I Be on TV


So hey, did you catch NBC’s Outlaw tonight? In case you missed it, here are screengrabs* from the only scenes in which I could spot myself:

Courtesy NBC Universal/Open 4 Business Productions

See the dude with the antenna running through the middle of his face just to the left of the “Boycott Arizona-Minnesota!” (WTF?) sign? That would be me. And you see the guy holding the “They Broke the Law” sign? He was a bit…interesting.

Anyway, here’s another one in which I’m a bit easier to find:

Courtesy NBC Universal/Open 4 Business Productions

Yeah, that’s the same shirt I’m wearing in this picture, taken after we were wrapped on the second day of shooting. All in all I think I saw myself for a total of about 2 seconds. So yeah, this is the result of two 12-hours days, most of which were spent sitting around and chatting with others and nohsing on studio-paid catered goods. Not a bad deal if you ask me!

Here are some updates on the others:

Tonight’s episode of CSI: NY wasn’t mine and looking at the previews, next week’s might not be the one either, but who knows. I will be watching.

UPDATE: According to Wikipedia, the Internet’s most popular user-driven and therefore most reliable source of information, the episode will air on October 15, 2010. I know this was the episode because I walked behind Edward James Olmos during the marketplace scene.

It seems my episode of ABC’s The Whole Truth may be on next week. I remember Rob Morrow wearing two earrings in his left ear when we were shooting that one and on the previews, he’s wearing that same pair. He wasn’t during the pilot so it’s safe to say that next week’s episode will be the one.

Next week will also see the premiere of ABC’s No Ordinary Family, where I played a school teacher. I’m wearing an aqua-colored shirt and dark blue-green tie and am in the hallway scene and in the classroom as the students are dismissed. Whether it airs next Tuesday at 8/7c or not is anybody’s guess, so tune in anyhow!

UPDATE: Turns out that I’m learning about production numbers, too. The episode of The Whole Truth was #103, meaning Season 1, Episode 3. So it may not be on for a few weeks. No Ordinary Family is #105, so it will be the 5th episode of the season.

Off to bed. Being I’m now on my feet 8 hours a day and then riding my bike to and from the job (but opting to walk yesterday), my feet and knees are very tired. I haven’t worked retail in years so this comes as no surprise.

I think I have a date with the spa tomorrow. Besides, it’s supposed to be near the 100s out here! Holy hell, a cool summer and now a scorching fall? Damn that Al Gore and his inconvenient truth!

* Digital video camera on tripod aimed at 42″ rear-projection TV; still images captured on PC. I don’t own a DVR. Ghetto fabulous!

Premiere Week!


Alright alright alright, people! This week will be full of TV shows that I worked on so if you’re so inclined to do so, check out the list below and what you need to look out for if you want to get a gander of my work as a background actor. That is, if none of it got left on the proverbial Cutting Room floor. Here they are in order of programming dates.

The Whole Truth (ABC), Wednesday, September 22, 10/9c. This is perhaps the one show in which I will get some decent air time since Rob Morrow called out to me, playing Manny the Hog Dog Vendor, and gave me his order. I will be also be in the background selling hot dogs to well-dressed passersby. And despite it supposedly being a fall day in a New York park, rest assured that it was definitely a hot summer day on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank with temperatures in the 90s when we shot that scene.

CSI: NY (CBS), Friday, September 24, 9/8c. In this two-day shoot, I was part of the “Puerto Rican environment” on the streets of New York, aka the Paramount Studios lot. And here’s what’s cool about this one. I was hand-picked from a group of people to have my “mugshot” taken and to be “under surveillance” as the photographer took photos of me supposedly acting suspicious. My thinking is that they will be used as photos in files that are being flipped through or that those chosen will be edited in as the principle characters “take photos” of us doing our thing. Either way, I can’t wait to see the final results. Also, I was part of the crowd making noise behind a barricade after two incidents (that I won’t mention here so as not to spoil things) happened. Look for me in red pants and dark blue shirt walking around carrying a large can of beer, then later wearing a peach dress shirt and carrying an briefcase. Good times.

