Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Principal is on Set...

Published 6/25/2013

As much as I enjoy regaling  the four to six of you who read my blog with tales of  mediocrity and almost-achievements in Hollywood, I haven’t written as frequently of late because things have been going, well, pretty good. Actually I’m pretty much crushing it in life right now.  That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but things are looking up. In the past week, an AD uttered the words "The principal is on set,” and he was talking about me! I finally booked a role that was both paid AND speaking, and I’ve been unabashedly taking advantage of Hollywood affirmative action in the form of network diversity showcases. Somebody has to play that sassy friend…

I’m not getting too excited about the latter just yet, as literally everyone I know who submitted has been invited to audition. Everyone. And yet, I can’t squelch the growing glimmer of hope that I’m just a lucky audition and a smarmy “meeting” with a producer away from fame, or at least being a series regular on a CW show.

In any event, as I’ve been on more and more sets recently, including an unexpected gig involving the star of  a JJ Abrams franchise and my first union voucher, I’ve noticed a few things about the world  of the video village and beyond.

The day before I shot my commercial I was flabbergasted to learn that my call time wasn’t until 9:30! That might not seem like anything to get excited about, but when you’ve grown accustomed  to reporting to set prior to six, it makes a huge difference. Not only did I arrive after the sun came up, but I wrapped in under three hours! What?! In the back of my mind, I suppose I knew that happens  on sets where the director knows your name and doesn’t refer to you as “background in red,” and proceeds to tell you to back up and to keep going until you’re out of the frame, but I guess I had chocked it  up to some acting urban legend.

I’ve also managed to locate the happiest people on set- craft services, and the absolutely miserable- the people from the ad agency. I don’t know why, but every group of mad men I’ve come across has been dour at best, although they’re usually a close tie with the background wrangler. The most important thing that I learned during my week of glory however( in which I used the hashtag #feeltherainonyourskin far more than is acceptable), is  that I still have a long, long road ahead of me.

It seems that just as my commercial was ending and people were actually being nice to me, I found myself relegated to the background again, this time in a sea of extras with far too much personality for our holding area. I’m not sure which was worse, inhaling the aroma of downtown for eight hours or being photographed by tourists who actually ran up to the director and asked if they could be in the shot. I had no idea that sort of thing actually happens! Anyway, if the fact that I’m still doing background work wasn’t an indication, I definitely haven’t made it yet, but it’s almost like “It’s so close I can almost taste it…” Okay, that was the last Natasha Bedingfield reference, I promise.


Location: 5

Craft Services: 5

SAG/AFTRA vouchers procured:1

On set experience: #winning