Sunday, August 28, 2016

60+ hour workweek and a weekend later...

I know y'all who do Not work in the entertainment industry don't understand. When you have to work more than your standard 40-hour workweek, you end up complaining about your boss being a dick or what-have-you. I've worked in other industries and rarely had an opportunity for overtime, so I guess I'm #Blessed in that regard. When I was a tour guide at Warner Bros. last summer, there were occasional 12-hour shifts or six-day weeks, but you pretty much always had to be the one volunteering for the overtime. If it was going to be available, you put your name on a list, so they'd know who to ask. And I get it; not everyone has the time available to them to put in extra hours or maybe they just don't want them.

But since I arrived in California, back in 2002, I have never held a regular, "9-5" kind of job. Okay, I take that back. Near the end of '02, I had been temping here and there (not full-time, of course), and I went to an audition to be the "face" of an alternative healthcare company. Very Hollyweird. I was the first auditioner they saw, so I helped them set up the video camera. Didn't get the part, but I was offered the "role" of Office Manager. The office was a shared space with a laser hair-removal business. My "role" would be to Reception any potential new clients, either over the phone or in person as they walked in; Sales them any of the myriad of snake-oil products we were carrying; Clinical Assistant them to make sure they got an appointment with our Doctor on staff, kept it, and did whatever follow-up he'd "prescribed" for them. This company was Incredibly Hollyweird, and my schedule was such that, even though I was supposed to take a "get away from the front desk" lunch hour, there was never anyone else around who could cover the phones or the front door, Just In Case a client appeared for us rather than hair-removal. We're talking toning creams and shit like that, each one specifically designed for a specific problem area (facial toning, boob firming, cellulite erasing, etc.), but probably all of them containing the exact same formula of ineffective goop. Ennyhoo, we had no clients, per se, so the company went under and laid me off at Christmas. That was my last "9-5" gig, and after I took my unemployment insurance benefits to bartending school, I found my way into my real industry.

I've done a lot of different gigs in the last decade-plus. Lately, the three things that have kept me financially stable have been background acting (a.k.a. "BG"), Script Supervision (a.k.a. "Scripty"), and Unemployment Insurance (a.k.a. "UI" or "every actor's real job"). Lately, I've picked up quite a few gigs that have disallowed my collection of UI, and as you know, Working Makes Me Happy. I'm currently heading into Day 6 of 18 as a Scripty on a YouTube-style webseries. The creators of this show are hoping to "sell" the completed first season (only 7 episodes, but a complete story-arc season) to one of the "big boys" and pick up multiple seasons (which will all, of course, have higher budgets so we can really do it "right"). The season of episodes we're IN is So Much Fun to work on. Yeah, it's 12-hour workdays, and last week was five of 'em, so we're all grateful for the wind-down time of weekends. But in the next two weeks, we'll only shoot 3 of the 5 workdays, giving me an opportunity to maybe pick up some BG work or just chill out.

I obviously can't tell you anything at all about the show. When they release the episodes to YouTube (or elsewhere), I'm sure they'll send us a link so that we can help with publicity. For now, know that it's gonna be fun, when you do get to watch it. and that I Feel Good about my contribution to this project. I have the skills and mindset for Script Supervision, but to give you an idea of why this is "not a job for everyone", it tends to be much more analytical than creative. On most sets, I'm relegated to taking notes and grabbing screenshots of the monitors, so I can prove that the angles match appropriately, the audience won't be confused by what they see, and if someone loosens his tie in one angle, then the damn thing is loose in the other (matching) angles! But on this show, I feel valued for contributing. I help the director, who happens to be a bit of a newbie, understand what "matching" should entail, and I offer suggestions as we go, and I always feel appreciated. I would work with any member of this cast or crew again, in a heartbeat.

In other news, Stephen's been awarded a rather large Target gift card for various "attaboy" contributions at his job, so since we recently killed our blender motor, today we did the Costco walking/sampling lunch and then spent some of that Target gift card on whatever he felt like carrying home. Got the blender, a new remote for the PS4 (so I don't have to fight with a game controller when I want to watch a movie on disc), and The Martian on Blu-Ray, among

other things.

Cocoa's got a big 'ol scab on the back of her neck, so we're keeping an eye on it. Smokey's fine. They both are pretty unhappy with my long workdays, but they'll get over 'em. We haven't found a new place to live, but I desperately want to be able to give notice here, sooner rather than later. The smokers in the building are really getting to be annoying. Burbank has very strict smoking laws, and smoking in shared/common areas of a multi-family housing building or within 20 feet of any building entrance is Against The Law. All of the friendly "please take your smoking outside" requests have become fodder for smoking-taunting. We're ready to call the law on 'em. It ain't pretty. I'd honestly rather just fucking move than deal with it anymore. I bought frozen cut okra last weekend, and this weekend, I've been adding it to my crockpot pulled-pork-and-collards. Yummm. Oh, and French Press MMMMMMocha all week, as well.

And you're caught up! Time for some tv or a movie and a glass of wine. Three days of guaranteed work for me this week, so maybe I'll check back before Sunday! Have you done anything of note in the past week?


  1. One of these days I am going to be SO obnox cause I am going to watch something you're in and yell every time you cone on screen: "I know her!" "See that person right there? Yeah, we're friends!"

    1. I'm working BEHIND the camera on this gig, sweetie. In fact, because it's not a SAG-signatory project, I CANNOT allow myself to be on camera (other than the BTS stuff).

      But you can be as obnox as ya want re: my ON-camera stuff. Obnox away! :)

  2. You should do what one of my drunken friends did at the pub one night - get the fire extinguisher and extinguish all those smokers! I wish I could see you in something - I would be so excited to spot you in something!

    1. That's easier done at a pub than with one's neighbors, I think, Holly. HOWEVER, mgmt has finally posted some signs that are sorta working, for the most part, sorta. We're just gonna get out and be done with it.

      Check out the 1st 3 seasons of Mad Men (AMC). I dunno if you can stream it anywhere or rent videos or what, but I'm there. I'm all over the place in the Sterling Cooper offices. I'm the "Marilyn-esque" secretary in the pool. I don't say anything, but I'm there.

      Or buy my horror movie:

      Or last season on Masters of Sex, there's an episode called "Matters of Gravity" where I protest a clinic or something. I haven't seen it, but I got paid for the upgrade, so ...


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