Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

There’s a first time for everything

I’m not an actor, nor have I ever had  any actorish aspirations.

But yesterday on one of the swim groups, someone posted a casting call that I just couldn’t pass up.

A female swimmer, mid 30s to mid 40s, proficient in all four strokes and comfortable swimming in the ocean.

The last part was strenuously emphasized – COMFORTABLE SWIMMING IN THE OCEAN !!!!! – so I’m guessing they’ve had some issues with people telling them “sure, no problem” and then freaking out when they dropped them off the boat. Or dock, or whatever.

Luckily, I’m not afraid of the terrors that lurk in the briny deep because, I suspect, I’m not smart enough to have ever developed even a modicum of common sense.*

I figured I’d email the casting lady just for a laugh. I gave her my swimming background, sent a few pictures, and figured that I’d hear nothing back from her.

She emailed me within 10 minutes, and informed me that my ‘look’ was acceptable (whew. I was worried there for a second), and that I’d have to come in and audition.

I started to lose interest, and then I read the numbers.

For two days, they’ll pay more than I usually make in a 60 hour week. And I don’t have to be SAG because of some reason. I think because there are no lines. Just swimming.

So, I agreed to go on my first-ever audition.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I would imagine that if swimming skills were so critical they’d hold said audition in the water. Seems like it would be the sensible thing to do. “Hey, come out to the beach. Now dive through the waves and swim to that kayak out there. Mind the stingrays.”

But no. My audition was in a Hollywood casting office, where I stood in front of a video camera, did a few pushups (don’t ask me why, I don’t know) and then mimicked swim strokes for whichever deity will be making the choice. Plus, I threw in a story about the time I got stung by a jellyfish because I thought it was a plastic bag and grabbed it to clean up the ocean.

Serves me right. Not just the jellyfish, the whole fucking thing.

Everyone was really nice, but the experience was really surreal. The office is this big corral with smaller rooms off the sides. All the supplicants sit in center on uncomfortable chairs, making small talk as they wait to be called into their particular inner sanctum.

The walls are white, there are signs everywhere warning that one must mind one’s meter, and coffee is not complimentary.

Did you ever see Brazil? It’s kind of like that.

Looking around our little group, it was very easy to see who had come from the swim group and who was a professional actor.

The swimmers had broader shoulders, more sun damage, more bruises, and worse hair. Oh, our hair was terrible. I’m surprised we weren’t immediately escorted off the premises.

I do not expect I’ll get a callback.

*Although there is that one kelp mat off Venice Beach that scares the shit out of me every time I swim over it. It’s just deep enough to see the shadow, but not make out any detail.

Filed under: humor, life in LA, Los Angeles, , , , , , , ,

Oops.

Have you ever had an entire week disappear? Just vanish – a few fuzzy recollections, but for all intents and purposes, it was only a day.

That’s what happened to this past week. I know it was there, I got some work (hooray!), ate lots of holiday bad-for-me food, drank some wine, but mainly it’s just… gone.  I blame the stuffing.

Yesterday, I got a day with wonderful guys that I always enjoy being around.

We shot in a gym swimming pool, where our hero fearlessly dives into the shallow end to save the drowning scantily clad girl.

No, it really is fearless. Diving into the shallow end is super dangerous.

One of the things that it’s very important to remember about shooting around any sort of water is that said water does not go well with electricity. Sort of like purple and lime green.

So when we shoot around water we use these things called ground fault circuit interrupters when we work around water.

They’re a fairly recent invention, but they’re lifesavers. So much so that we never, ever, ever shoot around water without them. Hell, we use them when there’s a light drizzle three miles away.

So all of us were very surprised when the rental house forgot to send them out.

Oops.

Luckily, we were able to plug into the gym’s outlets, which were all GFCI (like the ones you have in your kitchen – with the little buttons in between the outlets), and this DP doesn’t like to use large lighting units.

By the time we got all our shots, including the giant crane shot that saw the entire world, it was a 14 hour day,

If I’m only going to get one day, it might as well be a long one.

