Saturday, May 31, 2008

Size matters

When you register with a talent agent they ask you for all your bodily dimensions -- height, weight, shirt size, waist, inseam, shoe size, hat size (that's right) -- which are entered into their database. When you put your headshot and resume up on Actor's Access, you enter all your sizes into their database, for casting people to see.

Every time you audition you fill out a sheet with all your sizes -- sometimes two or three times. When you get called back, you fill out the sheet all over again. When you get booked? The wardrobe person calls you. And asks you yet again for all your sizes.

Maybe they do this because so many people lie about this stuff. More likely it's just plain inefficiency. But I've filled out my size sheets, literally, hundreds of times. It would be cool if, when you sign in at an audition, they could just take your name then print out your little registration sheet, all filled in already with all this info. I don't know. It's a little thing, but it's a pain.

And I still have no idea what my hat size is.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cat Whisperer

This little guy sat on my lap for a good two hours last night at rehearsal. He belongs to the director. This was definitely the best part of my day yesterday.

A long day. A long month. This work project -- this ridiculously hard thing I've been trying to nail for several weeks has gone through three drafts. Check that. I budgeted for a draft and 2 revisions -- it was actually a draft and two almost complete rewrites. This is very unusual. I pride myself on getting it right the first time (at least 80-90% right, in most cases). But when the client doesn't exactly know what they want, well ...

Anyway, comments to come on Draft 3 today. Monday 5 pm is our hard deadline. And this is what's going through my mind at last night's rehearsal. I forgot I even had two rehearsals this week. Then I looked at my calendar and see I've got another Sunday. Then Monday. Then Tuesday ... with the performance on Thursday.

How did this happen? I thought this would be a simple little thing to do. Work with a good company and a good director with low time commitment. And it is low, comparatively. But it's about 10 times more than I'm ready for at the moment. Call it an unfortunate confluence of events.

So obviously I've got some attitude adjusting to do, and pronto. The cat was a start. Cats rule. I've come to appreciate the ready, unconditional love of a dog, but still there's nothing quite like the love that has to be earned. {/John Houseman voice}

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Something you don't hear every day

So today at one of the auditions, I enter the room, stand at my mark, look at the camera, and the director says, "YOU'RE TOO YOUNG!!"

Which is nice to hear, of course. If you don't think about the fact that you just wasted an afternoon (plus time memorizing copy). But I was supposed to be a freakin' heart surgery patient, for chrissakes. I mean, come on! All the other dudes in the room were well into their '50s, some pushing 60.

I swear I get called into things sometimes solely because I have gray hair. They don't even look at my face (or my birthday). They see gray and they toss me in with the AARP.

And I know this is wrong, but ... I hate auditioning with older dudes. They're just so ... I don't know. Not all of them, of course, but some of them are like ... vaudeville characters. Just gabbing away and doing corny bits and jokes and things. I think for some of them it's just so great to get out of the house that they can barely contain themselves.

So there ya go. The next audition I think I'm too old for, so it allll balances out.

And at the last minute I decided not to go with the Cursed Shirt -- lost my damned nerve, but also I needed to dress for two auditions and a rehearsal ...

Cursed shirt

I have this shirt that I bought specifically with commercial auditions in mind. (Though I didn't write it off on my taxes, since I wear it plenty outside of auditions.)

It is almost the perfect audition shirt when the breakdowns call for "nice casual." (The perfect shirt would be a long-sleeve polo-style collared shirt, in a nice shade of camera-friendly medium blue. I've never found it, though I suspect it's lurking somewhere in a Land's End catalog.) So this one's not perfect, but it's close. It's knit, it's got a collar, and it's in a fairly flattering olive/hunter green color. And a half-zipper opening instead of buttons.

STILL, this shirt should be getting me gigs. But I don't think I've ever booked a thing in it, much less gotten a callback. The temptation is to stop wearing it. But I don't want to. Because I really don't have anything to replace it. (I just don't feel quite "casual" enough in a button down, and too casual in a t-shirt.) And I want to break through, defy the curse and end it.

