Friday, February 11, 2011

Extra Gig #3: Impromptu Calls, Not Getting Called to Set & More Education. Oh, & Someone You DON'T Want to Work With.

On Wednesday, I happened to be at home when Central Casting called to ask if I'd be interested in doing extra work on Blue Bloods. It was another exterior gig & remembering the Law & Order experience in December, I feared another intensely cold situation. However, hearing that the crew was good & that I'd be one of 7 non-union people along with the fact that once this new job starts, I won't be able to do extra work anymore, I decided to go ahead & take it.

The location was actually in an area I know well that only required one subway to get to. It was right near the water & remembering last time, I went to Telco while going to get my sick husband's comics to buy some thermals. I now have 2 pairs of them. Thermals aren't so common in the South. To be honest, cool winter clothing or things nearly as warm as you find in the Northeast were a lot harder to find down there in my shopping experience.

Anyway, I got to the shoot & again, the only person looking anything like me. We were in a nice warm, second floor of a lounge right near the water. Lovely view, lovely seating. A Thai restaurant but based on all that, I'd consider going there for a meal or seeking that venue for an event.

Oh, and I ran into an actress I didn't mind running into & didn't see anyone from that infamous BMG fiasco though I was glad to see those people were doing all right and not angry at me or the industry as a whole.

There were about 30 something people there so more opportunities to speak to folk.

What did I learn here?

1. There are some interesting people doing extra work. I heard some interesting stories from this one actress I was sitting near. At first, she gave me a bad impression by asking one of the crew members if they were putting union & non-union together. I thought perhaps she was one of those "I'm better than you b/c I'm in the union" types.

However, as I spoke to her later on, she turned out to be interesting. While I don't necessarily approve of stuff I saw her do (she was quite concerned about getting lunch & may have irked the crew a bit with that + tried to get an alcoholic drink from a restaurant employee at one point), she was nice enough. I didn't encounter rudeness from anyone & had a lovely chat with some extras who were also from the South. We spoke of the Southernisms & I told them about the Chick-Fil-A at NYU along with the one in Paramus.

I still think actors are, as a whole, whiny but there was a different vibe on this set.

2. You can learn things from extras. The actress I was sitting with also told me about some bad experiences & the phenomenon known as the "walk away lunch." Apparently, on some sets there will not be a catered lunch for background but they'll be told to go off for an hour/30 minutes to buy their own food with no reimbursement. In the old days, there'd apparently been reimbursement but if you encounter that today, there apparently isn't.

She was quite concerned that our set was going to have that. I said "Things you tell me BEFORE I show up" since I had no money, no credit card, nothing on me if that had happened. I also hate being forced to spend money so if you informed me, I'd likely bring my own food. I actually brought some for myself anyway due to my sore throat/oncoming cold symptoms.

3. An old lesson that never dies: treat everyone with respect. At least, don't be a dick. That actress also told me of an experience where non-union people were directly abused by crew people when it was time for meals, where the union people got hot food & the non-unions didn't. She told me that she felt bad for one non-union person & told the girl to take her card so she to could have a hot lunch.

She also told me of a set she'd been on where there was no water & an older lady seeking it was told to go to the restroom to get it.

A tip: do that if I'm on a set & I will find out who was responsible for that. God help you if it was you. The PA who's nasty to me will live to regret it.

It goes back to that whole "don't take your hatred of your job out on your customers." I know people who were & are PAs; I respect them for going out in the cold, working all the hours & having to be the set bitch. I also respect the crew people who have to work hard in the cold for many hours. These people should have unions.

At the same time, be an ass to me & I promise you I will share that experience as well as your name with others.

4. The Central Casting rep I spoke to was right; the crew was good. I found the assistant coordinator who came in a jovial guy & wonder if he figured out I didn't drink. They even got us toe and hand warmers. That would have been so nice back in December when I was in the cold. That crew was even nice enough to tell me where craft services was when I was trying to figure out where to go.

I also saw a congenial atmosphere among the PAs, which is a very good thing in my view.