Filed under: hazardous, locations, Work, , , ,

No work, but at least I have the interwebs

Finally, I got the computer working. Hooray! Unemployment doesn’t seem so bad when I can watch stupid human tricks on YouTube. The only minor problem still existing is that I had to get a new keyboard (this machine doesn’t have one of those dedicated keyboard ports and I couldn’t find an adaptor so I had to get a USB keyboard), and it’s just a tad bit smaller than the old one so it’s currently typo city around here.

I’m also currently going to physical therapy three times a week for my shoulder – the left one has been sore for quite some time, and I figured it was because the left side was the weaker one.

Imagine my surprise when the PT informed me that the left side is the stronger side as it’s been doing more of the work – meaning the right side is the weak slacker mooching off the hard work of the other shoulder.

Dammit.

I was also surprised to learn that I’ve got some mild disc compression in my spine, which is really odd because I don’t have any kind of back pain at all. I didn’t ask, but I’m assuming this means that my spine is also a moocher and forcing my shoulder to do even more work.

So I do the exercises (which could make suspects at Gitmo talk), and go to the PT, who advises me to ice and then puts that twitchy electric thing on my shoulder and tells me it’s looking better, which, for some reason, doesn’t make me or my shoulder feel any better.

The good news is that I can still swim, as long as I breathe to alternate sides, which does reduce oxygen intake, but I’m not going all that fast anyway, so it’s fine even if the coach does yell at me to speed up.

Apparently going to the Olympics a couple of times will make you all bossy-pants.

Hopefully some work will come along soon. I’m beginning to lose track of what day it is.

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

Just when I think I can’t be surprised

Yesterday, as I was riding my bike home from swimming (no job, no driving. Gas is expensive, for America, plus I have to work off all that craft service somehow), I stopped off at the local overpriced organic grocery, pretending to shop just so I could sneak in a visit to the bathroom.

As I was walking my bike out of the parking lot, I looked up at the large American flag flying over the store – not out of a sense of patriotism, but to compulsively check wind direction (I don’t know why I bother. It’s not like I can do anything about it or change my course when I’m on the bike. Guess it’s just one of those odd habits), and noticed that the store had locked the flag to the pole.

You read that correctly. Unbeknownst to me, Los Angeles has been experiencing an apparent wave of rampant flag thefts by well-meaning but presumably broke patriots.

Or maybe it’s just the beautiful people who, having liposuctioned themselves into permanent frigidity, are desperately attempting to insulate themselves from the moderately chilly evening breeze near the beach.

I can’t believe this hasn’t made the news.

Probably because the local news are more interested in staged variety shows, but that’s a rant for another type of blog.

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

But I waaaaaant to!

I thought I had a day of work today, but it got cancelled at the last minute – which is fine.

Okay, it’s not fine. I need the money and losing a day of work sucks ass, but since there’s no use crying over spilled milk I went to the chiropractor instead.

My plan was to get an adjustment, magically feel better and then spend the rainy afternoon swimming.

When I shared this plan with the doctor, he paused and said, “I don’t think you should go swimming today. I think you should go home, ice your hip and take it easy”

But… but it’s raining.

One of the few guilt-free pleasures in my life is swimming in the gym’s heated outdoor pool on a rainy day.

For some reason, people don’t want to get in the water when it’s rainy (go figure), so I’m usually the only one in the pool. The water’s heated to the mid-eighties which is a bit too warm for lap swimming, but the rain on my back is cool and it’s quiet and relaxing and I can concentrate on my form instead of trying not to get kicked in the ribs as my lane-mate passes me.

We’re having a dry year, too. Who knows when I’ll have a nice quiet swim again?

Although I was tempted to ignore his advice – after all, he’s not a real doctor – the fact that he made my hip about 90% less painful is reason enough for me to listen, even though it’s a different kind of pain to imagine the empty pool at the gym while I sit on the couch with an icepack.

Hopefully there will be work next week.  And rain.

But not at the same time.

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , ,

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