Once more, into the breach! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

About the weather

Living in high rises my first eight years in Chicago made me acutely aware of the weather. Sometimes I'd watch out the windows like it was TV. Watching curtains of rain roll in from the West, with the streetlights popping on from Oak Park on in, following the storm. Or the fog banks streaming in from the East, cut through by the Michigan Avenue skyscrapers. Watching competing fronts collide just overhead.

So between my observations and Tom Skilling, I learned a lot. Like a "south wind" blows from the south, not toward it. And the reason the cold persists so long into spring is that the prevailing northeast winds come down off the lake. How the cold fronts circulate counter-clockwise, so that on the front end it brings warm air up from the south and on the back end cold air down from the north. I learned about derechos and seiches, inversions and occlusions.

But never until last night had I heard of a "pneumonia front." I knew the temperature was supposed to drop at some point (though the radar showed none of the telltale signs of a traditional storm front bearing down). But somewhere around 10:30 or so the wind picked up like crazy and the breeze coming through the kitchen window turned icy. It went from near 80 to the 50s in minutes.

So this is what the Trib says happened. 
A pneumonia front currently in far southeast Wisconsin will continue to rapidly drop southward into northern Illinois and Indiana tonight. This front has been marked by a drastic change in temperatures and a strong wind shift. Temperatures along the lake front have dropped from the low to mid 70s to the mid to upper 40s as the front passes. Winds have shifted from being light and out of the west to out of the northeast and gusting up to 40 mph at times along the lake. This front will be into lake and McHenry counties by 10pm... Cook... dupage..Kane... DeKalb... and Boone counties by 1045pm... and the rest of Northwest Indiana and north central Illinois by midnight CDT.

A pneumonia front is a rare... meteorological phenomena that is typically observed along the Western Lake Michigan shoreline during the warm season. These fronts are defined as lake modified synoptic scale cold fronts that result in one hour temperature drops of 16 degrees fahrenheit or greater.
So now I've experienced a pneumonia front. Well, I think I have before, but now at least I know what to call it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Stirrings of Summer

Finally! A couple of warm days. The ability to go out in shorts and a t-shirt without having to lug along a jacket or hoodie or snowboots or weather emergency kit.

I've had three meals outside in a row this weekend. I don't know what it is, but even when I'm munching on French toast, when it's outdoors it feels somehow healthy.

But, you know, that's just white people for you.

Now onto the bike!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WWJSD?

I've never been one for macho posturing. Literally. I mean, I cross my legs at the knee all the time. Which I only learned a few years ago can be a dealbreaker for some women. Who knew?

In fact, I was in a reading once for a play that was set during the Renaissance. At one point, the playwright pointed out that my crossed legs looked a little too contemporary. Even though I was playing an artist, I guess standards were pretty strict back then.

So that's what I'm facing this morning in my "blue collar/truck driver/convenience store owner" audition. Turns out the specific shoot is for a warehouse-type guy. It's for a phone company, so we're posing there with our phone. At one point the photographer has me lean one elbow on a dolly while talking on the phone. So I'm standing there and quite naturally I cross one leg in front of the other. Hard to describe, but like this guy here:


So I quickly thought to myself. Hold on. You're Joe Sixpack, not Fred Astaire. Be a man, damnit! And I splayed my legs in what I hope was an audition passing posture.

We'll see what happens ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Friend of Hill

I promised myself I'd stop complaining about being sent out on auditions that seem totally wrong for me. I mean, you never know what they're looking for. And often they don't either.

So tomorrow morning's wardrobe is "blue collar." The character is truck driver/convenience store owner. Which doesn't make much sense, but that's all they gave me. 

What fun. Time again to break out my most conservative jeans and old gray shirt. I really, really should get myself some plaid or flannel or something ...

Northern Lights

Here's one of my favorite things I've done.

