Monday, September 04, 2006

A Week in the Life

Nothing is more pathetic, or typical, of LA than an actor helping another actor move boxes when one has a truck. And that was how I spent a couple days this past week when not on set. Hence, the lack of posts to the literally dozens of you who tune into this blog from time to time.

What's a working actor's life like during the week? Well, one day I worked a nice gig on location: great crew, good PA's, excellent catering (always important). But it just so happened that I was staggered in with a bunch of non-unioners who gawked at my union voucher (the PA had to run to the truck to get mine - I was the sole one at the midday call). The result? Hours of "How did you...," "How can I...," "What recommendations can you give..." and so on.

Another day: Rushed to make a interview for a featured role with the 1st AD of the show. I arrive after battling traffic, changing shirts, and trying to make my tie look sharp in 100 degree heat. Upon arrival I heard, "Oh yeah, the interview. Umm, they changed the script on me. We don't need you this episode, but maybe....." followed by an inquisitive look. Anyone who's survived an audition (which could fill an army), know this was the moment to sell yourself. I tried, we'll see, and I'll keep you all informed.

Then, near the end of the week, had a call out in the desert. I arrived early, grabed some breakfast off the truck, and checked-in. Turns out this was a nice featured role for a popular cable show just starting the new shoots for the season* (won't say which, read disclaimer below). However, it involved a family scene with a Christmas tree, heavy parkas, and couple of lively boys portraying my kids. Try lifting kids on film for 3+ hours in 103 degree heat in a parka and you will know what dehydration feels like. Did a half-day of work, paid for a full eight hours (union rules), plus mileage and a car bump. Not too bad, given that I beat the weekend traffic back into LA.

Lastly, it's nice to turn on the tube and get a nice surpise, when it's not your face on screen. The battle over the California propositions has just started, but it's paid off for at least one fellow actor. Imagine my surprise when I turned on the tube this weekend and saw a "typical California voter" outlining reasons against one particular proposition - surprised because the last time we worked together was a recent gig as stand-ins on a yet-to-be-released pilot with a roster of A-listers. She was preping for an audition in the morning, and I was watching the hours tick away towards 3:00 AM, knowing that I had a 7:00 AM call time at another studio, and wondering if I was going to get any sleep that night (I did - two full hours). Clearly, she got the part! By the way, if you are shocked that political ads use union actors to depict voters, my recommendation is: Time to wake up, smell the coffee, grow up, and get a life!

* As a rule, I don't announce which shows I've been on until they have fully aired. There are a couple reasons. First, as a professional actor you are involved in production - story lines change and information to which you are privy might not want to be released by the studio. Once they have done so, then it's public. Two, even the choicest featured role sometimes gets left on the cutting room floor. You never really know if the footage they took will be included until the darn thing is aired on the tube, or released on screen.

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