Working the Christmas episode for Disney
Maybe it's just me, but this holiday season felt a lot more compressed than usual. Whether due to a quirk of the calendar or the ever-accelerating crush of modern life, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have been a blur -- and it'll be 2014 before we know it.
Although I'd prefer the passage of time to slow down a bit, I won't be sorry to see 2013 disappear in the rear-view mirror. For a number reasons -- and at times, the oncoming black tide took on the biblical proportions of a tsunami -- this was one rough year for me and many people I know. On my end, the only real blessing was work, and lots of it. In the sheer quantity of days worked, this was my busiest year ever. It was all cable-rate, of course -- of the 190 and-then-some days I logged this year, none were at full union scale. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Last year was nearly as busy, but only two of those work days paid full scale -- the rest were under one sub-scale cable contract or another.
I did the math, and it's depressing: 99.5% of my work over 2012 and 2013 was at cable rate. That's a lot more than a trend -- at this point cable-rate seems to be the New Normal. I don't like it, but there are a lot of things I don't like in this ugly new millennium. This is just one more cold lump of coal in the Christmas stocking.
Still, quantity can help compensate for quality, and I'm lucky to have enjoyed such a consistent roll of employment these past two years -- almost (but not quite) a Tuna Run. Having toiled long and hard as an itinerant day-player in the cinematic vineyards of Hollywood, I know very well how it feels to wait for the phone to ring in the hopes of scraping by for one more month on just-enough-money. Not all my fellow Industry Work-Bots managed to get enough work this year, so despite the ongoing insult of cable-rate, I have to be grateful for my good fortune. All any of us in this business can do is take the good with the bad and pray that it all evens out in the end -- but in the meantime, I'll kiss 2013 goodbye with an eye towards a better year to come for us all.
Thanks to everybody for tuning in this year, and especially those of you who took the time to comment on what you found here. This blog is meant to start a conversation whenever possible, not simply serve as a soapbox for my wordy, meandering pontifications. Pro or con, your comments and e-mails mean a lot.
I wish all of you the best in this holiday season, and hope to see you back here in the New Year.