Ten a.m. this morning. The cell phone rings. YT answers.

Truly, Yours: Hello?
Eskimo Casting Girl: [Smooth caramel voice, feigning sophistication, unable to conceal that she’s just crawled out of her teens] Hello, this is [sowanso] calling from Eskimo Casting? I have an assignment for you if you choose to accept it …
TY: Oh?
ECG: Yes. Um, they’ve already seen your photo and they really want you … [pause] It’s an ad that would appear in the Icelandic Medical Journal only … [pause] it’s a photo shoot next Monday… [pause] … it’s for a pharmaceutical company … [pause]… an ad for anti-depressants… [pause]… [pause]…
TY: Oh?
ECG: [Quickly] … Yes, you’d be with one man in an office setting and the idea is that, having taken these anti-depressants you were able to enter the work market again and function like normal people.
TY: ….
ECG: They’re offering ISK 20.000 for the photo shoot. Shouldn’t take more than 2-3 hours at the most.

ISK 20.000? That’s, like, USD 300 or GBP 170. Which I suppose is quite adequate for 2-3 hours of work, but if truth be told you don’t get a hell of a lot of mileage out of it in Iceland. And it sure isn’t a hell of a lot of dosh for advertising work, no matter how you look at it. Because there’s the whole question of the career move, isn’t there? I mean, having your image associated with anti-depressant medication. [Anytime I’d go to the doctor, they’d think, “there’s that crazy person again, the one who needed the anti-depressants to go back to work. Lookout!”]

I didn’t say HELL NO! of course. I very politely said, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” And then I thought about it and got back to her and said, “Thank you very much for thinking of me, but I don’t think this is something I’m interested in at this time.”

The real reason is because I’ve had enough of this modelling-slash-casting agency [which happens to be the only one in Iceland] because they’re inane. Consider: AAH has done two commercials for them, both of which have gone into national distribution in the US. [Yes it’s because she’s incredibly beautiful and talented and brag brag…] And she’s been paid peanuts. Peanuts! And it makes me furious, because they come over here and pay the “talent” a fraction of what they would have to pay back home, where “getting a commercial” is akin to winning the lottery. [Trust me, I know, because many moons ago I thought I wanted to be an actress and did the whole slogging-it-out-as-a-waitress, waiting-for-auditions, trying-to-get-an-agent bit. Which is why it was so deliciously ironic to walk into this casting agency two years ago to get AAH’s picture updated and being asked to register for their roster and subsequently having modelling jobs thrown at me without lifting a finger to make it happen. But I digress.] Besides, it takes months and months before you can expect to get paid for your trouble and they expect you just to fall all over yourself and your misguided vanity because they offer you a stupid little sum of ISK 20.000 for three hours of work. Or whatever. And we’re talking a pharmaceutical company, f’r godssakes! That rakes in the dough [largely through unethical means, probably, but then that’s another story soon-to-be covered by Michael Moore so I’ll leave it alone]. They should be able to do a lot better than that, to buy somebody’s very image [this is a small country after all, pop. 290.000 if you’ve just joined us].

It’s also pretty ironic that I’m probably one of the few people in Iceland who have never been on anti-depressant medication. So the way I look at it, they should get someone who’s got experience and could really get into the role, do the whole method-acting thing. See? I did them a favour. If only ECG was aware of this – she seemed so awfully annoyed when we hung up. Sigh. Poor girl.

Someone must have heard me bitching yesterday because they sent the Gulf Stream back our way. The temperatures actually crawled above the freezing mark today and the wind calmed down somewhat and it was really quite bearable, all things considered. Temps are currently 0°C [that’s 32 F] and the sun came up at 9.36, went down at 17.49. Starting to look like a normal day around here.