When I met Stephen Merchant

I thought I’d share my favourite story, when I met my future husband, I wrote this last november hope you enjoy.
Oh and here I found someone’s review of the stand-up I went ot see him, I even got a mention!
http://britfancy.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.html  Grand. But Here’s MY one…

                                  Here he is. Stephen Merchant. Comedy giant. Genius.

                                                                  I met him.
So yesterday, I Jasmin, 3rd year foreign actress, went in to London town with a burning agenda, after receiving a miraculous email from Mr Stephen Merchants PA, Stephen Merchant; co-writer, co-director of The Office, and The Extras, which he also so brilliantly starred in as the social akward and useless manager, Darren Lamb. That I would be able to talk to him after his Stand-Up show at the Club 100, about an idea I have, and to ask him questions in reference to my dissertation.
So i go in to London, Im feeling it, Inner City Life Inner City pressure. The venue is cool, jazzy and quite intimate, but there was room for at least 200 or more. But still, when the show starts, the host, as soon as he starts, picks on me. He asks where Im from, and I say, Norway, and you know, a bit off haggling on about Norway, and my hair and my shirt, but he was funny, and it was all funny, and as he goes on, he asks me questions and talks to me.. he even splits the audience up in to three parts, left side team A, right side team B, JASMIN team C. and makes us shout and clap and stuff. He asks what I do, I say Im an actress, at Rose Bruford. And he cracks some jokes about Actors. And as the acts come on, three of them, (they were alright, but I have seen the same quality for 3£ on a random night in Leicester Square after being collared by a leaflet man) with an interval, the host continues to ask me what I think and comments on me laughing when he comes back on stage inbetween the sets.
But then.

Himself, the one and all mighty there he comes, just walking casually on stage with a leather bag. Just looking so funny and in the Zone, and MAN was he in the zone, he made me scream, he interacted with the audience with a different way then to the other people, he didn’t take cheap shots and ask them where they were from, mocking their accents and stuff, he told stories, he showed off his Blue Peter tag and he just illustrated and was so fecking funny. He was so close to me, with his ginger beard and his cool glasses, I was like Oh MY GOD, he is HOT. I fancy him. Yes, there it is. I do. As soon as I saw him,my Evil Bean awoke, (that is what I call my clitoris) and it was like, Oooooh…?                                                                                                                                                                                                           Even as he was swetting from his clever frowning fast thinking forhead and whiping it off with his hands I kind of hoped that he was gonna wip his hand out to the audience so his golden drops of intelligence would land on me…. Ohhh Stephen.. Beautiful Stephen.
As the show came to an end, he said he was going to recreate a play he had found from when he did his GCSE’s, about safe sex and protection against AIDS, bullying and homosexuality all squeezed in to a hilariously akwardly written play. And he needed two volunteers from the audience to help him…… WELL. He picked me. WHAT YOU SAY? Yes he picked me, randomely ME. And a guy sitting nearby. And as I walked up on stage, in my head I was going,  (IM ON STAGE WITH STEPHEN MERCHANT, I AM ON STAGE WITH HIM, OH MY GOD)