Outlaw (NBC), Friday, September 24, 10/9c. This was the first show I did and I tuned in last Wednesday to see if the show I worked on was going to be the pilot, but it turns out I was wrong. I get the feeling that this Friday’s episode will be the one, in which I play an angry protester of Hispanic decent. You will have to tune in to see why being Hispanic plays a role in this and why we protesters were so angry. Again, I’m not going to give away any of the plot so tune in and see. I was in two different scenes but both were outside the courtroom (set in Arizona but actually in Pasadena) and we all got in Cyrus Garza’s (Jimmy Smits) face as he walked past us, although I heard from someone at a recent shoot that the second scene we did was shot again. I won’t know until I see it myself.

UPDATE: The Outlaw trailer is up!

Anyway, there you go. Two posts in one night, one that made me feel inferior and one that made me feel like king of the world.

Off to bed or something. I actually have a job to get to in the morning…

Back to the Grind


Well, folks, tomorrow I return to the working world. And I’m having mixed emotions about it.

Yes, in this day and age I should just shut my mouth be glad that I managed to snag a job at all, even though it is not in any of my fields of expertise. And as hard as it may be to believe, based on my pay at Learning Tree, it’s safe to say I was once good at something other than stocking shelves at a retail store.

Yet that’s what I will be returning to tomorrow morning. Okay, not exactly stocking shelves but moving aisles as part of the store’s remodeling project which begins tomorrow.

Today I had my orientation at said retail establishment and I have to say that as it progressed with the HR manager going into detail about customer services, I began to wonder if I made the right decision. Granted, taking care of customers is not that big of a deal when you’ve done it consistently but after being away from it for nearly 10 years, I’m actually a bit…scared by it. I had gotten used to an office environment where I sat and either clacked keys or proofread stacks of papers, and contact with the outside world was kept to a minimum. And I liked it.

But tomorrow I will be yet another dufus with a nametag and a smile, waiting on people hand and foot–for minimum wage. It truly is a kick in the ass.

There are, however, a few legitimate reasons for taking this job. By doing so, I am showing the wonderful state of California that I am indeed making an effort to get back into the workplace and not mooch off of their teat for years on end. That’s the same reason I got into background acting (and I’ll touch more on that later).

Another reason is that when I add this craptacular job to my resume, it will create a history of my taking low-paying jobs that will show potential employers that, while I made nearly $50k at Learning Tree, I am indeed willing to work for significantly less. Hell, it can’t get any worse than now, can it? I’d jump at the chance to get back into proofreading for half of what I made there.

Two more reasons: I can ride my bike there and the job is scheduled to last 4-5 weeks. So I’m taking the [very little] good with the bad and plan on toughing it out for the next month or so in the hopes that something better comes along.

So you may ask why I just didn’t stick to background acting, right? I’m sure I’ve already covered all those questions here so I don’t need to drag it on any further. But needless to say that if I had the money to join AFTRA, I’d do it in a heartbeat and I wouldn’t have to worry about being a slave to the retail establishment because my pay would be twice the normal non-union wage and I would only have to work 3 or 4 days a week. And if you factor in (almost guaranteed) overtime, meal penalties, double time, etc., I would be sitting pretty. But I just don’t have the money to do it, unfortunately. (Note: I do accept PayPal.)

There you have it. I’m back to the grind tomorrow.

Here’s to brighter days…

The Medium


UPDATE: The rest of the post is after the break. I don’t know why it didn’t show up. Thank [insert appropriate deity here] for WordPress’ revision tracking…

I’m a natural born skeptic and as such, it takes a lot of evidence to convince that something that is, for example, supposedly paranormal is indeed factual.

That’s why I have a hard time watching shows such as Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters. Sure, it’s cool to watch and accept as being the gospel truth but do you know how much editing goes into a show like that, and how much ends up on the cutting room floor? Most might accept it as being true but I kind of sit and say “Hmph” with every supposed discovery they present.

That’s not to say that I don’t believe in paranormal activity because I truly do. But as previously stated, it’s something I have to experience on my own and not have presented to me in high-definition. I’ve had some here in this house and elsewhere and so has Ann.

I also believe that everybody has psychic ability in them. We’ve all done things that we have just known were the right thing, whether we relied on our own intuition or it was truly a decision based on psychic instinct.

Now that we’ve established all of this, I’d like to share an experience with you that I had on the set of Law and Order Los Angeles earlier this week.

