Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Just a little while

Last night, a friend called me up and asked if I wanted to work today – of course I said yes even though it meant fighting my way to north bumfuck through hysterical rain-crazed traffic.

The job, as described to me, would be babysitting an EPK (electronic press kit – those interviews you see with the actors on the DVD extras and on celebrity ‘news’ shows) unit for a few hours. EPK people are usually really nice but high-maintenance about asking for lights, but I had a list of restrictions that would keep them from getting too crazy with the requesting things (we couldn’t move rigged lights, the stage had no floor package of staged lamps to use, so they were pretty much restricted to stuff I could control from the dimmer board) so I figured it would be an easy, fun day.

I showed up at 10 am, checked in and was told to wait for them to show up. Two and a half hours (and several cups of coffee) later, they still hadn’t shown so I figured I’d help out the riggers who were working in the stage. I really hate sitting around doing nothing when other people are working. It makes me feel guilty. Or something.

About an hour after that, the best boy came in and told me what I’d already figured out for myself. The EPK unit had cancelled without bothering to notify anyone, so I was asked to hang around and help out the riggers for the rest of my eight hours. Which was fine – the riggers are nice folks with whom I really enjoy working, so I kept on hanging lamps.

Then, right after lunch, I got the bad news. We had to go out in the parking lot and run cable in the pouring rain. This would have been fine had I known I was going to be rigging outside in the rain, but I’d been told the day would be mainly sitting at the dimmer board so I didn’t bring the shoes that are waterproof on top or the waterproof gloves.

So my feet got wet. Again. Eventually, my geeky tech sock liners wicked away enough of the moisture so I didn’t feel quite so sloshy, but still. I hate, hate, hate having wet feet at work. I know it’s silly that something so small makes me so completely miserable, but I can’t help it.

In addition to being wet, my feet also hurt like hell as my shoes, in addition to not being waterproof on top, weren’t really ‘stand all day’ shoes.

After we ran the cable, we went back into the stage to hang some more lights, and right about 5 pm, the EPK people walked on to the stage, having changed their minds again without telling anyone. Luckily, they were only there for about an hour and I was released about 6 pm, just in time to go swim for an hour while the rainy day traffic snarl died down.

Filed under: Work

6 Responses

  1. JCW says:

    As a background actor, I sympathize about the waiting around bit – it’s the shits.

    The wet feet thing really sucks, and I love when they change plans two or three times during a day and fail to notify the rank and file.

    The question is… How was lunch?

    Peggy sez: Lunch was corned beef and cabbage, which I love, even though it’s really unhealthy.

  2. Justin says:

    Wet feet are not a small thing. A small thing like that ruins any sane person’s entire day.

    Peggy sez: it makes me absolutely insane to have wet feet. I can deal with wet anything else, but wet feet and I’m up the wall. That and creeping underpants, but that’s an entirely different issue.

  3. zhoen says:

    Wet feet is bad. I keep shoes at work, and always change into them. Can you leave your good/wetproof shoes in your car? Or in a bag that you can grab and take with you every time?

    Peggy sez: I don’t have enough room in my car to leave everything there all the time (plus, there’s always the risk of break ins); I usually schlep everything out to the car on a day-by-day basis. Yesterday, I just decided not to bother with the full raingear bag.

  4. geekhiker says:

    Wet feet in any situation are bad. I usually leave a spare set of socks and shoes in the car if I hike in the rain, just in case. When backpacking, I always bury a set of socks right in the middle of the pack so I’ll have at least one dry set if it rains. Heck, I remember reading about soldiers in WWII talking about how they could go through just about anything, as long as they were able to get a hold of a set of dry socks!

  5. Vicki says:

    Wanted to tell you Peggy if you ever get tired of the Southern California life, they have built a huge (500,000 sq ft) sound studio here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They are saying it is the world’s biggest. West Michigan is a real nice community to bike around (Lake Michigan is only 30 mins away) and many couches that need to be documented. Google Hanger42 for the Forbes article. All the best!

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