Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Client Has Chosen You

I was trolling Craig's List last week for job leads and came across a strange listing in the tv/film/video/radio jobs section. It was just titled "Green Screen". I clicked the link and found out they were looking for all body types and ages for "green screen" work. I totally fit those parameters, plus they were paying 75 dollars for two hours of work.

They didn't want head shots or resume's, just a full body picture. I sent them this:

I know... I know, totally sexy right?

I figured what he hell. After a day or two I received an e-mail from them, informing me that the "client" had chosen me. I was to be at the studio between 2pm and 4pm the following Tuesday.

It all seemed very ominous. I had no idea what it is for (and still don't) or what I would be doing. I couldn't help but picture a shadowy figure in the back of the room, smoking a cigarette and talking through a microphone that distorted his voice. He would lean forward into the microphone and say things like, "Mr. Gibbons, I need you to bend over and pick up that gun in front of you... slower... with conviction... think about a puppy... ", sounding like the dude from all 87 Saw movies.

On Monday I got a call from them telling me to wear dark clothing. They also wanted to know if it was OK if they had me walk on a treadmill. At first I thought this might be a very elaborate hoax by my wife to get me to do some exercise.

This afternoon I drove to the studio which was in a pretty shady part of town. For all intents and purposes I could have been going to an alien landing site to be eaten by space creatures and no one would have ever known.

I pulled up and parked in front of the warehouse. After walking into literally 4 of the wrong offices, I finally found the right building. I signed the waver and was lead to a big open studio with a huge green screen.

The producer told me where to stand as 7 people entered the room and sat in directors chairs to watch. They never said a word. I was told to stand there and act as if I was at a bus stop. I did. Then they told me to change into the cargo shorts I was instructed to bring. I was again directed to stand there.

As a performer, it was very difficult. I had to really reach down inside and pull out several very real, very painful memories of situations where I was just standing around in order to really make my performance read. It was some of my best work.

Ten minutes from the time I arrived I was leaving, $75 bucks richer. That means I was making $450 dollars an hour... sort of. It's tough work being a paid actor. I can see why actors are always bitching and moaning about their life.


dicky said...

Tell me about the room you changed into the shorts in? Was it being monitored?

Nick Gibbons said...

I don't think so, it was a completely mirrored room with little red lights at each corner. Seemed normal to me.