Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Write? I’m lucky I can stay awake

To say that it’s been a tough few weeks would be an understatement.

I’m in my last week of the dimmer board gig, and my brain still hurts when I come home at night – the three camera shows are a lot busier for board ops than are the single cameras.

The entire formula for a multi camera sitcom is entirely different from regular single cameras.

They only shoot two days a week – one ‘block and shoot’ day and one audience day.

The block and shoot days are usually swing sets and anything that’s got an effect that might go horribly wrong in front of an audience. On the block and shoot days, the crew standing around will laugh at the scripted jokes while the cameras (and sound) are rolling, which I swear I will never, ever manage to get used to.

The audience days are the really stressful days for me. We come in late morning, rehearse, do some more blocking and more lighting, and then they load in the audience and we run the show in sequence – meaning we start with scene A and go until the end. The stuff that was shot on the previous day is played on monitors while the lights in the sets are dimmed down. By me. In real time.

Usually with the video playback people yelling ‘playback’ in one ear and the gaffer yelling ‘playback’ in the other.

Lucky for me everyone has been remarkably patient with me, even when I melted down and threatened to fill a co-workers underpants with that bowl of mayonnaise that had been sitting, un-refrigerated, on the crafty table all day.

The other three days of the week are rigging – a brand new rig every week, with brand new cues and brand new opportunities to let it all get away from me.

At least I can say I really know this board now. Not well enough for theater, mind you, but well enough for what I’m going to need to use it for.

On the home front, the cat is unwell.

Her kidneys are starting to fail, so I’ve been having to give her fluids under the skin.

The vet made this look so very easy, but honestly I really need a third hand to manage it. One hand to hold the cat, one hand to manage the disturbingly large needle and one hand to fend off the claws.

It was only moderately difficult when she wasn’t feeling well, but now that she’s got some spunk back, it’s like trying to hang on to, well, a cat. A squirmy cat. With teeth. And claws. And a grudge.

She’s also decided that she will only eat liverwurst and canned salmon – not the cheap canned salmon, either. The Alaskan wild-caught $5 per can stuff.

And since I know she hasn’t got much time left, I can’t say no.

So I pay it and grumble about it and then I sit and praise her while she eats, as she’s down to 5.5 lbs (2.5 kilos) from 8.5 (3.8 kilos), so every bite counts.

Since a kitty picture is going to make me too sad, here’s a shot of an outdoor Zumba class from CicLAvia:


Filed under: Los Angeles, Non-Work, Photos, studio lots, Work, , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Sorry the job’s been so stressful, but man, will that help on future gigs.

    Even more sorry about the cat. I went through that a few years ago,with my 19 year old Felicia. I did it for nearly a year, until the quality of life wasn’t helped enough by the injections. The injections are difficult to do on your own, and yes, it’s the time to indulge in whatever the cat wants to eat. Enjoy the time you’ve got left together.

    I’m thinking of you and wishing you well.

  2. windupmovie says:

    We are going through the same with our cat. IMHO, forget the injections. Don’t sour your relationship with the cat when she needs a non-pokey friend.
    Again, just my opinion.

  3. Steve says:

    Hi Peggy

    Sorry about your cat’s health issues. As a former cat owner (mine passed on 2009) after 12 wonderful years together. These relationships, as with people we’ve loved, endure forever. MIne was a former local #40 kitten given to me by a grip from his cats litter at Disney, whilst I was an electrical best boy.
    kindest regards to you and your furry companion, all the best. p.s. I enjoy your observations and 728 adventures. tks.

  4. Marci Liroff says:

    Try to wrap your cat up with a big, thick, fluffy towel like a burrito. All paws and claws are held by the burrito/straight jacket.

  5. dugsy says:

    Yeah, I’ve been there too. You ARE warming the fluid, right? Not hot, just baby-formula temperature. My old lady cat actually enjoyed it, she’d sit the length of my thigh and purr while the fluid went in. Of course she was spavined and skinny from old age and from the kidney issue, so she was cold all the time, and the warmish fluid obviously felt good. I wish you luck!

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