NORTHERN LIGHTS
_____________
A One-Act Play

(CHARLIE and DAD, on the hood of a car, Dad seated forward, feet resting on the bumper, with Charlie reclined against the windshield, looking up at the sky. One of his hands is hidden to the audience.)

CHARLIE
Then there’s Cassiopeia – “The Ethiopian Queen.” See? It’s the “W”-shaped one. That’s her throne. (To Dad) I see you checking your watch! (Pause) The five major stars, from left to right – no. We’ll go by order of magnitude. Which would you prefer?

DAD
How ‘bout alphabetical?

CHARLIE
Anybody could do that … I know! Distance from Earth. At just 55 light years –

DAD
Charlie.

CHARLIE
What? We’re just killing time until the main event.

DAD
Killing it? We’ve barely laid a glove on it.

CHARLIE
Fine. What would you like to do?

DAD
Sleep. In my own bed.

CHARLIE
Don’t be silly, Dad. You’re 427 miles from your bed.

DAD
427.

CHARLIE
By car. As the crow flies, it’s more like –

DAD
(Stands up) I’m gonna take a nap.

CHARLIE
No! you’ll miss it!

DAD
Charlie, I’ll be right there in the car.

CHARLIE
But when it comes it’ll be too late!

DAD
Son, you dragged me out here –

CHARLIE
You’ll have missed the best part –

DAD
In the middle of the –

CHARLIE
(Gets animated, starts gesturing) Th-the instant where it unveils itself, Dad! That’s the key! That moment of … discovery, of transcendence! (The gun in his hand is revealed) It only comes once and we have to do it together. Otherwise …

(They both contemplate the gun)

DAD
Be careful with that thing, Charlie.

CHARLIE
Oh, I barely know how to use it.

DAD
That’s what worries me. (He sits)

CHARLIE
(After a beat, looking to the sky) They punished her. (To Dad) Cassiopeia.

DAD
My mouth tastes like metal. (Takes a swig of water)

CHARLIE
(A beat, then back to the stars) She was banished to the skies, sentenced to swing there, clinging to her chair, spinning round and round the North Star. The upside-down part – it’s supposed to humiliate her.

DAD
Charlie, how much longer?

CHARLIE
I really can’t say, Dad. The forecast said tonight.

DAD
So it’s like the weather.

CHARLIE
Yes … only less reliable. All I can tell you is we had a major solar storm 48 hours ago. Conditions are favorable. But there are lots of other factors. The intensity. The magnetic field …

DAD
So we wait …

CHARLIE
Of course. (A beat.) The skies are full of punishment. (Using the gun to point out constellations.) Callisto was turned into a bear by Jupiter’s jealous wife. See? Ursa Major, the Great Bear.

DAD
I thought they put them there to immortalize them … protect them.

CHARLIE
Protect them? I suppose. They put Orion on the opposite side of the sky from the scorpion that killed him. That was nice. Of course, Cepheus – that’s Cassiopeia’s husband – Cepheus he went up to the sky by his own right, chasing the Golden Fleece.

DAD
Charlie –

CHARLIE
That’s the way to go, all right. On your own terms.

DAD
Charlie … son … nothing’s been decided.

CHARLIE
Oh, bull!

DAD
Margaret’s going to take you in –

CHARLIE
Taurus the Bull, one of the forms taken on by Jupiter –

DAD
She promised to give it a chance –

CHARLIE
When he appeared to Europa, Princess of Phoenicia –

DAD
It doesn’t have to be like last time –

CHARLIE
The snowy-white bull with the polished horns and the gentle eyes you can make out the head and the shoulders shining shining like a jewel just to the side of Orion Orion where’s Orion? Orion!!

DAD
CHARLIE!!

CHARLIE
(After a long beat) They’re going to put me away again.

DAD
No. Not as long as you –

CHARLIE
Don’t burn their porch down?

DAD
Well … yeah. That, too. I was gonna say “behave yourself.”

CHARLIE
Oh. (Pause) The pills.

