Friday, March 23, 2007

It's that time of the year

No, not that time of the year. But it feels like a holiday.

Pilot season is in full swing, and that means long days, full weeks, and fat paychecks. All you have to give up is sleep, and a piece of your life.

I remember having a conversation with another BG'er last year at this time. She said, "I don't know what day of the week it is, but I know my category and call time for tomorrow, and the location of crew parking."

It's also the time of the year when casting agencies call you in the wee hours of the morning:

"How fast can you make it to Long Beach?"

"Uh, what time is it?" Peering into the predawn blackness.

"About an hour before call time, if you can make it."

But we all do it since pilot season is to actors what harvest season is to farmers, the opportunity to actually earn some cash.

Now, I'm trying to keep up on the blogging, but my formerly-friendly neighbors are tweaking down their wifi networks, reducing me to post from a local laundromat, complete with screaming kids, loud Spanish-language TV, and machines buzzing all around.

It's not too conducive to writing, but I'll try.

Last week was a good one for me on the boob tube, I was featured prominently on two shows: One, a fast-paced action drama (something to do with a stabbing); and the other a long-time skit comedy show that has finally wrapped for good. Got a lot of emails and calls from family and friends congratulating me. But, reality set in when I told my dad about it.

"Nah. I looked for you and didn't see anything."

Oh well. That's the fleeting nature of the business. In the mean time I'm still collecting checks, getting health care, and making pension payments.

And, of course, I'm off to a night shoot later today on the other side of town.


JCW said...

It's awfully nice to have you back with new entries! I'm curious - Have you any desire to land a regular speaking role on a series? Is anyone representing you as an actor, as opposed to stricktly background? Once a person is well known to casting directors as professional and reliable background, do they have trouble seeing you as more?

Formosus said...

There are different casting directors for cast, background, commercials, and print jobs, so if you are well-known to a background CD, it doesn't mean the others know anything about you.

I'm shopping around for a commercial agent, but currently belong to a small agency that books background for commercials. And as for speaking roles, yesterday I worked with another union BG who does land dayplaying roles (one or two-day speaking gigs on contract) and he mentioned that one question he gets asked a lot is, "Have you ever been on a set before?" Apparently, many CDs are getting tired of newly-trained actors who get a role, but have never worked on a live set.

I will eventually move on to more auditions, but am building up the demo reel with student films and SAG low budget films. Being a union BG does have it's advantages though - you would be surprised how many people have been upgraded (i.e., given lines) on set at the caprice of the director.