When it rains, it pours
(Since I put up a mid-week post Sunday before last, it's only fair to put up a Sunday post in the mid-week slot, and thus balance the scales of my little universe here at BS&T…)
“We have an announcement,” the producer said, her sharp voice cutting through the din of paint sprayers, compressors, nail guns and reggae.
She looked cheerful, as did the show runners -- which to my mind could mean only one thing: as unlikely as it seemed, the network must have decided to fund another season of the show. We’d been hearing rumors all week that word might descend from on high sometime Friday, and judging by the looks on these three faces before us, the word was going to be good. And why not? Our show is no big hit, but it developed a loyal following over the years, and has been the top-rated show for our cheap-ass network (and this dickhead) in the coveted 18-to-34 demographic all season, so maybe the suits upstairs realized we might be worth keeping around a little longer.
Turns out the network (and Mr. Dickhead) don't need us after all.
For the first time in a long while, I have no idea what's coming next. Pilot season looms, but our DP -- the leader/rain-maker of our grip/electric/camera tribe -- recently started another show that has been beating him into the ground, leaving him in no shape (or mood) to commit to any pilots right now. If he doesn’t land a pilot or another show in the next few months, the individual members of his crew will be looking hard to make new tribal connections elsewhere, me included. But with so many good younger people out there ready and eager to work these days, there's not much demand for an aging juicer. There could be a whole lot of nothing in the foreseeable future -- just an unemployment check every two weeks while waiting for the phone to ring.
Yeah, I know -- this is what the smug, know-it-all, irony-infused hipsters among us call a “First World Problem” -- but given that I live in the First World, it feels real enough to me.* I was hoping this show would go another season: twenty or so more episodes starting sometime early next summer to carry me within hailing distance of retirement, at which point I could play out the string between day-playing and unemployment while preparing to leave the industry -- and Hollywood -- behind.
If nothing else, maybe I'll finally have time to finish the blog -book. Hey, I'm not dead yet.
Still, there's no taking the sting out of this day. Half an hour later, I glanced out the open elephant door and saw the rain coming down hard in a drenching downpour. Given my decision to ride the motorcycle to work, this did not make me happy -- but it somehow seemed totally appropriate: a wet, cold, miserable ride home at the end of an unexpectedly dark day.
Not for this crew.
* More or less. Truth be told, LA feels more like a Second World city with every passing year...