest or anything to distract me, nor did anyone order me a pizza and slide it under the door for me. I mean, really. The only upside to all of this that I could see, was that if at any point I had to go to the bathroom, well, I was in the right place. My co-workers would just have to listen to me pee.

But at the very root of all the drama and my fretfulness, was that I had given myself enough time to get to my audition just a little early...but what if I really couldn't get out of there?! What on earth do you tell your agent in that situation?! "Yeah, sorry David, I can't go to the audition, I'm stuck in the bathroom....No, it's not food poisoning...Not like that...Ew...It's just that I'm locked in...Yes, I understand that bathrooms lock from the inside...Yes I have tried unlocking it...Oh, you're taking me off your roster? I totally get it, man.". This conversation was NOT an option. I had to get out of there.

I've been in the wash room of the putrid smelling fish plant for about 20 minutes now, the guy that runs the plant has informed us that he's not able to help (even though he's the handiest of all of us) because there's "actual work" to do...pfft...I've actually "screwdrived" things (screwdrived??) myself...I've said a devastating goodbye to my mother on the phone and I'm about to say an even more devastating goodbye to my career. Things are looking pretty dire, as you can imagine. I'm sitting on the lid of the toilet, having this wonderfully Shakespearean moment talking to a co-worker (and childhood friend) through the "chink in the wall" of my new prison cell. Hope is running low, and I'm getting the same panic feeling in the pit of my stomach as I do when I know I'm running late enough for a movie that I'll have missed the opening credits. Bad chi.

                                                 (My heroic rescuers working away to get me out!)

Suddenly, a little sawdust falls through the trouble spot of the doorknob and another screw becomes loose. And then brilliance strikes. Since the doorknob doesn't want to work intact, we may as well just demolish it completely and see what happens. Couldn't hurt! So we start pulling screws and little pieces of collapsing metal out of the "chink on the wall" until the entire thing comes out and the door swings open!! There is a gasp of disbelief, which lingers for a millisecond and is broken by the roar of celebratory cheering! Of course, it is only 7 people in this grand celebration...but the next exciting thing that happens around there usually involves donuts, so this was a big deal. I swear.

The best part of it all, was that I still had an hour before I had to leave. So naturally, I got no work done at all and instead used that hour to tell all the other people at work who had missed it in the moment, the epic tale of how I got locked in the bathroom, and made it out in time to save my career...just not my dignity.