Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Could You Get Out of the Shot….

Published 11/23/2011

That’s just one of the things you may hear on set if you’re not a principal, a featured extra or a day player with lines. Welcome to my life. I can’t tell you what it looks like inside one of those Star Wagon trailers but I can tell you the best time of day to register at Central Casting. Please don’t ask me what I’ve booked lately, it will only depress us all. Anywho, LA is a place full of people who have opinions of themselves that are rather grandiose, albeit usually unwarranted. I really think that some people are actually unaware of the fact that they’re not yet famous, rich or important, so I’ve compiled this little list to help you assess whether or not you are in fact a starving artist. Be honest with yourself and act accordingly, and by act accordingly I mean take off those mothereffing sunglasses at night- you know who you are…
1)You are registered at Central Casting. I have nothing against Central Casting because I’m registered there, and despite the three to five hours it takes to get your picture taken, I have no qualms with the place. The problem I have is with the people who are there, acting as if they are not registering to do EXTRA WORK! Hello! You’ve seen them- Guy With Serious Actor Hair leaning against the wall pursing his lips and pretending to be James Dean. Kill yourself. Then there’s Blonde Reminiscent of Sco-Jo, Paris or Lindsey flipping her hair and talking loudly about her callback for a Budweiser commercial. Who do you think you’re fooling? You live in Encino, bitch! And then there is Urban Youth with Exciting Hair and a Controversial Tattoo singing really loudly and off key, constantly glancing around for approval. Guess what? No one is going to approve because you can’t sing. I promise you, you can’t. What these people don’t know is that they need not put on airs because they will be possibly not seen and definitely not heard. Extra work does not make you an actor.  Extra work does not mean you’re famous. You are a starving artist.
2)You get emails that end in thx/thks. For those of you who may not have worked in the trenches of an agency, studio or production company, you probably haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this signoff at the end of emails. Over the course of my development internship I quickly learned that I am not worthy of the “an” in the middle of thanks, and therefore not important. Important people get the “an.” Important emails end with things like  “Thank You,” or “Best Regards,” maybe even “Best.” Abbreviations are for peons and if you get an email that ends in “thx,” you should know that it doesn’t mean “thank you,” it  means “Fuck you, you will never have my job. Now go get my coffee.” You are a starving artist.
3) The “O Face” you get is not a good one.  Sometimes, when I’m running around town attempting to network, I find myself conversing with someone who has the career I aspire to have. How do I know this? They wear shoes that cost more than my rent, they look bored rather than desperate, and they parked in valet, not six blocks away. After the pleasantries, this Important Person With a Real Job will finish telling me about their disdain at having to sit next to Taylor Swift at the AMAs and will ask a fateful question: “What do you do?” Sigh. Of course I say I’m a writer, which will be followed by “What have you had produced?” As I try to explain myself, this person who doesn’t get excited about finding extra quarters for laundry the way I do, will somehow get me to tell them my real job which will be followed by a disappointed and disdainful “Oh…”  This is where I would try to distract them with my cleavage, if only I had some. Once you hear “Oh…” you are done my friend, because what “Oh” really means is “Damn it! I just wasted 20 minutes talking to this flat-chested girl with one IMDB credit. One! She is not worthy of  the leather interior of my Maserati! Time to pretend to look for the bar…” I’ve seen the “Oh” face of dismissal many times, and if you should run across it, just pack it in and try again when you’ve booked something impressive or maybe had something optioned. You are a starving artist, just accept it and make your way towards that sale rack with your head held high.

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