Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

So now I’m out of a job along with everyone else.

Today marked my last day of work until all this strike business blows over.

The show that I was working on is an unfortunate victim of the downsizing that’s been happening all over town – a lot of shows are getting the axe because, well, because it’s an excuse to cut some fat and cancel expensive shows that are not expected to do well for one reason or another, so we were completely wrapping out the stages – which meant having to return all the equipment and tear out the rig that’s up in the perms so as to leave the stage ‘clean’ for whichever show comes in next.

As we dropped the cable out of the perms, the talk turned to what we’re all going to do if this strike outlasts our unemployment checks. I’m at a distinct disadvantage here because I’m single – most of the guys on the crew have wives that work in other industries, so they’ll get by on one check.

After spending my entire adult life in the film industry, I’m not sure exactly what it is that I’m qualified to do in the real world. I’ve been making jokes about supplementing my unemployment check with the occasional spot of pole dancing, but the reality is that even if I could find someone to pay money to see me in a bikini my knees would probably give out and I’d make an ass of myself.

Even more so than usual.

The upside was that I was working at Sunset Gower studios, where it’s way easier to park off the lot and walk in (the parking structure fills up super fast) – which meant I was able to make  a face-to-face apology to the writers for crossing the picket line (something I’m deeply uncomfortable doing, but I have to bank every cent I can right now).

Filed under: Work, , , , , , ,

Half a weekend goes well with panic attacks.

My main problem Friday night wasn’t the copious amount of poison oak all over our location, but the dust and pollen in the air. For some reason I always forget that if the location’s on a dirt road the approaching vehicles will make the inevitable dust storm worse. I then vow to never again leave my house without dust masks in my work bag. Then, after working all night I’m tired and I forget the whole thing.

Since the all-nigher and related allergy attack shot Saturday all to hell anyway I stayed on the sofa struggling to breathe and then on Sunday I went to see American Gangster (which I highly recommend even though this trend of three hour long movies is beginning to wear thin).

Monday was the day the panic started to set in. I haven’t got enough money saved to make it through a long strike. I’m going on vacation (for which I can’t get a refund were I to cancel so I might as well go) at a terrible time, and if this doesn’t get resolved soon I’m pretty sure I’m going to starve to death on the street, wallowing in a puddle of my own filth.

The incessant strike-related nattering of the local televised news-bots isn’t helping one little bit, either. Trust me guys, it’s a big world out there and there’s got to be something else you can air besides that one fucking clip of the picket line in front of Paramount. Didn’t someone cure some disease somewhere? Can’t you go look and double check?

When I really start to sit and worry, I can work myself up into quite a state, so in an effort to prevent that I spent Monday trying to find a home for one of the neighborhood’s random stray dogs (for some reason, people like to dump strays in my neighborhood. I don’t know why). This one looks like a purebred Chihuahua, but can’t be. Chihuahuas yap and make me want to drop-kick them and this one’s quiet and really nice, so I’m going to conclude that she’s some other flavor of ankle biter that shakes a lot and is difficult to housebreak.

So, after walking about ten miles in a vain attempt to wear out said ankle-biter (who seems to have a hell of a lot more energy than I do) so she’d appear less hyper than she really is when I dropped her off at a friend’s house (where she’ll stay until I either find her original owner or a new one), I was too tired to worry much, but today I’m rested and since a lot of other people are out of work (or will be soon) the phone calls are flying and everyone’s collectively working themselves up into a lather.

Although going three months at a time without work isn’t unheard of (for me at least), since I don’t have the savings pad that I’d really like to, if the strike outlasts my unemployment I’m going to end up sitting in a cubicle somewhere, rocking back and forth and muttering incoherently about my stapler.

And no one wants to read about that.

Filed under: life in LA, movies, Non-Work, up all night, Work, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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