Sunday, December 29, 2013

10 Years Ago, I Escaped From the South

I forget the exact date I moved from the South to CT to start law school but 10 years ago today, I know what I was doing.

I was living in a hotel room in Branford, CT. I had a king sized bed (which made me wistful for a boyfriend or a guy I could hang out with for sexy time), cable TV and the means to hook up my VCR and what what I wanted since I'd included the things I needed to move into an apartment. Fortunately, I made sure to also bring my huge fur coat. That thing finally started to get some wear when I moved to CT since I needed it for the massive snows and cold temperatures that were a foreign concept in Atlanta.

After spending the holidays in NC and knowing law school classes started January 5th, I had to get my butt moving so I made sure to hit the road as soon as possible. I remember going either on the 27th or the 28th.

Unfortunately, I had a small mishap in Trevose, Pennsylvania and had to stay in a hotel there overnight + get my car looked at before going back on the road. That freaked me out since I had no money for things & stuff like that always makes you edgy, especially when you're on your own hundreds of miles away from anyone who could help you. Adventure is the name of the game there.

Still, when I finally got back on the road I felt a natural high when I crossed the George Washington Bridge in NYC. It was like having tons of money in your pocket or getting a really great orgasm. I also felt like "Finally, my life is starting to begin." Before going to Atlanta, I feel like I never got to start my life & going to CT was just more of this "living my life" stuff vs. living my parents' life.

The downside of 10 years ago today was the "hurry up & wait." You know that feeling, right? You know all this stuff is going to happen and you have to engage in tons of preparation but you can't actually do it today b/c it's the holidays or no one is available or whatever else. I had books to buy, an apartment to search for, a roommate to meet, and quite a bit of time to kill. Hours & days dragged on.

10 years later, I've been feeling a similar feeling. Maybe it's just the inevitable after Christmas/before New Year's stuff?

One thing I did 10 years ago was go to the Times Square ball drop for New Year's Eve. I left around 4 or 5 to get to the city from MetroNorth & had dinner before going to stand. I ended up at West 47th but did get a view of the ball drop. The main reason I went was because I had the choice of going to the ball drop or sitting all alone in my hotel room; which would you have picked?

Going to the ball drop is interesting & going by yourself is even more of an event. First off, you'd better have a very strong bladder & go before you join the crowd. If you move out of the crowd to go to the bathroom, you will never get your spot back. Lost a few people in our crowd because they went to the bathroom & I didn't see them come back to our spot.

Second, you'd better wear comfortable shoes. You'll be standing for a very long time if you do this. I was on my feet for a good 6+ hours & there's no seating unless you thought to bring your own. Even then, it gets crazy packed so you won't want to do too much sitting. I crouched a few times to rest myself but the NYC streets are not super clean and things get dropped easily in that crowd so formally sitting down isn't really going to happen when you're out there.

Third, don't fucking smoke or bring your little kids!! This is one of those situations where you don't go doing things to piss other people off. Your little kids will end up getting hurt; in fact, I think people bringing little kids to stand in the Times Square crowd ought to get arrested for child endangerment. We also don't want to smell your drifting cigarette smoke; I commented myself that there ought to be a section for smokers in the crowd along with those who want to smell the smoke so the smokers can puff away & not infect the rest of us with secondhand smoke if we don't want it. If your child can't stand for long periods of time on his/her own, there's no reason to make that kid suffer the hours in that mess. Let those kids watch it on TV with their parents instead of indulging some parent's attempt to endanger their kids with the smokers blowing smoke, the drinkers drinking & the massively packed crowd that consistently moves ever closer to get the best view.

Finally, you'll get to meet interesting people and hear interesting conversations. When I went, I ended up in a crowd with some teachers who were definitely not acting very teacher-like. I didn't care since they apparently taught younger kids & I'm not a prudish person but there was drinking and some conversation that wasn't remotely child friendly. The crowd kept moving from time to time but I figured these teachers needed a break & it was New Year's, after all. Plus, I later met a teacher who told me about some very freaky sexual proclivities but did take me out on my first Valentine's Day in CT after hearing about my horrible history with them in college.

