Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.


I hate turning down work from best boys who call me regularly. What’s happened to me more than once is that said best boy decides that since I’m never available, he (or she) just isn’t going to bother even trying anymore.

This is a total burn as by the time I’m off whatever I was on that was keeping me too busy to come in and work, I’ve been replaced on the call list by someone else – and folks have a list that they go down when they have work. The higher up on that list one’s name is, the more often one gets work calls.

So, as much as I hated to do it, I had to turn down an offer of a day on a fairly regular gig Friday because of numbers.

It was for a one day call, and since the show I’m currently working for shoots on a lot which gives hiring priority to their own people, were I to lay myself off for that one day to go do another show, I’d probably not be able to get back on so I’d be giving up the five days of work I’ve currently got (on a lot that’s so close to my house I don’t have to drive and use expensive gas) for one day on another show.

Normally, I’m not hesitant to give up two days for one or to work for a lower rate if it’s someone who calls me regularly – the trade off being that I continue to be on that person’s call list and maintain relationships so I make more money in the long run.

But five days is a lot of money, and with a SAG strike looming, I’m in mercenary mode. Right now, it’s all about the money and my banking as much of it as I possibly can before I’m once again unemployed and watching news coverage of picket lines from the comfort of my living room.

If the SAG strike doesn’t happen after all (something we’re all desperately hoping), I’d love to have enough money by the end of the year to buy a car. I had enough right before the WGA strike, but had to use it to keep a roof over my head instead (before the comments about my extravagant lifestyle commence: not a new car. A new-to-me car).

Hmm.. I wonder if I can use the “you put me out of work” guilt to get John August to buy me a car.

Probably not worth the effort. I’m guessing it’s going to be much easier to guilt one of the actors.

Filed under: Work, , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Dave2 says:

    If there is a strike, I remain hopeful that it’s a very short one. If we have a repeat of the previous strike, I wonder how some of the industry will survive it.

    Peggy sez: A lot of people won’t survive another four months of unemployment. Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed.

  2. lifeisacookie says:

    Another strike?!? Any thoughts on how that can be avoided, if possible? Collateral economic fallout is a concern …

    Peggy sez: There’s nothing anyone in my union (IATSE) can do to prevent a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) strike. The only people who can prevent a strike are SAG and the producers.

  3. meg says:

    The SAG strike of 1980 is still fresh to me. They went on strike in July, and settled in late October, but work didn’t start picking up until after the beginning of January. Needless to say, it was horrible. And if I recall correctly, the actors got screwed by the producers on THAT contract too.

  4. tarzan says:

    writers should be paid more to avoid strike

    Peggy sez: The writer drama is over. Right now we’re worried about actor drama.

  5. meg says:

    During the actor’s strike of 1980, IATSE was supporting SAG, so we didn’t qualify for unemployment. Since IATSE was not supporting the WGA (writer) strike, unemployment benefits were payable (except to Peggy, big wink!) I wonder what will happen if the actors strike this time? Will IATSE support? I know that we can’t personally take another strike…

  6. […] of a SAG strike, Peggy Archer risks shooting herself in the foot (no, not literally) to keep working in the […]

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