The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 87

The Toke Talking Podcast is up NOW! Come listen to me go on about exercising, food eating contest, people that stand on escalators and much more random madness to start your week off with a laugh. Have an excellent week and if  you enjoy the show feel free to show me some love by following, liking or sharing with a friend.

-PEACE

It’s Low Budget BUT It Should Be Fun…

Happy..Thursday?…Yeah…I know, I know…Let’s just carry on alright. We all know I suck with the timing of these things lately. How has everyone’s week been so far? It’s been a little hot out here in LA LA. Definitely not anywhere near as hot as back where I call…called?… home, Miami is definitely hotter. It was uncomfortable to sleep those first couple of nights but besides the heat my week has been fantastic so far. I had the most EXCELLENT weekend that smoothly transitioned into another one of those “Holy shit, I will remember this day forever…or until I get old and senile and can’t remember how to poop let alone this” days. Monday I got to work as a DGA 2nd AD on a Commercial for the first time since receiving my acceptance letter. YAY!!..well almost yay…it’s like half a yay more of a YA! There’s still a few other steps in the process to fully be in…in. My days were accepted and now I’m on the hunt for 150 days but as a 2nd AD. The ways to acquire these days is still a bit odd to me and honestly seem like a giant pain in the ass for a lot of people. Out of the 150 days 75 have to be on Commercials and most people who work on TV and Film don’t have many of those contacts. Weird right? One would think that they are all sort of the same but no no. There is those that work on Commercials and those that do TV and Film and rarely do you find people who do both seamlessly. I was fortunate enough to have worked on many commercials when I first got out here and still have many of those contacts so hopefully I can snag those 150 rather quickly but who the hell knows what’s going to happen. I’m not really a fan of how tough they make this process after the initial 600. I was told it’s structured so that it can weed out those that can’t take it but I don’t know if that works. I mean I’ve worked with some pretty terrible people who it may have taken them forever to get the days but they did and now they are working. Just fucking up shit everywhere they go. HA! I’m just saying I think the process past the 600 should be reevaluated and restructured to help people who really deserve to be out there working because then hopefully they get in and weed out those that have snuck in and aren’t good at their jobs. I’ve seen many great people stuck in what I’ve heard a few refer to as “DGA Purgatory”. It’s a terrible place where PA’s that worked their ass off for years to collect 600 days now wander around aimlessly trying to get another 150 days over the course of another bunch of years for some. Alright that was the longest into ever…let’s get into this shall we?

“It’s low-budget but it should be fun” is one of those texts that one receives from time to time and if you’ve been in the business long enough you know this really may mean “We have no fucking money and this is going to be a shit show”. I remember doing a few jobs when I started that used this phrase and I will tell you this much they were ALL shit shows. No crafty, drop off lunch or some fast food burgers, 16-17 hour day, multiple departments sharing trucks, terrible locations. Did you notice the first 2 examples I stated were both food related? That’s because I love food and so do most people and when you don’t have good food for people to graze on as they work through YOUR 16 hour day they get angry. Anger leads to frustration and stress. Before you know it everyone is in a bad mood and just trying to wrap this thing up so they can forget this atrocious fucking day.

HELPFUL TIP: FEED YOUR FUCKIN’ CREW

I’ve never done a helpful tip but I thought I’d start…or this may be a one time thing who knows. See the thing is that in this industry just about every show is only one monkey wrench away from it itself becoming a shit show. I’ve been on really great sets that worked efficiently and seemed to be the perfect dream job only to have one small thing go wrong that ruins the entire day and even the rest of the show in some cases. So since every show seems to be so close to being a disaster when someone calls or texts you and right off the bat is already saying shit like “low-budget”, “should be fun”, “It shouldn’t be bad” which we know is code for this is a shit show, we all automatically assume that this will INDEED be a shit show. The show hasn’t even started and this person that’s hiring crew is already observing how terrible it’s going to be. It’s almost like an internal defense mechanism that springs into action to prepare you mentally for the hell that you’re about to go through. It’s as if admitting that it’s going to be horrible will make it a bit less horrible because when you’re in the nightmare you can tell yourself and others around you shit like “I told you it was going to be tough”.

