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Negotiate This!

Hello and happy New Year. I know. It's January 18. We've been New Yearing for a while now. But, it's the vanguard of the new millennium. Hey, it could be a millennium. (I just learned to spell millennium so I keep using millennium. Did you know millennium has two n's?). I hope all is well in your world.

Auditions are picking up after the holiday season. That's a really good sign. Unfortunately, we're still under the specter of Coronavirus in all its (so far) machinations. While I realize most people won't get the virus, it still seems like the defining pinge of our age. Fatigue is setting in all over society which, of course, plays right into its hands. Please be mindful.

Up to now my family is clear, but I have friends who've suffered mightily under its weight. I won't get into a factalogical debate about wearing masks, getting vaccinated and personal responsibility. I did that already. Hopefully you know where I stand. Let's just pray that everyone gets well and society gets over.

Interestingly enough I got an email at the end of December asking if I could do a role in an independent movie. Here's where showbiz gets twisty. They loved my audition and I loved that they loved it. The original breakdown (an acting job posting) said producers would pay out of towners airfare and modest accommodation. No problem, I said. It's all about acting. Even in Florida. Fast forward a couple weeks and the casting director emails to ask if I will work "local." Sidebar - "local" means local hire, or someone who lives or can live within thirty miles of the film location. Mainbar - since I live on the west coast and Florida is still in the east I thought I'd negotiate lower airfare and even more modest accommodation. You know, to save production money. After all, they called me.

Money is everything to production. Especially independent film. Every corner cut is a corner saved. Figuring they were thinking about it and putting together a counter offer (that's how negotiation works, right?) I gave it a few days. When nothing came through I sent a quick email to the casting director for status. You probably figured it out by now, but they decided to go with someone "local."

My gut reaction was "not even a counter," then, "why'd you advertise airfare and accommodation?", then "but you asked me!". Sheesh.

My wife likes to say the more she learns about show business the less she likes it. And, she didn't like it to begin. I can't say I blame her. Every story that comes out of Hollywood is fraught with distaste and disappointment. Even those who "make it." So, why go through it?

Fair question. The only answer everyone gives is love. Acting. Music. Writing. Directing. Everybody here loves it and can't help it. Or, if they can, they hightail it out of the biz as quickly as possible.

I guess it's the hope, too. All the work that goes into hoping. Getting the gig. Making something that might just last. It's not the money, though that can be nice, because most professional actors don't make much at all. It's the hope of loving. Ain't that just human?

So, I didn't get my first booking of '22. I still love it. The acting, I mean. And, to a degree, it still loves me. I just wish it were more demonstrative.

Here's hoping you're loving what you're doing, staying away from the variants and living like there's no tomorrow.



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