You'd think I'd have chatted with people or met some hot guy when I was in Times Square that night but I didn't. That sort of thing seems to happen more when I'm not looking for it. I could (and still can) have a simple conversation with a guy, having no romantic designs or intent & the next thing you know that guy wants my phone number or tells me he'd like to sleep with me (I hear that & think "Yeah, you & plenty of others"). I had some opportunities for great places to have sex stories & never got to actually have sex in those places, including my king sized bed in the hotel room in Branford.

Reflecting on my life then & now, I'm not sure there's too much of a difference. I'm married and I live in NYC, have cats and more stability but there's still the "hurry up & wait," the waiting for my life to truly begin in some ways and waiting to find out about important opportunities I was told about before. The adventures are different but I still try to make sure I have them since I refuse to become boring or dull. Why, however, does it feel like everyone wants me to become dull and boring? It's just not who I am & I know I'll never be that way, even when I start looking like an old lady (assuming I live that long). I was living down to the penny then & I definitely feel like I'm doing that now. Maybe now there's more potential to do things, though. At least, I like to hope so.

Here's hoping 2014 will be better than 2013 was, at least in my personal life. It seems I'm doing the right thing in re-evaluating things & making the choices I have. There's still work to be done in so many places & if I've learned anything, it's that life is way too short not to live as you want + without pain, misery, heartache, etc.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Politics of Gift Giving; Can't We Just Listen to People's Preferences?

Today, I went through my first Christmas since my father died & after all kinds of shit has been going down (read earlier posts if you care for the details). Nothing has changed regarding my stance with my in-laws and everyone in my family was content with not exchanging gifts. We did anyway but gave out modest lists & told them they didn't have to put themselves in a financial bind to get us gifts. We also didn't spend a fortune on those we did get gifts for since we do have bills to pay ourselves & again, I'm not a present whore.

In fact, I'm just not all that materialistic. I care much more about how someone treats me day to day than if they get me a Christmas or birthday gift.

Know what really pisses me off? When you tell someone not to get you a gift & then they do it anyway. It's usually not someone who just wants to get a gift & has no expectation of a return gift but instead a greedhead who's just trying to extort presents from you when you never asked for shit from them. Conventional wisdom says do NOT get someone a gift if you expect one in return or you expect the person to spend the same amount on you. In my case, you'd definitely better not do that b/c if you violate "no gifts" with me I'm not spending my money getting you something just b/c you got me something. If you're going to get pissed off b/c you got me a gift I never asked for & then I don't reciprocate, you might as well save that money & pay your bills or get that new shirt you've been eying.

My husband is apparently a typical man, according to Cracked. I read this article not long ago & #3 definitely applies to him when getting a gift from someone he never expected one from or who isn't on the list of people he knows + regards well enough to go get a decent gift for.

It's one thing to reciprocate in business or for your landlord. We have a decent landlord & in NYC, there's that whole nasty tipping culture (especially during the holidays). If I knew what kind of cookies his family liked, I'd made those since I'm a damn good cook & people rave over my cooking. I also have some great recipes & would be super happy if I could try out something I've not done before or I couldn't feasibly have for me and my husband. If not cookies, I'm sure there is some other Christmas appropriate dish I could make. I saw a recipe for a creme brulee treat with egg nog on this carton of egg nog my husband got for me that I plan to save & hope to make sometime for myself.

I feel like the problems come in with relatives. Outside my immediate family, mine have never really exchanged gifts & I just don't care about getting or giving them when someone isn't a fixture in my life, isn't someone I'd take my problems to or anyone who seems to care all that much about my personal happiness/emotional state.

I say if you're going to spend your money on gifts, it should be on gifts for people you honestly care about & who you want to get for.

