Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

An election season repost

I don’t usually repost things, but this is still relevant. Just change the name from Jian Ghomeshi to Donald Trump, and ‘BDSM’ to ‘vanilla flavored sexual assault.’

Original title was “Money, Power, and Silence”.

Anyone who works in media in any capacity keeps secrets.

Most of them are harmless: the vegetarian who eats bacon, the studio exec with an 8th grade education, the erudite gangster rapper.

But some people do very, very bad things and get away with it. For years.

Because they’re powerful. Because they’re rich. Because if you dare challenge them they’ll litigate you into a special kind of hell from which you will never re-emerge.

Even if you do win, you’ll be demonized by the unwashed internet masses because how dare you speak ill of Mr (or Ms.) Perfect? They make great media!

Since he’s Canadian, you’ve probably never heard of him, but Jian Ghomeshiis rich, powerful, beloved, and an alleged serial date-beater.

The accusations span a decade, and the women in his media circles have beenwarning each other to stay away for about that length of time.

But no one went to the police, because apparently the police in Canada aren’t any better at dealing with this sort of thing than the police here in Los Angeles, where they warehoused rape kits for years.

And that’s women who were assaulted by the hoi palloi, not the rich and powerful.

Here in our little Southern California media community, there is at least one serial rapist – not a sad sack who confuses BDSM and battery, an actual rapist – who has been at it for at least 8 years. Maybe longer.

No one that I know of has gone to the police because this person is very, very powerful and, well, that’s why. Even those who are raped by poor people face victim blaming, accusations of being liars and whores who secretly wanted it, etc..

Imagine how that gets magnified when one’s claim involves part of the city’s economic elite, or very, very famous.

Is it any wonder that we just quietly warn each other to stay away from Mr. (or Ms.) Nightmare?

Glances get exchanged, texts get sent, private messages fly around – stay away.

But it’s not a perfect system. Some don’t get the warning. And they have to suffer through the cycle of shame, anger, grief, guilt.

And said abuser walks free.

Because the abuser is above the law. And will likely never face the consequences.

And one could lose faith in the human race, except that Jian Ghomeshi is, finally,  facing some (admittedly mild so far) consequences.

It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing, right?

 

P.S. For fuck’s sake – no comment guesses at any names, even if you know who it is. I can’t afford that kind of lawyer.

 

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

Hearing and Lady Problems

Normally, the gaffer is the head of the lighting department, but on shows with anything more than a passing resemblance to theater (operas, concerts, ice shows, ballroom dancing), there will also be a lighting designer, who is responsible for the theatrical lighting.

Anything that’s part of what would be the theater rig falls under the authority of the lighting designer, so since I was working a follow spot today, I was on the channel with the LD, and not the gaffer.

Normally, the LD sits in a sound proof booth and during the performance, will call out directions to the spotlight operators. The spotlights are given numbers to simplify things, so instead of having to remember names, the LD can just call out “spot 3, pick up downstage left”, or “spot 4, pan up to get the drummer”.

Which is great, when it works.

For this particular show, there was no booth for the LD, so he was sitting next to the monitor, and when they turned on the playback, all we heard over the walkies was something like a radio not quite on the right channel.

KKSSHHHHEHHHGHHLEFTSSSSKKKSHHHHFEETSSHHHHKKRIGHTKSSSHHHSFOURSSKKKKKKKDAMMIT

Since the venue in which we were shooting is not known for stellar acoustics, none of us could even hear what we were thinking.

The LD, once we explained that we couldn’t hear him during playback, sighed and just gave us direction in between takes.

Lucky for all of us there wasn’t too much movement on stage.

The main problem was that our spotlights were on a catwalk that required steep stairs and a ladder to reach – which was fine, except for the lack of a loo.

At this point, I’m sure someone is going to suggest I just pee in the chain bag.

First, eeew.

Second, I have my period, because of course I do. And trust me, no one wants to find that in the chain bag.

I got lucky today that the periods of inactivity coincided with when I needed to slip away, but tomorrow I might be fucked because the call sheet has performance numbers all day.

I’ll have to double up (tampon and a giant pad), and bring up a plastic bag and some wet wipes.

Good thing this show is requiring we all wear black clothes.

I’m back tomorrow and Friday.

Filed under: locations, mishaps, Work, , , , , , , , , ,

Money, power, and silence

Anyone who works in media in any capacity keeps secrets.

Most of them are harmless: the vegetarian who eats bacon, the studio exec with an 8th grade education, the erudite gangster rapper.

But some people do very, very bad things and get away with it. For years.

Because they’re powerful. Because they’re rich. Because if you dare challenge them they’ll litigate you into a special kind of hell from which you will never re-emerge.

Even if you do win, you’ll be demonized by the unwashed internet masses because how dare you speak ill of Mr (or Ms.) Perfect? They make great media!

Since he’s Canadian, you’ve probably never heard of him, but Jian Ghomeshi is rich, powerful, beloved, and an alleged serial date-beater.

The accusations span a decade, and the women in his media circles have been warning each other to stay away for about that length of time.

But no one went to the police, because apparently the police in Canada aren’t any better at dealing with this sort of thing than the police here in Los Angeles, where they warehoused rape kits for years.

And that’s women who were assaulted by the hoi palloi, not the rich and powerful.

