Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

I see dead people

For the past few weeks, it’s been extremely hot and humid here in Los Angeles.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s always hot this time of year, but the wonderful thing about living in an arid climate is that it cools off at night so, for a few hours, there is some relief. The important hours – when one is trying to rest without sweating like the proverbial whore in church.

Not lately.

It’s been so awful at night that sleep has been impossible – and not just for me.

Everyone on the crew (maybe the cast, too, but they have makeup) have black circles under their eyes and are downing coffee (iced, of course) as fast as they can.

It’s not just us, though. Tempers are flaring all over the city, as the police cope with near-record cases of cranky pants.

Excessive horn-honking, overly aggressive shouts of “points” when one isn’t carrying anything, passive-aggressive latte ordering, crafty grabbing*, scuffles over shaded parking spaces, crowded beaches,

Today, I snarled at a man in the grocery store for breathing.

No, really. That’s all he was doing. Through his nose, making that goddamn high-pitched whistle from hell.

I’ll kill him.

Wait…

I mean it’s cooled off tonight and maybe I can get some sleep so I’ll feel less homicidal tomorrow.

Although I have a 4 pm call in northeast Bumfuck, so I doubt it.

*Those peanut butter cups are mine. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

Filed under: crack of dawn, cranky, distant location, life in LA, locations, long long drives, Los Angeles, Work, , , , ,

At least it’s a dry heat. Oh, wait.

After working on a show that I absolutely cannot write about (super-secret paparazzi bait) – and working 14 hour days so there was no way to do anything worth writing about besides work, I got a call to work on a cable show in Santa Clarita.

Good news: I was going against the traffic, and working with a crew of wonderful people. Bad news: It was 104 degrees, with ‘monsoon conditions’, which feels like one moved to Florida, but without the awesome Cuban food.

Lucky for us, we were on stage all day – the other unit were out in the parking lot, finishing up the previous day’s work that had to be cut short because several people had succumbed to heat-related illnesses (including one of the actors).

These stages have really powerful air-conditioning units, as they have to combat not only the external heat, but the inferno created by pumping enough electricity through large lights to power a city block.

But the air-conditioning only works when it’s turned on (insert joke here).

For some reason, this production has decided that they can’t chill the air while they rehearse. Which would be fine, except that when it’s that hot outside and we have lights burning, it takes a few minutes for the temperature in the stage to climb past 100 degrees, and the air-conditioning, when turned off for the hour or so it takes to rehearse a three page scene, just can’t catch up.

Although I don’t know the exact temperature, by lunchtime it was very, very hot on set.

Our actor  was begging for them to turn on the air during rehearsals, but no dice. Gotta keep it quiet.

At lunch, when we turned the lights off, the stage cooled off, but heated back up right afterwards.

You know the smell that wood saunas make? I can’t describe it as other than really superheated wood. That’s how the set smelled – so it was about as hot as a sauna.

Lucky for us, the director got us out of there in about 10 hours (super impressive for a 7 page day!), and I was able to crank the air in my car on the way home to my apartment.

Which is not air-conditioned, of course. But at least there are no 10ks.

 

 

Filed under: california, locations, long long drives, Work, , , , , , , , , ,

I am so ready for summer to end.

It’s time for the annual heat wave (now with extra humidity!) that turns Los Angeles into Miami West. Although this seems to have taken everyone by surprise, it happened last year and the year before that and the year before that. Before that, I forget. Must be the heat.

Huge thunderheads hang in the sky east of the city, and while they’re very pretty (as clouds go) they’re making everyone completely miserable and smelly. I keep getting invites for afternoon events and there’s just no way in hell I’m going to even bother putting on makeup and trying to look human.

Every morning I wake up early intending to get in a workout and a bike ride before the heat gets really bad, but I’ve just not been able to do it. Maybe it’s because it’s not actually cooling off in my house at night. This is just cruel and unusual, if you ask me. If I had any energy, I’d fire off an angry letter to someone.

What I have been doing is seeing a lot of movies, but I have to be careful because I don’t want to run out of movie passes. I buy them every time I work on a lot where they’re sold (and save them for occasions like this), but I only have a few left so I’ve got to ration, which takes away one source of free air conditioning for a few hours.

Tomorrow, I have my first appointment with the therapist (who seems like a nice lady and I’m not sure I should subject her to me), who will hopefully have an air-conditioned office. After that, since we’re in for at least 8 more weeks of heat, I think I’m going to have to shave my pussy.

Seriously.

She’s obviously really uncomfortable and has been following me from room to room scolding me whenever I happen to be home – you know, just in case I didn’t already know that it’s hot and sticky and she’s wearing a heavy fur coat. She’s also shedding like mad. She should be bald already, but since she isn’t I’m starting to doubt that there’s actually a cat underneath all that fur.

The only problem with this plan should be obvious. The last time I tried this (with a former cat) I ended up in the emergency room. My sister suggested filling the water bowl with whiskey, but I’m kind of afraid to try it – what if something happens mid-clip and I have to take her to the vet?

Then he’ll ask why the cat can’t stand up and I’ll have to explain that she’s drunk. He already thinks I’m horrible because of the whole eye incident, so I think a kitty blood-alcohol level would make him call the PETA hit squad.

You know, the more I think about it the more I become convinced that it’s a really bad idea.  I think I’ll just use my last AMC pass and go see IMAX Batman.

There are rumors of work Saturday night, which, while I’ll have to try to get turned around (since I’ve been going to bed* before 10 every night), will at least be not too hot.

In other news, Los Angeles county is threatening to require that calorie counts of meals be posted on the menu right next to the price, which I predict will, at the very least, cause mass confusion around here (“wait. The hamburger’s 800 dollars? What? It’s only ten dollars? Well why do you have that number there if it’s not the price? I don’t get it”)

*What I really mean is laying in the bed with the fans turned on high, sweating profusely and wishing I lived in Greenland.

Filed under: life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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