DAD
They’re good for you.

CHARLIE
Good for me. They make me not me.

DAD
That’s the point.

CHARLIE
(A beat.) Aunt Margeret. She’s so … intolerant.

DAD
She wouldn’t appreciate being kidnapped, if that’s what you mean.

CHARLIE
(Scoffs) Kidnapped. (Then notes the gun) Oh. (A beat) Mom would have been pretty disappointed in me, huh?

DAD
Your Mom would have made sure my service revolver was locked up.

CHARLIE
Yeah, she was funny. (Pause) How soon?

DAD
Coupla weeks. When I start the next cycle.

CHARLIE
Cancer the giant crab sent by Hera to nip at the heels of Hercules and aid the serpent … It’s a long story. (A beat) Dad, I’ll be good. I promise. Then when you come back –

DAD
(Gently) Charlie.

(They exchange a long look, then look away, Charlie down, Dad up.)

Hey, what’s that?

CHARLIE
What’s what?

DAD
That. The green light. Is that it?

CHARLIE
No, that can’t be it.

DAD
Are you sure?

CHARLIE
Maybe, I don’t know. (A beat) If it is, it sure sucks.

DAD
I wouldn’t say that …

CHARLIE
It does. It sucks! It’s supposed to be … grand. Dramatic! Breathtaking!!

DAD
It’s fine.

CHARLIE
FINE? It’s the Aurora-fucking Borealis! It’s supposed to be WAY more than fine! Where’s the color? Great … tremoring ribbons of color pealing across the sky! And the sound –

DAD
The sound?

CHARLIE
I expected there to be sound! I dunno, like a crackling or a humming or a whirring!! SOMEthing!

DAD
It’s fine without sound!

CHARLIE
(Waving the gun around) Stop saying fine! It’s not at all fine!! It’s pale and faint and-and not even close to … transcendent!!

DAD
Look, we just caught it on a bad night, that’s all!

CHARLIE
Fuck-up! FUCK-UP FUCK-UP FUCK-UP!! I’m a total fuck-up!!

DAD
You’re not a fuck-up! You’re just –

CHARLIE
CRAZY!? (Swings the gun around and points it at Dad)

DAD
A little, yeah!

CHARLIE
I brought you here for nothing. (Swings the gun back and points it at himself)

DAD
Charlie!

CHARLIE
Make a constellation after me, okay!?

DAD
Son, don’t!!

CHARLIE
Near the North Star, so it’s always there! Summer or winter! I don’t mind being upside down! (Closes his eyes and puts the gun to his head.)

DAD
Charlie, no!!

CHARLIE
(Pulls the trigger and it clicks. A beat. Several more clicks.) I don’t get it.

DAD
I took out the bullets. Back at the Citgo.

CHARLIE
So … this whole time, you were just … humoring me?

(They exchange a look)

Right. (A beat) But … if the gun was unloaded, why’d you let me go through that whole big dramatic thing?

DAD
I needed to see. To see if you’d actually … pull the trigger.

CHARLIE
A test. I failed. (A beat) So then, no Aunt Margaret’s, huh? “Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, go directly to jail” …

(A long beat)

DAD
Charlie, why the aurora? Why was that so important?

CHARLIE
It was for you, Dad. You’ve always wanted to see it.

DAD
I have?

CHARLIE
Sure. Don’t you remember? We were watching that National Geographic special. (He does the National Geographic theme)
Ba-ba-baaah-bump. About Alaska? It showed the auroras, and you said, “I’ve always wanted to see those.” Ba-ba-baaah-bump bah-bah-bah-BUMP-BUMP. It was a Sunday.

DAD
Sunday when?

CHARLIE
1978.

DAD
Oh.

CHARLIE
June 25. Anyway, I wanted you to see it before … I just wanted you to see it.

DAD
Well … thank you, son.

(A beat. The air starts to sparkle and glimmer. They look up in amazement.)

CHARLIE
It’s the Orionids!

DAD
The what?