Do you think someone who you can't be honest with or who only makes an effort on special occasions is someone who should be on the gift giving list? If you don't know their tastes & preferences or could ask them for a list of what they want without them getting pissed off, what is the point? I feel like some of these people giving me unsolicited gifts impose this ridiculous obligation of reciprocation & expect me to spend the same amount of money on them (which I feel is a total waste of money that could be used for better things like living expenses). Or maybe it's just my husband being a typical guy & acting that way toward his relatives.

I outright said "no gifts" to my husband since I despise this political crap & hate the obligation imposed on me when I've had things going on. Plus, there's the whole not being materialistic, not needing all that much & the fact that if you can't give based on the recipient's preferences/tastes, why bother at all? I don't buy gifts based on pushing my personal agenda; I buy for what I think my recipient will like. Gifts from me involve time & effort; within my family, some of them are staples of long standing tradition (particularly my mom's Star Trek ornament, which I've gotten for her every single year since working retail in high school).

My husband said he was going to get a gift for my family after opening our Christmas box today. I told him "don't you dare" since they said not to do that & he'd just be imposing this obligation on them (I'd told my mother she didn't need to spend a lot on us since I know they've got financial strife of their own to deal with, especially with my father gone). He claims he's doing it anyway but when I spoke to my mother today, she told me not to do that & I relayed the message. Don't know if he got it but I asked him how he felt when he told someone not to get him a gift & they do it anyway. I asked whether he feels that's disrespectful to him since I think it's totally disrespectful to me when you ignore my wishes & feel his doing that would impose the same obligation on them when they already have economic issues to contend with.

He told me he's used to people ignoring his wishes. I think that's sad & no one should have to get used to that.

So if you want to show me you care, show it in your actions the rest of the year. I learned a lot about who is a friend or not by who was emotionally present, who was encouraging, supportive, tried making me feel better, offering kind words, gave me some empathy and generally giving me proof that not everyone on the planet is an asshole. It would have been totally unnecessary for any of them to get me a Christmas gift since they already gave me the gift of being a real friend, not some acquaintance I have to put on a happy face for.

I'm just done with putting on shows & politics in general for my personal life. We have to do enough of that shit in our business lives so why are we doing that at home & in families? Try having close family die when you're younger like me & see how eager you are to engage in that nonsense afterwards. I keep making new contacts by the day (since people with drive never sleep or stand still) & don't have time for it in my friendship circle either. I've had enough fake friends in my life & I will surely get more of them; that comes from having my former friend of 20+ years doing a total personality 180.

Quality, not quantity. That's where my head space is. Toxicity also has no place in this life I've been fortunate enough to get to keep living. Have had a ton of time to do lots of heavy thinking & self-realization. I also keep finding out more people I know are going through major life changes. In particular, I learned about 2 people who recently got divorced or are in that process after being married for 20+ years (one contact got served divorce papers yesterday; I pointed out that since he's also creative, he should definitely turn to that since some of the greatest works out there came from someone being in a major crisis or severe life trauma; I guess one bright side is that my writing should be better than ever & my creative well is so much more full than the average person's).

If that doesn't tell you life isn't static, I'm not sure what does. My latest Twitter follower is also someone who is chronicling the experience of getting a divorce from a psychotic ex. Interpret that as you wish.

So when you're giving someone a gift when they say don't do it, you're not being nice. You're being an asshole if you're doing that expecting a gift in return from the person (which 90% of humanity seems to be in my experience). Let me repeat this: when I say "don't get me a gift" and we have no further discussion on this, DON'T GET ME A FUCKING GIFT!!!!!! There is no hidden meaning or secret message with me. I have no time for martyr crap or mind games; what I say is what I mean. Yes, I realize I may be one of the only women who says what she means & perhaps that partially explains why I'm still getting hit on all the time.

