Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Climate Control

With the heatwave in effect right now you'd think this title references the 100 degree weather. Well its hot as crap outside but I'm talking about controlling my temper. As I type this I'm fuming at the head over my current situation. After a 3-month dry spell, I booked a two day shoot in NJ that pays quite well if my spot is used. I am definitely thanking my lucky stars and God for this booking because the bills are starting to pile up. Anywho, we had a 730am call time and the set is 30 minutes from my NJ apartment so I figured I'd drive. The client provided transportation but I had two castings and a callback after the shoot, so driving would be easier. I checked with the Production Assistant (P.A.) yesterday to get an idea of my shoot times so I'd know if it were at all possible to make the appointments. He told me it was a good chance since I was only in one scene first thing in the morning. I told myself last night that no matter what, I'd be prepared for them not to release me early and be grateful for the booking. Worst case scenario, I'll drive and if they release me late I'll just make the callback because that was the most important appointment. I had the best of intentions from yesterday all through waking up this morning and even while on set shooting. I said don't ask what time it is and don't stress about how long its taking and whether or not you'll finish before lunch and get to leave. I tried really hard...I promise I did! So we break for lunch at 1:20pm and I had once again confirmed with the P.A. that I wasn't in anymore scenes. So I ask if I was "wrapped" for the day since it was lunch time. There's no point in me sitting around for lunch if they're going to let me go after lunch...I got money to make. They say were not sure, we'll take a look at the film and assess after lunch. And so it begins.... The bullshit dramatic game of "I know we're finished with you but we've hired you for the day so you're ours B***H!" Sounds exaggerated but that's how it feels in this industry sometimes. People think they can talk to you and treat you however they feel because they're paying you and even more so because you can easily be replaced by the next actress. "I have a life and feelings too, ya know!" Moving on, I sit down and enjoy lunch and keep my agent and fake boyfriend for the callback updated on my progress. I ask again as lunch comes to an end and they start to select talent to go outside for the next scene setup. Question: "Since I wasn't called out does that mean I'm wrapped?" (With the nicest sweetest face and biggest smile possible). Answer: "Let's get everyone else to set first and then we'll see what it looks like". What it looks like??? What it looks like is I'm about to pack my stuff and be out, because I have three appointments to make and you playing with my money. The "Bonqueesha" in me wanted to leave regardless, especially after the first hour of doing nothing, but waiting... checking each appointment off my mental list as the time passed by. Back in the trailer they wanted to touch up my hair and makeup and I'm like can we wait to see if I'm wrapped first? I dislike being poked and prodded by the creative team on a good day so right now was definitely not the time.

Let me pause here to say that I realize I sound like an ungrateful Diva actress right now. But its not that, the thing is my world doesn't process wait time very well. I'm a hustler and always have been a juggler of a thousand things at once. So when an obstacle presents itself and says you have to pick one, you can't have it all, you can't possibly complete all those tasks, I say "The hell I can't!". So its not that I don't appreciate being on the set that others auditioned to be on and potentially making $4000 off this shoot. It's that I always see a potential way to overcome any obstacle and when I dream so high and set goals so BIG, sometimes the fall from that High is explosive.... Hence my temper. If I sat around, waiting patiently and never spoke up or sought out others opportunities while working on current opportunities I'd be broke and unsuccessful. This is a hurry up and go get it industry.

Back to the story, I started calling agents and telling them I can't make it, because I'm still on the set. Even called a friend to fill in for me at the callback, thinking maybe she'll get booked and I won't feel so bad. In the end, 2 and a half hours had passed, I missed both castings and the callback before they released me. In that time I'm sure I annoyed the three P.A.s, vented way too much to the gossip crew (hair and makeup), rolled my eyes, huffed and puffed, held back tears of frustration and said way too many curse words.

I know that I have more than enough experience and accomplishments in this industry to allow my character and reputation to get smeared in light of my attitude. Even as the guy told me I was wrapped I still had an attitude and wanted to scream. I updated my Twitter page in the process and said "I wanna pass out middle fingers" But that's not right, its not anyone of their faults... Directly or personally. That's just how this industry is. I should've done what most actors do and blocked my calendar out so I can't receive any appointments during the shoot. Should've, would've, could've... My "Hustler Mentality" is greedy sometimes and wants it all and believes she can have it all. When she doesn't get her way.... Booooooy watch out because her friend "Hot Head" is coming out to say hello and she don't play nice.

In summary, I know that I shouldn't have reacted the way I did and while I didn't make a huge scene, you never know who's looking. Even though I'm in the same predicament tomorrow, I believe that I will have chance to redeem myself and be the professional, level-headed person these clients booked for the shoot. This shoot is teaching me a great lesson about getting my temper under control. I have two castings and another callback tomorrow and without realizing it earlier while updating my calendar, I see that God is giving me a do-over. I thank him and say Amen!


  1. Wow, that's a crazy day - I can feel your pain, though. Nothing like being forced to stay somewhere when you don't have to be. I think it's human nature, to try and squeeze the most out of your time when you're in a business for yourself. You aren't some 9-5 employee, you're basically like your own business entity, so being cost effective sometimes means trying to line up the gigs and hustle until you are done for the day. All you can do is take what happened today, learn from it, and try and be more balanced with bookings I guess. In the end you might even end up performing better with each, because you're not spreading yourself out too thin. I know as a photographer, if I do more than a certain amount of shooting in one day, anything else after that seems like I'm just pushin crap out LOL

    And man are you right... it's been hot as heck out, we need to get rid of all this humidity! Today is finally a nice break

  2. You're so right Todd. I ended up booking the Crate and Barrel gig I missed the callback for. Guess i just needed to stay calm and have Faith.