Friday, December 17, 2010

Extra Gig #2: Driving Through Brooklyn, Freezing My Butt Off & Another Nail in the Ugly Girl Coffin

While still waiting to hear about the job opportunity (as of this moment, I STILL haven't heard anything though as of yesterday they are still interested in talking to me & my calls have been returned when I wasn't around), I saw an extra gig seeking "attractive news reporters w/cars." Since my car was not one of the undesired colors or styles, I decided to submit myself for the sake of having something to do as well as getting exercise for my car.

* When the car battery dies if you don't run it for 2 days, you tend to get concerned about making sure it gets some movement. *

So, I get selected for this role. It requires me to drive 15 minutes from home into an area of Brooklyn that's fairly decent. This time, the show was Law & Order: SVU. If you see me there, again I'll be shocked. I haven't watched that one either, so this will be another instance where someone else tells me if I'm on there. Again, I was the only redhead & no one even came close to looking like me. There were also fewer people this time.

I would really like to find people living in my city who look enough like me to really pass for me (being a natural redhead w/my shade is a prime requirement); they would likely have the same problems I've had & might also like the idea of fooling folk by switching places.

In middle school, there was a redhead who wore her hair straight while I wore mine curly & longer. Her name also started w/an "M" and people were always mixing me up with her. This mistaken identity issue even came up years later when I was at the Senior Class Picnic & the DJ claimed I'd dated a guy that she dated. The guy was merely a friend of mine in middle school; seems he came out after high school but there was talk of him being gay in high school. I was like "That was the other girl, not me!" I'm sure there are still some things people will swear I did b/c rumors about me were so pervasive despite my trying to debunk them, I just played along after a while. Yes, I DID go w/that guy in middle school who never said a word to me & was popular while I was being harassed by the gossipy bitch girls!

If my middle school/high school life had been Hollywood, I was definitely a tabloid celebrity. I had to deal w/most of the same people so I didn't really get much of a chance at reinvention.

So, here's how experience #2 went (no episode secrets will be revealed):

A) When I went to the parking area before my call time, there was NO parking + I could not get to the street I needed to be on. I called up Central Casting to tell them about this. They alerted the powers that be. Eventually I did get to a spot & made it inside, though a little late.

I did apologize for my lateness & apparently many people had that particular problem. The on-set reps handling check-ins were very understanding. More examples of the professionalism I like to see.

B) I saw yet another actor from the whole previous TV network scam. Not just any actor, though. This was the infamous one who irritated people & pissed them off. Apparently, this individual also ticked off someone I know from another sphere.

I'll give this individual a few things though: I won't hear about this person sleeping w/anyone to get to the top or putting more importance on background work than needed. This person also took my advice & got an entertainment lawyer to help her. I do have slightly more respect for her than I did previously.

Why do I keep seeing people who know me from that on these gigs? Killing my whole mission here.

C) I decide to bring in my heels that I normally wear w/business suits, closed toe & very corporate looking.

Unfortunately, the front of my feet were only separated from the windy, cold weather in shooting with pantyhose (you'd have seen my tights). I was outside a good chunk of time & had to run for my role. My feet became blocks of ice, I had no hat or gloves due to wardrobe's instructions & I wasn't sure if I could sprint in those shoes w/cold feet.

However, when it was time to go I did rise to the occasion. I made it where I needed to & did damn good for my feet being ice blocks. Guess those days of wearing heeled shoes all the time in high school came back to me.

One of the fellow background actors was shocked I actually did it. Hey, I work behind the scenes & believe in doing unto others. Call it an endurance test.

This is nothing compared to what the lead actress had to do. Apparently, she had to be on a cold car hood in much less clothing for her scene. I, at least, had a coat & scarf + was wearing pants.

D) Our holding area was in a very cold warehouse. Everyone was bundled up while waiting. Taking your gloves off wasn't smart in that setting.

Near the end of the day when I was on a higher floor to make phone calls (as I had no cell reception in the holding area & the bathroom did have reception), I was telling a crew person that they are much better people than me for working in these cold conditions. They are, in fact.