Here in our little Southern California media community, there is at least one serial rapist – not a sad sack who confuses BDSM and battery, an actual rapist – who has been at it for at least 8 years. Maybe longer.

No one that I know of has gone to the police because this person is very, very powerful and, well, that’s why. Even those who are raped by poor people face victim blaming, accusations of being liars and whores who secretly wanted it, etc..

Imagine how that gets magnified when one’s claim involves part of the city’s economic elite, or very, very famous.

Is it any wonder that we just quietly warn each other to stay away from Mr. (or Ms.) Nightmare?

Glances get exchanged, texts get sent, private messages fly around – stay away.

But it’s not a perfect system. Some don’t get the warning. And they have to suffer through the cycle of shame, anger, grief, guilt.

And said abuser walks free.

Because the abuser is above the law. And will likely never face the consequences.

And one could lose faith in the human race, except that Jian Ghomeshi is, finally,  facing some (admittedly mild so far) consequences.

It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing, right?

 

P.S. For fuck’s sake – no comment guesses at any names, even if you know who it is. I can’t afford that kind of lawyer.

 

 

Filed under: dating, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, Off-Topic, rants, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

Offensensitivity

Wherever bored dudes congregate, eventually all sorts of graffiti will appear. Mostly names and dates, but also the occasional drawing of a penis, boobs, or political endorsement.

But a few years ago a female co-worker and I found the granddaddy of all obscene scrawls. Naked women in the dirty magazine pose (on the knees with naughty bits facing the audience) with graphically detailed genitals.

If you’re female in this business you have to be able to ignore quite a bit that would, in any other industry, result in a successful lawsuit, but this was a bit much, even though we both admired the artistic talent and attention to detail.

This was a man who could definitely have found the clitoris.

My co-worker decided she didn’t want to spend the next few months looking at these, and used her own considerable artistic talent to make them not so….female.  And very well endowed.

We’re down for a week on the sitcom (actress is “sick”), so I took a day rigging at the very stage where the naughty drawings had been. Of course, the first thing I did upon going into the perms was have a look.

Someone had blacked out the altered naughty bits and added a bit of choice narrative alongside about “art”.

I’m not sure which one I found better – the fact that someone had taken the time to black out dick drawings, which are on just about every surface in the perms (I usually don’t photograph them, but they’re there, trust me), or the dogged effort to compose a few paragraphs about artistic freedom in the medium of marker and wooden beam.

Kudos to you, anonymous freedom guy.

And yes, I feel safe in assuming it was a guy.

In other non-genital related news, it’s finally cooling off here in Los Angeles. Today felt not at all like the surface of the sun, which was nice.

After our down week, I go back to sitcom world for another week or two and then I’m back to hustling any best boy I can find for work.

I will, however, have gotten my required 400 hours to keep my benefits through the end of 2014, for which I am extremely grateful.

Also, I have no idea what’s going on with those super annoying text link ads that you’re seeing. I’m trying to figure out how to turn them off.

Filed under: studio lots, Work, , , , , , , , ,

This time, Kismet works for me.

Usually, when I’m not working it’s a bad thing and I practically glue the phone to the side of my head making calls to scrounge up something – anything.

Sometimes, though, not working isn’t really all that bad.

It’s gotten hot here in Los Angeles – not only is it hot, but the monsoonal rains over the desert – while they’ve given us some beautiful fluffy clouds and a couple of truly spectacular sunsets – have made the humidity shoot up to the point that you can damn near step outside and cut the air with a knife. It’s also not cooling off at night like it usually does, meaning that opening the windows to let in the ‘cool’ night air is completely fucking pointless.

For some reason, when it’s miserably hot I get called to work in the hottest part of the city, doing something that makes me even hotter, such as spending 12 hours up in the perms on an un-air conditioned stage or pulling heavy cable through something that makes me sneeze or break out in an itchy rash. I find myself counting the days until it cools off.

Although I really want to say that the heat’s almost over, I seem to remember it being hot until Thanksgiving last year, and I can’t go that long without working, so at some point I’m just going to have to suck it up and deal with the heat, but even that’s going to have to wait.

The other thing that’s happening this week is that I’ve got a horrible case of the P.M.S.

Not only do I have a Mr. Burns caliber glower going (I frightened a small child today and I didn’t even try), but during the course of the day I’ve lost my temper and shaken my fist while cursing the very existence of the following people, places and things:

WordPress

The Internet

The French

Flip Flops

Gravity

Culver City

Eddie Money

Chevrolet

MySpace

Actually, that last one’s a stretch. Whenever I log on, I shake my fist and curse the very existence of MySpace. You’d think for the money they got when they sold that boat anchor, they’d have hired someone to make the fucking thing work.

Given my current mood, it’s probably better that I’m not at work – I’d just piss my co-workers off.

Tomorrow, since I’m not working, I’m going to either go to the beach (and not go to the beach and ride the bike because I feel like I need some exercise. I mean go to the beach and sit on a towel with a book and not do anything) or use up a shitload of my movie passes and see a bunch of movies.

Either way, it’ll keep me out of the heat.

UPDATE: Laurie over at Crazy Aunt Purl posted a photo of her truly horrifying drivers license photo. The photo’s funny as hell (in a horrifying kind of way), but the comments are even funnier. Although I now have a stitch in my side from laughing, I feel much better.

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

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