Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Thankfully, a busy week

This week didn’t start out busy. This week started out with just Monday on a three camera kids show. Let’s call it Sassy Tweens.

Then, as I started the Tuesday morning worry, I got calls for Wednesday and Thursday within five minutes of each other. Sweet.

Wednesday was a condor call, on Been Done Before.  Since it’s been a while since I’ve been up in a condor, I had to  pause for a few minutes at about 50 feet to get my ‘air legs’.  Condor calls are usually 8 hours – so both of us came in before lunch, and helped work the set (a teeny tiny bar. Really teeny) and move back to the lot.

We wrapped about 11 pm, and I hurried home to get to bed as soon as possible because I had an 8 am call on a new TV show that has an unbelievable amount of security – a co-worker told me that one of the background actors tweeted the name of the show and security nailed him 10 minutes later.  A PA actually approached me and checked my name against the call sheet. Wow. Let’s call it Super Secret.

Please no guesses at the name in the comments. Don’t get me blacklisted from a show with a crew I adore.

We had a nice day on an air-conditioned stage (hooray!) and aside from being a little sleepy (I like to try to get at least 6 hours, and I  fell just a bit short), it was a great day with guys I  really like.

Today, I’m back on Sassy Tweens. That gives me four days this week.

Hooray for work!

Filed under: crack of dawn, locations, studio lots, up all night, Work, , , , ,

Almost a full weekend.

One of the things that really gets me when I work all night Friday is trying to get back on a day schedule – we get released sometime Saturday morning and then have a 7 am call on Monday, so there’s a bit of a panic to not be a zombie Monday morning.

While there are rules about the amount of turnaround time from Friday to Monday, they don’t apply if one is jumping from one show to another, so that Monday morning thing can be really, really bad.

This time, however, I lucked out and got almost an entire two days to get turned around.

Friday’s call time was 2 pm, and I was awakened by the class of ’08 from the school across the street who started partying and blowing air horns at 7 am, so I gave up and got up, hoping they’d leave and I could catch a nap before work. Not so much.

When I left at 1 pm, they were still making a racket.

Of course, we worked until 8 am Saturday morning. I almost never drink energy drinks (they taste like crap would probably taste after being mixed with a pound of sugar and whatever chemical makes that unholy fluorescent green color), but I made an exception and choked one down because I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it the 30 something miles back to the house.

When I got home, I didn’t even bother to shower – just kicked off my shoes and crashed on the couch until about noon, when I forced myself to get up and shuffle around aimlessly until it got dark enough to go to bed.  At some point during the day, I tried to connect my new (ish. Thank you Ebay for enabling me to buy someone else’s castoff crap at a discount) Bluetooth headset to my phone and although it worked,  now I can’t find the headset.

I’m sure wherever I put it made total sense to me when I was exhausted. Guess I’ll just have to wait until I come home from the next all-nighter to find it again.  Once, I came home from work at 7 am and put a pair of brand new sunglasses down… somewhere.  I went nuts for weeks trying to find them (they were expensive) until the next time my knee hurt and I had to get the icepack out of the freezer, and there they were – coated in frost.

There’s a weird thing that happens to me on weekends like this – I’ll take a short nap on Saturday, then stay up all day, go to bed early and then get up early on Sunday in the hopes that I’ll be able to go to bed early on Sunday, too.

For some reason this rarely happens and despite having gotten up at 6 am Sunday, I’ll still not be able to fall asleep until midnight. I don’t know why this happens.

This time, though, I lucked out because my call time Monday was noon so my not being able to fall asleep really didn’t matter.

Work is starting to slow down a bit as many of the TV shows that were frantically trying to get something ‘in the can’ before the possible SAG strike are now finishing up and waiting to see what’s going to happen with the actors.

Hopefully I’ll pick up another couple of days this week before everything goes dead.

Filed under: crack of dawn, up all night, Work, , ,

Watch me try to stay awake

One of the things that still remains tough to adjust to after all this time is the unpredictable hours that I sometimes have to work.

Under normal circumstances, if I’m so tired that I feel I’m not safe I’ll turn down the call, but since my policy right now is to only turn down work if I’m dead, I’m taking anything at any time I can get, which means if I have to go without sleep I’m just going to have to deal, since the shadow of another potential work stoppage is still hanging over all our heads.

