Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blogging from Set: 90210

For a second day in a row I am at the Santa Anita Race Park in Arcadia as background on "90210." It is an absolutly gorgeous place with mountain views outside and original fancy 50s decor inside (for the most part), with busy wallpaper as far as the eye can see! Yesterday started well, the PAs and ADs are all nice but someone at the top is a jackass. Around the fourth hour we were given a 30 minute "break." I'm using quotations because it's hard to rationalize a "break" for a group of people who had been sitting around for the past hour; a group of people who didn't have a different place to sit around or access to new food. We were on location and 30 minutes was not enought time to go anywhere... So why a "break?" Because if we're not given a break within a six hour period the production is assessed what's called a meal penalty violation and must pay each employee an additional hour of regular wage. That's a measly $8 for nonunion. It's called a meal penalty because it always refers to lunch breaks. Always. Several people who have been doing this for years said they had never seen a production give a break that wasn't a meal. Sometimes the actual meal breaks are an hour and sometime only a half hour; this time? A full fucking hour, meaning we were stranded at Santa Anita Race Park for 90 unpaid minutes. It ended up being nearly a 15 hour day and thus, some sweet overtime, but it should have been sweeter...

As I sit here today looking out over the track and mountains before me, I am conflicted. I do love seeing new places and being able to pay my rent from being on set. However, sometimes the dichotomy eats you alive! More later, my battery's running low.

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