RSS

Tag Archives: los angeles

Upward and Onward — By Jack

Meant for bigger things.

Lazarus Motors just pulled out. The crew is scheduled to land in Michigan two hours from now. And I didn’t get the location release ahead of time.

For anyone unfamiliar with television production, this is bad…very very bad. Without that release, a legal document agreeing to let us film the yacht builder’s facility, $600 plane tickets per crew member (of which there are 7) and 3 nights of $150 per night hotel rooms (also per crew member and also non-refundable) totaling $7350 dollars, will go to waste. That doesn’t account for day rates or travel expenses of those crew members or equipment rented or baggage fees. And when the airline doesn’t have media rates, a truckload of film equipment equals a shit load of baggage fees.

Long story short. I am fucked.

Back up nine months ago. Suffering 2 months of unemployment destroyed all my New York savings. I took a deli counter job. I was serving a chocolate cream pie when I made a joke to a guy on his third martini. I honestly don’t know what the joke was, but before I knew it the guy offered me a job at his documentary production company.

“I like you kid. You remind me of a really good shit I once took.”  He handed me his business card which, I swear, was made out of aluminum. Embossed in big letters was the name Max Luxburg. If I could have crumpled it up, I would have. But instead I gave him call the next day.

Before I knew it I was sitting in a cubical of a loud and hectic bullpen. Walls and floors made of marble echoed the chaos like a basketball court. But for the first time in my adult life I had an email address with my name followed by a company and weekends off. It felt good.

I started out as a production assistant, but instead of copying papers and making lunch runs, I was instantly given a short web series to produce.

“Knock it out of the park, penis head.” Ever since I shaved my head, I found I liked the bald look. But Max made no reservations about phallic comparisons. “You’re from New York. You know how to get things done.” Then he got on his motorcycle and drove out the emergency exit from his office.

To be honest, producing the show, a collection of short segments about pet stores around Los Angeles wasn’t that hard. It mostly involved calling stores and shelters, trying to convince them were weren’t trying to make them look crazy or stupid (which we were)  and figuring out how to make a schedule work between them and our “avant- garde” host Doggie Dave.

Max continued to throw projects my way and I kept doing what needed to be done. So then he bumped me up to assistant producer on Fill My Grill, a show about customizing BBQ equipment with Richard Karn.

Then one day I was at my desk when I heard Max knock over a bowl of jelly beans. The clash echoed through out the whole office, as the usual chaos came to a silent halt. What followed was a yell of, “What do you mean ‘you don’t talk to me that way?'” Something was up and someone was getting fired.

To be continued…

–Jack Out (Also I won’t drag this out like Jill. I’ll update it in a few days.)

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 21, 2013 in By Jack, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

He’s gone because of me — By Jack

I don’t look nearly that good.

I shaved my head today. I got about a third way through when my razor ran out of juice. There I was, partially bald, unable to leave my apartment for fear of ridicule. As I waited for razor to recharge, I contemplated my drastic action.

This isn’t me. I don’t do things like this. I don’t have any tattoos. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle. I’m buttoned down, business casual style with just a splash of dorky flair (a vest or ironic t-shirt.)

Maybe it’s that I turned 30 today. New city + no friends + no job – life accomplishments = instability? I knew that the move to Los Angeles would be hard. I didn’t expect to get here and on day one someone would hand me a writing job. But I thought I’d find something. It’s been 2 months and other than the one day of production work, I’ve had nothing to supplement my dwindling savings.

And I have tried. Hard. I’ve responded to virtually every Craigslist post. Mandy.com, ineed.com, mediamatch, entertainmentjobs. I’ve cold called the studio of every TV show and movie in development, preproduction, and in production to get the phone number of their production office. “We’re currently staffed, but you’re welcome to forward a resume to our email.” I’ve even applied to internships and some slightly sketch “music videos.” Nothing.

How low will I go?

Hell even Starbucks and the Gap aren’t responding. I went to Gap Inc.’s online application site. After filling out the usual resume crap, I had to do a second application which was a fucked up personality test.

6. Do you feel you’ve accomplished everything you’ve wanted up until this point in your life?
Strongly Agree — Some what Agree — Neutral — Some what Disagree — Strongly  Disagree

27. Do you ever get angry or frustrated at work?
Strongly Agree — Some what Agree — Neutral — Some what Disagree — Strongly  Disagree

97. Do you find it hard to maintain a cheerful and inspirational attitude in stressful
situations?
Strongly Agree — Some what Agree — Neutral — Some what Disagree — Strongly  Disagree

Yes, that was question 97. There were over a hundred of these types of questions. I’m going to be folding clothes not leading innocent children into a war scenario! Sure I get frustrated sometimes. No I haven’t accomplished everything so far. What the fuck do you want from me? An honest employee who is in touch with his feelings or someone who knows to give you the answers you want to hear? I did the latter.