If you give me an unexpected gift & then say "You don't have to get me anything so don't feel obligated to do it" while showing me that in your actions, we'll be fine. If you truly mean it, that's okay. What I don't appreciate is people buying you a gift to fish for one out of you. That's extortion & it's completely out of the spirit of Christmas.

I also don't want a gift you only gave me out of obligation, not because you really cared. It's not my job or anyone else's in life to assuage your personal guilt or sense of duty. Please spare me. It's more political nonsense I don't need or want in my private life. Oh, and you're totally piling on this year.

With that mindset, do you see why a person might be pissed at you for springing unexpected gifts expecting something in return? Don't you dare be the asshole doing that to others, especially to those dealing with the grief process! It won't be appreciated.

Stuff like this is just one example of a married person problem that makes me long for my single days. Thankfully, my immediate family has some maturity on this or I'd also long to be completely isolated from the human race.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Creativity & Messages From the Universe

Nearly a week ago, I had maybe the most personal experience I have ever had with an employment recruiter. I called to follow up on a job ad I saw on Monday and talked to this guy directly, who asked me to send all my resumes (yep, all 4 of them) to see if he might be able to help me in a job hunt.

On Wednesday, I ended up having some things to do and decided while I was going to get my headshots printed (I had to get them in before 12 to pick them up after 5, when therapy would be over & then go uptown for a rehearsal for the next City Bar show) I would see about meeting this recruiter since he'd wanted to meet with me, I could kill some time instead of wasting travel money and I could avoid another trip into the city if he was free. It turns out he was so I made that happen. Unfortunately, I have to get my headshots this week since my resume in a Word format was 2 pages while the version I had at home was 1 page. My problem with an entertainment resume is that I have a lot of special skills & distinct information that should be mentioned which when adding up training and roles, puts me at 2 pages unless I make small margins and lessen the type font.

Somehow, I never have the problem of a resume being too small; mine are always too large with very little information I can feasibly cut. I still have to get my writing resume onto 1 page and have no clue what to omit to make that happen.

Anyhow, I had this meeting with the recruiter. He tells me that I'm far more creative & innovative than him. This very thing, however, is apparently a huge problem in any job I'd want to do and as I suspected, the very thing I'd be suited for is something no employer would actually let me do (since I'm not a 5 year old, actually know what I'm talking about when I speak & violate rules on legal "pedigree" and traditional paths). The conversation ended up getting a bit personal, maybe too personal since at one point I felt the urge to burst into tears. It depressed me since it made me feel that there is no way in Hell I can work for anyone other than myself, no employer could ever appreciate me & the demand that I go find a steady paying job is never going to be fulfilled.

However, the good thing about this recruiter is that he said he got it & something in my voice told him he should meet with me. He also told me he had no clue how to help me though he could listen to me talk all day. Okay.

I was also told to stay in touch & I guess I will since this is the first recruiter I've ever met who got it. Few people I meet outside the creative world really get me, what I do, what I stand for or how my mindset works even though I don't think I'm that hard to figure out. I simply don't have time for bullshit, know how to think & am not a follower. If you can remember these 3 things & respect them, we're good. Those are the people I cherish & respect.

One of my friends even said I have my own box I'm that unique & different from everyone else.

I should probably just pay some of these people to talk to the jerks who think I should go get a job in some law firm or can go easily do just any old steady paying job. Definitely thinking of making that offer to one of my City Bar colleagues who actually knows BigLaw & confirmed exactly what I knew; perhaps hearing it from these people would make these fuckers realize that maybe I know what I'm doing in my life & have some self-awareness, okay?

This weekend, I also read this article & can tell you with authority it's 100% accurate. When I responded to job ads from law firms seeking "hip lawyers," I never got a response. Stories I've read about the operations of law firms and even looking at their websites confirm this a million times over. Stories people have told me about their working experiences at these places confirm that I don't want to be there. I've not bought into the lie that employers value creativity for many years so I see no need for any of them to lie to me about it. To me, that lie is just part of the big dog & pony show I don't care for in the first place.

