Everyone has a story......
Last week I booked my third episode of the TV comedy "VEEP" starring the very tiny and talented
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, directed by a very funny English Comedian Chris something and first A.D.'d but the oh so talented Dale Stern, who A.D.'d the Borat? and Sasha what ever his name is, movies.
They just started filming season TWO and I was fortunate enough to be called for the first two episodes and now this one a mere 6 weeks later.
Now before you get all excited and impressed, I shall need to tell you, my role, my part, my acting expertise were all being used... as background, extra work, or as they also refer to it... "atmosphere".
So I am reduced to a moving, living, breathing piece of scenery and you know what? I am so okay with that. I made a couple hundred bucks that day for under an hours drive, was fed and cared for, given wardrobe, had hair and make up professionally done, met and re-met great people, laughed my totally frozen ass off and would and will do it again in a moments notice.
People say that this will not further your career and you will get pigeon holed, I say Bullsh*t. If you allow yourself to be saturated which means you get really great "face time" on camera, then yes. But that would be your fault, responsibility or desire. When the PA (production assistants) bounce by with their headsets, walkies, fanny packs, clipboards and exhaustion to find the "we needs", which one time it was three marines to stand behind Julia as she fires the rifle: DON'T LOOK UP!!!
Don't be eager, cause if you do/are, 1)you will get on said exhausted PA's nerves *they have to earn their way up to 2nd A.D. (assistant director) 1st A.D., A.D. and the prize DIRECTOR.. so they are in no mood. and 2) if you are saturated you are done. Not only will you not be able to "be in the background" but you can kiss the ever elusive "under 5" good the hell bye, cause it won't happen.
I was sitting with a guy who I will only describe as chiseled out of Hematite and Him was TIGHT... (he gave me a postcard with his calendar shots on it.. Naked , except for a really LARGE purple towel, placed in such a way that you KNEW he needed every stitch of that towel to cover.....
He had the under 5,,, "Cease Fire!" "Stand Down!"
I made friends with the new teamster, found out about his life: Hi Diddly-Dee, a TEAMSTERS Life For Me! *coming soon!* re-acquainted myself with hair and makeup, hugged the wardrobe folk who remembered me, locked eyes with a few others and smiled and hung with my station. Another day I will explain the etiquette of being a good extra, but for now I must wind it back around to my topic.
So I met so many people, caught up with others and listened. Everyone had a story, a tale, one that was more exciting, dramatic, poignant than the others. A pissing contest of interest. Me? I just smiled, nodded and cracked really funny jokes when I saw an opening.
I do not let many people "in" and the ones that do gain access have to "go through security" are "vetted" and must make it through probationary time. And then I will share my STORY.. till then you will get funny jokes, little tales, examples that prove/disprove what you are saying but in a fun conversational easy going style designed to leave you wanting more, exchanging numbers with me and "friend requests."
Women trying so hard to be noticed, jutting out their chests, laughing and flipping their hair, people sneaking their cell phones on set to make sure they get that next call, or take pictures, people who could care less, so they bring coffee cups to set cause they are freezing and hid it behind the wheel of the Humvee or the HUGE military trunk not caring that this might fuck with "continuity" and they won't be happy. And me.