Memories of Random Shoots…#1

I wanted to start a series of posts on the most random shoots I’ve ever done. I’ve done a LOT of random shoots, by which I mean random clients (the hayfever pamphlet), random outfits (oh, the stories I could, and shall, tell) and the actual things I had to do on the shoot. Hopefully my fellow old birds will also help me out with some of there hilarious and embarrassing stories.

I’m also famed for bringing vaginas into my writing: I just think us ladies don’t talk about them enough, plus one of my good friends Andy sends me texts saying ‘VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA’ when I do, and I enjoy receiving those texts. So it is with great pleasure mixed with memories of great pain that I introduce to you the story of…

The Unicycle Shoot

‘Twas an exciting gig to get: a Spanish phone advert! And these were in the days when commercials paid lots of money. I was very excited about my advert. I’d get £300 for the day, but potentially £10k or more with different buyouts.

A car picked me up from my then house in Lower Morden, where I lived with my parents. There was great elation about the potential money I would be earning, and the prospect of seeing myself on Spanish TV.

When I arrived, my dreams were shattered. I was to merely be a ‘body double’. The other model was deemed too fat, but they liked her face. I was thin enough, but my face obviously wasn’t pleasant enough to sell Spanish phones. I felt that she got the better end of the wedge, as well as the ten grand. She would be filmed from the neck up, and I from the neck down, and we would be spliced together in post.

I was led to wardrobe, where a very pretty and flamboyantly dressed assistant was ordered by the stylist to stuff my bra with not one pair of chicken fillets. Not two, either. Nay, three chicken fillets were wedged into each bra cup by a very lovely lady who would soon become my very, very good friend. She would also graduate from stuffing body doubles’ bras with chicken fillets to launching her own magazine, Super Super. This lady was and is Namalee Bolle.


Namalee is one of a kind, as is her dress sense

Once my bra was stuffed, I sat around with Namalee eating donuts and talking until 4pm. By this time, the other model had been stood in front of a large white plinth, so that only her head was visible, and filmed looking around in wonderment. It was my turn.

So I took my place, sat on a unicycle that was attached to a revolving, wooden circle. It was quite high up but my unease with heights was overridden by the fact that



Imagine sitting on this, but with no pedals.

Do you want to just think about that? That was a lot of pressure on my poor fanny: sat on a saddle with my legs swinging awkwardly, on a revolving wooden platform.

The first few minutes I thought ‘it’s OK, this will be over soon. Ten minutes passed, and they were still moving lights around. Each second felt like forever and the pain grew intense – but I wasn’t a moaner, we all wanted to get the shot done, and so I suffered in silence.

ACTION! They shouted after a long while, and it was my time to shine. Hundreds of golden numbers fell around me, and I was ordered to ‘DANCE IN WONDERMENT’ at the showers of golden plastic all around, waving my hands in the air and trying to make my legs look like they were attached to a flying fairy. I hoped I didn’t look stupid in front of Namalee and the fit cameraman. I think I hoped in vain.

I never saw that advert, but the memory of my hurting vagina is incredibly vivid to this day.

Rebecca x

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