JONATHAN HARTMAN

Monotony on the Bounty

Monotony on the Bounty

 

 

MONOTONY ON THE BOUNTY

 The first time I’d stood resplendent in a blue and gold naval uniform I was sharing a West End stage with Charlton Heston, who was enthralling audiences with his tormented portrayal of the steel ball-clicking Captain Queeg in ‘The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial’. (He was being paid £10,000 a week to my then-West End minimum of £150.00, just to clarify our professional relationship.) Regrettably, his stardom never rubbed off on me, and my standing in the theatrical profession remains ‘pre-successful’.
Ben Cross, Charlton Heston, Jonathan Hartman, and Julian Dutton.  Photocall break, Caine Mutiny Court Martial, London- and Jonathan again.


 However, the uncertainty of the acting world dictates that performers must find work whenever and wherever it’s available. Some years later, during yet another prolonged professional Sahara, my next role as a bemedalled officer of the Senior Service saw me reluctantly starring in a half-hour video of the type purchased furtively in Soho and generally viewed alone with the remote control held in the left hand.  Desperate for the money needed to complete the purchase of a new refrigerator, I played a naval captain with peculiar ideas of how naughty WRENS found sleeping on watch should be disciplined. I can honestly say that this was a textbook example of an actor hitting bottom in show business. (and if that piques your interest, scroll down and see the next article!)

 Or so I thought until my most recent job- one which returned me, with depressing familiarity, to the Navy. The telephone call came when I was unsuccessfully attempting to remember what being in work felt like. I’d sent my details to a production company casting for a ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ docudrama. I felt my chances of bagging the lead might be good because the  brief specified that the actor required to play Captain Bligh needed to have excellent 18th Century handwriting, and to be able to use a quill for the scenes in which he's seen writing in the ship’s log. By a happy coincidence, calligraphy is one of my hobbies, practiced for years in my copious free time; I mentioned this in my covering email. And long after I’d lost all hope of hearing from anyone, the casting director, named Poppy and so upper class as to be practically unintelligible rang me on my mobile.

 I leapt to my feet like a convulsed springbok and immediately began a magnificent impersonation of Sir Charles Laughton's Captain Bligh menacing Clark Gable's Fletcher Christian in the classic 1935 original film. 'Thisss is MUUUUtiny, Misstah Chrisstiahn, end Eyee shyell see you hanged from the hiiiighest yahdahhmmm in the British Fhleeeett....'.

This was observed with considerable interest by my fellow patrons in the library.

 'Ooohhh!', said Poppy, very impressed 'But ectually', she chirped,' Yah phowtograwf’s wanderful, but I’m afraid I looked et yah eppliceshun too lett to include you in the awdish’ns.  Bligh's awlreddy cawst. Could you jahst do the hendwraiting?'

 

If an actor’s vocation is looking for work, and his vacation is performing, this so-called ‘holiday’ was going to be the equivalent of two weeks’ sojourn at a very rainy Butlin’s.

 

A few days later, with shining mo(u)rning face I presented myself promptly at my appointed calltime, and gazed up the gangplank of a full-sized replica of Sir Francis Drake’s flagship, the Golden Hinde, which is a permanent drydock exhibit in Southwark, London. I did not presume to question the two hundred year discrepancy ‘twixt Elizabethan seadogs and Georgian mutineers. Work is work, and I knew exactly on which side my hardtack was buttered.

 

Performers costumed as sailors and officers lolled about complaining about work and agents, smoking and gorging themselves on the free food which is always available on set. Every production company knows that the first thing to do with an actor is to feed it. In the very act of reaching for a cinnamon bun, I was promptly collared by a production assistant who marched me to the cellar of a nearby pub, where my quills and logbooks awaited.

 

My first glamorous day consisted of sitting at a makeshift desk in the corner of a somewhat damp basement, next to the Ladies’ Room. With a stack of photocopies of the original 18th century Admiralty documents about the Mutiny at my elbow, I spent several hours cutting feathers into pens and familiarizing myself with forging Bligh’s handwriting by copying his logbook and letters. 