5. Getting paid to sit in the warmth isn't bad. I was never called to the set but it's probably better I didn't have to be in the cold. The day was much shorter than the others I've worked have been and as long as I get paid anyway, no complaints here. Lots of extras I met had the same philosophy; better to get paid to sit there than sit at home for free.

6. The time you spend in holding can be quite useful. I finally got a contact with the SAG New Media department, wrote something that had been sitting in my head & needed to come out + started writing an acting piece for City Bar that would appeal to attorneys & entertainment people.

7. Finally, in case I'd not mentioned it, doing extra work is a good way to figure out what clothing you should keep and what you should part with. Seems I need to get my dark green business suit altered ASAP if you can alter a size 6 pantsuit to fit a woman who's a 4 or maybe even a 2. Just need a good alterations person who is in a safe neighborhood (the closer to me, the better) & won't charge more than my husband paid for the suit years back. The person should also know enough English to make me feel confident the suit will come back in one piece & fit properly.

Doing the Gossip Girl gig also led to me tossing out some shoes that had seen better days. Face it, if something's too messed up to bring to a set, it's time to trash it.

So, why is karma a bitch??? Remember Lesson #3.

This idiot on Craig's List posts a whiny ad in the creative gigs section about 2 weeks ago because no one wanted to take his "picture" that he intended to use as a headshot for free. He seemed clueless on why people were flagging the ad & claimed he'd flag 20 more if this one he'd posted was flagged so I wrote this in response:

Maybe your ad got flagged b/c photographers don't care to indulge some wannabe actor who doesn't care enough about their career to pay for a quality product? How do YOU like working for FREE in the acting arena? Doesn't it piss you off? If the income's not an issue, then you've got no reason to cheap out on professional photos.

Wanna flag ads so badly, how about flagging the ads from spammers, scam artists, illegal internships & jobs having nothing to do with one's looks demanding pictures as a pre-condition to employment? How about flagging the adult film, web cam & stripper stuff while you're at it? None of those belong in the talent or creative gigs section.

Fair questions, right? Would any of you actors like me to have you work for free to do things like make people jealous, drive my parents insane, etc.? Your trade has a value, does it not? Knowing you as an actor doesn't mean you're some free service available at my beck & call.

So, "Donte Kinsey" apparently doesn't want to work in this business. Here's what this simpleton does:

1. Writes the following messages in response to the one above:

FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! Kill yourself you inbreed sack of shit. Save the advise for your retard crack head mama. Manage yourself before I manage choking you.


Write me again, and I'll find at least five porn spam sites to put your address on. I'm not your buddy, faggot!


This is just a taste. You will lose! I have nothing to hide unlike you. But then again I don't fuck with peoples ads you fucking loser. Go away asshole.


Look what I can do in five minutes. Imagine what will happen when I spend an hour on you.

2. Adds this account to porno sites & things I didn't sign up for. Little does (s)he know that it's a spam account & I never handle anything I can't block e-mail for.

Wonder what Mr./Ms. Donte Kinsey will think when I report his/her little threatening butt to Yahoo. You better believe I will & now (s)he probably won't expect it since this exchange happened weeks ago & I didn't read it until today. I take my sweet time reading responses from mental midgets. People with grammar that atrocious & who react like that are clearly not the sort who should be in this or any field.

If any of you in the entertainment industry want to take preemptive measures so you spare yourselves some time & heartache, his email is:

For all this idiot knows, I'm a raging lunatic who's now tracked down his/her house and will blow his/her head off the next time his foot hits pavement. (S)he'd also better pray I do damn well & don't have to resort to crime in order to find a reason to live. If I really wanted to, I think most people would put their money on me winning that conflict regardless of size or anything else. Aside from pissing off others who'd kill this mental midget in a moment for messing w/me, I'm like a poisonous flower or a rose; I may be nice to look at but I have sharp thorns & vicious toxins if you mess w/me.

Karma's a real bitch, isn't she? Especially when she's an angry redheaded lawyer.

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