I met up with Fellow Actress last week for a "Recession Session" at Pizza Express. Actors love the Recession. It has opened the door to so many opportunities we could never have previously dreamed of ."Two for the price of One"s in restaurants we would normally only ever have been able to go to once a month,twenty percent off in online shops that only our "Real Work" friends could afford. Two of my friends were made redundant the other week and when I told Fellow Actress, she high fived me and said "another one bites the dust". It was the first time I've actually seen her genuinely look happy in months, but her smile soon faded when I had to break the news to her that I had left the Pizza voucher at home. Apparently she has OCD and has been fixating on the American Hot all week. It's trying, but at least she's not fixating on her alcoholic ex-boyfriend any more. It's taken her a year to get over him and they were only together for six weeks,so really I should be relieved that the Pizza Obsession has taken his place.
To be honest, I forgot the voucher on purpose.I knew it was the only way to get her out, but these weekly Pizzas are causing my waistline to expand, and in fact, due to this increased snacking,my button up blouse unbuttoned itself the other day in an audition and the director got the pornographic version of Lady Macbeth.
I try to appease Fellow Actress by telling her not to worry, it's three courses and a glass of wine for a tenner at Pierre Victoire on Dean Street.
"Is that for two?" she asks.
Sometimes I wonder if she realises we are not still in 1988.
As we finally sit down to eat, she grills me about last night's date.
"It was good" I answer
"Good?" she says, unimpressed with my monosyllabacy.
"Yeh" I feel obliged to elaborate,"I mean, he's good looking, sexy, rich..."
"But." she says,"There's a But"
"He's only twenty four"
"Oh" she looks relieved," I thought you were going to say he was anatomically challenged" ,she says wiggling her little finger
"Oh God no" I reply aghast,"Never. Again"
"So? Whats the problem?" she says
"He thinks I'm 28"
"Well,you know I'm not. In fact I'm far from it"
"So?" she snorts. "Look, Do you actually want a "relationship" with him?"
I think about it. I’m still totally cut up about The Worst Split Ever with Commitment Phobe Ex which occurred a few months ago. The thought of getting into another relationship hadn’t really crossed my mind.
“Well,No” I say
"There you go then..just go for it...Oh,But" she says with a mouthful of baguette," Be Careful. Those young ones can be really good kissers but the minute they get you under the sheets they can pound you like a machine"
I cross my legs and gulp down a wine."One more?" says Fellow Actress beckoning the waiter over. I nod.
"So", I say,"How's your love life?"
"You'll meet him." she beams," He's picking me up when we finish. I'm a bit pissed off to be honest " She leans in and lowers her voice. " We had a lovely date other night, we went to the Tate Modern and had a few drinks, and then we walked back over the Millenium Bridge,holding hands as the sun was setting over the Thames, and it was all just so romantic, and then, he said he had something to tell me. And, well, he turned to me and said.."
"Those Three Magic Words...?" I gush, on the edge of my seat with vicarious excitement.
She does a funny thing with her head "I've got Herpes" she says and downs her glass of wine.
"Oh" I say and put my forkful of smoked salmon down. Four more glasses of wine later he arrives
We get the bill. Its £63.50
"Yikes,I only brought a tenner" says Fellow Actress snogging Herpes Guy's face off, "..thats all you said it would be"
I smile sweetly and hand my credit card to the waiter " Does that include service?" I ask, and as he shakes his head I wonder to myself if the Recession is such a good thing for actors after all.