 

‘My dearest Betsy, I have lost the Bounty’, began one despairing missive to his wife, and I knew exactly how he felt, my career having been similarly wrenched from my grasp. Obviously Fletcher Christian was a former casting director seeking revenge in the only way he knew how, having been recognized, bludgeoned, and sent to sea by a ‘resting’ actor reduced to dayjobbing in a Naval Pressgang. 

 

Next day, in the upstairs room of a pub this time, I strolled onto the set, the cameras rolled at last, and my ‘career’ is back on track. Nay, the clouds have been torn asunder, the sun blazes anew, and my unrequited love affair with the Muses has finally been consummated. I completed one day’s filming, starring as Captain Bligh's right hand, my talented wrist resplendently affecting the ornate blue and gold cuff of an 18th century officer in the Royal Navy.  The camera, rolling behind my back and shooting over my right shoulder, captures the breathtaking drama of my sharpened goosefeather writing in the Bounty's logbook.

 It is difficult to make an impact when one is reduced to playing a disembodied hand, but a truly gifted actor can manage it. So inspired was my performance that the only suggestion the director could possibly think of making for Take Two was ‘Would you mind cleaning your fingernails?’ I’ll wager my professional reputation that no hand in the entire history of cinema has ever dipped plume into inkwell so decisively, wielded a quill with such inspired flamboyance, or underlined the words ‘Two dozen lashes’ with more relish.

And had Steven Spielberg himself flown into town and begged to interview me for the lead in his next film during those two days, I would have had my agent inform him gently that I was far too busy acting. After all, one never knows what new doors are even now beginning to open.  

 

I have many talented body parts- maybe someone’s casting a documentary about Casanova!

Never mind- that way divorce lies. But as soon as it’s edited, I shall be sending a DVD of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ to the producers of ‘The Addams Family’. The so-called ‘actor’ who has been doing such a pathetic job of playing ‘Thing’ in their last two films might as well let his fingers do the walking to the dole queue post haste.

________________________________________________________

 

Hitting Bottom in Show Business

The last time I'd stood resplendent in a blue and gold naval uniform, I was sharing a West End stage with Charlton Heston, who was enthralling audiences with his tormented portrayal of the steel ball-clicking Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. (He was being paid £10,000.00 a week plus a percentage of the gross to my £150.00, just to clarify our professional relationship.) Regrettably, his stardom didn't rub off on me and my standing in the theatrical profession can still be described as "pre-successful".
 
Recently, I found myself once again wearing the livery of a bemedalled officer in the Senior Service. But this time the scenario was slightly different. It included a bloke with a hand-held camcorder and a beautiful brunette in a Wren's uniform, skirt up around her waist and a G-string keeping her ankles warm. I was about to live out a sexual fantasy. Not mine, though. Someone else's.
 
Yes, it was another one of those ‘non-linear career path’ days, and this particular detour started after I'd finished a show in yet another tiny theatre. A man named Ivor Gold introduced himself to me and announced that he was with the RSC.
 
The Royal Shakespeare Company at last! No more unpaid toil in ghastly, microscopic pub theatres stinking of beer. No more wondering if the cast would outnumber the audience. And no more writing hundreds of futile invitations to Casting Directors.
 
‘Yes, Mr. Gold,’ I replied sonorously with perfect articulation, my voice at its deepest, like Barry White with bronchitis. ‘I should be delighted, if the parts and money are satisfactory. Iago, of course, and perhaps Henry V. I can then show those idiots Ken Branagh and Danny Day-Lewis how Hamlet should really be played, and round off the season with something lighter, like Macbeth.’
 
He stared at me, apparently uncertain whether to have me certified or simply lobotomised. ‘Not Royal Shakespeare Company RSC’, he explained slowly, ‘RSC as in Red Stripe Club. I make spanking videos.’ He indicated the pneumatic blonde at his side. ‘This is Bobbi. She'll be one of your co-stars.’
 
I needed to sit down. Ivor kept talking. ‘There's no sex, just corporal punishment. You'll be the 'Dom', so no nudity on your part.’ Well, I thought, at least that means I wouldn't have to reveal my negligible muscular development, or any other shortcomings for that matter.
 
‘A naval theme’, rhapsodized Ivor. ‘Misbehaving Maidens in Uniform! You, the merciless Captain Thigh of HMS Bouncy! Frigging in the Rigging! Or perhaps… yes! The Perverts of Penzance! Oh, never mind’, he grinned, Sidney James incarnate. ‘You'll be terrific. And I pay very well.’ He named a figure, and my artistic integrity went West.
 
