Supporting Artiste


5th August 2015

Day 5 – Food Glorious Food

I’ve briefly mentioned on-set etiquette when it comes food and even some bad experiences I’ve had on previous occasions, but today takes the biscuit. Metaphorically.

So to reiterate, breakfast/dinner is always served (and free) on shoots. Think again if they come around with sandwiches in the late evening, crew get first dibs at the nice ones and are either ransacked before you’d get the chance or if there are any left they’re dilapidated and/or stale. There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule such as Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff Bay has it’s own shared cafeteria to which you’d need to bring or buy your own. Again, the cast/crew get priority which is a given and the quality/quantity of the food vastly differs between production to production but another variable to take into consideration is the amount of SA’s on the shoot. The amount of SA’s on set is relative to the diminishing quality of service I have discovered over the years, even on this production where the food has been great, on large days where there have been 90+ SA’s the portions barely touched the sides and quite bland. Think of the school meals you used to get and now imagine the servers had given up on life and you’re pretty much there.

But today there were only 4 of us SA’s, we were suited and booted in our costume eating our dinner with our filthy hands even though they were perfectly clean, just stained as such with make-up. Upon placing my LAST chip in my mouth, I felt a peculiar crunch. At first I thought it was residue gristle from a sausage I had eaten but alas I pulled the foreign object from my mouth and proclaimed to my colleagues:

“Boys, I don’t mean to be funny but did I just pull a piece of glass out of my food?”

Of course, they naturally thought I was playing around but with the evidence in my thumb and forefinger and one of the other guys mentioned he felt a crunch but thought nothing of it the reality set in quite quickly. As I was taking my empty plate and the offending item to the canteen truck I was unaware that another of my collogues was pulling yet another shard out of his fish.

I was calm and collected and politely explained the situation, not paying attention at the fact the chef was not surprised by the news as he threw away the remainder of the chips. The rest of the guys then came out, frankly not amused. The chef explained that a light-bulb had exploded in the food preparation area and reassured us the tainted food was thrown away and nothing else could have been infected. A light-bulb. Exploded. Well… This was a new one. We quite frankly stumped the guy when we asked how that the food could’ve been free from contamination if we found 2 bits of evidence which pointed to the contrary and 1 suspected case?

Beyond that we reported the situation to production and the on-site Health and Safety officer to which a report was filed. Can’t really say much else about what happened afterwards as frankly it’s out of our hands, yet still scary to think what if the worse had happened? Would’ve been a unique sight in the A+E department seeing a 6ft period man clad in chain-mail coughing up blood I imagine.

The rest of the day however was rather uneventful in comparison and strangely enough, we never saw the chef again.

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