Friday, November 21, 2008

I am an employee of the city of Los Angeles...

... Pending a tuberculosis test, that is.

I thought TB was eradicated with polio; I mean, wouldn't a meningitis test be smarter? Perhaps I'm getting my diseases confused, I'm certainly no medical expert. Nor do I know much about astronomy, but I assured the Phd.'s at the Griffith Observatory that I am a very quick study. Lucky for me, they have learned that when filling their guide positions, it's easier to teach science to someone personable than to teach people skills to a nerd. I mean science buff. No... I mean nerd; I'm pretty sure they've embraced that term now.

I am now twice amazed to get such a wonderful position at an iconic Hollywood location, site unseen! I am very grateful to my Universal co-worker who not only recommended me, but also encouraged me to interview dispite my apprehensions. When I arrived at the Observatory Wednesday afternoon, I was awestruck!

It sits atop Mount Hollywood, within Griffith Park; the famous Hollywood sign can be seen just across the way, on Mount Lee. I called my beau to tell him I felt like I was literally standing on top of the world, with the recognizable buildings of Willshire and Hollywood in one direction, the downtown skyline in the other and miles and miles of city. I'm told on a clear day you can see the ocean. I arrived as the sun was a giant pink ball setting in the west and left with a new job and amazing view of endless twinkling lights. It's kind of a bitch to get to, but well worth it; once inside, it's just as beautiful. I swiped these pictures from various websites:


When I return in January I will work at the Observatory part-time. I will likely begin giving presentations to field-tripping fifth graders. Believe it or not, that's a slightly easier place to begin because it has specific topics and talking points. Although guides posted throughout the exhibits are open to any and all visitors questions, concerns and emergencies, as we walked through today the co-worker who recommended me for the position pointed out that guides aren't approached all that often. I think I already have the two most important lines down: "The restrooms are right this way..." and "The Big Bang theory, as a scientific explanation, is in no way meant to negate your religious beliefs."

Nonetheless, I will be doing a great deal of scientific study while I'm back in Ohio over the holiday. Lucky for me, I grew up about forty minutes from the Neil Armstrong Museum; when I visit again I'll actually force myself to read all the little plaques!

This means that so far I've gotten one out of my three Wednesday appointments. According to the breakdown, the TV movie is supposed to shoot this weekend, so I highly doubt I got the part. I did however accomplish my goal of building good report with the casting director. As for the emcee position at Universal, I'm a bit annoyed that we haven't gotten an email.

Scratch that, I'm really annoyed because they probably could have told us on the spot! It was a "live" audition, meaning we took turns being the emcee to real guests as they entered the studio tour area. What does that mean? You simply give people the following directions: To get on the tram, go to the left. Yes, you can take food and drink on the tram, check out the food cart behind me. This is a 45 minute ride, if you have to go to the restroom go back upstairs. Park your stroller over there... And to the people leaving you say goodbye and give them the times of other things going on in the park. Bla, bla, bla... Of course, you should do it with some personality and interact with the guests; asking where they're from or saying you like something they're wearing is ideal.

Anyway, about fifteen tour guides showed up for a rumored three or four emcee positions. I was surprised to see two veterans there, each with at least ten years at Universal! One is a guide and dispatcher, the other a VIP guide and trainer. I don't know if that's a sign of the bad economic times, if they're looking for a change of scenery or if they just wanted to fuck with the newest guides like me! Their seniority is discouraging, but while I like both of them as people I didn't really think they proved to be the best suited for this position.

Because park attendance was so low, we all rode up and down the escalator in the baking sun to give the person auditioning more people to talk to! Our two bosses sat on a nearby bench and often didn't appear to be listening, not that they needed to. We've all already proven we can speak and interact with people. I truly believe it's a popularity contest. It's less about what we did and said on Wednesday and more about the personality type they want. I will be flabbergasted if we don't find out today. I won't be upset if I'm not added to the emcee roster this time around, as most of you probably know from other things, I just get a little crazy when information is not distributed!

3 comments:

Judy said...

Congrats on the new job! The Griffith Observatory is on my list of must dos when I visit L.A.

Sarah said...

Well, TB still has not been eradicated, and it's still a rather large problem in the 2nd/3rd World-ish countries. However, if you get any public service job with interaction, in most places you'll have to get a TB test. Heck, I had to have one to observe in classrooms during undergrad. Good luck being a science nerd! :)

Jeff Mac said...

Congrats on the new gig, amiga! Yay!!!

And you'll be amazed at the gas prices out this way when you get home! :)

-Jeff