Friday, August 22, 2008

A Worthless Workshop* and Celebrity Sightings!

Thanks goodness- I got a shift today, which means I do not have to pimp out my hands for clapping and face for smiling to the evil Howie Mandel! Although it would have been interesting to see what the taping process is like for Deal Or No Deal, I'm glad to miss that opportunity because, again, I've heard it's absolutely horrible!

Speaking of negative experiences, the Universal workshop last night was pretty deflating... I had my dates mixed up and last night's guest was an associate from a pretty big talent agency (the VP of Casting at ABC is next week). Her agency only represents guest stars and better, not developing talent, which we all are. Meaning being there wasn't bringing any use the opportunity to be signed, it was just meant to be informative.

Like any occupation, getting into it is a catch 22; you have to have experience to get a job, but you need a job to get the experience! You need to be SAG (the actors union) to get a really great agent and great roles, but you need a damn agent to get jobs that qualify you for SAG! She didn't have hugely helpful advice, which is fine because the reality of this business is that there's no *magic* formula, it is based a lot on *luck*. Gggrrr! The deflating part was just her general tone... Most of us already knew everything she said, sometimes it's just hard to hear it in such a blunt way.

To top it off, she went through all our headshots, held them up and critiqued them in front of everyone. We all wanted her to do that, but I think she was a tad harsher than we expected. Out of like twenty pictures, she only really like ONE!

She hated mine, saying "It doesn't look like a professional headshot. It looks like a pretty girl who wants to be an actress." "It was taken by a professional." I defended. "Yeah, well, wedding photographers are professional too, but that doesn't mean they're good." She quipped. (We all pathetically defended in one way or another, "My agent picked that pictures, I don't really like it..." "I have others..." "I just got new ones taken but don't have them yet.")

Don't get me wrong, she wasn't a huge bitch, she was actually pretty funny. Her candor, or tough love, was appreciated, but still a little hard to swallow and damn depressing. *I don't really think it was worthless, that's just the best alliteration I could come up with for the title...

In other news, I finally saw some famous people on the lot! It happened so quickly I didn't even have time to tell my guests. Both Dana Delany and Ricardo Chavira of Desperate Housewives drove by in production vans. I just caught a glimpse of them through the windows. After we passed the Wisteria Lane area (which was closed today because they were filming) my driver said, "Did you see the brunette actress walking down the road on her cell phone?" "NO! Which one was it?" He didn't know! What an ass for not yelling at me when he first saw her; unlike a moving van, a person walking is slow enough to point out to the tram passengers. Since the tour guides sit facing the guests with our back to the trams windshield, we tend to miss things... I'm surprised none of my guests saw her. If they did, they didn't make much noise and didn't tell me at the unload area. The guide in the tram right behind me said it was Terri Hatcher and she did look up and wave to his passengers!

Ah well... I just have to stay satisfied with the biggest star I have met at Universal - our tour guide manager, Ben Salisbury. He played Brighton, the son on The Nanny!

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