That’s going to do it for this one ladies and gents. Thank you for stopping by and checking out another post here on We’re Not Rolling. I appreciate you spending sometime to read more of my madness. Have a fantastic rest of your week, till next time…

-PEACE

The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 86

Hey, here’s Episode 86 of The Toke Talking Podcast. It’s a day late but it was an extremely long Sunday and I worked all day yesterday and had no time to record but I’m here now so all is good. Come have a laugh and hear me go on about flavored water, people who say “UM” at the register after waiting in line to order, the recent LA heat wave and much more random madness. Have an excellent week everyone!

-PEACE

Assisting The Assistant…

Happy Tuesday! How is everyone doing this week so far? I actually started a show last Wednesday and started typing this up as I locked up downstairs. I wrote those first 2 sentences 2 weeks ago. I seriously need to manage my time on this blog better. Luckily the topics never are really outdated so lets carry on. I just wrapped up an 8 day pilot and now I’m unemployed again as we all are once our gigs wrap up. The pilot was a blast. We had a few long days, a night and it was all in the desert but overall a great experience. There was certainly minor changes I would make if I was given control over those problems and did the gig over but I don’t have a time machine or care that much. On to the next one! As the great Jay-Z would say. Alright let’s get into this shall we?

Directors, Producers, Writers Assistants or any other type of personal assistant in which you are in charge of a specific person or persons, this post is exclusively for you….and anyone else that wants to read it but you get what I’m saying. This post may even lend itself to assistants in other fields. When your boss (You know, the person who you’re “assisting”) asks for anything, it is YOUR responsibility to get it. That is why you were hired. At least that what I thought the job always entailed. Am I Right? I mean I can be wrong here and if I am someone please correct me but from my understanding an assistant is there to assist the person with ANYTHING they need. I know nothing about being an assistant because I’ve never been one but I would assume if I was to go into the job blindly I would expect that my job would include assisting this person with anything they needed. I wouldn’t assume that I got to pick and choose what I wanted to do and what I felt like getting someone else to do for my boss. If an assistant is constantly asking others to do something they are being asked for then who is the assistant here? You don’t have an assistant, assistant. Your boss does and that’s you. At times and some individuals may think that they’re above everyone else because they’re assisting some big name person but please allow me to burst that bubble and let you know that you are not. In most people’s eyes you are basically a personal P.A. Sure you may have that big heads ear but in reality no one cares. That should never let you feel entitled to take advantage of others and have others do your job. I think a person should try to stay as humble as possible in this business especially when given these assistant roles. I think some assistants let this title get to their heads and instead of thinking their assisting they start to think that they are more of an extension of the person they are assisting. They seem to think that when they are asked for something that their job is to find someone else to take care of it. Trust me everyone you work with will be a lot more helpful and welcoming if you don’t come in asking and requesting things before so much as an introduction which I see happen often. Assistants assume that because their boss requests something that everyone else must drop what they are doing and that’s just unrealistic. Most people will not be very helpful when an assistant runs up to them demanding things get done because their boss asked them for it. While it may be a big deal to you that you are working for this person and choose to run around like a chicken with its head cut off anytime they ask you for something typically no one else will care that much. Relax, breathe and get yourself in order. There’s no need to get all flustered anytime your asked for something.

Now, I’m not trying to shit on the assistant position. I mean honestly I want an assistant job. I think I would be excellent at it and I think that’s a great way to get to that position. If you want to direct I believe assisting a director is a better route to directing than doing it all on your own and hoping someone sees your work. One crappy aspect of being an assistant though is that the title most times already comes with its own negative feelings and thoughts from others on the crew. This is because assistants in general have given the position a bad rep. Assistants are also most times are viewed as part of the producers and associated with all the other above the line folk which when you are below the line you resent because well…Fuck the MAN right? The studio and producers are always the MAN. So at times crew will have a not so friendly tone towards assistants. Which is bullshit. It’s like the shit attitude and unreasonable harsh feelings that crew people have towards the background. I’ve written about it, check it out here: Why Does Everyone Hate The Background

