Sunday, March 18, 2007

Out of the doldrums

OK, so I'm a bad blogger... a really bad blogger. But part of the reason for this corner of cyberspace is to show you all some of aspects of being a professional background actor in Hollywood. That, of course, requires work, and when there is no work, there's just not much to report.

January was great. Coming out of hiatus a bunch of us were working full weeks, looking forward the traditional February-to-early-May pilot season. But then February 1st came, and the work just...didn't...appear.

In fact, it was downright lousy. Industry vets who are a year or two away from collecting their SAG pensions were griping, loudly, about how slow this past month was.

"I've never seen it this slow with two decades in the business."

You said it.

So a couple weeks went by without any gigs, then one or two here, a long wait, and another at the end of a week.

Finally, it has picked up, and taken off like a kite in a windstorm, with the same degree of finess.

Case in point. Last Friday I got the call at 5:30 am to rush down to the harbor area (about forty miles away) ASAP to replace a union backgrounder whose car broke down. After rushing through the early L.A. rush-hour mess, I got to base camp, wardrobe, makeup, hair, and was then rushed onto set sans any coffee or caffeinated product (a serious grievance in my book), let alone food, then was placed prominently in the first scene of the day. The coverage meant that I was used for all angles, while my colleagues lingered by crafty and filled their waistlines with wanton calories. And I still really needed that coffee.... Finally got a cup about 3 1/2 hours into the day.

For the past couple weeks, this has been typical, apart from some plush jobs. Did two full days on a feature near my city - an easy commute and was never used once: A "no-hitter!"

So, for the literally dozens of you who visit TAAGH, I'll try my best to keep up with the posts. Also, since this *is* pilot season, any of you who want to try the industry, now is a great time. And, more importantly, those of you trying to go union, this is a very important time. Keep tuning in, and I'll leave you with my thoughts on what it takes to go union, which I think is much easier to do in the next few months than at any other time of the year.

That should whet your whistles.

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