CHARLIE
I-I was so caught up with the Aurora forecasts I completely forgot about the Orionids. Of course! It’s only like the third best meteor shower in the Northern Hemisphere!

DAD
It’s incredible. There’s … dozens …

CHARLIE
And there’s Orion – hence, “the Orionids” – he was hiding behind the trees.

DAD
Like fireworks …

CHARLIE
Better! See it’s the debris field from Haley’s comet. Even though it won’t be back until 2061, it’s left all these tiny particles of ice and dust in its orbital path. So the earth –

DAD
Charlie?

CHARLIE
Yeah, Dad?

DAD
Don’t spoil it.

CHARLIE
Right.

(They continue to gaze up, in awe, the light glowing off their faces.)

Copyright 2006 Danger Boy Productions

Monday, May 19, 2008

Catch and release

I've been put on hold and released plenty of times. But never with such speed as today.

They called at 2:50 pm to put me on hold for a job in June, and a mere 126 minutes later called again to let me go.

And it's from this one casting studio that is a perpetual thorn in my proverbial side. They do these massive open calls, where they bring in 300 or more actors and models. No appointments. So at 2-3 minutes a person, well, you do the math. Except for two occasions out of more than a dozen times I've been there, the wait has been well over an hour.

I'm used to the convention in this business that the actor's comfort and convenience (at least at this level) is of least importance, but this place takes it to new heights.

I've never booked a job there, but I've been put on hold a handful of times. They always end up releasing me. Or asking me about dates I marked as conflicts, telling me the 4 dates I have open won't work -- only the 1 I don't will do.

Some day I want to meet someone who actually books a job through them. I've never met a one.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

San Diego wrapup

Getting back to San Diego, a few impressions.

First, like Vienna reminds me of a giant, outdoor art museum, San Diego is like a sprawling botanical garden. Beautiful stuff is growing everywhere.


The landscape is amazing, especially up around La Jolla -- coves, cliffs, endless sea.

It did not, however, completely blow me away, for some reason. I think because as beautiful as it is, it still pales compared to the Central Coast -- Carmel down to Big Sur. Or maybe it only pales in my memory, because I saw that first and thought it was the most beautiful place I'd ever seen.

There was wildlife everywhere.


And not just in the wild animal park.



Finally, I re-learned a valuable lesson I forgot from Puerto Rico years ago. When it comes to these high-sun climes, the so-called Golden Hour really is the only time for photos.



Thursday, May 15, 2008

The road not taken

Somewhere in Kentucky (Probably near Shelbyville)
2002

I got offered a role the other day from this actor/director who's pretty well regarded. I worked with him before in a show and he's a cool guy. I liked the script, too. It was a good role.

But ... I'm just not ready to jump into something that will consume half my precious summer. It's sad, I suppose, where my priorities have gone, but the longer winter lingers here, with its rare eruptions of springness, the more I find the notion of preserving my freedom for a second summer really, really desirable.

Of course, after turning it down I come to find that the play just premiered off-Broadway, is making its Chicago premiere and is written by a senior writer from a hit network show. Oh, well. No regrets. Much.

I did, however, take a small role in a play that has a short, three-night run and will involve just a handful of rehearsals. It will likely do nothing in particular for my career, but the director's a good guy who I've worked with a number of times over the years. And I carefully submitted my conflicts around the key street festivals and other events ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hubris

I did not get that gig after all!

Actually, I knew writing about it so confidently would jinx it. Oh, well.

I did get a callback for a better -- and better paying -- opportunity, though. That was unexpected, based on what I think they're looking for. But now I've jinxed that one, too.

It's funny -- I've written before about the weird things that actually get you cast. In this booking on Monday, they would say, when I was being a little too serious in my reads, that they wanted to see the "real Rob" that they saw in auditions. I assured them the real Rob was a total douche bag.

It was particularly odd given that the people saying it (the clients and producers) weren't actually at the auditions. They just saw the tapes. I can't imagine what I did on tape that showed the "fun" personality that they wanted. I was doing a script on personal finance, for chrissakes.