Sharing a dressing room with two women is an excellent icebreaker. The conversation flowed easily, flanked as I was by naked porno babes chattering about the usual porno babe subjects - like the rotten weather, shoes, and adorable nieces aged three. Suspenders were clipped, large breasts loaded into diaphanous brassieres, and life stories exchanged.
 
Sara was a slim Home Counties brunette who'd chucked het life as a beauty therapist at Harrods for a more profitable life in video. Bobbi was a more exotic mélange of Portuguese and Red Indian. She had a superb body, waist-length blonde hair, and a cultured American accent. Video performances helped to supplement her Rhodes scholarship.
 
‘Check these out!’ she chirped, flourishing an array of implements that would have warmed an array of Tory politicians to the hearts of their bottoms. There were rattan canes, leather paddles, straps and a silk cat-o' nine tails woven, Bobbi assured me, from authentic World War Two parachute rope. She’d either ransacked the ‘Amorous Discipline’ shelf at Ann Summers, or had a good friend on the Cooperative Community Policing and Social Welfare Unit in Singapore.
 
The Gorgeous Gluteal Gurus quickly began my education in the Art of Safe Spanking. ‘This is OK to use quite hard’, said Sara, indicating a leather ping-pong paddle, ‘but only after you’ve warmed me up a bit by using your hand. Then the cane. It stings like hell but I’m used to it. You've got to suffer for your art.’ 
 
‘Yeah, the cane does hurt’, laughed Bobbi, ‘but you can make it go more easily. Make sure the strokes run parallel. You’ll only draw blood if the welts intersect.  And I’ll control the speed of the caning. Wait until I've counted the stroke and said, ‘Thank you, Sir', before you hit me again. That way I’m the one in charge so I can space the blows comfortably.’ 
 
And so we began. Ivor outlined the scenario, explained the incredibly earnest ‘acting’ style required, and the camera whirred. The girls marched sexily up to my desk to be sternly reprimanded for dereliction of duty, sleeping on watch, and crooked stocking seams.
 
‘We'll submit to anything to avoid a Court Martial’, they pleaded in the approved manner, presenting me with the selection of paddles, canes and crops which they just happened to have strategically placed about their persons. I ‘reluctantly’ allowed them to convince me.
 
‘Bo’sun, pipe all hands aft to witness punishment’, I intoned, an apt line spoken by Charles Laughton in Mutiny on the Bounty. Both ‘Wrens’ languidly lifted their skirts and lowered their extremely non-regulation underwear, exposing stunningly sculpted bottoms and identically shaved ‘Adolf Snatches’ trimmed to resemble the late Führer's moustache. I idly noticed that Sara had a gold ring through one of her labia.
 
One interesting discovery I made was that bottoms mark differently. Sara's creamy white buttocks reddened quite quickly, while Bobbi's remained unaffected longer, before suffusing with a roseate, copper blush. And before any prurient conclusions are drawn, this clinical study was only necessary to distract me from the growing pain in my spanking hand. Ever been to the opera, or anywhere else where you have to applaud longer than you wanted? This was the same, and it hurt like hell.
 
I put them over my knee and spanked them, leant them against the wall and strapped them, and bent them over the desk and caned them, managing of course to make all the welts run parallel. It looked realistic simply because it was all quite real, and the girls' shrieks were not entirely exaggerated.
 
The lights were hot, my arm ached, and I found the whole thing about as erotic as having a boil lanced. But the money I got made it possible for me to buy my wife a new Amana fridge-freezer - an enormous stainless steel American job which dispenses water and crushed ice effortlessly. It finishes our kitchen off nicely. And if that isn't a heart-warming example of redeeming social importance and family values, then I'd like to know what is.

Jonathan Hartman

17.02.2020

Actor, Acting, Calligraphy, Captain Bligh

Uncategorised

This website is created with Website Builder - Ucraft
i want a website like this
Ucraft is a free website builder that provides web designers, marketers and business owners with a set of web design tools to start their next awesome project in minutes. No coding or designer skills needed. Go to Ucraft