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10:33 am - Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2007
\"Semi-Pro\"

Semi-Pro

Fri 3/9/07 (10:50 a.m.)

Right now, I’m really wishing I’d “just said no” to the Semi-Pro photo-double thing...

Checked my voicemail a few minutes ago, and there was a call from Central Casting–I have a call-time today for 2:00.

I also have a callback for Verizon, at 2:20, in Santa Monica. And have to get there early, because I have another audition–for Comcast-at 3:10.

And then I have to be at ArcLight at 5:30.

After the message from the Semi-Pro director Wednesday night–I think it was the director, anyway–saying they didn’t need me the next day, but they might call me “at some later date”, I didn’t actually think they were going to use me. And I certainly didn’t expect “some later date” to be "day after tomorrow".

Anyway, I just called Central, told them my deal, and said I couldn’t do the job (I can’t pass up a callback for a national, and piss off JS in the process, for an extra job).

The Central guy asked if I could go there after my callback, and I told him I had the other audition around 3:00, but that I would be willing to blow off ArcLight if they could push things back (I don’t love the idea of calling out at the theater, but I’m on phones tonite, which typically involves answering a handful of phone calls early in the evening, then leaving early because things are dead. Not a terrible critical job. But anyway...).

Then “Central Guy” said, “Hey, the director’s on the other line...”, and said he would tell him my situation, then get back to me.

So I’ve been waiting to be “gotten back to”, but now I’ve gotta go get my car (Which is parked at the theater).

(I hope they just find someone else to do this photo-double thing. If they call and say “just get there when you can”, I’ll do it, but to be honest, right now I’d rather go to my auditions, do my bit at ArcLight, and call it a day).

Sat 3/10/07 (10:14 a.m.)

Well, I did end up doing the Semi-Pro thing last night.

After my auditions–more on them in a moment–I got there around 4:30-5:00 (Just in time for supper–Tri-tips, red potatoes, steamed cauliflower, pasta, and carrot cake).

The movie is a comedy about semi-pro basketball in the 70s, so eating with a tent full of extras in 70's garb was...interesting. I wouldn’t say it made me nostalgic, exactly–for what it’s worth, the 70's were my “era”--but it certainly did “take me back”.

Shortly after I ate, I was taken to wardrobe, then makeup, where the head makeup person and I had something in common–We both wondered what the heck I was doing there (while saying “no offense” to me–none was taken-she expressed exactly the same sentiment I had in here: “Central didn’t have anyone who’s completely bald on top...?”).

But three makeup people tag-teamed me to get the job done more quickly, coloring my eyebrows and mustache and sideburns, extending my sideburns down to my jawline, applying makeup to get my skin tone closer to the actual actor’s (And to make the dark circles under my eyes look more like the bags under the his eyes), and plastering down what hair is on the top of my head with morticians wax, then applying makeup over that, till I could actually pass-muster, at a distance, as the guy in question (I was filling in as the “Coach” of the “New York Nets”, rival team to Will Ferrell’s “Flint Tropics”).

The makeup people actually seemed to enjoy the challenge, but I understood the head person’s annoyance at having to spend that much time & manpower on someone who was supposedly a “double” for the other guy.

(And it’s official: After seeing myself like that, I am definitely–when the time comes where I have no hair on top–shaving my head, or at least shaving the sides very close. But anyway...)

To answer your question, Mark, I didn’t see Dodger Stadium. We were situated in a parking lot annex, far enough from the Stadium that I would have needed directions to get there.

But I did see what looked like a high-school gym–set decorated as the Flint “Tropics” home court--with extras playing the two teams, cheerleaders in white bikinis (which was nice), sports announcers and reporters and what-have-you at long tables courtside, and a handful of “fans” in the stands.

I sat on the end of the bench with my “team”, as we watched Will Farrell’s stand-in, at center court, dressed in team uniform and Elvis/Liberace-style cape, holding a mic and shuffling back-and-forth in time to the music that was playing.

With the music and the disco ball going overhead, and the fact this was all happening in a gym, with people dressed in 70s regalia, I was once again “taken back”, to any number of high-school dances (Except now I looked more like one of the teacher-chaperones).

In between takes, my “team” entertained themselves by playing hacky-sack with a basketball (Eventually I removed myself from the area whenever they’d start up, fearing I’d be the recipient of a basketball to the face at any second).

After that, I basically just hung out on the set, while they filmed shots of fans coming in, cheerleaders dancing around, stuff like that, that didn’t include the team sitting courtside.

We wrapped for the day at 9:30, but it probably took me close to an hour to get out of wardrobe and makeup and get checked out.

While I was there, I definitely noticed my lower-class status as an extra (separate catered food, separate craft tables, separate rest-rooms, etc.), but didn’t find myself bothered by it at all (I think because I knew I was “just visiting”).

They didn’t know if they were going to need me back at some point–I was only there because the real guy was not available that day–and I’m kinda/sorta hoping they don’t; while it was actually an all right time, and it paid more than ArcLight (As a photo-double, I was making $17 an hour to sit on a bench, eat free food, and look at girls in bikinis), it hardly seems worth screwing up my reputation at ArcLight at this point.

(I’ve been feeling a bit of remorse over that. I’m not concerned about having screwed over ArcLight by calling out, because as I said before, my job Friday night was not exactly critical–You could just transfer the handful of calls to Guest Services, and be fine. But now, due to circumstances–which I’ll get to momentarily–I may go from the guy who’s never called out, to the guy who’s called out twice in a week...and that’s not good. I want out of ArcLight when it’s time to get out of ArcLight, and under my own steam. I don’t want to be “de-selected” for calling-out.)

Sun 3/11/07 (11:34 a.m.)

One thing that’s occurred to me about taking the Semi-Pro photo-double job: It may seem “iffy” right now, calling out from ArcLight to take an extra job, but in the long-term, Central Casting might be more important to me than ArcLight (Extra work maybe getting me through dry spells of commercial/theatrical gigs in a post-ArcLight era).

Felt very rushed and stressed out Friday, with a callback (For Verizon), an audition (For Comcast), and the Semi-Pro job in quick succession.

But afterwards, it felt worth it–I’m “on avail” for Verizon (My second “avail” in two callbacks), the Comcast spot would be a really fun one to get (I’d be doing a stunt-coordinated fight with another middle-aged guy), and the Semi-Pro thing was actually kind of fun (did I mention there were girls in bikinis?).

Commercially, things are still really cooking; tomorrow, I’ll have my 5th audition this month (For Nabisco–I’m going in to play a donut), and I’m really feeling like I’m bound to get something if this keeps up much longer.

But right now, it’s off to an AMG meeting...


 

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