Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The In-Between Times

For actors, one of the challenges they face is filling the time between acting jobs with other gigs that can pay the bills. Some people work a 9-5 "day job" in order to rehearse and perform at night, some are lucky enough to have a flexible position with a temp company, and some are even luckier to be performing constantly. As I juggle temp jobs and freelance writing assignments, I am lucky that one of my friends is the production manager at a theatre in Philly. Whenever a show closes at his theatre, I can usually get a day or two of overhire work taking apart the old set.

Normally it's just a few days of heavy lifting and unscrewing flats from their supports. Sometimes we have to lower pieces down from the ceiling and then cut them up with the saw so that they fit in the trash can, but normally it's not very taxing work.

Not this time, however! This time they had put down an entire floor for the set, so our first day was spent prying up about a hundred pieces of fake hardwood flooring. Once that was finished, we had to pull up thousands and thousands of staples that had been holding that flooring down. And if that sounds terrible and difficult, it's mostly because it is. We worked for hours, only to find more staples that we'd missed. And when we pulled down more pieces of the set, we found staples in them as well. It felt like the entire theatre was put together from staples alone. Well, staples and wood glue.

I got four days of work out of this strike, which equals a nice little chunk of cash. I have a gig tomorrow morning as a model for historical costumes, which I'm really looking forward to. I'll try to snag some photos of my own to post and share, but I'll be sure to link to the official ones when they get posted. It's going to be a fun time!


JParis said...

Impressive - going from laborious deconstruction to costume modeling.

Nick said...

Just doing what I need to do to make ends meet. Using my muscles, then using my face.

JParis said...

Although your face doesn't usually hurt afterwards. Ha!