And you know something? I don't have any passion for many of these employers I see posting jobs I could feasibly do. I looked on LinkedIn job ads yesterday & realized that few of these companies had given me anything to care about or feel any passion for. If I can't get behind what your company does or your mission or feel like what you're doing has value in society, why should I apply? You don't want me to work there because I have a brain in the first place & dare to not be some befuddled little weakling. My lack of passion is just another big reason I shouldn't be there.

I really don't think I lost my father & cousin in these past few months to keep doing the same old shit. I didn't have mortality shine right in my face (my cousin was the same age as my sister) to listen to assholes who just want me to be part of their misery club instead of actually CARING about whether I'm happy or not. My mentality has changed & I realized I have to admit that to myself. I also realized things about my self-perception have changed. I'm starting to see myself as designers, models, fashion industry colleagues and guys legitimately attracted to me see me; this is a drastic turn from thinking I had goth tendencies or belonged in crowds that I really don't.

Call me stubborn but I also don't believe that happiness & personal fulfillment are things you have to buy or are only for rich people. I reject that idea. I'd rather be dead than giving up everything I worked for & give a damn about. For me, what is the point if you are miserable & don't have a single source of joy in your life? Giving up any part of what I do creatively would take away my sources of joy & I feel it's wrong to ask anyone to do that.

Then, I saw a post from a Facebook friend who's an actress (along with a fellow natural redhead) that she had recently lost her job & was concerned about this (as most of us would be).

It gets better. Her boss directly made fun of her for her acting ambitions & sounded just like many of these law firm partners I hear about who've asked my attorney colleagues why they're "wasting their time" on creative pursuits or told them those pursuits were frivolous.

However, she got 3 auditions and a movie offer. One comment on this said that the universe was telling her she didn't need to be at that job & she was on the right path with pursuing acting.

I do also believe the universe gives you messages. For instance, something told me on Saturday to refill my business cards before going out to watch a show I was to review for Woman Around Town (a blog I've written some pieces for in the past few months). Sure enough, I ended up meeting another attorney who was sitting near me for the show & had a great conversation. I've had something tell me to go out or do things many times and ended up having some meaningful conversation or later having a great event happen in my life.

I wasn't even going to interview for the internship position at One Way years ago since I thought I'd have to work in New Jersey & couldn't do that but something told me to go anyway. I did and the rest is history.

The universe has done everything but grabbed me by the shoulders & shaken me while slapping me in the face and say "You need to work for yourself, not chasing after jobs in Corporate America." The evidence just adds up & I don't think you can attribute it to coincidence. The question in my brain is how to get others to understand that; maybe paying those people who say that I wouldn't fit into particular jobs to explain this to those types isn't such a bad idea.

Seriously, though I don't think anyone should ignore their intuition. Sometimes it's accurate and right. Maybe there's also an element of positive thinking in some of this but I also believe in the power of positive thinking considering it does tie in with self-fulfilling prophecy, which is a proven & studied psychological concept.

God, sometimes being both left & right brained sucks! Being the first to do things can also suck.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Dark Side of Central Casting: My Take

So this is one of those situations where I'm duty bound to speak up. After all, I have a partnership in a film company & am an attorney known for being very much pro-creatives.

A friend of mine was recently terminated from there without ANY due process or opportunity to face his accuser. If you want the details, you can read them in this petition on

Some background for non-actors & entertainment people:

1. In order to get jobs in the film & TV world or have a true shot at being famous, you have to start out as an extra. The only time you don't is if you personally know or are related to a higher up in the industry who loves you dearly. The exception fits maybe 15% of people at best.

The rest of you slobs are going to have to go through a background casting company.

2. Central Casting is the largest background casting company in this country. They have the most established name & their LA office has been around for eons.

3. Central Casting is very strict when it comes to professionalism among background actors. Perfectly understandable since that's their reputation & companies like mine don't want to deal with a company that doesn't recruit good background people or who brings in folk who are disruptive, rude, etc.

