Premier Inn Bristol

This is not the first time I’ve slept in a faceless Premier Inn. It won’t be the last.

There were times working with this company in the early days when I would arrive at one of these places, or worse at a Travelodge, to discover that I would be sharing a room with somebody I had maybe met once before, maybe never. Thankfully these days we get our own room. Somebody kicked off as we all got a little bit older. The hotels we are booked into are often in very remote locations – one time the pipes had been dug up the night before to be sold for copper, so there was no hot water. They were still open, with a baffled receptionist. I think the company got a refund for our discomfort. We didn’t see it though.

This hotel is at least in a busy area so that won’t happen.

I still say “yes” to these jobs when they ask me, so long as I can make it work – so long as it’s possible. I’ll juggle things around as well to try and make it work. Acting is primary as it must be. But I think it’s important not to pass up honest work. Being the person people call is a precious thing.

The woman who books us has a deep understanding of the fact she is mostly booking actors and that our circumstances can quite quickly change. She is extremely accommodating of last minute acting jobs. My name isn’t on the original booking for this one. It rarely is. I’m the last minute guy and I like it here. Hopefully I’m making it possible for Colin to do some filming. This came in about a week ago along with a few more days in the next few weeks. I was in the desert and I just kept yessing as I didn’t have time to think more deeply or check my diary. I was right to, as they can all fit. I’ve kept myself going this long in my changeable vocation by having a forward attitude to short term last minute jobs that help pay the bills. I don’t suffer from the stigma that some people put on doing jobs of work that aren’t in my chosen sphere. Occasionally the gutter rags run stories about so-and-so who used to be on telly and now is doing another thing for money, like it’s a binary choice. Rubbish. As with the Saudi thing, it’s always better to go towards the unfamiliar. Ultimately my job is to portray and understand people who aren’t like me. Saying “yes” is always going to bring something – actors can be good fun to hang out with but it’s good to plug into other crowds. This dayjob has been years now and it has taken me into some really interesting chaotic urban schools to work with young people. It’s shown me a side of the education system I was completely blind to, coming from the immense educational privilege I experienced. I remember walking into my first state school maybe ten years ago and feeling my lack of world knowledge, that even the schooling system experienced by the majority of people in this country was alien to me. This job asks questions of me as to how to engage young people from very different circumstances. Plus it has given me a surprisingly good comparative knowledge of the cheap hotels up and down the country.

This Premier Inn is in Bristol Town Centre. It was tricky finding the car park, and it was raining all the way down the M4. My bedroom is COLD but I think I’m just in a bodyplace where everything will be cold until June. I’m here for one day only, going in early tomorrow to try and get the youngsters engaged about the possibilities of sustainable energy. I’m there first thing in the morning, and I’ll be out by lunch. It’s late already – I was slow out of London. Another hotel room… I’m gonna have a shower and try to wind myself down from the rainy drive…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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