E) My car came in for pictures that may appear in the program. You'd see me on my cell phone + my coat open at the wardrobe person's instruction. I followed my direction very well & as I was leaving to go back, I was picked up then told to wait somewhere else in the scene. Eventually, we were not used & I got to go back inside.

I made it back home a little after 10 & did manage to find parking in my limited parking neighborhood.

Now for the takeaway lessons (as I feel maybe once I've done about 4-5 & ideally on different sets/situations, I'll be done w/the learning & observations).

1. There are extra roles I will not consider or take. Some examples are:

* Prostitute, escort, stripper, other "adult" type parts. I don't want to have to explain that sort of thing to attorneys from the bar associations I belong to, investors & anyone else I have to interact with on a business basis. Let's not even talk about explaining that to my 7 year old nephew or my parents, in-laws, etc.
* Rape or slasher movie victim w/out some lines. Again, don't want to have to explain that one.
* "Ugly" roles. Let's fact it: Central Casting or whomever is responsible for background on these 2 shows has spoken otherwise as to my looks. I probably do look like the TV version of particular things but I don't think I can convince anyone I can play "ugly."
* Anything involving nudity, kissing others (male, female or anywhere in between), sex scenes, etc. Being happily married & business credibility cover those reasons nicely.

Let's add exterior shots to that list if I'm not wearing temperature appropriate clothing. I don't really have to do background work so there's no need for me to do stuff like that. Once is enough.

2. I can drive through Brooklyn just fine. I drove though some convoluted parts & if I've got GPS or good directions, I'm just fine. I hadn't done it before & wasn't sure I could but seems all that driving in downtown Atlanta came in handy.

3. My artistic dedication tends to lead to me shooting myself in the foot. That whole perfectionist streak has trumped my personal comfort more than once. People need to watch me on that & reign it in if necessary.

4. I'm never going to be a full time actor. I do not have the dedication you need for it & my limits aren't going to change anytime soon. Those actors wearing bikinis in freezing cold weather are far better people than I am. You deserve respect for that & if you work w/me, I'll be making sure you get it as long as you don't piss me off.

I'm also never going to have representation, one of the hallmarks of a full time actor. Why not, you ask? It's hard to get it anyway but most people aren't professional advocates working in the industry like I am. I don't have the experience for higher ups to consider me & I don't think the lower rung people are going to be any better at it than me.

To me, getting some lower rung agent is like having someone w/a lower class grade than me do my homework. If I'm making an A in Geometry, why would I let someone who's making a C do my Geometry homework for me (presuming I'm not trying to sabotage myself)? That's just stupid. You'd have to convince me you were at least as good as me & I don't see that happening.

To me, it makes that representation search a total waste of time. I can just ask a trustworthy attorney friend to be a go-between instead of gambling on a total stranger.

Since actors need that stuff & I have limits, I don't think I'll ever be doing it full time unless I got to say "No" to things.

Think I'm wrong about representation as it pertains to me personally? Convince me why I should deal w/some lower rung person who doesn't have more knowledge than me, won't work as hard as me & doesn't have anything that I don't. Remember that I interned w/a very established talent agent in the past so I know the score here.

* Oh, and I did make an A in Geometry; I was one of only a few people taking it as a 9th grader & even had a few seniors in my class. My academic record was a main reason I never cheated; who would I get to cheat for me & do better than I could? No one.

If I get this other job clenched, I'll have even more reason not to consider some lower rung agent since I'll be making more industry contacts.

5. Never let an attorney get frostbitten or injured. The job market for the field is in the gutter, I'd sue & I've got six figure loan debt to repay. I can be creative & come up with a high damages figure.

This goes for any attorney, not just me. Some are 1,000 times worse in this kind of thing & do not have souls or a conscience.

Right now, I'm sick as a dog since I caught my husband's illness. Still had to go outside today, which sucked but at least I got my mailing done & the car started. Back to soothing a sore throat.

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