but on the outside I was as you can Imagine me, smooth, cool, charming, as he shook my hand (OH MY GOD HE JUST TOUCHED ME, OH MY GOD THE WRITER OF THE EXTRAS JUST TOUCHED ME, THE HAND THAT HAS WRITTEN SO MANY GENIOUS THINGS IS TOUCHING ME!!!) Asked me my name and where I was from and what I did (OH MY GOD STEPHEN MERCHANT KNOWS THAT I EXIST) and was just totally lovely, and gave me and the fellar a script, (STEPHEN MERCHANT JUST GAVE ME A SCRIPT!!!!) And he asked requested that we’d give it some projection, (and I as an actress instinctivly placed my hands on my belly and went… Ah, Ah Aaaaah, you know, testing the sound in the space, and Steve looks at me with his massive eyes and he and the audience bursts out laughing, You know the audience knows me now, they know team Jasmin, the foreign acting girl, they’re behind me, and Steve says Good, good work.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                       and we acted through (IM ACTING ALONGSIDE STEPHEN MERCHANT!) the typical play you would see in a classroom when a group had to do something educational in a creative way, with no enthusiasm and with monotone voices, many blackouts (In which one Steve said: Jasmin where are you? and I said Here! And touched his shoulder, as if we were a team, as if we were a proper team that did performances together all the time) And the story was something like, Stephen got me pregnant, because we didnt use a condom, but he didn’t care, and he bullied the other guy because he was gay, so he committed suicide and came back as a ghost and told Steve it was because of bullying, and then I start giving birth, and you know when me as an Actress see in the script (WOMAN STARTS GIVING BIRTH) I give it my all, so I start shouting.. REALLY LOUD, And people laugh, and Steve puts me in a chair with my back against the audience and I am screaming, and Steve says, well normally we’d have like a plastic baby doll, but I didn’t have that, so you take what you have handy you know, and pulled his FECKING BAFTA OUT OF HIS BAG! People scream, and I scream ( OH MY GOD I AM IN THE PRESENCE OF A BAFTA)

 as I spread my legs and squeeze out this BAFTA, YES my Evil Bean has touched a BAFTA! Im sitting there with a BAFTA between my legs, giving birth to me and Steve’s baby a BAFTA, yes I am going to say it again, BAFTA BAFTA BAFTAAAAAAAA! Everyone is screaming and I collapse on the floor, (just as in the script, good girl he says) And he kneels down and tries to wake me, (HE IS TOUCHING ME HE IS TOUCHING MY SIDE) and says sorry, and there is a blackout, and we get up to hold each others hands and bow together. AMAZING. The show is over, the host comes back on and gets the audience to give me an extra applause. Wow.

So I stand outside the backdoor inside the venue where a few manic people are standing ready to attak, when this woman came and collared me and said, are you Jasmin THE Jasmin who had arranged to meet with Stephen after the show? I say yes and she laughs and says, How amazing that he randomely picked you out of everyone to do that with him! Well done up there! Fantastic, Steve, it is her it is that Jasmin! As we walk into the back room, where he himself stands sweating. And we shake hands and chat as if we’ve known each other for ages, some fans are standing there, gets his autograph and takes pictures, I sit down, and Steve sends out the woman to find us a room, and when its just the two of us I whip up a little pleasant surprise; Celebration! CHOCOLATES! And I say thanks for taking the time and congrats with the show, and he seems very pleased, and puts his coat on, the one he has gotten from the specialist shop High and Mighty, as he so unfondly talks about in the show. Nice coat though. The woman couldn’t find a room, so he says, Let’s get out of here and find somewhere local to have a pint. CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW BEAUTIFULLY THAT WAS RINGING IN MY EAR!??!?!
So we walk out, and he is attacked by people, patiently signs and poses, and I watch him lovingly admiring his good heart. A woman gets a photo and cracks a joke; Oh, you made me look really short in that picture. And he laughs nicely at her as we go out of the venue, and as we walk up the stairs, I say; Ooooh, You made me look really short in that picture, ooh, and we both laugh. Outside a few more people wants a bit of him, and I even took some pictures for people. We walk away, people are staring at me, probably wondering why I get to walk away with him.. And Stephen Apologises as we walk along the streets of London. HE APOLOGISES! We talk friendly and I say how weird it is people approaching him like that, I really tasted a fragment of what it is like, just wanting to get out and do what youre meant to do next, every step of the way is so slow because people want a piece of you. We walk in to a pub and all heads turn. I feel like I am being watched too. Then he bends over the barmaid and asks politely if they still serves and OFFERS TO BUY ME A DRINK! And me, feeling bad after all the jokes he had been cracking about having to buy girls drinks and everything on dates, just gets confused and he had to ask again, and I say a pint of coke. (OH MY GOD STEPHEN MERCHANT JUST BOUGHT ME A DRINK) He takes his wallet out, and I don’t want to look at it, I could notice it was a black leather one with loads of cards, but I didn’t want to look, it looked smart and to important. How does a rich and successfull persons wallet look like? I must admit I have pondered upon it before, but I didn’t dare study it, as it was about to buy me the hourglass of our time together.

