Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Long Days, Long Waits; That's Indie Set Life

2:27pm- Here is a sample of my current life. Today I am shooting a cool web series in which I have a small supporting role. My call time was 9:00am. I was here by 8:30am. We haven't shot any of my scenes yet. We are blessed with an amazing location and are filming in this huge broiler room of an hospital. As awesome as it's gonna look on film, down here it's hot, the air is thick, and there is no cell reception (don't ya hate that feeling?). And can I tell you something? I'm pretty used to it all by now. This is indie film set life. I'm pretty happy just to have a chair to sit in, a bathroom near by, water, and an electrical outlet so that I can at least make sure my phone is charged. The fact is there is still no other job that I would rather be doing right now. My favorite things to do in these situations? Go over my lines, submit to castings (when I get reception that is, grrrrr), meditate, and nap. Oh, and take pics when it's allowed.

   (The broiler room of the hospital where
    we shot in Brooklyn. Looks pretty cool

3:45pm- Okay I'm back! We just had lunch which was muy delisioso! (We ate at an Hispanic cafe.) So it's almost 4:00pm and I'm still waiting to shoot. I'm enjoying my coffee and I'm still feeling great. The point is that when being on set you must have a lot of patience. Because if you don't, you won't enjoy the experience. (And that's one reason why you should only pursue acting as a career if you deeply love it.) And when you are finally shooting who knows what conditions you may have to endure; from the freezing cold to the boiling heat. AND never make plans for after shooting; you do not know when you finish. Trust me. You never finish when you are scheduled to. (Maybe sometimes, but it's film and there are too many variables involved.) Acting takes extreme dedication. So my advice for when you are waiting to shoot is to relax and take in the entire experience.  Realize where your are. You could be enduring a shift at your soul crushing day job. (Okay, I know that's dramatic and not necessarily true for all actors.)
    (Actress Michele Q. Williams getting 
     into character)

5:33pm- Right as I ended that sentence I was summoned to set. And still had to wait a hour for me to get some work in. And the room we were in felt like a sauna. And I sweat buckets. And it was still fun. What I had wanted to finish saying was, take in the whole experience. You are where the magic happens. You are someplace special. Relish it. When you see the finished piece it will all be worth it. And the experience you gain also makes the endurance worth while. 
   (Peeping up through the catwalk at 
    actors Marie Nathan and Chandon
    Sethi as they film a scene)

7:04pm- I still don't know when we will finish. I'm not going to lie. Today is turning out to be a tougher day than I anticipated. Extreme conditions can challenge even the most focused and enthusiastic of people. 
   (Figuring out lighting and stuff with 
   director Kelvin Guevara and director of            
   photography Jordan Rennert)

9:38pm. Still going. Getting a migraine, but still going. I'm actually reading what I wrote earlier and taking my own advice. It's working. Also being able to text my husband on my break to get some encouragement helped too. They say we will be done by midnight. I'm not sure though. Lol. The heat is truly affecting everyone here. Still all good though. 

10:43pm- Still working guys!! Some of the scenes are being postponed (not mine). The Excedrin I took hasn't fully kicked in and I don't think it will by this point. :-( 
   (Okay this isn't from the broiler room 
    shoot, but I wanted to get a pic in of
    Darryl Davis who did sound and also
    acted in the series. Photo credit goes 
    to Michele Q. Williams)

3:16pm the next day- No we didn't work all throughout the night it's just by the time we were finished I was too drained to update the post. The last hour of the shoot was extremely difficult for me (and I'm sure all of us) as my migraine had worsened and I was beginning to feel nauseated. But somehow we all pushed through and got what we needed because, well, there was no other choice. We finished about 12:45am and I got approximately 1 1/2 hours later. I definitely woke up dehydrated after sweating all day yesterday. Lol. I'm now currently waiting to be picked up at the train station so that I can film my last scene. 

Yesterday was probably one of the toughest days I've endured as an actor, but looking back now all I can think about is what went right and just how blessed I am for this opportunity. 
    (Me as smarty pants tough chick

     (A few cast members with the creator 
      of The Great Internet Swindle, Tom
      Khan. From left to right: Michele Q. 
      Williams, Chandon Sethi, Ian Stults,       
      and Tom himself)

   (My second shooting day was much                        
more relaxing, quicker, and cooler)