Saturday, July 27, 2013

My thoughts on the Economy

No matter how hard I work, I will never be a Rockefeller.
It's a myth.

Now I do believe if I work SMARTER, I can live comfortably and have some level of retirement.
But running harder in the same hamster wheels isn't going to help.

I'm embracing my inner lazy fucker.

Making a store to sell my work that's totally hands off.

Doing more and more board operating jobs, where I can sit on my but and get paid key rates because I smart.
Learning to think of it like digging ditches.

One man with a pickaxe, no matter how hard he works, can only do so much work and bring in so much money that way.
One thing he can do is improve his tools, to dig faster.

Another thing is improve his education, which leads to better ditches, and higher profile jobs, so he can charge more per ditch.
The hardest working guy with a pickaxe may work 100 times harder, but he's still only making five bucks an hour.

The guy who's learned how to use a backhoe and charges per job makes a lot more.

The guy who's learned irrigation and designs the ditches that he has the other two to build, is going to do much better.

None of them will ever be the guy that inherited the land in the first place.

But whining about that changes nothing, and I'd rather be the guy designing the irrigation than the one with the pickaxe.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I'm not Justin Beiber

True story from my glamorous life.

I worked on a movie that stars Justin Timberlake. (Yes, he's very nice.)

While we were shooting in NJ, the location turned into a total mob scene - hundreds of kids, and a bunch of ladies hoping for a glimpse of the man.  I kinda feel sorry for him.


I'm running around with equipment and whatnot, and it's COLD outside.  So I'm wearing a baklava amongst other things (the woolly thing that goes over your face, not the dessert).

Some kids decided since a Famous Person was in their town, and I was hiding my face, that I must be famous, too!  (Because movie stars push around hampers full of heavy crap in sub freezing weather, outside.)

A couple of my workmates were present for this exchange:

"Are you Justin Beiber?"


"Well, are you famous?"

I thought about using the 'infamous' joke, but didn't think they'd get it.  These were fairly young kids (what they were doing outside at that hour of the evening, I'll never know).


"I'm huge in Japan."


Now you can tell your friends that you follow the blog of the self proclaimed biggest female Elvis impersonating karaoke superstar of a country she's never visited.   Because that's what I eventually became, as the night wore on.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Short Short Story Prompt


As you guys might have known, the day job is keeping me pretty swamped lately - there are 27 television series currently shooting in NY, and pilot season hasn't even started, so...woof.  Its great and wonderful, and totally exhausting - and my writing has done bupkis for three months.

Sad face.

I was just invited to a group that does writing prompts - in this case, a key phrase that the writer takes to make a short story of 100-500 words.   I've never been good at micro shorts, but spitting out a hundred words in a few minutes in order to keep writing?  I'm there.  It's about what I have the attention span for at this point.

The first prompt was 'What say thee?"

This is what I wrote:

“What say thee?”

“Donald,” I replied, “I say we're in a goddamn Denny's, so put down your axe and quit mangling middle English for five minutes. Okay?”

His face fell, but he dutifully tucked his new, mass produced battle ax gently on the seat. Our waitress came over, popping gum. She gave our costumes the once over, sucked pink latex back between her teeth, and walked away. Donald looked into my eyes, pleading.

“I'm really hungry.” He said.

I sighed.

“Okay, fine. You can keep the axe on the table.”

Our service did improve tremendously.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What a year so far - man on fire :)

2013 is certainly starting off with a bang!

I've been bouncing around a couple of network television shows. Good times.

One of the things that you learn really fast when working in film/tv is to dress for the weather - studio gigs are great, but you never know when the day will send you outside, or how crazy the elements will be when you get there.

Recently, I was on a scaffold in driving rain, focusing and babysitting some 5k lights.  Yup, that's five thousand watts.   They come in a couple of different flavors, and look more or less like this:

Rain and cold weather gear are probably the most important investments you'll make.  I remember starting out, buying the cheap stuff, and being miserable and sick a lot.  Cotton long underwear is not a good choice, and polyester is completely useless.  If you sweat, or your rain stuff gets permeated, cotton will become waterlogged and lose any warmth baffling it had to begin with - which isn't a lot.

I know I sound like a PSA here.  Seriously though, if you can afford it, get the wool.  The price stings, I completely agree.  It also allowed me to work overnights in five degree weather without being too miserable.  And take care of it, so it'll last you.

Back to the rain.  It slanted in every open space, hood - everybody was damp.  It was past midnight.  We were prepping for a special effects shot where a stuntman gets soaked with gasoline, set alight, and runs around for a while.

One of the guys asked how I was holding up, up there.

I said:

"I really wish we could set this guy on fire now so we can all go home."

Earlier in the day, we were doing a whole lot of blood effects and squibs for some people being gunned down in a store.  Effects shots take a long time to set up and reset, so we'd been going for a while without a meal break.  It happens, no biggie.  It does induce me to say things that sound really horrible out of context, though.

"Penny for your thoughts?"

"I'm hungry.  Can we finish killing these people and go eat?"

My boss snarfed coffee on me.