Once again, just goes to show: you never know ...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Off-bookishness

When I was 7 or 8 years old, my brother, who's five years older, pointed to a page on his school textbook and said, "See all this? I have to memorize all of this. That's what you have to do in Junior High."

I cried and cried, sure that my future academic career was hopeless.

Today I went to an audition and found when I got there that my script didn't match the others. Mine had 4 paragraphs and theirs had six. This was for a news anchor role, and they wanted people with authority and a command of copy.

I let someone else go before me so I could get up to speed on the final third of the script. I had about 10 minutes and I went in and -- boom -- I nailed it. They were impressed, and chalked it up to my theater experience. It was especially cool because part of the audition was giving us a new page of copy and seeing how we handled it on the fly.

This would be a great trick to pull out in future auditions -- I could actually pretend to only have part of the script (damned printer!) then pull off a miracle.

Then I chatted them up about competitiveness at the India Institute of Technology and the explosive growth of infrastructure investment in China -- amazing facts I learned from doing this cool book.

If I don't get this gig, I will be shocked. Or at least surprised. Unlike my brother.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Always expect the worst ...

... and you'll never be disappointed. 

That's always been my philosophy. And, in fact, I usually find things turn out the opposite of my expectations.

Like today's shoot, for example. After 3 auditions and 3 wardrobe fittings, I expected a nightmare. But it was actually pretty great. And what made it great was the people were so damned cool.

Yes, there were some delays -- some technical glitches and last-minute copy editing that slowed things down. But the clients were so nice and so gracious, I really didn't mind.

This project -- an interactive educational web site for their key customers -- was the first of its kind that they've tried, and it could lead to other things (for me, too), so they were committed to quality and wanted the best product possible. And I feel grateful to have been a part of it -- they are, after all, a Fortune 25 company or something.

You know, I've always felt, in this career and my regular one, that you can pay me, and give me nice perks (like a new suit), but the thing that motivates me more than any other is positive feedback, encouragement and the occasional "thank you." 

So, long day, but good.

Plus no barfing!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Barfday!

Seriously, today's my birthday and I woke up this morning and threw up. Several times. Excellent start to a new year.

It was a little like last February, though not nearly as severe. Though that was my fear as I huddled there in a cold sweat on the bathroom floor -- "Can't go to the hospital! Can't miss tomorrow's shoot! Can't miss birthday cake!"

Luckily, it went away after a few hours and some sleep. And I am lucky it wasn't tomorrow. That would have been a disaster.

Oh, well. The year can only get better from here ...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's the little things ...

Weeks after the robbery I was just discovering little things that were missing beyond the big ticket items.

A silver money clip I never used. It was nice, though. A gift, from Tiffany's. I didn't use it because it was the third money clip I'd been given in my adult life and I'm still using the one my sister got me when I was, like, 22 or something. But it bugs me that these assholes got it.

Then a while later I noticed a towel was missing. A fucking towel! Presumably used to wrap the useless laptops in. It wasn't one of my everyday towels. It was old, but in good shape. And it was a nice freakin' towel. Again, it bothers me.

Finally, last week, as I'm packing for San Diego, I find my backpack is missing. It was a crappy 10-year-old Timberland backpack, but still ... 

It's funny, one of the first things I checked was luggage. The closet was askew and I knew thieves often stow their loot in luggage, but I didn't see anything missing. Probably because I checked out all the good stuff. The Tumi, the leather, the stuff that cost 10 times what the backpack cost. These assholes have no taste or discernment -- that's clear.

Anyway, on the bus this afternoon, I saw a guy with the very same brand, model and color of backpack. I stared at it, studying it closely to see if it was mine. But it really had no distinguishing features. And, I regret to say, I assumed it wasn't the thief because the guy did not fit my picture of what the thief probably looked like.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Audition by phone

So this morning, before heading out to a commercial audition, I did another audition. From my HOME. By PHONE!

