Oct. 27, 2006

My Debut

In front of the LensSo yesterday was my acting debut, and a long debut it was... Twelve hours on set, from 1:30 PM to 1:30 AM. I thought I would be released at 7:00 PM, but they held on to me and used me in a second role. I had been cast as a "patient" but they decided to use me as a "doctor" as well.

This meant that I had 'lunch' with the crew at 8:00 PM, managed to finish reading Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake, listen to a tonne of music on my iPod, and still having plenty of time to chat to the other actors. One woman, a full-time actress who was scheduled for the final shot waited ten hours for her shot. She just sat there and fidgeted, with nothing to read or listen to.

This is how the day went. By 1:30 PM everyone had arrived on set and at 2:00 PM we were all brought to the lobby for a large group shot. 3:00 PM everyone returned to the holding area in the cafeteria. The background people were released (good riddance to the yappy extra behind me in the group shot!) and the feature actors started waiting... My scheduled scene, in which I played a patient having his x-ray explained to him, began shooting around 4:30 PM. Around 6:30 PM I was done, but they held on to me after the two shots for a bit. At 7:00 PM they told me they wanted the option of using me in the following shots as a doctor rather than a patient. Over the next six hours I did a bit of background work and then finally had my turn as the "doctor" at 1:00 AM. I scooted out as fast as possible, but had to track down a security guard to get my car out of the adjacent underground parking garage.

Unfortunately, I'll never see my first screen appearance. The project is for the American Medical Association, apparently for internal use.

Turning to the book I finished for a minute, I really enjoyed Oryx and Crake. It's a very bleak view of the near future but really about the emotional landscape of the narrator, Jimmy. It's kind of a worse alternative to her unsettling novel The Handmaid's Tale! Atwood has written a very clever and detailed imagining of how genetic engineering could transform our world, and of the consequences that might arise. (This is the mark of really excellent science fiction.)

Listening to: The Boy in the Bubble by Paul Simon from Graceland.

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