So Halloween is here. A big night for Kids and Adults…everyone gets dressed up and play it seems, though I think it’s only the kids that ask for candy on the walk about around the neighbourhood. Hmmm…maybe not. We didn’t have Halloween in England, when I was growing up…couldn’t afford it and for a while we were still on wartime rations! So our measly sweet (candy) allowance would have only stretched to more than maybe one small chocolate bar. Instead we had Guy Fawkes night, on November 5th, where we burn a man in effigy, Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the 17th Century. So— big bonfire and loads of fireworks (representing the Gunpowder Plot and burn ourselves instead.) Less fattening, but rather more dangerous. We were all allowed to hold/set off the fireworks got and a few burned fingers from holding the “sparklers”
I haven’t done many horror films, just a couple really and they did not involve ghosts or ghoulies. Just murder and things from outer space…the usual stuff. HORROR AT 37,000 FEET springs to mind. I did however do a television episode in the ITV series TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION I was CARMILLA in the story by Sheridan Le Fanu,…the lesbian Vampire. I did enjoy myself ……until the moment came for me to be sealed in the coffin and then revealed with the stake through my heart. Well friends I am ashamed to say, I could NOT DO IT. I lay down in the coffin and the crew started to lower the lid and as it grew closer to my face, shutting out all the light, I sat up and stated “I cannot do this..there must be another way”. Damned actresses, I was mortified, but my sweaty palms and pounding heart told me there had to be another way… extreme claustrophobia. The art department hummed and hawed, the assistant directors’s cursed and eventually they kindly put little blocks of wood between the lid and the coffin, so I was not completely sealed in. And it’s those little things friends that give us actors a bad name as prima donnas and official time wasters. I have always prided myself on Not being one of those, but this time I just couldn’t help it. Here I am as Carmilla looking a bit worried!!
However, I also suffer from fear of heights and was filming THE MAGICIAN with Bill Bixby and he was directing. I loved Bill and working with him and would do almost anything for him, but when he ordered me to stand in front of the clock face in the Clock Tower where we were filming, my heart sank. It was probably about 30 feet up from the ground, but it loooked liked 100 feet to me and there was only a very thin ledge between me and certain death. Fortunately Bill liked me as much as I liked him , so kindly allowed me to have a ‘friend’ up there to ‘hold my hand’ figuratively speaking. The man could have done nothing , since he was behind the clock face and I was in front of it…so if I had become dizzy and tipped over…..it would have been curtains…end of me, my career and a “difficult “actress.
Have fun my friends and remember the true meaning of Halloween, which was All Hallows Eve , when we and the children remember the dead and say a prayer for their souls, receiving a nice cake for our efforts, not candy!