If you act up, Central Casting can & will blacklist you.

4. Being blacklisted by Central Casting means you'd better kiss your dreams of stardom good-bye. People in the business talk & if you've got no reputation behind you or a bad one, you can consider yourself a permanent persona non grata.

Any other information can be found by reading the petition or going back and reading other posts about my experiences with Central Casting doing extra work.

Nearly every single actor I know of in NYC has done at least one background gig through Central Casting. If there's an actor in NYC who hasn't & is new to the industry, I'd be shocked. There are some good things about them but my friend's situation makes it solid that I can't work with them anymore.

My friend was a "Core Background" on a few shows. This means you aren't just any old extra coming in for a day & leaving but the production specifically wants you throughout their filming. When you are specifically wanted for a project, that means you're expected to be available & a production has invested some time and consideration into you. You're expected to show up, be professional & it's not a status you'd get by just phoning it in.

This particular friend is someone whose professionalism is not in dispute. I have gotten a sixth sense on professionalism in my years doing this & considering I introduced him to the CEO of my company (which does not happen unless I think you're going to make me look good & won't waste his time), I know the person who started this little chain reaction is full of shit or Central Casting in LA has royally fucked up & defamed my friend.

Apparently what happened was some wardrobe person claimed some incident happened & Central Casting's LA office was informed.

Never mind that all the events took place in NY and the people at the NY office were just as stunned as my friend to hear about this. He didn't even get a warning or an opportunity to appeal or face this accuser. To my knowledge, he's not even aware of what was said or exactly what the complaint was.

Some facts about film & TV productions:

1. Crew departments can be huge. The heads of these departments aren't always on the set and likely don't work on the mere background actors.

2. I have never personally had issues with wardrobe people. I actually tend to like them since doing that requires a fashion sense & I appreciate others who have that since plenty of people I encounter don't. It's a common ground type thing. More wardrobe people end up complimenting clothes I bring for roles I do. The respect thing has to shine through since I know it's not an easy job & if I'm thinking something looks great, that's a sign of talent.

However, the people doing these jobs are likely not on a first name basis with the executives or producers financing the whole thing. Some are definitely not appreciated or treated with respect.

Considering I once went to use a Lifebooker voucher & the guy doing my hair was a hair person on a cable TV series and has a very impressive track record, I don't think these people are exactly living in mansions or doing lines of coke off the boobs of prostitutes on a nightly basis.

3. Some people in these departments are not seasoned pros or industry experts. Most jobs are obtained in entertainment (especially in the mainstream world) because you were a good PA, not because you were an outsider who had great skills. Being a good PA does not mean you were professional & polite to people; you might have just slept your way into a job or made sure to be nice to the higher ups but treated everyone else like crap.

I do recall that one PA from a gig making disparaging remarks about extras and my comment that he never knows who he might be talking to. That little schooling exercise was fun & if he was smart, he learned not to have those conversations about background folk in their earshot since the next one could be an exec like me. Entertainment attorneys are a bit more respected than a lot of people in the industry, as I've mentioned before.

4. Despite this fact, these people will be believed before any background person in a dispute as far as Central Casting is concerned. Why they don't get that not all these people are saints or have ethics, I have no idea.

5. Productions have budgets & schedules. No sane producer or executive wants their budget & schedule messed up. This is why screening is very important for everyone. Set fights are a pain for everyone, make working that much harder & can lead to going over budget. If we have a team set, we like to keep that going & maintain that status quo until we get done with the production.

So why is this an issue for me? Many reasons. This will require wearing a few hats.

As an actress, don't really like the idea that someone's jealousy of my career, my looks, what I had for breakfast, my coat, whatever is going to lead to false complaints against me. That impacts my ability to get work.

