April 29, 2008
food and cattle calls
Spring is traditionally
a slow time for the entertainment business. In an era of video games
television production is a declining industry, so jobs are scarcer
than before. The declining economy, coupled with a Writer's strike
and a general feeling of anomie has meant that this year's TV season
is a little delayed. Companies are just beginning to gear up for the
"production season" and I am sending out lots of feelers
looking for work for this summer and fall.
Out on the ranch
I tend to get a little isolated, with the carpal tunnel wrist still
sore much of the time I don't work on my computer as much as I have
in the past. But I'm looking to do what I can and so I thought it
might be fun to go down and apply to be a contestant on a game show.
Trying out for an open acting audition is called a "cattle call."
That's what this was.
Now I've worked
on lots of game shows behind the scenes but I've never attempted to
become a contestant. I wouldn't recommend it as an experience. Alfred
Hitchcock supposedly said "I didn't say actors are cattle. What
I said was, actors should be treated like cattle." That's pretty
much what trying out was like. Lines, in the sun waiting to go inside,
mug shot style photo taken, wait and watch 50 other people try out
in front of the camera, then a minute in front of the camera and on
to the next.
Really, I exited
the cattle call casting event feeling very much like one of a herd
of mixed strays, perhaps like a Holstein steer*, rather than the star.
They said that they'd get back to me but I expect little. Very little.
So then I came
home and was hungry. What is in big supply on the ranch today is spring
peas. They take time to pick (30 minutes), they take time to shell
(30 minutes), but they are really quick to eat (3 minutes). So sweet
and perfect. A tasty way to end a day of feeling ... not quite enough.