When I think of how far I've come (career wise) since August 2008, it blows my mind. In two short years (I say short now, but they've actually felt like closer to five years) I've gone from knowing few, feeling overwhelmed on where to even begin to meet people in the biz, and doubting my potential to accomplish anything in this town to having an amazing day job that keeps me connected to a warm community of actors and casting directors, being represented by one of the top commercial agents who believes in me and beginning to create my own contacts via all of the above.
Today was an especially exciting day because I was on set for a TV pilot and was not background!
In true Hollywood fashion, I can't say the project title, production company name, who's involved or the premise of the pilot, but I can say that I am not only in it, but was upgraded to have an actual speaking role! From here on out, I'll refer to the pilot as UNDISCLOSED.
The majority of the projects we work on at Liz Paulson Casting (my "day job") are commercials, but every now and again we cast television pilots. The past few weeks we have been working on UNDISCLOSED and the best part has been the producer and writer have been in the casting room with us! I am trained to run camera in the audition sessions, but usually do more office assisting - until recently. The past week I ran camera for the auditions for this UNDISCLOSED television pilot and THANK THE LORD. It gave me an opportunity to get to know the writer (we would spend the entire day together watching bad acting), audition for the project and then, sure enough, book it!
Today was my first day on set. Late last night I received a Mission Impossible style email with directions (that's right, no address) to a parking lot where an unmarked van would pick me up and take me to location. It was pretty funny because the map was of the Venice Pier parking lot and the van literally drove us from one side of the lot to the other. Hollywood. I was booked today as a restaurant patron (the original role/scene I was "on avail" for were both cut, but I was just happy to be booked as anything) and once I arrived on set (post wardrobe approval and being wired for my mic) the writer (whom I had spent those long casting days with) upgraded me to Restaurant Manager! I then went back to wardrobe (that experience is another blog post) back to sound and then onto set.
I love being on a set. I especially loved being on set with a purpose. Being an extra (although many make a nice living from working background) is not for me because all I can think of is how I don't want to be in the background. It was so invigorating and self-inspiring to receive my direction from the director (not the assistant director or background wrangler), to have my own production assistant placed solely to cue my entrance and to have wardrobe futzing with my blouse and hair between takes. Call me a diva, but I love that. So as soon as I can disclose any more information about my first television credit in Los Angeles, rest assured you'll be the first to hear!
I'm already hungry for my next opportunity to do it all over again.