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12:36 PM - Sun 5.07.23

When Is A Shoot Not A Shoot?

(Gonna try to do this quickly...but we'll see what happens...)

Currently coming to you from Jane's place in Santa Fe (I'm here to help her get the IndieGoGo perks out. But we might just sneak in some fun around the edges - Time will tell).

I was reticent about coming out this time, because fresh off Night Court, I was extra worried about missing out on work (I was hoping this might be the start of "a hot streak". And it kind of was - My flight did have to be changed when I booked a bit on Loot, which shot on Friday.

Or I should say, would have shot on Friday, under normal circumstances...

The Writers Guild went on strike this past Tuesday. The writers have been picketing the studios (And I've felt a little guilty for not doing at least some picketing with them out of solidarity), but since it was a location shoot, at a mansion in Beverly Hills, I think people thought we'd be safe.

We weren't.

We were called to the set from "base camp" just before 12:30.

I was in a van with two other actors and a PA, and we got in okay (Though right at the entrance to the very long driveway, a guy, with no picket sign, started to approach our driver, I think to ask him whether he was a Teamster or not - Teamsters don't cross picket lines - but our guy just kept driving).

So the three of us actors were there, just hanging out - in a room at least three times the size of my apartment and covered in cardboard and bubble wrap - waiting for things to start happening.

Then an AD approached us, saying some strikers were now at the entrance. This meant drivers inside couldn't go back out (To pick up other people), and drivers outside (Including Craft Services) couldn't go in.

And even though SAG-AFTRA is contractually obligated to work in such circumstances, our Lead and another name actor didn't want to cross the picket line either.

So there was some more waiting, as studio bosses were contacted and the name actors went back to base camp.

Then we were given the option to wait back at base camp as well and were driven back in a crew person's car.

Then we hung out at basecamp for hours, waiting for someone to make the decision that the day was a wash (For a while, it wasn't unpleasant - for example, we got another meal out of it - but then I really started wanting to go home, since I had to get up at 4:00 am to head to the airport and still had some shit to do).

We waited, even after hearing that the name actors had gone home - I think the debate then was whether anything could be shot without them - but we were finally released, and told Production would be in touch with our people next week, to tell them what would happen next.

It seems hard, at this juncture, to say "What happens next?"...

Are they going to try again? (I'm guessing not, because it would probably just be a repeat of the day they just had. Especially since the news of where we were shooting had to be from a "leaker" sympathetic to the Writers' cause.)

Are they going to postpone? Maybe make what was going to be a season-finale the opener of the next season? (That seems like a "possibly" to me).

Or will they just cut the episode, and take the loss? (That seems likely - It happened a number of times during the last writers' strike. Suddenly the penultimate episode became the "ultimate", some shows had partial seasons, and some shows were outright killed by the stalled momentum).

For me, I'm good in that I'm going to get paid for the day.

And it could work out in my favor if they ultimately do the episode (2nd paycheck! Ka-Ching!!).

Or if they don't - and the show continues - maybe I get cast in a different, better role.

But whatever does or doesn't happen, I had an interesting experience.

And that's not nothing.

Till next time...



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