I hate turning down work for any reason. When one turns down work too often, best boys stop calling (“Oh, fuck it.. she’s never available. I’m not even going to bother”), and that’s the stuff of my nightmares.
So, yesterday, standing on set (last minute call , and a good day working with a great bunch of guys on a TV show that’s been on the air so long everything runs like clockwork so no panic, no rushing, no yelling and they’ve all been locked up on a stage together forever so all my jokes seem new to them), the best boy asked me if I wanted to work tonight and tomorrow night on a friend of his’ show.
Hell, yes I did. There was only one problem – I would have been spending both nights in a 125′ condor.*
Now, I have no fear of going up in a ‘normal’ sized 80′ condor, and until last year got called for condor work all the time (for some reason, last year was mostly rigging. The year before that was mostly working set, or ‘operating’. This is just the way work fluctuates, I guess. I don’t mind. It keeps things interesting).
But over the years, I’ve cultivated an active dislike for the condors over 100′ tall. It’s a psychological thing – technically, they’re just as safe as the smaller units but for some reason that extra elevation just makes me want to wet my pants, and let me tell you, my shrieks of terror carry a loooonng way in the night air (“Why don’t you just come down and let someone who’s not a complete pussy go up there?”), and no one wants to hear one of the lighting crew scream like a little girl.
So, after considering the possibility of humiliating myself in front of a whole new group of people, I turned the job down – on the grounds that I am, in fact, a complete and utter pussy about things like that.
So, right afterwards, before I even had time to regret the decision, I got a call to work Friday – sitting on a rooftop all night, babysitting a light.
It’s only one night instead of two, but hey, it’s work – and no scary super-tall condors involved.
* You know how night scenes in movies always have the perfect moonlight – just exactly behind the actor’s head and spilling artfully onto the street? Yeah, that’s me (or somebody like me) up in a condor with a BFL (Big Fucking Light). The operator usually has to stay up there with the light all night because as the camera moves around to shoot all the angles of the scene, the elevated BFL will have to change positions, too – in order to keep that moonlight artsy.