Thursday, June 24, 2010

Being the guy I hate

My neighborhood is flush with those earnest damned kids canvasing on behalf of one cause or another. They work in pairs, trying to make eye contact with you, waving at you from half a block a way, excuse-me-sirring you, and asking if you have just two minutes to save the environment or the whales (seriously, they're still with the whales) the country from high deficits or the Republic from Republicans or whatever.

And my answer is always no. There is never a time I am out on the streets when I've got an extra few minutes. I'm on the way to gym class or to an audition or to meet someone or to a meeting or an appointment or a conference call or a waiting deadline. I barely have the time to make it to my appointed destination, so I certainly don't sit there beforehand and think, "I ought to build in an extra five minutes in case someone wants me to sign a petition or join a cause or something."

Who stops for these people? I'm guessing the un- and under-employed, the lazy and the lonely. Are those really the people who are going to put that cause over the top?

Anyway, today I had to be the "Can you spare five minutes?" guy. More work on these videos. Seriously, how did I become producer? I'm really not crazy about it. I had a guy helping pull people aside but what we needed was a cute intern whose heart nobody could break. At least one out of three people were fine turning us down.

Once I got them in front of the camera, I was fine. It's the begging I object to. And the rejection. But even with the interview part, there are lots of people who are better at it than I am. People who can politely and charmingly badger someone to say something just right, and in five different ways, and then over and over again.

I hope we got good stuff. We were out at Water Tower park and the tourists were mostly eager and interested. Then we went to a grocery store and the percentage of people who are like me, eager to just go about their business without being bothered, went way up.

Glad to be done with that. We're doing other sites around the world but they'll be using locals for those shoots. Though we might get to go to the chocolate factory here. That wouldn't be so bad, I guess.

All in all, I prefer being in front of the camera instead of behind it. (Though you wouldn't know it from the audition I shanked today ...)

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