Monday, April 14, 2008

No gig -- Gig -- No Gig

The only thing that's certain about being a temp in Hollywood, uncertainty. Well, that and time sheets. And the part where people don't refer to you by name, but simply as "Temp" (because it has fewer syllables than my name) or "My Temp" (as if you're their property) or worse "The Temp" (because no one wants to lay claim to you). But I digress. When you don't have a gig lined up for the next day, your schedule is, well, whatever someone tells you it is.

Today the phone didn't ring by 10 a.m., so that meant no work. That was ok by me. I wanted to spend a couple days writing as I'd wasted the weekend looking at the air conditioner (read: not writing). So after a furious burst of literary...err...well let's just say I was typing, I took a nap, then a shower. Upon my return from the shower, a voicemail and an email from my "Temp Pimp."

"Must be big news!" I thought. Maybe my hard work and loyalty had paid off with a temp-to-perm job?

Not exactly. He had a two-week assignment. I immediately figured out how much I'd gross. $14.30 x 80 hours = Somewhere around $1000 (So my math skills are rusty). The only down side is I have to cram most of my writing zest into the next 24 hours, as the next two weeks belonged to someone else. So I continued my frantic typing pace, breaking only to get my health insurance straight and to brew some coffee. (Combined total 10 minutes!)

I'm in the zone. I've got rent covered for the next month. I can make some more contacts at a production company. And I'm cranking out the next slightly-above-average American screenplay. The world is my oyster, until...

2 hours later, the phone rings again. Caller ID tells me it's my Pimp. This can't be good news.

"Hi, it's (Name)."

"Hey, what's up?"

"They canceled the job order."

"Oh. Crap."

Everything after that was a blur. My creative juices stopped. My self doubt surged.

"Maybe I'll go back to doing marketing," I thought.

This is how things go as a Hollywood temp. Everything can change when you pick up the phone. Remind me not to answer it next time.

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