The show is titled "Twenty-Six Miles" (original, eh?) and a few weeks ago I went to an open casting call for people to work as extras. Yesterday they called me and I agreed to work today. It doesn't pay much but since I have absolutely no income at all right now, any money is good to have. I do, however, have an extremely flexible schedule, which the casting company seemed to appreciate. And after this first day, I still can't tell how much more work I'll get this summer, whether this is something that will help pay the rent, or just contribute to the "Wine & Yarn" line item in the budget. (What? Don't you have that too?). But after this first day - I see no reason why I shouldn't continue to accept this "extra" work. Because today....wait for it...I got money for nothin'.
Yup! It's true. I got paid to sit on my ass. And while doing so I studied for my final exams, knitted, and chatted with folks around me. Oh and did I mention that there were snacks? (You can start hating me anytime now. Go ahead - I'd hate me too.) Seriously, as instructed by the casting company I showed up at the location with three changes of clothing at 10:ooam this morning. I was immediately sent in a van to another location for wardrobe check and hair & makeup. The wardrobe part was fairly unremarkable, but it was at the 'ole hair shop that things got interesting.
For anyone who hasn't met me in person, (and because that little profile photo doesn't show it), I have close to waist-length wavy/curly/squiggly hair that when not pinned up for convenience, I generally wear au naturale. That is to say, it does what it wants and I let it. But today my hair got a serious talkin' to by the hair lady. First she started by asking me to take off my glasses. This is a tad scary because it means I can't see my reflection in the mirror anymore, like those makeover shows I'm going to have to wait til she's done to see the results. But I didn't see any scissors or dyes on her table, so I took a deep breath, yanked off the specs, and let her have at. There was much yanking and pulling of the tender hairs, assorted products were applied, a couple of hot implements were utilized, and finally, the masterpiece was revealed.
I regret that I have no photos to share. (No I don't, that's a lie.) As far as I can tell, she completely reversed my hair. My usual left part became a right part, the wavy bangs were straightened, the flyaway parts were sprayed flat and pinned into submission. She even went section by section and curled my hair in the opposite direction. I was stunned. Speechless actually. (This was probably a good thing.)
The whole trip through the wonders and wardrobe and hair took about an hour, but no one seemed to mind. This should have been a sign. Because once I got back to the actual shooting location, checked in with the appropriate person, and settled into a chair - with the exception of a lunch break, I basically spent the entire day as described earlier. And in the end - they never even used the extras. (We were never "established" as they say.) At 4:30 in the afternoon, we were signed out and sent home. Thanks for coming, sorry we didn't use you, maybe next time. (Did I mention they are filming all summer? Plenty of "next times" ahead.)
But if the deal isn't sweet enough already - the pay is for 8 hours or any portion thereof. I get paid for a full 8 hours, even if I only spend half of that actually there. I get paid just for showing up, whether or not they decide to use me that day. I get paid for just sitting there quietly, occupying myself with schoolwork or knitting. So why wouldn't I keep doing this? After all, it really was like money for nothin. And a free hairstyle!