So I started my new job three weeks ago tomorrow, and at the risk of balling up into a big giant wad of cliche, it's been a whirlwind. Things have been slow to start, so I've only worked one day each week, but it is amazing how much I've learned and picked up in just a few days. The first thing that truly struck me after being on set was how incredibly efficient, professional, and generally polite everyone was. I mean, I guess I shouldn't have been shocked-- it IS a Golden Globe award-winning show. But the sight of this big group of people, all accomplishing their designated tasks and moving with an efficacy that seemed like pieces of clockwork was just a wonder to behold. Amazing, really. I've made a few blunders, but hopefully nothing to drastically mar my reputation-- I just dust myself off and kept moving. *gulp* Generally I just try to stay as quiet as possible and not get in anybody's way (which can be a little tricky when you're ALSO trying to ham it up and get some camera time)!
There are so many little technical things that nobody tells you about in school. All this time I've been spending hours moving from the center of my body and learning about scansion (which really IS helpful), and nobody tells you what a second A.D. is or why you'll get yelled at if you head straight for the food line at lunch time. And let's be real for a second... If anybody on set ever saw me shaking sound out of my leg, I'd be INSTANTLY demoted to "the girl who is always in the back".
Therefore, in the event that you ever find yourself working as an actor on a TV show, I've compiled this random list of:
Things You Might Want to Know to Look Like You Know What You're Doing Until You Actually Figure Out What You're Doing
(This list is ongoing, and by no means all-encompassing)
1. Segregation is alive and well in television. Crew only talks to crew. Stars (aka: Principals) only talk to stars. Background only talks to background. The only interlopers are hair and makeup people, the props guys, costumes, and the occasional PA. Any other attempt at cross-genre communication will be met with surprise and a pat answer before they look at you funny and walk away stiffly. (Thusfar I have not been dissuaded. I'm considering staging a sit-in at the lighting guys' lunch table next week... This may or may not have anything to do with the extremely hot man who works in lighting. I'll keep you updated.)
2. Any and all food set out by the lunch or craft services staff CANNOT BE TOUCHED FOR ANY GOD-GIVEN REASON UNTIL EVERY SINGLE CREW MEMBER HAS EATEN. Otherwise you will find yourself on the receiving end of some very, VERY nasty looks and some pretty dirty comments. Just stay away and gnaw on your hand until the last grip leaves the food table. Trust me.
3. Speaking of eating, you will find yourself privy to more food on a constant basis then you have probably ever had access to in a week, let alone a day. The holy and anointed ones (aka: the craft services team) will keep their table stocked at all hours of shooting with a vast array of snackables. Sample wisely... You still want to fit into your costume tomorrow.
4. Any and all odd behavior exhibited by principal actors is to be absolutely disregarded and undiscussed. This includes yelling, making loud "pip, pop, POW" noises, jumping around, singing suicidal songs at the top of their voice, making stupid jokes that use the "F" word over and over again, et al. Any obtrusive, annoying, or unsociable behavior is to go unrecognized and is never, EVER to be discussed. It is simply to be considered "part of their preparation".
5. Oh, and the really gorgeous lead actor who is somehow even MORE gorgeous in person and you can't even look in his direction without losing your breath a little bit...? Well. Uh. Just enjoy it I guess. :)