Breezing onto the stage a half an hour late, our temporary Director(Insert painfully long pause in the space/time continuum as an entire television crew rocked forward and aft whilst sharing extremely annoyed glances at each other; coupled with a prolonged period of eye-rolling, heavy sighs, and irritated groans, not to mention a few guttural expletives and threats of potential flogging.)
(and I use the term loosely) a man of
unbridled accomplishments who had led our hearty team throughout three whole episodes
of rough waters, announced that he had not yet read the script for the day, and
wondered out loud if there were any small changes he might need to know about!
As is the par for our abnormally listing ship of a sit-com, once again the episode had been completely rewritten overnight (they even changed the title!), and even before showing the scenes to the tech crew, the Powers That Be had to hear their words out loud, as they continued to rewrite each and every scene on what should have been a simple camera-blocking day.Flat-out frustrated at arriving on time for their early morning ESU set-up, sitting on apple boxes and frankly just dicking around (pardon my language) for hours on end, suffice it to say, the Crew was HIGHLY AGITATED.
But as the yellow, then pink, then green, then buff-colored pages filtered down onto the stage from the Crow’s nest (aka Writer’s Room), we appeared to have an actual workable script!Man the decks, sea-farers; it was time to set sail!
“So Camera B goes to a two-shot right on the bread crumbs bit” our (also temporary)“Um, the bread crumbs joke was cut, at least for now” I offered up helpfully.
equally unprepared newly
hired expert Technical Coordinator informed the Operator.
“Oh. Well then take this line cue” our Technical Coordinator suggested, reading a speech which had ALSO been deleted.“Um, that dialogue is gone too” I informed him, now fervently backed by my fellow Second Teamers who are on top of their game and were reaching a hearty level of peevishness. (Sub-text: “Hey, we put up with a lot of crap for our measly paychecks, but if you’re going to rake in a pant-load of money, is it too much to ask that YOU do your freakin’ JOB and READ the CURRENT SCRIPT?”)
OH, it was indeed a MUTINY! Never in my life or career, had I witnessed a throng of below-the-line people, throw down the gauntlet and challenge ANYONE higher up!But sometimes, a Crew deserves a Voice!
>>><<<Frankly, our lunch break couldn’t have arrived fast enough.
Now please don’t get me wrong kind readers, I LOVE my job, and I am SO blessed to have sustained my career in an unusual occupation, but I have such a low tolerance for inefficiency and lack of preparation.And having freely vented my issues with true comrades at the commissary, I stared blankly at my shoes as one of my friends warmly hugged our Technical Coordinator who exchanged all of the polite “good to see you!” Hollywood greetings.
Crap...Uch. Was I a horrible person? Perhaps I hadn’t given the man a proper chance? Was I being too critical on waters that are (at best) renowned as difficult to navigate???
But with graceful good-byes to the gentleman, my friend slipped her arm through mine and whispered into my ear these sage words: “He’s THE most incompetent man I ever had to work with.”“We’re devils and black sheep, we’re really bad eggs. Drink up me ‘earties, YO HO!”
(Hey, sometimes you have to channel your inner Johnny Depp as the crazy/heroic “Captain Jack Sparrow”, even if you and your ‘earties are only sipping Diet Coke!)>>><<<
To say that our Crew didn’t give a crap after lunch would be an understatement.Our Director was thrilled that after three episodes he was done, and relinquishing all power to the Executives, he sat numbly in a chair, head in hand.
And at that singular moment, I understood.One person can only do so much.
>>><<<Scampering onto the set and flinging a sign around my neck to designate my Gorgeous Actress for our delightful Guest Star, I planted myself accordingly into the scene with a Pop Star Singer who may or may not “just wanted to have fun” back in the 1980’s.
And taking my position, our lovely Guest Star rightfully wondered who the heck I was.“Got it, Penny!” she laughed as she read my albatross sign, punching me playfully in the chest. (Um, “OW!” but I’m OK!)
>>><<<Barring a strong Captain at the helm, there was little to bring our Crew back together to guide our ship into a proper heading. Re-writes continued to wash over us all like a deluge, and with no dry land in sight, we began to spiral into a full-blown maelstrom.
Until...Speaking a technical language ever so foreign (to me and most of my swabbies), regarding how to most properly amplify her voice, our Guest Star communicated with our Audio Department who brilliantly worked some kind of dolphin magic.
And performing a classic Gershwin tune, I’ll be darned if every single Crew member didn’t stand up and allow themselves to be bathed in her voice; our very own private concert, uniting us together in spontaneous thunderous applause!!! (I actually cried!)>>><<<
Feeling particularly blessed to have a bit of time off, yet undeniably (extremely!) grateful for the work to come after hiatus, I shall throw my hat (um, verily?), er, uh, Captain-esque-ishly to our Hearty Crew!!!
May ye all have dined with delight over your Thanksgiving Feasts!With love,
~Swashbuckler PAuthor’s addendum:
Would I let you down, friendly readers, and NOT post my yearly disastrous “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” kitchen malfunction? Aww, you know me better than that!
(Yeah... that would be 1/4th of a refrigerated bagel that REALLY should've been toasted prior to the "Use By" date... But I REALLY did have better food this time around!) :D