Friday, June 16, 2006

A complete waste of time

Today, I had a mandatory interview with the unemployment people. I had to demonstrate that I was looking for work, since they're trying to weed out... well, I don't know who exactly they're trying to weed out, but I had to go to a work center in Hollywood to have an interview about my 'ongoing job search'.

I got lucky, as the counselor wasn't completely ignorant about film production (some of them are - I've had some excruciating telephone interviews before) and just ticked off that I'd attended the interview, checked my ID and told me that I have to put a resume in the online database.

Me: "Please don't take offense, but you do understand that this is completely pointless, right?"

Him: "Yeah, but everyone has to do it anyway. If you're an actor, just put in 'actor' and how long you've been working and it's fine. They just want to see a resume, or you'll be denied benefits."

Really now - what sort of resume am I going to have? "Work History: Cable monkey, occasional craft service pirate". I'm not even sure I had a resume back when they were still relevant. Nowadays if a producer wants to verify your work history, they look at your IMDB listing.

I did, however, enjoy sitting in the air-conditioning while I wrote and uploaded my joke resume ("Work History: Set Lighting Technician, 1994 to present"). It was hot as hell today.

Tonight, it's Subject Line Here, a performance where a group of fantastic bloggers are reading works, and the best part is that all proceeds go to the Leukemia/Lymphoma society.

Couch of the day:


Thursday, June 15, 2006

A magical evening

Last night, I managed to swing an invite to the Magic Castle. It was very last minute and I went with a group that I only know through email, but who turned out to be a great bunch of folks.

The Magic Castle is a private club just for magicians, and you have to know a member to get a guest pass. The last time I went was in the mid 90's after working on a movie called Lord of Illusions which had a magic consultant who handed out passes to anyone who asked and it was tons of fun, so I jumped at the chance to go again.

Although the Magic Castle has amazing shows, what's more fun for me is hanging out in the lounge with the magicians - they do things like try to one-up each other with card tricks while they're sitting at the bar, and it's just a riot.

The castle has a huge collection of magic-related artifacts and is an extremely cool place, which I hope I'll be able to visit again before another decade goes by.

Couch of the Day:


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The answer to a burning question

As far as my job's concerned, actors are just meat. My work's pretty much the same no matter who's in front of the camera, hence my very rarely mentioning them on the blog, but I've been asked the 'which actors are cool' question more than almost any other. So, here you go:

Most of them fall into the 'meh' category. They don't really have much to say to the crew beyond bland pleasantries between takes, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The only thing I really ask of actors is that they show up on time, know their lines and get the hell out of my way when I'm trying to work. In return, I stay the hell out of their way when they're trying to work and do my best to minimize on-set hazards (heavy items falling out of the rigging, tripping on cable, salami farts).

There are, however, some actors who are super nice and/or more fun than a barrel of monkeys, and I'm always glad to see their names on the cast list.

Some big love (in no particular order) to:

Sarah Polley and Stephen Rea (the only two actors I've ever worked with who have refused to cross an IATSE picket line, and I love them both for it)
Patrick Warburton
Liz Vassey
Nestor Carbonell
David Burke
George Clooney (even more fun than a barrel of drunk monkeys wearing clown suits)
Billy Bob Thornton
Guy Pearce
Joe Pantoliano
Johnny Depp
Mark Harmon
Annie Potts
Jean Smart
Keanu Reeves (who has always been very gracious about my inability to completely hide the schoolgirlish crush I develop whenever I work with him)

Keep in mind that this is just my list, and I'm sure I've forgotten someone. Every crew person's list is different, as it's possible for an actor to be a dream on one show and a complete pill on the next.

Couch of the day:


Monday, June 12, 2006

Another strange obsession to stop me from getting anything done

Part of living in a large city is seeing trash everywhere, and generally I don't notice it at all, but for some reason there was a very noticeable collective couch throwing-out in Hollywood over the weekend.

In the space of two hours, I saw all these couches:






This is only five of them. In an area of about a square mile, I found 12 abandoned couches.


Of course, I'm going out today with my camera to see if any other neighborhoods have had the same thing happen.