I’ve worked with great assistants and I’ve worked with terrible ones that honestly I felt went home everyday and cried themselves to sleep because they just couldn’t seem to do anything right. I’ve worked with very smart assistants and ones that I was amazed they remembered to keep breathing to not die. I’ve worked with assistants that never asked for any help whatsoever and others that literally would get off their director chair to ask someone to do the task they were asked for and then return to sitting down next to their boss. A parrot could¬†easily have accomplished the same. I’m not stating that I would never help if they needed assistance but if the person they’re assisting asks for a water then that is their responsibly to get them that water not to look for a someone to get them the water for their boss. I will gladly point them in the direction of the water but it’s on them to get it and take it to their boss. I’m always willing to help you if you need assistance but NEVER and I mean NEVER should you ask someone else to handle a task that your boss asked you, the assistant to do. Unless your busy with something else in which case at least have the decency to tell the person your asking to get this done for you so you don’t look like a lazy shit. If your boss is the one that is telling you to ask someone else to do it then you should take the initiative to say “No, I can take care of it. That’s why you hired me.” I want to make it extremely clear to all the assistants out there that may be reading this. Don’t think for a second that when you try to pull these stunts about getting others to do the work that you’ve been hired for that we all don’t talk to one another and discuss what a piss poor job you are doing. We actually go out of our way to make sure every single person on that shoot knows exactly how useless you are. Granted that probably wouldn’t do much since the person in power is typically who hired you but why be an asshole? We’re all here to help one another so let’s do so instead of trying to pile all the work on any one person or persons.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I know it’s been a slow year. There’s a lot of shit going on in my life and sadly some of that is procrastination and laziness at times but I’m working on it. I appreciate everyone that continues to read these and I hope that I don’t let you down too often. Have a splendid rest of your week and till next time.

-PEACE

The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 85

The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 85 is up NOW! Come listen to me go on about weather in LA and Miami, this passive aggressive person at work, Toys R Us shutting down and much more. Have an excellent week everyone.

-PEACE

The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 84

Did you see this Fucking Dragon?! Happy Monday! Come check out Episode 84 of The Toke Talking Podcast NOW. This week I go on about Jurassic Park, peoples sudden obsession with Soccer, Unfriending and much more random madness. Have a great rest of your week and if you enjoy the show please share the comedy.

-PEACE

The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 83

It’s a day late but don’t you worry because Episode 83 of The Toke Talking Podcast is up NOW! Come listen to me go on about exercising (Yeah I know right? Me…talking about exercising), people who claim to hate water, my weekend adventures, I give you a short Incredibles 2 review and much more random madness to entertain you. Have an excellent week and if you life the show don’t forget to subscribe.

-PEACE

I Don’t Run…

The happiest of Tuesdays to you all. May it be filled with amazing moments and many Tacos. Thanks for stopping by to check out a NEW post here at We’re Not Rolling. I would apologize for my absence last week but I’m going to stop doing that because I don’t want to go back and read these someday and read 800 apologies. Sometimes I just don’t write and that’s how it’s going to be from now on so I don’t keep feeling guilty all day when I don’t write. Don’t get me wrong if I start getting paid for these I will happily post more frequently but I’m not. Moving on, I worked yesterday and I’m working today as well. Then I may have one more day of employment on Thur and then it’s the weekend!! At least for me it is…I’ll be off for at least 6 days and then I’m going to go work on a pilot for 8 days. Which I’m really looking forward to because it’s with one of my favorite humans that I worked alongside for 4 years on “Casual” for Hulu. You know who you are! Well if you’re reading this thing that is. Alright let’s get into this shall we?