Then I sit there, with this amazing man, and my guts fails me, I crack jokes, were in a good mood, but I can tell he moves towards buisness mode, and he, ladies and gentlemen is so NOT akward or fidgety at all, he sits there, his legs crossed holding the pint waiting for my questions, cool, sophisticated and intelligent. And my initial plan of going straight in for the kill and pitch my idea seems impossible, and I start to ask him some questions from my notepad, towards my IRP, and I take out a plastic pocket with my CV and the Idea written down in mere notes, and place it on the side as I am reading the questions, I have a pen, but I don’t make any notes, I can’t, too busy absorbing everything he says, and I will not tell you what he told me, because I feel honoured to know these things, and it makes me feel special. Silly I know, but it does, it was fantastic, and inspiring. It was like a few new doors opened in my head. He writes something down for me in my notepad, and we chat away, untill he says he best be going now, and asks if I got everything I needed. I say, er.. yes, I, er… he says go on,
And here ladies and gentlemen, Is where I fail. Its seems absurd now, in my head, for me, silly, giddy, insignificant me to say, Well, I have this idea for a film with you and me, where we explore and play with the idea of… This stupid idea I had so tightly clutched to my heart. My mother had text me that day saying; say to him that you fall asleep to his voice everynight in that podcast, you’re nearly brainwashed!
Ha ha. I love my mother, she is amazing, the most amazing woman in the world, who has dealt with things in her life that would make the average woman seem weak, but this reminded me of where I come from, that shitty town Sarpsborg, where I was always average, in everything I did, not like him, destined for greater things, from an uneducated family, who in the public eye and in terms of the world have never achieved anything extraordinary, can I fulfill my goals? Can I get the chance to say what I want to say to the world? Can I start here? With him? I couldn’t, it seemed to absurd, and far fetched, and I just couldn’t. So, I gave him my CV, and we shook hands, and he was so lovely, and said it was great to meet me and left me with a cup of half drunken coke, a piece of paper with his hand writing, and a feeling inside of… something.. something.
On the train my mother called, probably exited to hear what happened. I couldn’t answer. I couldn’t talk to anyone because I didn’t know what was going on in my head. Failure? REGRET? Unintelligent? Ill equipped? Inadequate? Rejected? Horrible feelings we actors probably have to deal with on a regular basis when we get out there in the real world, and get close to fulfilling our dreams, miss our chance, get rejected or fail.

But did I fail? I have not yet come to a conclusion, but I know this; I didn’t loose anything, amazing things happened to me, and I had a free drink. AND HE HAS MY CV AND THE IDEA!!! Maybe when he sits at home one day and eats the chocolate from the box I bought him, he takes a look, and sees the letter with the idea, and reads it… and then…? Maybe he throws it in the bin laughing at my idiocy eating the chocolate I bought for him with my last few student quids…
That is it for now. And it is a LOT I know. But, if you are still reading, well done! Thank you for your time.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Robyn says:

    Amazing, wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing. I love hearing anything about Steve's stand up because he's so incredibly precious with video clips and I haven't been able to get to London. You lucky dog, you! – Robyn. (tallbaby.tumblr.com)


  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow.. that is awesome!Great blogJgg


  3. Brit Fancy says:

    Jasmin,How amazing!! I am so glad you found my post on your awesome acting with Stephen Merchant!! Of course you can use the pic I took on your blog! I will look to see if I have more pictures of you. Unfortunately, my camera at the time did not take great pics, so if I do have any more, they may be blurry. Hope you are doing well! Let me just say, you did a GREAT job with Stephen's script!!!!!!! 😀


  4. Brit Fancy says:

    Jasmin,I just read your whole story about your night with Stephen – it was epic! I had to go look for more pics right away. I have a few more of you, unfortunately, all are with your back to the camera, similar to the pic you already have. If you want them, I'll be glad to give them to you, just email me britfancy [at] gmail [dot] com.


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