And to top it all off, there was the inescapable realization that my hairline is receding. I used to keep my hear relatively long. Not Fabio long, but Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) long. But I just don’t have the thick head of hair to support it. So I did the one thing I felt I could still control. I took my electric razor and went to town. Or rather a third of the town.

Eventually the apartment contemplation got to me and I dug out my only hat. Unfortunately it’s a beat up cowboy hat for my Gunslinger Halloween costume. But I had to get out. As I went on my walk and continued to contemplate I came across the cutest mouse on the sidewalk. I’m not one for cute critters, (that’s more Jill) but seriously this thing was adorable. I had to get a picture on my phone. But of course as I approached, the little guy scurried away…into the nearest intersection. The little guy got to the second lane before he met his end.

I just wanted a picture.

I walked into the nearest coffee shop and got a newspaper and got him out of the street.

Fuck. What a shitty birthday.

–Jack Out

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 23, 2012 in By Jack

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Los Angeles Car Wreck — By Jack

Oh the horror!

My first day of PA work on B&^#$@!5 was done. It was obvious I didn’t get the job. But a day’s pay is a day’s pay. No one can take that away from me right? Wrong.

If you’re not familiar with driving in Los Angeles, it is absolutely crazy. Everyone thinks they are a rock star, weaving in and out of lanes as fast as they can, cars nest in your blind spot, and when you exit a highway someone cuts you off on the off ramp because they won’t wait in the mile long line of cars (cause I guess the rules for clubbing is the same for road etiquette, it’s not cool to wait in line.) And to top it all off motor cycles speed between the lanes of traffic. I honestly don’t know how any of them are still alive. That being said, you can understand why avoiding highways can be preferable.

This is good traffic.

So a few miles from my apartment (ironically at the off ramp of the highway I was avoiding) I go to make a right turn. I’m in the far right lane and as I’m making the turn a car hits into me. Fantastic! My poor car is less than a month old. We pull over and people immediately start honking at us. Apparently, from 4:30-6:30, there are no stops allowed.  SO we pull into the narrow nearby parking lot. Before I can even get a good look at the other driver, someone comes out of the flower shop (whose parking lot, I assume, we are occupying.)

“You can’t park here! This is parking for that apartment complex,” The man interjects.

“We just had an accident, where are we supposed to go?” I reply. 

“I don’t care. It’s a terrible intersection. Two to three times a day someone gets into an accident here.”

“Okay, well, just let us exchange information and we’ll be out of your hair.”

The flower shop guy gives me a dismissive gesture and walks off. I turn and the woman who hit me is now in my face, “You don’t have plates, give me your VIN number!” She was referring to my temporary dealer plates, (see new car.)

“Calm down. Let’s exchange insurance.”

“Why do you need my insurance? It’s your fault,” she insists.

As we argued and took pictures of the damage with our phones, I got a good look at the intersection. It was really chaotic and confusing. Yes the right two lanes are both turn only lanes. But the line delineations into the turn of the intersection are really sharp and unintuitive.

Okay, not the actual intersection. But it was just as confusing.

After she finished with her incomprehensible diatribe, I told her I would be right back.

“Don’t you run off! I’ve got your fake license plate!”

I couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic or stupid. But I didn’t let that stop me from going to the flower shop guy. He was telling some story to two of his buddies. Who hangs out in a flower shop?

“Excuse me, you were saying that you get 2-3 accidents a day here? Can I get your name.”

“Nope,” he replied sharply.

“Excuse me?” I attempted again. 

“You already said that, you’re sounding like a broken record.”

“It’s just–” but before could complete the thought.

“Look, I don’t want to get involved, I don’t want to be a witness, and I sure as hell am not going to testify.”

“Hey, whoa, I’m not going to court over this. I just want to tell my insurance company all the–” One again he cut me off before I could complete the thought.

“Don’t go telling your insurance nothing. It’s going to come down to your word versus hers and you’re both going to end up paying and you both are going to be ‘at fault.’ Just go out and tell that lady, it sucks it happened but agree to pay yours and she agrees to pay hers and have that be the end of it. And don’t be really stupid and call a cop. They’ll write you a ticket just for callin’ em out here in rush hour.”

I stumbled out of the flower shop in a blank haze. I had never not told an insurance company about an accident. Did I have to tell them? Would they raise my rates just for being in an accident?

I looked over her damage and mine. It looked like she just had some paint rubbed on her car from mine. None of hers was structural or even chipped her paint for all I could tell. Mine was the one with the dent in the side. About the size of a baseball. Not massive, but still a shame for such a new car. But the paint job is the real killer.