How cool is that? It was a voiceover audition, which I've done before, but never by phone. Usually the great thing about voiceover auditions is you don't have to worry about wardrobe. (Or even showering!) But when you're auditioning by phone? Hell, anything goes! They do NOT want to know what I was doing or (not) wearing while doing that reading.

In other news, the Job From Hell wants a ... wait for it ... THIRD WARDROBE FITTING. I told them no way. There's no way I have another 2-3 hours to kill this week for this. So they're coming to my home tomorrow. Insane.

The really seriously scary thing is we may end up going with a suit that I auditioned in. After all of that. Really.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shoot me now

Children's Beach seals
La Jolla

Just shoot me. Like these poor, dead baby seals. (Actually, they're just sleeping.)

So the hijinks continue with this industrial shoot next week. (Once again, the people who had me audition THREE times, and pushed back the shoot date at least twice that many times.)

Yesterday they had me go to a wardrobe fitting, which is usually done only for major national SAG commercials, not for industrials. So I slogged over to the middle of nowhere, toting my various suits and shirts and ties and shoes, and we took multiple pictures of those, plus various other outfits they had for me to try on.

And now today? They want a SECOND wardrobe fitting. That's right. They want to meet me, TOMORROW, at a men's clothing store, where we will buy a suit and have it altered by Monday. I'm not kidding. I wish I was. 

Yes, I'm being paid for the fittings, and yes, they're even going to give me the suit after the shoot (albeit a suit that I may or may not like). Still. I am absolutely going insane with this major client deadline, and intervening auditions and other things interfering, and I have precious little time left to give.

Monday should be ... fascinating.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Grind, indeed

The Wave House
Mission Beach, San Diego

I've decided for now to just trickle out the San Diego photos. This is from this awesome, awesome place we found on the boardwalk at Mission Beach. It has this "FlowRider" thing where surfers and boogie boarders can ride this endless machine-created wave, until they bail off the back or take a spill, in which case they're shot through the pipe and out the other side.

The best part is, there's a deck with a bar facing the wave. So if you're not up for surfing, you can do the next best thing (or maybe the only better thing?): sit and watch and drink beer. Anyway, some of the surfers were pretty amazing. And in the ocean, too -- I've never seen so many surfers. I wish the water wasn't 60 degrees, or I would have done more than get my feet wet.

So, back to reality. Long, long day. Tough photo shoot. Lots of waiting around, lots of tension as people kept changing their minds about what they wanted. But a fun group of actors, at least, and a really decent paycheck.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Back to the grind

Just spent 4 beautiful days in San Diego, a place I'd never been.

I don't know where I got the idea that all the pretty parts of California were north of LA. Or that San Diego was just a sleepy little harbor/military town. It was unbelievably beautiful. And SO much to do.

And eye-opening. I had no idea there were so many types of palm trees. And I finally learned the difference between sea lions and seals. (Sea lions have the bigger flippers and can stand up on their front ones -- they're the ones you see doing tricks at Sea World-type places. Seals, on the other hand, just sorta hump along on land like big, blubbery caterpillars.)

Tons and tons of fauna (lizards, skunks, rabbits, deer, hummingbirds, the aforementioned seals and sea lions, cranes, pelicans -- to say nothing of all the non-native species at the Wild Animal Park) and flora blooming and flowering absolutely everywhere. 

Anyway, more to come. Tough week ahead. All-day shoot tomorrow and a big, big work deadline Friday ...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Welcome to Paradise

Point Loma, San Diego

There's some weird calendar synchronization thing that always seems to happen with commercial bookings. Like when I had 4 auditions in two days and they all planned to shoot in the same 3-day period.

Now I've got a booking for Monday. This one from Agent #3. Sure enough, I get calls this week from both Agents #1 and #2 with bookings for the very same damned day. That totally bites. 

Anyway, at least I'm booked. Hopefully by then the damned sunburn will calm down a little ...