It all started when a fellow who goes by the name of Selwyn O’Pants mentioned that as he worked for a sponsor of the show, he had an invite to the season premiere of the live broadcast of Ice TV in its new incarnation as Ice As.
As a general rule, stuff is good, but free stuff is even better. I sensed an opportunity for free stuff, so I convinced Mr O’Pants that he would benefit from being seen with a glamourous personality such as myself. He agreed to this and the evening was set.
I’ve visited the TV3 studios once before. That was when I was in the sixth form, as part of a journalism field trip. That was also back in the day when Russell Rooster was TV3’s most popular star. Oh, how times have changed.
So Selwyn and I turned up to the studios having been earlier entertained by the comic stylings of Jan Maree and Justine Smith in their show “Alas! Smith and Franicevic – Return of the Showgals” (If it sounds like I’m being sarcastic and somehow suggesting that they were crap, I’m not, and they were actually really funny. The drunk middle-aged slappers in the front row weren’t funny, though.).
We were escorted down to a little waiting area and sat around watching the rehearsals in the monitor room. Bloody boring.
Then a bunch of comedians taking part in the laugh fest arrived. Some of them were just cool, relaxed normal people, other were doing the “Look at me! I am a comedian! I must be funny all the time!” thing and they were dicks. Cal Wilson, Ben Norris and Ronnie Edwards were not being dicks.
Then we hung out in what I suppose was the green room, but it was really a wide hallway with a lift and one end. There were nibbles and booze. I partook and free stuff is cool. One by one semi-famous people arrived. Fiona McDonald! The guys from Boss TV! Joel Tobeck! The boys from Betchadupa! Murray Cammick! Slave!
I was a bit freaked out by the appearance of Slave, also known as Mark James. I really wanted to go up to him and say “Hey dude! When I was 16 I thought MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave were the coolest rap group in the entire universe and that the song that went “Drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, marijuana” was really cool.”
But I didn’t. Instead I just stood kind of near him and heard him tell Murray (Muzza!) that “Joined at the Hip Hop” had been receiving a lot of air play recently because it has 96 beats per minute. Righto.
Then the time came. We were ushered into the studio and were seated amongst the set. I took my place atop a barstool and had a good view of all the goings-on. I think the idea was that it was like a bar where a bunch of people were hanging out. A place were a neon sign reading “NICE ARSE” with a dim, flickering N, R and E hangs above the bar.
Eleven o’clock came and the magic of live television took place. Or rather I stood on my stool and watched the show on the monitors and giggled with delight when I occasionally saw my shoulder or my knee on TV.
It went on like that for an hour (and seven minutes), then everyone went back to the green-ish room and drank some more and ate some more nibbles.
I noticed the boys from Betchadupa (the fine young lads responsible for that irresistibly catchy song “Empty Head”, and my word isn’t that Liam Finn a bit of all right, eh? Not bad for a sixteen year old youngster. (Oh God help me, I’m turning into a pervert.)) drinking L&P, which is good as they are all under age. I’m glad I didn’t see any of those lads drinking any alcoholic substances such as, oh, let’s say, Steinlager.
I attempted to hobnob. I also attempted to schmooze. I was unable to do both as I don’t suck. O’Pants managed “Hey, Jon Bridges, star of Ice As, don’t eat the fish, cos it doesn’t taste nice.” Arse kisser.
It was getting late, I was getting tired, being in the presence of so many people who always look when someone enters the room because it-might-be-someone-really-famous was getting a little bit too much. I needed to keep it real, so with that, I exited and sped off into the Eden Terrace night.
So, in conclusion, I have concluded that being an audience member of Ice As is choice.