Silver Lining?

This past week I filmed a very popular tv show in NYC. I was hired as a model, so I was fortunate enough to receive a higher day rate (the union has rules about regular bg rates, special ability, bumps, model rates, under 5’s, principal contracts, etc.) and a fitting the day before for a specific dress.

Now I really try to not hate on other models or shows, but sometimes things need to be said. Most people on set are friendly, professional, energetic people. Other people are not. The worst kind are the unprofessional ones, but close behind are the bg actors who think they are God’s gift to the universe and treat everyone else like scum. It’s like high school all over again. Typically that “type” ends up being the models on a tv show. Now I am a model myself, so I obviously am not hating on models or assuming that all models are the stereotypical bitches. Some are. I hate being on set with that type.

Days on set are typically long. This was only a ten-hour day, which compared to the norm was short. However, due to the company it seemed endless. I had worked with this one model before, and unfortunately she has been a pill on set every time I have worked with her. I honestly don’t understand how people like her book work. She seemed miserable, very unfriendly, and unhappy to be there.

I guess the reason I am blogging about this experience (and I hope I am not coming across as simply venting) is that for one, as a model myself, this kind of girl makes the rest of us models unfairly plopped into this unfortunate stereotype I so desperately try to get away from. Secondly, there are a dozen girls in NYC who would kill for a sourpuss’ job and do it with a smile on her face and a pleasant attitude. Thirdly, news flash to the world – if you are doing bg work (even as a model and at a higher rate!) you are still just bg. You are not a star, you are no one important in the crew’s eye, and you have absolutely no reason to assume that you are better than everyone around you. ‘Nough said.

The issue with filming in NYC year-round is the weather. Exterior scenes are filmed whether it’s a comfortable 60 degrees outside or 18 degrees with a crazy wind chill factor. For a couple different reasons, I have decided this month to not submit or accept exterior work. I always check with casting regarding the location status before accepting or committing to film work to make sure I know what I am committing to before I show up to work.

On this same particular day, I was only supposed to film inside. I didn’t even bring appropriate winter clothes as my call time was moved up and I had to rush to set. Anyway, long story short, yours truly was forced to film exterior scenes. I was not a happy camper. It was cold and I didn’t have the appropriate wardrobe. I sucked it up, put on a smile and tried to find a happy place. I had no other options.

Anyway, some days are really tough on set. Shooting surprise exteriors and dealing with unnecessary attitudes is not usually part of my day, and often gets under my skin. That day was a reminder that working on tv shows is often both emotionally and physically taxing.

As I walked to the subway that night, I realized that the friendly, polite and professional people I had met that day were really wonderful. I was thankful that aside from the negatives on set, most of the people are in the film industry because they love it – and that rings loud and clear and some how wipes the bad away.

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~ by Elizabeth on February 11, 2010.

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