Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Fuuuuuck... time for a bitchfest!

 So, yeah. I'm super-happy about being super-busy, because #AnyDayOnSetIsAGoodDay. But there are drawbacks to being super-busy, one of which is time-management.

Usedtabe, I'd open Quicken semi-daily, reconcile all the accounts, pay a bill or two as soon as there were sufficient funds to do so, and get on with my life. It doesn't take any time at all or even a helluva lot of brainpower, if you do it every coupla days or so.

Once I got super-busy, I had to find time to open Quicken and have it talk to the accounts. Not that I ever let anything get paid "late", mind you. But certain cards are used more frequently or regularly than other cards, and a weekly check-in feels insufficient when you've been doing near-daily.

One of those cards was ready for a payment this weekend. Having just deposited a coupla paychecks from setwork (#KaChing!), I went ahead and paid the card. Unfortunately, the only way to make deposits on the weekend is either at the ATM or via the mobile app, both of which only "credit" the first $200, leaving the balance to wait until one full business day has passed. Or, at least, that's how it works at the SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union.

So even though there were technically "SUFficient funds" in the account, those funds weren't technically available until today, so when the credit card cleared the influx yesterday, the bank called it "INsufficient funds", automatically transferred the less-than-a-hundred bux it would take to be "SUFficient", and charged me five bux for the privilege.

I am sick to death of businesses charging me nickel-and-dime fees for the PRIVILEGE of working with them!

First off, if I had known that the funds were going to wait until today, I would've waited to pay the fucking card. Secondly, I thought credit unions were supposed to be #BetterThanBanks, because "Membership has its Privileges" or some shit like that. Thirdly, no, really, actually, this should be first-point-five-ish, after one day of having withdrawn less than a hundred bux from the overdraft account, I already accrued THREE CENTS in interest! One Fucking Day equals three cents in interest on a loan, but how much interest does my hundred bux earn in savings, hmmm? Significantly fucking less.

I called the credit union. They explained it to me like I'm a fucking moron, and after "reviewing my records", they credited me the five bux. Because she was so fucking condescending, I wasn't going to ask for the three cents. But it's all such bullshit. And really, this was just the straw that broke this camel's (i.e. me/mine) back.

I've already been truly pissed off by our new utility billing. Usedtabe, water/sewer and trash were included in our rent. But #BecauseCovid, more people are home and so the landlords decided to split them "proportionately" among the tenants, and the company they use to bill us has the gall to claim that this type of billing encourages conservation. Bull-fucking-shit. But on top of that, they charged us ten bux to set up the bill (that we never requested in the first place), and then another three bux every month for the privilege of being billed that way... and if you want to pay it with a credit card, that's another two-fiddy!

#NickelsAndDimes... It's not that I can't afford these bills. I just shouldn't have to pay these ridonkulous fees. No one should. It's all just a big steaming pile of bullshit. 

Thanks for letting me rant (like you could stop me if you tried) - I'm feeling much better now. #MontyPythonForLife #ImNotDeadYet

Please use my comments section to tell me about your #NickelsAndDimes reason to bitch. I'd love to think I'm not alone in this particular irk.

Monday, September 13, 2021

A Spoiler-free review, and ... more?

 We went to the movies, y'all! At the Movie Theater! It was on a day we were both not working, this month, but honestly, my brain is pretty fried from all the busy I've been, so I don't recall exactly when it was. But I do know what it was, so let's proceed.

We're fans of the comic book and superhero genres, so of course we've seen every Marvel and DC film and show as they are released. Shang Chi is part of the Marvel universe, but like so many of the characters in that universe, I was completely unfamiliar with his story or how he tied in, prior to our viewing. 

This flick has a ton of action/fighting scenes, and when they take place in urban Macau, China, on temporary bamboo scaffolding 50 stories up the side of a huge corporate building, they are very reminiscent of Jackie Chan's fight choreography. This is not a bad thing. When they take place in mystical villages and people get to leap over each other, they are very reminiscent of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Also not a bad thing.

And when Michelle Yeoh fights, it gives me hope that there's still time for me to get to experience some wire-work (not that she did any wire-work in this film, shut up).

Beyond the fighting, there's the story. There are the characters. There's AWKWAFINA, who is amazeballs. And there's the Marvel tie-in, courtesy of Wong from the Doctor Strange part of the "world" (and, well, the whole "Ten Rings" thing that I'd forgotten they'd mentioned).

Having no foreknowledge did not impede my enjoyment of this film. I'm curious as to whether actual comic book fans enjoyed the film as much as the ignorant masses (<== I include myself in the latter group).

