Green Street Cafe

The Summer Layoff

Extra for hire

Extra for hire

Well, it has been a while. A month and a half since we’ve all been laid off. I hope everybody has been enjoying the summer (what there is of it). Me, I’ve been plugging away.

I’ve worked on my three (yeah three!) resumes… theatre, warehouse, printing. To those who missed the CfRE workshop, it was pretty incredible. I’ve put in resumes at about a dozen places, spread out across the spectrum. Interprint looks promising as I aced the color test Molari gave me. That’s been the most recent development and I haven’t heard from them about an interview at the main office… yet… but the color test was only Thursday.

The 3+ weeks without any income was horrendous. Telling bill collectors, “Oh, yeah, I have this money coming in and then unemployment isn’t started yet… blah blah blah… ” Then I get the big fat check and “What?” They took 40% out for taxes!!! 40 cents on friggin the dollar! What the hell is up with that??? Well, there goes the spending money I thought I’d have! Everything went for bills. Then Mass Unemployment held up my check cuz they thought the Merrill money was a severance pay. My lady from DUA played phone tag with Minnesota and called me back to ask how much time my check covered because she’d been told it was to help in the ‘transition phase’ aka Severance. Well I balked but Good! I knew it would be TEN WEEKS without unemployment, so I got on the horn fast to Gail and left her a “No Way in Hell!” message. That afternoon I got a call back from my DUA lady and it was all straightened out because we had signed that waiver! YES!. Now That was a freakin relief cuz the idea of being without a check scared the crap out of me.

Meanwhile I was on the “job search” trail. I’ve submitted two sets of resume/headshots to film makers. Ang Lee is doing a movie about the guy that signed the special event permit for Woodstock back in the day.The movie is called “Taking Woodstock” and it begins filming this week. That was a good time, discussing my aptitude to play a long haired hippie extra. However, they won’t call until the day before they need you for filming, so I’ll be checking the messages every day for the next couple of weeks. The other movie is a Mel Gibson, Robert De Nero legal thriller, “Edge of Darkness” that’s filming in Boston and Northampton. Myself and a buddy from the Writers Room went down to Northampton to apply for that one.

The two calls were as different as night and day. The Ang Lee people set up shop in a New Lebanon church. I went in, filled out paperwork, got a photo taken, and talked with a casting person for two minutes. I was in and out in 20 minutes, tops. When my buddy and I got to Northampton there was a line of 200+ out the door of the Clarion hotel. The line moved quickly enough. Casting people gave us forms to fill out, plus “Do’s and Don’ts” for extras for when we get on set. It took 30 minutes to get close to the building, where they stapled our form, resume, and headshot together. Then it became a quick walk (in line) to the basement conference rooms where fifty or so of us got a 20 minute talk and discussion on the details of the shoot. Hey… they need 1000 extras including bunches of 40-70 year old hippies with protesting experience! It’s well worth the adventure, especially if they give you two or three days work at $100/day (plus the great food!) Ang Lee’s film is the same. $100 a day. But theres a better chance of getting multiple days. Gibson’s movie (he’s the star, not the director) would be only 1 – 3 days max, in Northampton.

Other than those, I’ve been to a few places and got my name in as a grip/carpenter. The Colonial has me on their list for a possible in October. With the summer winding down, there aren’t too many places hiring right this minute, but I’m getting around. In other arts related stuff, I’m going to be facilitating a scriptwriting workshop for The Berkshire Writers Room. Meetings will start on Sunday evening, September 21st, at Berk. Community College, and continue every third Sunday thereafter. Email me if you’re interested in the specifics. And I’ve been writing. I did one short story for a woman I found on Craig’s List. It’s about troubled teens and how parents lose them. I wrote about my time in Framingham and my relationship with my dad. If she accepts the story, I get $20 and if it gets published there’s another $20. I find that the price about average for a ‘breaking in’ kind of situation. Plus it’s another published story on the resume.

Oh… and the big… “I’m going to work on the house”… stuff? Oh, brother… Right after we left CfRE, the stepdaughter, son-in-law and grandkids showed up for three weeks! That was Awesome! We had a great time and got to spend boodles of time with the grandkids. However, I didn’t do any more work next door. Since they left I’ve been more focused on getting the resumes finished and looking for theatre work, and getting my finished resumes out to every job that looks worthwhile, that I haven’t done anything with the apartment. Well, there’s been one thing. I was able to score a whole bunch of cabinets from a friend’s remodeling job, so when I start putting the kitchen together I’ll have something to work with.

Between getting used to a new schedule (I still get up at 7am or earlier), working on my writing (which I’m more serious about) and looking for that elusive “day job”, I left the remodeling alone. It’s always tempting to just sleep in, waste time on TV or the internet, but the need for a job (yeah, even a ‘real job’) keeps me going. Now that I’m getting a serious schedule, the remodeling is going to get its due share. At least until I start working 12 hour swing shifts or start spending 12 hours a day in New Lebanon or Northampton. See you all in the funny papers.

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This entry was published on August 17, 2008 at 9:14 pm. It’s filed under Life in the Big City and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Summer Layoff

  1. I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

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