I can't resist taking a look at Coronation Street to find out what's going on. I know, I'm sad, but for me it's a bit of lighthearted entertainment while I eat my dinner. The storylines are becoming more and more ridiculous. and so far fetched they are completely bonkers. The soap is becoming more like Eastenders all the time, which I completely gave up on years ago. Just how many murders, rapes, drunken brawls, fights, extra marital affairs, train crashes, explosions, and fires can you have in one street in the space of a couple of years.
I watch it anyway, and laugh because it's so barmy. It's the actors I feel sorry for, how do they feel when they read their scripts for the forthcoming episodes. The next story line is going to be Carla changes her mind about marrying Frank, he gets annoyed and rapes her. Then Frank starts a liaison with Sally and ends up raping her. Yawn. I can just imagine what they might say. 'Oh God, we haven't got to do that again, have we!'
When you think about it actors are just doing their job, and television is watching other people work. It's a funny sort of job, they are in a goldfish bowl and we are peering in at them. They are always portrayed as leading a glamorous life away from work, parties, socialising, no wonder youngsters aspire to become famous.
I wonder if soap actors ever get fed up of their working life being controlled by script writers, directors, and producers. How would you feel if every move you made was scrutinsed while at work, down to how you dress, walk, talk, sit down here, move over there, now punch him in the face. I know they are adults and can decide where to work, but once they have signed that contract they lose control over a large part of their lives. They sign away their soul.
I had a taste of this, not just from filming Tightest Person and Super Scrimpers, but a few years ago when I had a film crew out with me on the lorry. Some of the things they wanted me to do, the words they wanted me to say, really annoyed me because in my mind it was too silly. I'm afraid I became a diva, threw a tantrum and refused to do it. I wasn't being paid so they had no claim over my time, and my inner voice told me I would not be dictated to.
The youngsters in Coronation Street are probably pleased that they have a regular job, and are more than happy to go along with whatever storyline the scriptwriters have concocted for them. But I wonder about the older members of the cast. Some of them must be praying for the day their contract ends, so they can reclaim their lives and become a human being again, instead of some motorised puppet.
I think when you are young you go along with being told what to do, I certainly did. My transport managers controlled my working day to a certain extent, but once I was out on the road I did have a degree of freedom, chosing the routes I took, parking up where I wanted to be. At least they weren't actually sitting in my cab. Towards the end things changed, vehicle tracking came in and their grip on my freedom became tighter, I started to feel strangled.
With age comes a change in attitude, time becomes more precious, and for me control over my time became more important. I was not willing to give away so much of myself. I notice that Emily Bishop, Ken Barlow, and Rita Wotshername feature less and less in the episodes. Maybe they too are starting to think about reclaiming back their lives.
We all have to put up with a certain amount of control over what we do and how we live, how much control you are willing to give up to others is up to you. A thought to leave you with, how much does money control your life, or do you control your money?
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