Small damage. Big headache.

“Look, normally the first thing I’d do in a car accident is call my insurance company. It’s what I’m inclined to do now. But that guy said in this case it may not be such a good idea.”

I relayed the flower shop guy’s words as best I could. And I must have done a pretty good job because she seemed to agree.

“Okay, but if you change your mind be sure to give me a call. Sleep on it, talk it over with your husband and see how you feel.” I affirmed in a reassuring manner. 

With that, we parted ways. It felt like I was now part of a conspiracy. I’ve always done things by the book. How badly could this bite me in the ass? What if she called her insurance without telling me? Would that make me look like I was hiding something? Would that create or insinuate a sense of guilt? Can insurance penalize me for not reporting it? I drove home extra cautiously as I listened to the Obama/Romney debate on NPR.

—Jack Out

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 10, 2012 in By Jack

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

After the First Week…– By Jack

Okay. I’ve been in LA a week now, and in that week I’ve worked one day on a TV show, got into a car accident, almost gotten into a fight at the DMV, and seen the actor Garret Dillahunt twice at the gym.

Early last week, I had sat down to look for a job when I got a call from the line producer to B&^#$@!5 (I’m not naming the show because they may still contact me for a job and my resume has this blog on it.) The line producer said that the writer’s PA job I applied for was interviewing tomorrow but had filled all the interview spots. But I could come in to work as her assistant and maybe the creator/showrunner might consider me. I told her absolutely and she told me to do my research. I power watched half the first season of B&^#$@!5 and was pleasantly surprised. Who thought a show about 3@77$* would be so interesting? The quirky funny dialogue really took me by surprise.

The next day I brewed coffee, refilled refrigerators, picked up lunch, set up the line producer’s WiFi and printer, and ushered people into meetings. What was mostly happening was that the showrunner was staffing various production jobs so she was conducting interviews. I was to make sure people waiting for their interview were taken care of. I ended up having conversations with practically everyone. Learned some good stuff. Even made a friend. One of the people interviewing for that writer’s PA job and I really got along. We had lunch yesterday. Though I didn’t get the job, they said the production office would soon be staffed and I might be considered for that.

One last note. The show directly one floor below B&^#$@!5 was none other than Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom! Alas, Sorkin wasn’t there. Dexter is also done at this studio. But I don’t know if they film there or just produce it.
Come back tomorrow (or the next day) for the Accident.

-Jack Out

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 14, 2012 in By Jack, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Separate Ways and New Beginnings — By Mack, Jack, and Jill

Well Jack and Jill moved out. Jack went off to LA and Jill went back to Seattle. Finding new roommates is gonna blow.

TV writing just isn’t happening in New York

New York was just too much for me. I just got sick of it all.  

Take this one guy. He asks me what times of the day am I going to be present? Present? What the hell does that mean?

I ended up finding a nice place in Burbank. For about $100 bucks more than what I was paying in New York, I get a one bedroom with dishwasher, air conditioning, parking space, closet space up the ying yang, and a garbage disposal.

I’ll be living with my parents for a while. That is going to suuuuuck.  My mom will not stop offering advice. “Maybe you and your sister should team up. You like to draw and she likes to do that web stuff. Maybe you could make the next Facebook?” 

Honestly I wish I could swing the bill for the entire place and live alone. Half the time I figure, “why live in Manhattan? It’s cheaper in Brooklyn.” Then the L train goes down for the weekend and I remember why. 

I’ll miss walking everywhere and reading. My Kindle + the subway = heaven. Audio books in traffic just doesn’t cut it.

It’ll be good to see my friends again. Candice and Sherine still work at the Starbucks. And Martin is getting married soon. New York sucked for friendships. Everyone was always so super busy. 

Nothing beats living next to Central Park. Maybe I’ll get a dog. Jack was allergic. A Welsh Corgi? Maybe a Shiba Inu? Great way to start conversations with the ladies. 😉 

Now that I’m here, it’s time to get serious. I gotta break into this this industry or die trying. I just have no idea how I’m going to do it.

Leaving New York…I feel well…defeated. Like, I couldn’t make it against the big and the bad. 

I knew Jill wasn’t going to make it. She’s such a complainer. Doesn’t know how to enjoy life and let the stupid shit go. 

New city, new car, new diet, new outlook. I think I’m going to be okay. Once I find a job, I’ll be great. Hell, I’ve already lost 10 pounds. Maybe there’s something to this Saturn Return.

I’m so depressed.

Who needs them?

I feel like I can take on the world!

 

– Big Mack Attack

– Jack Out

-What the hell am I going to do?

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 3, 2012 in By Jack, By Jill, By Mack

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,