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:

P1010566

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

A delicate balancing act

There’s an art to work calls (texts these days, but the same rules apply).

One needs to contact various best boys often enough to maintain contact, but no so often that one becomes a nuisance.

This contact/nuisance threshold varies with each individual best boy. Some folks get annoyed if they’re contacted more than once a month, some folks forget you exist if they’re contacted once a week.

I’ve yet to figure it out beyond just remembering it, mostly.

I try to open with some variant on ‘hows the family’ so if I fuck up I’ll get something along the lines of ‘same as they were Tuesday, why?’ instead of accusations of stalking followed by not getting hired.

The worst thing one can do is appear desperate (unless it’s a close friend, and then beg away). Desperate means that one isn’t getting hired by anyone, and that’s pretty universally seen as a personal failing, even when it’s not.

And we all thought we’d left high school.

Not appearing desperate, though, is sometimes difficult, especially in years like this when it’s been slow for over 6 months and that 400 hour requirement for health insurance is dangling over everyone’s head like some kind of Greek sword.

So, I send out “Hey, hope you’re doing well! I’m available if you need me, but really, how are the kids” texts, hoping that I’ll get the 300 hours that I need before October.

It’s just starting to get busy, so I’m still very optimistic.

In other news, the cat is still alive. She’ll turn 17 in November. Lately, it’s been a battle to get her to eat enough to keep weight. I’ve now resorted to egg-shaped bribery, but I’m not proud, so it’s all good.

Angry kitty

Enjoy the fuzziness while you can, kitty.  Soon, there will be a trip to the groomers followed by, well, more anger.

Like that’s a change.

Filed under: Non-Work, Work, , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Photos, or why I’m afraid to go to sleep tonight

This is the cat, in her normal state of fuzzy resplendence:
Pussy, with hair

Except today, when she looks like this:

Shaved pussy

I still have no air conditioning and it’s been incredibly hot and she’s been incredibly miserable, so off to the groomer (a new one, since it’s too far to drive back to Hollywood with a wailing cat in the back seat) we went.  Now, I’m left with half a cat.

No, seriously. The pile of hair was bigger than the surprisingly small cat.

The new groomer loves said cat. Kept feeding her bits of chicken salad because she was ‘stressed’ (no idea if that applied to the cat, the groomer, or both).

Hopefully this means she’ll be too full to kill me in my sleep (the cat, not the groomer).

Filed under: camera, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , , , ,

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