While this isn't a personal concern to me these days since I've already done enough extra work to get my learning experience about being on set & can't do it anymore due to being recognized by people, it is a very real concern to other actors who aren't natural redheads or in the position I am. How are they to get experience on a set or learn about that experience firsthand? How are they going to pay their bills since Central Casting doesn't make you work for no pay & their checks are actually good?

As an attorney, this sounds a hell of a lot like carte blanche to defame others at your leisure. There is no accountability to these crew members or from Central Casting for sabotaging someone else's career. This sounds like a system rife for abuse. Oh, and the actor's union (SAG-AFTRA) has apparently been aware of it for about 10 years but still refuses to do ANYTHING about it (sort of furthering my union hatred & definitely not enticing me to join it). My friend wonders if the union's refusal to actually, oh, ADVOCATE for him has anything to do with a recent decision he made to go Fi-Core.

Going "fi-core" is something these unions hate since that means you can work on both union & non-union projects. You don't get to vote or use union protections if someone messes with you but you are treated as though you were union for payments, insurance & in working. Personally, if I join SAG-AFTRA I would go Fi-Core. Hello, entertainment attorney?! Hello, film exec?! I'm intimidating enough on my own & have my own attorney contacts. Don't need your little union & you're not going to sell me on something I don't need. This is not even the first story I've heard about the actor's union not being as great as people make it out to be.

If Central Casting can have policies against sexual harassment, they certainly can have a system where a crew member having a bad hair day or who's irritable from having no sleep the night before can't go getting people blacklisted without sufficient cause. Other unions don't let you fire someone without cause; in fact, they make it next to impossible to get rid of bad apples.

As a film exec, however much I might like & adore you as a person crew member you have no business making decisions on talent hiring/firing at any level. If you are a crew PA, you have even less right to do that. You are NOT the director. You are NOT a producer. This is NOT YOUR job!!!

You are supposed to direct those concerns & complaints to the director/executive in charge. Then, THEY take care of hiring/firing. Would you be permitted to fire a lead actor on the spot for any reason you felt like? Not on any film set I know of or was ever involved in. The producer outranks you. The director outranks you. This is reality so step off!!

Why, Central Casting, do you wish to convey this executive level privilege onto mere crew members and support staff? THEY are not dealing with the cost of the filming, accounting for budget overages or the costs involved in replacing the core background folk they have decided to unilaterally banish.

Dear crew member: If you want to be able to hire & fire, go be a producer. See how hard that job is. Try raising the money, being accountable to a network/investors/other money people, creating and enforcing budgets, learning about the financial rules and tax incentives, securing the insurance, handling the legal matters, etc. You'll find it's not nearly so easy as doing the crew tasks & you'll be facing a LOT more responsibility.

I think about my company's films & plenty of people involved as crew in those projects are not people we'd want to give talent hire/fire privileges to. We don't know them well enough to assess if they'd make the choices we would. We don't know if they have a clue of how to manage people or make a set run properly.

Also, why in God's name would you WANT hire/fire privileges if you're just a crew member? We don't need you getting stressed out over that stuff; we want you to focus on the task you were hired for & let us handle it. Some of us are pros at dealing with conflict.

As someone partially responsible for it, you don't want to volunteer for those tasks. You're getting off far easier not having to be the person in charge, especially with a larger production.

A good exec or producer would investigate these charges before going to Central Casting. I'm not sure if any such person was involved but in my friend's case, they apparently were not. This was some "gotcha" from the LA offices. My friend doesn't even know what show this was on.

So, aspiring actors beware: even if you're a sweetheart to everyone & don't cause any trouble some hating jerk with a mean streak can vanquish you just for existing and for any old reason they invent. Central Casting won't have your back & SAG-AFTRA won't have your back even while you pay them thousands to join their "union."

This was my friend's first offense & he wasn't even given a warning. He got instant termination.

If you find that state of events bullshit, even if you don't know this guy personally, you should sign that petition. There's a principle at work & if it could happen to him, it could happen to anyone. That includes you & your friends.