At the start of the week, work colleagues, friends and family looked on in amazement as a crazy woman manically flitted from one distraction to the next. My mood fluctuated and ranged from hysterical laughter to sobbing with temporary periods of calm. To compensate for my polar behaviour I acted impulsively and brought a laptop I can not afford nor have the technical expertise and patience to actually use. I chatted on line, engaged in some harmless flirting, acted irrationally and through it all I felt overloaded, out of control and exhausted.
Waiting in anticipation of therapy to discuss these unfamiliar anxious emotions something happened that stopped me going. Following a long, tedious meeting I arrived back at my desk to my phone and mobile flashing with missed calls, messages, emails headed ‘CALL ME’ and scribbled post-it’s from the PA saying ‘call house mate now’. So I thought I should! I am quickly instructed that I have thirty minutes to get home, change and head to the O2 Arena as we were going backstage to meet the Spice Girls. The next thirty minutes are a blur; I remember a lot of running, hair straightening and frantic ironing all accompanied by their greatest hits blaring from the stereo. I met the deadline and soon after we were sitting on the train slightly dishevelled, flustered but very, very excited.
Some background may help at this point. No we were not ‘Radio 1’ or ‘Take A Break’ competition winners; my housemate met Melanie Brown several years ago and they have been friends ever since. Throughout the journey I am given strict instructions to not show him up, be cool but not cocky and for the love of god please don’t dribble. I promise I can adhere to the rules and when met by an artist liaison, given our passes and escorted backstage by security in a very Posh and Beck-esque way, I did not throw up, which I consider cool behaviour!
Following various check points we were escorted into a small intimate Green Room, shown the bar and left to our own devices. Six maybe seven other people mingled about, some sitting on black velvet sofa’s talking quietly. Music played softly and combined with the sultry mood lighting an amphetamine addict would be left feeling drowsy. Security entered and politely asks us to follow him into Mel B’s dressing room. Practising being cool (but not cocky) I decided against the ‘hey Mel, whassup’ approach and instead just said hi and we began chatting. I had to stop myself divulging I bought the movie, had the posters, own the CD’s and a Spice lunch box! I did admit I had already seen the show and asked if there was room for one more in the band. I do not think she took my request seriously.
Heading back to the Green Room we briefly stopped to say hi to Brooklyn and Romeo who asked if they could spray my hair red? Before I could answer Mel intervened and said they had to check with their Mum before spraying strangers red. Back in the Green Room we drank beer, talked, tried desperately to stay awake and I only momentarily stuttered when Geri walked in. On realising the time, Mel left to get changed and we were left bemused and ever so slightly confused as to the surreal ness of the situation. Feeling juvenile and worried no-one would believe me I thought it was best to steal mementos. I filled my bag with flowers, a notepad and would have left with the sequined cushions under my top if not hand slapped by the housemate.
Security once again came in and asked us to follow. This time we were directed to enter a small room occupied by about ten busy looking people, a photographer and the Spice Girls. Sod being cool, my jaw dropped, I dribbled and pulled at my housemates sleeve just to make sure he was there. Mel shouted over for us to join the photo shoot and meet the girls. I enthusiastically pushed past the photographer to find myself wedged between Emma and Geri who could almost make Kylie look tall. Photo’s were taken and being A-list celebrities they know how to pose, whilst I looked like an uncomfortable, giant Sasquatch Spice... great! Saying our goodbyes we left for the Arena and of course the show was great, but I won’t bore you with that again. Four hours later, back at the flat and sitting on a brown leather sofa we wondered if it actually happened.
Twelve months ago I was in a very different Green Room. It was so exclusive only two were allowed to enter and the doorman turned everyone away. Of course it could not survive and eventually shut down to be opened six months ago under new management. It has taken a while to rebuild its reputation but now the green room is full, lively and a nice place to visit. Friends, old and new mingle in light, airy, comfortable surroundings. There is no dress code, guest list or house rules just a friendly doorwoman and a cloakroom attendant. At the weekends Clyde and Keith from Accounts sing cabaret and Britney melodies and housemate has the fortunate task of cleaning. There is only one problem, my Green Room is running at full capacity and getting a little overcrowded.
This week I have taken control of the door, am having fun and realised I am not ready to let anyone else in yet. However, I am currently undergoing refurbishment and thinking of building an extension – after I’ve paid for the laptop! If anyone can be bothered to wait they can chat, maybe a flirt with the doorwoman and at some point space will be made to let more in. What’s occupying your Green Room? Do you need to take control of the door, refurbish and kick out some irritating groupies? If you have a nice space, relaxed and working successfully then maybe take a look at the queue outside. Before letting them in; how about giving a quick frisk, ID check and please make sure they treat your Green Room with respect and don’t pinch the sequined cushions!