Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pick it up, put it down. Pick it up, put it down.

I have some bad memories of working at Sony:

Losing my composure and screaming like a girl the time my foot went through a rotten board on the catwalk of stage 6 and I tripped and ended up with most of my upper body dangling over thin air 70+ feet above the deck. "It's fine! I'm totally fine. There's nothing wrong" I lied, after I was pulled back onto the walk by my co-workers. I'd just gotten into the union and I didn't want the crew I was working with to think I was weak - especially since a guy had fallen out of the perms on stage 6 and died just a few years before. But honestly? I think I might have actually pissed myself. I can't remember - before or since - ever being that afraid. I spent that day's lunch break in the girls' room, crying and shaking.

Stage 6, by the way, is no longer a stage. It's being turned into an office building, and those rotten, fucked up perms are now in a landfill somewhere and will no longer terrorize crew members. Fine by me.

I also remember getting dumped by a man I thought loved me - once again, trying not to cry, I said "you're absolutely right. It is all for the best", because I didn't want him to think that I might care.

My last memory of him is seeing him sitting on the couch in his trailer, with his head in his hands as I stepped out into the heat, late back to work from my lunch hour and wondering how I was going to get all the way across the lot in 30 seconds.

That time, I managed to wait until I was in my car before I started crying.

In contrast, I have only good memories of working on Sony's lamp dock. The staff there are a great bunch of guys, and every time I've gone in to work the dock, I've had a terrific (and stress-free) day.

Lamp dock work is warehouse work - it's filling orders, testing and stocking returned equipment, etc... I don't mind it once in a while (although more than a few days in a row on any lamp dock will make me nuts) - it's kind of zen as there's no real hurry, and I get to connect with a few old friends (one co-worker from the first season of Deadwood), even if I did spend just about all of my meager paycheck on DVDs in the studio store (the TV series Action is out on video, and it's still some of the funniest stuff ever put on the air - well worth the 20 bucks).

So after an entire day of moving cable from one pile to another, I celebrated our first cool day ( I can't use my oven in the summer - it makes my entire place about as hot as a sauna) by stopping off at the grocery store on the way home (my fridge is empty) and cooking Ruth Reichl's roasted chicken recipe (of all the roasted chickens I've tried, this one is the best - and it's fairly cheap to make, but you do have to shell out for a really good chicken. The instructions are at the end of the linked article).

Tomorrow night is the first night of Banksy's LA show, and I can't wait!

No, really, I can't. I'm going to explode or something.


Larry Weiner said...

God I love Banksy. His latest gig at Disneyland was priceless. I have his art on my computers, on the walls, we need Banksy t-shirts! Though, he might find that too....what? Enjoy the show - be sure to post about it.


Newsguy said...

My wife worked as a scenic artist over at CBS Radford on a soap the day a grip unlocked his tether on catwalk and plunged 60 plus feet to the concrete floor of a soundstage on his head. And he survived, but I haven't heard just how he survived. Blood all over the floor as you can imagine. My wife still tells horror stories about the dismal and dangerous working conditions on those soundstages. The chemicals, mainly. And it seems I'm always hearing about a scenic artist dying of some kind of rare cancer.

I was in TV, but in news and I never ran into those kinds of conditions except out in the field during a riot or a fire or something.

Seems to me CALOSHA is way too uninvolved in enforcement of working conditions in film and TV. It should be the subject of some major investigative journalism. The studios get away with excessive cost cutting to improve the bottom line in at the expense of the worker bees.

commodore vic said...

I really liked 'Action.' I'm gonna have to pick up that DVD.