Overall, the story flows at a decent pace, and in the right order to allow the audience to keep up. The writing, direction, and acting is all top-notch (as one expects from Marvel these days). We laughed our asses off, quite frequently. If you like all the same stuff I've just mentioned, then make sure you go see it!


And now, to the "more" of the title:

I was keeping myself out of the world of background acting for most of the pandemic for a variety of reasons... COVID, a "lack" of work, wanting to focus on auditions for foreground acting, and the whole audiobook side of my career. Also, Stephen and I were house-hunting for a bit, thinking we'd be upgrading our lifestyle from that of renting. Right around the beginning of August, though, because pretty much every audition I had was a self-tape that I could "fit" into my schedule, I gave my calling service the "go ahead" to find work for me.

And "find work" is what happened! For the past six weeks, I have been averaging four days per week where I have someplace to go (and get paid for going)... COVID tests, fittings, actual days on set, working. Most of the work days have had added "bumps" like mileage, overtime, or meal penalties, and I've been pulled from the background to the position of stand-in, which is actually more of a "crew" position, with a higher base pay and a better level of treatment.

I had the privilege of working on a very high level project, and since the woman I was standing in for was not a blonde, I decided to buy a few wigs. Once I started wearing the appropriate wig for that job, it made me that much more valuable to the (very high level) director and cinematographer. Then just yesterday, my car worked for 10+ hours while I waited with the other 100 background artists back at basecamp, on a show that had some stuntwork on a freeway. And tomorrow, I'm back to standing in on another show (this time for a blonde, so whilst allowing this post to "stew", I've also been touching up my roots)!

Have I mentioned how busy I am? Have I mentioned how #Blessed I feel? I love my job. I love my life. #ActorLife #SetLife #Grateful

They say that if you find work you love doing, you'll never "work" another day. I feel that. How 'bout you?

Sunday, September 5, 2021

It's September Already! Time to head Back To School!

Well, not for me, per se... although, if I'm honest, I headed back to school prior to the pandemic. I've been a consumer of additional training like a starving person heads to a buffet table! I've mentioned this already, in the post titled "Hello, is this thing on?"

So, in addition to being nice and busy in my industry (showbiz: in front of the camera, behind the mic, and as recently as this weekend, BEHIND the camera), I've also been back in school, as it were, consuming and sharing a five webinar series to up my VO game. I'm sure you remember, from my "catch-up" post titled "Where to begin?", that I began my VO career with a relationship with a Kindle Rights Holder, and have been producing his audiobooks. I'm consuming and sharing this week's free webinar to make sure I'm still doing everything the right way (I am, thanks for asking).

So I want to make sure, if you have an interest in a VO career for yourself, or if you know someone else with an interest in a VO career, that YOU (or that person you know) has visited the link I shared and watched the five videos. Here's the deal: this free webinar, while being a complete free educational opportunity, does lead you to a full curriculum and a whole year's worth of education! Last year, I opted in for the curriculum and the community, just like SCHOOL (although online, because of the pandemic, of course).

The curriculum covers so much more than audiobooks. There's just so much more training and workouts and coaching and feedback and all questions answered, by the coaches or the community... it really does feel like heading back to school, but without any of the negative connotations that "school" may imply. Sure, you can sharpen some new pencils or grab a new notebook (remember the Trapper Keeper(TM)?), but you don't have to. You don't need to buy a uniform or any other new "back to school" clothes or figure out which bus to take or how to get to class. In fact, since everything is on mic and not on camera, you could very easily attend every lesson/workout/training sesh in yer birthday suit, if ya wanna! #FreeToBeReal

This year's curriculum is available to you as early as TODAY. The free webinar is still available this week, so you should definitely check it out - go to www.bit.ly/voheroes-emelle-sent-me - and click on the thumbnails at the bottom of the page (1 through 5), and then look at the final video, which walks you through registering for CoolSchool

I've gained so much over the past year of attending this #CoolSchool, both in the training I've received from David H. Lawrence XVII and the other coaches and also in the community of my "classmates". We're all in different places in our lives, educations, and careers. Some of us are brand new at VO (and everyone is, at some point), and others of us are nearly expert at one or more areas of VO. We all have something to contribute, including asking questions publicly, in case another classmate has the same question!

Do YOU have an interest in starting or improving your VO career? Do you know someone who does? Have you visited the link (www.bit.ly/voheroes-emelle-sent-me)? Do you have any other questions for me? Comment below!