I don’t know at what age I decided that I was not going to run anymore but I did. I’m not saying I absolutely never run. I have gone on runs in the past, now I just walk. I will also occasionally jog playfully with my dog but besides that I don’t run. I know that may sound odd to some of you out there but I don’t tell you how to live your life so just let me be. Honestly I never enjoyed running as an activity. I hate that feeling of gasping for air and I’m not a fan of sweating as you may or may not know. Running is a really quick way for me to sweat. I’m just thinking about running now and I’m feeling a bit hot. HA!

I know what you may be thinking…you’re asking yourself why is this blabbering lunatic going on about running..well because in this business and particularly in my department at times certain people expect you to run. They won’t tell you to run directly most times but they’ll say shit like “We need to make that happen faster”, “Can you speed that up”. Which I must say is just fucking entirely strange to me. I find it extremely mind-blowing that one grown adult feels they have this right to ask another grown adult to run. We make movies, tv shows, commercials…we’re not cops chasing a thief or fireman racing to a fire. We’re not racing anything but the schedule that those that ask us to rush made. My work should not have to be rushed because of your piss poor planning. I will also mention that if we don’t manage to get something filmed then we typically reschedule it or get rid of it all together. There should never be a moment where anyone is expected to run for something on any set unless it’s an emergency and that person is running for help. My no run policy isn’t exclusive to this business either. I was a cook for 5 years and I would have never ran if my boss asked me to. I don’t get paid to run…none of us do and we should never be expected to do so.

This is not a new concept everyone. Think about when you were a kid, there was people constantly telling you not to run. Why? Because you could hurt yourself. This still holds true as adults. People do dumb shit when you ask them to run because you’re rushing them. Especially if they don’t run often which one can tell immediately because their gallop will not be fluid. When one rushes to do something that is when mistakes happen and I just won’t let that happen to me. I can’t even tell you how many P.A’s and A.D’s I’ve seen Fuck themselves up because they were running or rushing to do something. I’ve seen people fall and sprain ankles ALL THE TIME.

I have only been asked to run over the radio once on a show during my career and I’ll tell you now I sure as Fuck did not. We were filming out in the middle of the desert in 103 degree heat. I was about 200 yards away from where the crew was filming clearing some cones for the shot when the 1st A.D jumped on the radio and said “Hey we need you to hustle, can you run please.” I responded “I’m not running, clearing the shot momentarily.” Guess what happen? I cleared the cones and they rolled camera just like the would’ve done if I would’ve run only it happen 30 seconds later. I went and talked to the 1st A.D afterward and explained to him my not running rule and he understood. He said at times he’s just under the gun and not thinking. I get it but at the same time, I feel people need to have some guts and stand up to those that are placing them under the gun. We are making media to entertain everyone. There is no reason to risk getting injured by running and rushing like crazy people. I’ve seen grips running wrapped in tools around their belts and I can’t help but think of my teacher back in the day telling me not to run with scissors. And now here we have a grown man/woman running with screw drivers, knives, rope that can tangle them up as they run rushing to get the boss some other heavy dangerous looking apparatus that can also cause some damage to themselves if they fall while rushing back with it. Stop running like crazy people everyone. You’re risking your safety for absolutely nothing. You do not get paid to run. You get paid to do you job and do it well not to do your job at a speed that someone else sees fit.

Alright and now that I just went on about running for an entire post I’m going to let you all carry on with your day. Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. Have an excellent week at work and hopefully I’ll have a NEW Fuck It Friday post for you this week, till then…

-PEACE

The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 82

What up?! Come listen to Episode 82 of The Toke Talking Podcast NOW. This week my guest is long time friend and professional barber out in Atlanta Alex Deleon. This week we go on about growing up in Miami, the NBA Playoffs, High School reunions and a bunch of other random topics to bring you all a laugh to begin your week. Enjoy.

-PEACE

The Toke Talking Podcast Episode 81

June is here and so is Episode 81 of The Toke Talking Podcast. This week I go on about Solo, I discuss the Rosanne drama, the NBA playoff and I share a funny tale from the past of a particular situation that my uncle and myself found ourselves on one shitty day. This and a lot more of my random madness can be listened to now right here at We’re Not Rolling, Soundcloud and iTunes. Have an excellent week everyone!

-PEACE