Continue reading

Payback!


So…Anthony decided he was really going to push our buttons today and boy, did he ever.

He threw fits. He defied us. He even spat in my face.

So after all of the disciplining was said and done, I still thought he needed a little more. And here is the result.

Ahem. Yeah.

So what’s new? Here’s the deal. I finally got myself hired, albeit temporary, at a local retailer who is currently in the process of remodeling their store and in need of temporary workers. The job should last 5-6 weeks with full-time hours but will drop to part-time afterwards if they decide to keep me on board–or if I choose to stay. Either way, it’s something and if I stick around then I can still do my background acting thing in addition to this.

Speaking of which, my last acting job was on Tuesday for Law and Order Los Angeles. I was digging it because unlike most of the others where I had to drive to the studios in either Hollywood or Burbank, or even some remote location way out in Pasadena, this one was in San Pedro which is so close I didn’t even take the freeway to get there. And I got a bump for using my car. Not a bad job for being the last one for a while.

Anyway, there you go. I’m still alive and entering the (temporary) workforce beginning on Monday. Oh, and I can ride my bike to the new job. Let’s just hope I don’t get hassled about where to park it

Doing for Others


 

Long Beach, California at night

Image via Wikipedia

 

Let’s face it: things have been pretty crappy on the job front for a long time now.

And aside from doing the acting thing now and then, something I chose to do just to put a smile on my face (and the extra money helps) , there’s been little else to celebrate. It’s just been that kind of year.

So rather than sit and sulk about it even more, I’ve decided that if employers don’t want to do anything for me in order to help me out, I’m going to do something in October that will help bring a smile to the faces of others.

Riding my bike in the Long Beach Marathon was something I had planned on doing a long time ago but like my attempt to run the Disneyland 5k, it never came to fruition. The reason for not running was simple: unlike the treadmill and despite losing 100 pounds, concrete does not play well with my knees. It’s a lethal combination.

That leaves the Marathon which I have decided I will definitely participate in this time. I’ll be 26.2 miles riding around the street of Long Beach starting at 6 am and while I’m definitely ready for it, here’s what’ll be different. Continue reading

Change of Plans


Today I made my call to the EDD to get some information on what in the world I will do once my benefits are exhausted, something which is due to happen within the next 5 weeks.

And I have to admit that there were a few things that impressed me about the call.

First, the wait time was incredibly short. I can’t recall ever contacting EDD and having to wait less than 5 minutes in order to speak with someone but I guess today was my lucky day. That means less time to sit and listen to that horrible smooth jazz on-hold music that they always seem to play.

Second, I was helped by someone who was more than willing to take her time to speak with me regarding any questions I might have had about my claim. And as if her helpfulness wasn’t enough, she was actually pleasant. I’m beginning to think that EDD has instructed their employees to exercise even more patience these days now that there are more and more people like me out there who are just trying to make ends meet and can’t seem to find a job. The person I spoke to was one of them. She briefly explained to me that she was unemployed for 8 months before landing a job with EDD. Seems to me that they are the place to work for right now.

During the course of our conversation, things only got better. I was informed that my benefits will be eligible for an extension once they are exhausted which was good enough to hear since I was worried to shit since not even the lowliest of jobs seem to want me. Already pleased, I explained that I was working part-time as a background actor and she told me that was even better since, if I make at least $1,300 per quarter, I can file a new claim in March with that one expires.

So for the first time in a long time, there’s good news–very good news. So what does the title of this post have to do with anything?

In contrast to the previous post, it means that I can go ahead and start booking myself for more TV shows so that I show income, therefore helping me look even better to EDD and allowing me to file a new claim. I certainly hope that won’t be necessary (read: I’ll have a regular job by then) but it’s good to know that it’s an option.

I can smile and sort of take it easy knowing that, if a regular job isn’t in the works, I’ll be covered in the meantime.

Or at least until March.

Regardless of what transpired today, the job search continues. Speaking of which, I will be attending a Federally-funded seminar tomorrow that will hopefully give me a hand, broaden my skillset, and lead to something.

Here’s to brighter days…

UPDATE 6 pm: The seminar for environmental training was only for those ages 18-30. Once this announcement was made, half of the room left disgusted. Way to keep us unemployed, California!