Thursday, May 22, 2008

So, anyway, there I am in the Endemol offices and I've got 15 minutes to pitch my idea for a Reality TV Show.

"Okay," I tell the panel, "here we go: the show's called The Sorceror's Apprentice, but instead of Alan Sugar, it's fronted by a complete total cunt of a wizard who sends the contestants off in completing teams on a series of vision-quests where they have to obtain various magickal power-objects...except that he fucks with them continually, playing them off against each other...playing terrible mind-games and screwing with their heads until they don't know whether they're coming or going. The 'tasks' they perform are meant to challenge their preconceptions of themselves as people and allow them to build up their magickal knowledge. I see the central sorceror as being a cross between a bastard Zen-Master, Aleister Crowley and Don Juan from the Casteneda books...each week, the weakest member of the team is confronted with his own failings and sacked with the words: "You're... fired! " And the wizard zaps him with a fiery electrical-bolt and the contestant disappears off the show in a puff of smoke..."

"So, who do you see playing this wizard?" asks one of the production team. He's a youngish English geezer whose name-tag says 'Dennis.' "...Brian Blessed? Richard O'Brien? What about Ian McKellen - could we get him, or is he too expensive...?"

"Well, he did Coronation Street," says someone else, helpfully.

"Actually, I was thinking we could use a real sorceror," I say.

"Interesting," says one of the Dutch contingent, nodding and twiddling his glasses between thumb and forefinger.

The young production-assistant next to him pulls a lop-sided, mock-confused face. She looks like she's a right pain in the arse. "Uh, sorry, but magic doesn't actually exist...does it?"

I echo her expression. A classic meeting-room strategy. "Excuse me...?"

She tries to stare me down, but I can tell she isn't entirely sure of her facts. "Magic doesn't...actually exist?"

Magic doesn't exist? Ye Gods...Try telling that to someone who saw Adamski climb out of a cone of green laser-light in the Bath Pavillion, 1990, or held his first daughter in his arms 3 minutes after she was born, or anyone who's spent any time whatsoever with their 3/4/5/6/7yr old kids...Magic doesn't exist? I saw real Jawas at Glastonbury, 1982...tiny little toadstools and elves grew out the ground where my stream of piss landed...a motorcycle talked to me and Dom and I once saw a 147-break played on a vertical Glue-Snooker table...I've seen The Stooges play live, dammit, and Thin Lizzy playing their balls off to 50 people, so don't tell me magic doesn't exist...

But instead I say: "Actually, it does...but it's a complex extended metaphor for any activity, ritualised or otherwise, whose intent is to make something happen...magick is any act that causes kinetic energy to be moved in a direction other than the one you would expect it to..." But the sudden lurch in my stomach tells me I've just lost them...

"Oh, yah," says the production-assistant, her Knightsbridge accent finally betraying her, "that's why you spell it with a 'k', right?"

"Actually," says the Dutch guy, chewing his glasses and smiling affably, "there's already a kid's program with the same name. Have you got anything else for us...?"

Ah, fuck, I knew I should have Googled it. "Well, actually, yes...I've got this idea for a sit-com set in a garage..."

He stands up and offers me his hand, still smiling. "Well, hey, thanks for coming in and seeing us..."