Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

The British journalist Toby Young once wrote a scathing tongue-in-cheek book, “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People,” about his experiences working for Vanity Fair. He landed a choice job with excellent prospects, and proceeded to take the goodwill of everyone around him, and throw it back in their face.

I recently worked with someone like that.

“I don’t like doing this job.”

"Don’t like seeing my face on screen when I’m doing background.”

“I got something better to do tomorrow.”

The guy sure tried his best to channel his inner Toby Young. He refused to have make-up applied, until the 1st AD threatened to send him home. He kept folding his arms during the shot when the AD’s asked him not to. And at the end of the day, props was running around looking for him and his stuff to turn back in - he was nowhere to be seen.

During our downtime on set, they guy kept complaining, “I’ve been doing this for five years. I’m waiting for my career to take off,” then griped about not working enough days.

I said, “At least this time of the year you can see free screenings with Q&A by cast members, or the director, if you’re not working on a given day.” (Which is true: Voting season is approaching and all the PR machines in town are cranking up the buzz quotient to eleven.)

“Nah. That stuff is for wanna-be actors who suck.”

Wonder how our casting director will like hearing back from production that this guy took off without getting de-proped by the assistant prop master?

Oh yeah, and he was union.

1 comment:

JCW said...

From my experiences I know that doing background is not the easiest of jobs...I cannot imagine why someone would do it if they did not love the business.

What an ass...Kudos to you for not slugging him.