Caring Doesn’t Pay…

Happy Friday! I just worked a full week for the first time in 4 months. That’s crazy…I mean I wasn’t planning on it working out that way. If you read the blog weekly you would know that I thought I was going back on a show that well…I didn’t. So here I am in the world of the unknown, jumping from show to show. It gets so crazy at times that I forget exactly what it is that I’m on. The amount of times that we’ve been on location where I have a person asks me what it is that we are filming and I can’t remember what show it is at that moment is pretty ridiculous. It happen to me just the other day. After a while it truly does just feel like you’ve been working on one long show. The faces may change but the Film/TV show/Commercials/Videos machine keeps on turning. We jump on, we jump off, we love it, we hate it, its easy, it’s fucking back-breaking but at the end of the day we’re all just wondering around this circus that we call the film industry. Alright let’s get into it shall we?

Sometimes I feel that some of my posts may be taken a bit personal and so I like to issue a reminder that, I’m just an asshole with a website that tokes up and then rambles about the day-to-day of my life at work. MY LIFE. I don’t expect you to agree or like it. It’s just some food for thought…or food for a laugh really. I’m the type of person that enjoys to laugh and have a good time at work because IT’S WORK. No matter how awesome it is once you do it long enough, it’s work. Now the other day I was checking in the BG (Background) and there was a few people who were late. I called the first person and got no answer, I called the second person and got no answer. The third person picked up and as soon as I told her who I was she starts her “Why I’m late speech” that we all make up in our head as we are racing to work. Some of us are late so often that they have planned excuses ready to go at anytime. Anyhow I stopped her and politely said “Hey, all I want to know is when you’re going to be here..” to which she replied “It says 30 mins.” I said “Cool, drive safe.” and hung up. She eventually got there and once again tried to go into her spiel. I once again stopped her and said “Listen, I don’t need an excuse. I don’t pay you and you being here late or not doesn’t affect my job at all. No worries.” This caught her off guard and I wish I could say that I didn’t expect it to but I knew it would. The reason I knew that she couldn’t believe that I wasn’t grilling her for being late is because I’ve seen many…MANY…AD’s and PA’s give these people shit like they were their parent and the BG artist is the kid that just snuck in after a long night of shenanigans with their friends. Look I’m not saying that we should condone everyone being late all the time because that would be madness. We can’t just all work off a lose time schedule. However shit happens to all of us at times and we are late to stuff. It’s a normal part of life. You know what’s not a normal part of life? A grown adult making another grown adult feel like shit because they had some inevitable event make them late to set.

Check it my folks…yes I just said Check it my folks…New opening? Maybe…Moving on! I think the person that is late should definitely offer an explanation. I just don’t think it’s fair to hold different people to different standards. I don’t think it’s fair to treat anyone any different from anyone else. Sadly this business holds BG to different standards than that of everyone else. If a crew person is late, they tell the head of department what happen and that’s it. The worse that may happen is that they ask that you buy the department coffee. If a BG is late any and or all of these may happen:

  1. They get reamed by the over caring AD or PA checking them in.
  2. They get shit from the wardrobe person that is angry at them because they thought the BG were done and was in the middle of her cold breakfast.
  3. They get yelled at by their booking person at the casting agency.
  4. They get…basically…temporally fired for a certain period of time.

Are you shitting me right now? I was talking to a few Background artists the other day that were telling me there was absolutely nothing worse or more terrifying than getting a call from the casting place. This is all stories that they told me so I can’t really vouch for it but knowing how this business runs it wouldn’t surprise me one bit. They told me that the phone calls are usually a bit unnerving and that many times they are not nice at all.

I always only have one question for people who feel the need to chastise these people and that’s “Why do you care?” I just really don’t understand what compels a person to get so worked up about someone being late when they have nothing to do with that persons pay. AND they are not going to pay you more for acting like an asshole. It always just comes across powers move. It always just seems like the little power these people think they have and since the BG are the only people below them they are the ones that will be the victims of your insecurities. One doesn’t have to pretend to care about shit to be a good employee. All one has to do is your fucking job which doesn’t include reaming people for being late or pretending to care about shit that everyone knows you don’t.

Thanks for reading everyone! I’m sorry that I missed my usually 420 deadline today but I have a super late call today (Friday) and decided to get to bed early last night to get a few hours in before I woke up to finish writing this thing and then get in another block of sleep before noon. I know it sounds crazy but trust me it made perfect sense in my head. We’ll see if it works out. Have an excellent weekend everyone and don’t forget to stop by Monday for an all new Episode of The Toke Talking Podcast.


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