Monday, September 05, 2005

Continued Pursuit

The assistant director tells me to hold some folders, walk right, pause, then traverse the room with purpose. Assistant directors are always telling you and 17 other people what to do. His Motorola WalkAbout crackles in his hand and he hustles away to direct an additional gaggle of Wall Stree extras. Another actor leans to me and asks if I intend to do what I was told to do. "If you mean cross in front of Will Smith, go around Dan Castellaneta - while he's speaking - and then walk two feet in front of the camera, which will surely ruin the shot, then no. I am not going to do that because the A.D. told me to." Instead I do what feels right and the shot works out. "Moving on!" someone shouts and the camera is already being broken down for the next scene.

It is the third day of filming and we've logged 40 hours of work for the week. Did I mention it is day 3? My beautiful brownish, salmon colored suit and brown and yellow tie are sucking the life out of me. We are dressed in 2 and 3-piece vintage 1980's suits, every item of which have Sony and Universal Pictures barcodes hidden somewhere. Today included six wardrobe changes. Global costuming orders are given to all of us. "Go back to what you had on yesterday." "Now change something minor." "Put on the first outfit you wore today." One actor refuses to change anything but his tie. No one notices. I am tired of eating, noshing, and nibbling on fun-sized Milky Ways, trail mix, peanut M&M's, bagels, fake buttered popcorn, bear claws... The pay is awful, the hours are worse, but there's no chance of losing weight.

I noticed an interesting social phenomenon taking place. (Recap: 60 of us are playing various roles in a 1980's brokerage house: interns, board members, traders, clerical). Between scenes we are hanging out with those who are playing in similar social structures. The actresses playing secretaries chat amongst themselves. Almost no one seeks them out for conversation. The dozen interns break off into a corner. The exception is the one Asian guy playing a Chinese food delivery man. He talks to a board member.

Late in the day I overhear the following phrase: "Today just feels different doesn't it? Darker. Less fun. Moody? Moody. Do you feel it too? Maybe I slept weird. But it is a Gemini moon and I was raised by Leo's so it kinda makes sense. I am a monkey and this is a very non-monkey shoot. I'm getting bad vibrations from this wall."

And now, suddenly, so much of Los Angleles is no longer unexplained.