Thursday: 2 pm call time. I got to bed around 2 am and got up around 7 am in order to keep on a day schedule. I figured I’d stay up all day and just go to bed early.

Then, on Friday around noon I got a last minute call to report to work at 2 pm (missed seeing Nezza on her last day here, but a girl’s gotta pay the bills), so right out of the gate I was completely wiped out and the best boy will probably go to his grave being convinced that I’m either perpetually stoned or exceptionally slow on the uptake.

Monday: 7am call time, which adds up to one of those one-day weekends since I totally lost Saturday. I’m sure I did something, but I have no idea what that something was.

I was off today, and I got up early hoping to stay on a day schedule, but no such luck.

Tomorrow: 5 pm call time, so although I got up at 6 am today, I’ll have to try to stay up until at least midnight in the hopes that I’ll sleep until at least 8 am.

8, for me, is the magic number. I can’t seem to sleep much later unless I get home from work at 7 am.

What will probably happen is that I’ll fall asleep at 10, wake up at 6, be unable to get back to sleep and then be up until sunrise Friday morning, which means I’ll have to down enough coffee to kill Juan Valdez and his donkey in order to stay functional.

It’s all going to be fine. I’m just happy to be working, and worse comes to worse I’ll catch a nap in the back seat of my car after work. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done that.

On the bright side, I got my refund checks from the unemployment fracas:

Winning feels gooood.

I have big plans for this money. First, I’m going to trowel on enough makeup so that I topple over when I try to stand upright. Then, I’m going to don an obscenely tight dress, make a beeline to the trendiest nightclub in town and sit at the bar while I bat my eyelashes and fan myself with $2,000 in twenties before going home with four or five cheap male models. Or maybe one really expensive one.

Just kidding. I’m going to use it to pay bills and rent. Whatever’s left over goes in the savings account in case the actors decide to strike.

Although when I think about it, if I have four or five cheap male models, do I really need a place to live? Or food?

Filed under: Photos, Work, , , , , , , , ,

Back in the land of the living, at last.

I know I’ve said it before, but pulling all-nighters just kills me.

They didn’t used to – I’d run around all day, work all night and then the next day I’d just drink a lot of coffee and stay up until early evening and then sleep for 12 hours. The next morning, I’d wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Not so much anymore.

I worked Tuesday night and couldn’t sleep during the day due to too much noise from the construction next door. Also, I had a two hour drive to where we were working (a mothballed children’s prison in Whittier, which should only be a 20 minute drive if the traffic around here weren’t so bad), so I had to leave really early to make my 7 pm call.

The night went pretty well – thankfully my boss put me in one of the lifts hanging lights so I didn’t have to walk on a concrete floor all night. My knee thanks him.

My appointment with the doctor was at 9 am Wednesday, so I rushed out of work (so quickly that I forgot to take my walkie off and now have to get it back to the best boy over the weekend. The really funny part was when it started making dying battery beeps later in the day and I couldn’t figure out what the noise was and went batty in sleep-deprived slow-mo) just in time to hit the morning rush hour gridlock. I did, however, manage get back to LA in time to take a quick shower before seeing the doctor, which was good because I’m sure I didn’t smell too great after sweating all night.

Oh, and the orthopedist did exactly what I thought he was going to do. He took one look at the xray and ordered an MRI, which I’ll get Saturday morning at 7 am.

The rest of the day is kind of a blur. At some point I did go to sleep and when I woke up Thursday, I was still tired and fuzzy – so I went to see the Harry Potter movie, which probably would have been confusing to me even if I’d been 100 percent. Unlike Fellini movies, Harry Potter does not improve with sleep deprivation – but I suppose that’s what you get when you try to condense a 700 page book into a movie.

I’m feeling much better today, and may even attempt to do some thinking (or go see the Simpsons movie). The knee’s better too – I can walk normally now instead of gimping around, leaning on a cane.

Filed under: crack of dawn, life in LA, locations, long long drives, Non-Work, up all night, Work, , , , , , , , , ,

Friday


I got home from work around 5 am, and managed to get about three hours of sleep this morning before the destruction crew came back in. I felt pretty good until about an hour ago. Now I feel like someone beat me with a tube sock full of quarters.

I was supposed to go to some thing at the W hotel tonight, but I’m just too damn tired (I’m also too damned tired to write much more than this) – I’ll be lucky if I manage to stay awake until 8 pm.

Filed under: Photos, up all night, Work, , , , , , , , , ,

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