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12:44 pm - Friday, Dec. 09, 2005
Surviving The Grove

Surviving The Grove

Tues 12/6/05 (4:40 p.m.)

I have to start getting ready for work soon (I’m back at The Grove for one more night, from 6:30 to midnight)...

Wanted to get this in, because it was so unusual (On two fronts): I had a commercial casting this past Saturday–very rare–and perhaps even more rare ( or would that be, “even rarer”?) is that the casting director actually helped me do a better job.

It was for Sprint, and without getting into the boring stuff–cause I don’t have time right now–it was a surreal thing with me and a talking cat, on a fishing boat.

Well, the CD really didn’t like the spot as written–I didn’t either, to be honest–and when I got in the room with the guy who was auditioning to be the voice of the cat, the CD basically re-wrote the spot on the fly, making it something it was actually possible to act (The spot, as written, was “surreal for the sake of being surreal”; the casting director changed it to something where there was an actual “relationship” there, so it was actually more “real”, and funnier)

I don’t know if he’s going to get in trouble for that–at one point he said “Fuck it! I don’t care who wrote it...”-- and I don’t know if I’m even going to get a callback (Callbacks are tomorrow, I think, so at this point it looks “iffy”), but I really appreciated that a casting director looked at something, saw it just didn’t work, and did what he could to make it easier for the actors to play.


And in “I’m not wallowing in my misfortune, but trying to do what I can” news, I’m signed up for a SAG seminar on health insurance on Wednesday.

From the brief description I read, it’s going to help us explore our options–whether under-insured or uninsured altogether–and right now, I very much want to know I have “options” (Let’s just say, without hitting the “panic button”, that lately I’ve become afraid this might be a really bad time for me to not have health insurance).

Weds 12/7/05 (10:27 a.m.)

Just got off the phone with Brett from the Actors Co-op (Signed up for a workshop tomorrow night, and am on a “wait list” for tonite, for the casting director of Veronica Mars).

My one-week sentence at The Grove ended last night.

With the exception of Monday night, when I “ushered” (i.e. cleaned theaters), which was a pretty mellow experience (It was slow, there wasn’t that much mess, and except for the last hour or so, there were quite a few of us), I worked the “EZ Pickup” counter for the concession kiosks all week long.

(And a correction, by the way–The ordering kiosks aren’t “EMTs”, they’re “EMN8s”. And apparently, the letters don’t stand for anything except the name of the company. And since there are 8 machines, that part’s pretty self-explanatory.)

Fri 12/9/05 (12:02 p.m.)

Well, in an effort to “accentuate the positive”, here are the good things I got from my week at The Grove.

1. I got to see Syriana on Monday night, and the last half of Jarhead on Tuesday (I liked Syriana, but found it hard to follow; on the other hand, even though I only saw half of Jarhead, I’d just finished reading the book, so pretty much knew the “story” with that one, such as it was).

2. I kind of like the shirts they wear (Unless you’re working box office or taking tickets–then you have to wear this old-timey “usher uniform”, complete with a little organ-grinder monkey’s hat, that, fashion-wise, does no one any favors)–It’s a short sleeved, black-and-gray polo shirt, with “Pacific Theaters” stitched fairly subtly on the bottom of the left sleeve, that I could totally wear out-and-about (Unfortunately, they only gave me one).

3. The theater is doing a “secret shopper” thing over the holidays, and if the concession person at the register hits the three “points” they’re supposed to hit–greeting, upselling, and a friendly closing–everyone working concessions at the time gets a Blockbuster “Night At The Movies” card. And we got “shopped” one of the nights I was working, and passed, so that was nice (Haven’t used the card yet–Saving it for “a rainy day”).

4. The very last day I was there, during a break, the breakroom conversation turned to movies, and I had a little ten-minute conversation with people that was the first time I’ve really felt like “me” in the past three weeks.

(And we now interrupt our regularly schedule journal entry with breaking news–I just got off the phone with Janet, one of the Ads on House, and the episode I shot will be airing on Valentines Day, also known as February 14th.)

So anyway, this week I’m back at ArcLight, again mostly doing snack-bar duty (Looks like I’m closing on two nights. But I did a lot of closing stuff at the The Grove this past week, so I’m a little less bunched-up about that than I was. I guess another “good thing” to add to my list).

Got my check from UGNotary. It was only $75, and not the $125 they initially quoted me. But I wasn’t able to make a copy of the document for the client, and there was also the issue of a couple missing signatures, so I’m going to take the money and “call it good”.

Haven’t heard from Mia, the SAG rep, regarding the issue of House “improper cancellation” money (Where they screwed up on scheduling). On Monday, it’ll be a week since I called, so at that point, I’ll probably call her to see what’s up with that.

(Still feels strange, to have to fight to get money I didn’t do anything to earn. But I need the money, and they did break the rules, so there you are.)

Well, there’s more to report, but I’ve gotta get some pre-work shut-eye.



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