Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wasted Day


I would say I shot a commercial today but that's premature. I went to a commercial shoot today.

It was a midday call, so I knew off the bat they'd be running late from whatever they were shooting in the morning, and sure enough they were. So they got there, then had to break for lunch then started herding the two dozen or so principals and extras through wardrobe and makeup. I'm in a group of four actors and we're among the last to be made up.

Meanwhile my agent calls and asks if I can do a shoot for the same client on Sunday. "Wait, they want me for a second spot?" I asked. She didn't know. Lots of questions -- would I be a principal, is it also out in the 'burbs like today, etc., etc. No info. The funny thing is, someone there on the set was calling the casting agency, which was calling my agent, who was calling me to convey this info.

As the afternoon dragged on and on it started to dawn on me what was happening. I asked the other three in my group if they were also getting messages from their agents. They dug out their phones, checked voicemail and checked in, and it became clear that they were checking all our schedules for Sunday.

Which indicated to me that they weren't trying to book me for a second spot -- they were seeing if they had the option of shooting this one on Sunday instead. Rampant speculation ensued. After around 4 pm we get called upstairs to shoot. They touch up our makeup and inspect our wardrobe. They bring in the camera and the director starts framing things up and checking the light and discussing it with the crew.

After a while, the camera rolls out of there. Then the lights. Then other crew members are peeling off. Finally we realized we were all alone up there. We sat around for another hour-plus, speculating. It was clear they were filming somewhere else.

Finally, at a little after 6 came word that they were bumping us to Sunday. One of the actors has a conflict at 3, so we'll see what happens. It hasn't been officially confirmed with us that we're on for Sunday. Likely we won't hear for sure until Friday or even Saturday.

Yes, we get our session fee for today. Around $700 or so. But you know what? I'd give up that 700 bucks to not have to screw up my Sunday and round up a car and schlep back out 40 miles to the western suburbs. To say nothing of the work and work-out and fun I missed out on today.

So now I have to get up early, get my rental car from its metered space, gas it up and return it. Then figure out how to get back out there on Sunday.

Not fun. I have clients to serve and flab to burn and a book to write and edit and marketing to do and packing and planning for Alaska and errands and chores and ... well, I hadn't counted on losing a whole day from all that ...

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