Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Calvin Got A Job!"

You remember that old McDonald's commercial where this young man got a promotion and he's all proud and everyone's all like, CALVIN GOT A JOB! YAY CALVIN! ... 

Although I didn't get a promotion, and I'm definitely not working in fast food (not that there's anything wrong with that), I can definitely relate to Calvin and his excitement for his new career opportunity. I've been in the reality casting industry for a few years now and the opportunities keep getting better and better. Casting is a tough field because not only do you need to be good at what you do, the majority of the industry is personality driven... so it's very necessary to play nice... although sometimes, that doesn't happen. Most of the work you get is from friends and recommendations so if you're an asshole or really shitty at your job, chances are, you'll be flipping burgers while Calvin tells you to ease up on that special sauce.

What really pisses me off about the industry is the fact that Casting almost ALWAYS gets the shit end of the deal... Most of the time, you get a crappy budget (depending on the project) and are expected to make miracles happen under a tight deadline. Then after that, you barely get credit for your efforts.

It's really not as glamorous as people would think. Why do I do it you ask?... Why do people eat Apple Jacks?... Because they like them, DUH!....

The downfalls are when you're not working on a show, you're working to find work... Sending emails, trolling job sites, etc. There's no benefits and sometimes the pay isn't all that great... FREELANCE SUCKS BUT I LOVE CASTING! What sucks is that it's a constant hustle and the hours can be very long at times. I'm sorry, what are benefits? What's overtime?... Yeah right.

And the crazy part about the entertainment industry is that they can get away with paying pennies for certain jobs because they know there is someone just as thirsty that would love to have your job in 5 minutes if you turned it down.  Sometimes, it's not about the pay... I've taken some pretty shitty gigs but the credit on my resume outshines the pay, and the people that you meet can definitely lead to other things if you play your cards right.

The upside is that you get to work with some amazing people (most of the time), and you can possibly impact someone's life for the better. I was inspired to get into casting after my time on "Big Brother", "Are you smarter than a 5th Grader", which clearly I wasn't... I could have really won some heavy money had they not changed to that bullshit format where they forced you to answer all of the questions... And "Let's Make a Deal". I figured that I had the energy that was consistent with people on TV and it shouldn't be that difficult to find people who are just as energetic as myself.

Anyway, It's a pretty rewarding career field when you get the right opportunity. I've worked on some pretty cool shows and met some pretty cool talent.

A few months ago, I was just on the verge of giving up and finding something else to do til I got this new opportunity.

This opportunity that I have now is in the realm of Development, which means that I am able to help create new shows from the ground floor by finding amazing characters based on pitched ideas. I can even pitch show ideas myself which is pretty cool... I feel like this gig is the most important gig I've had thus far in the industry and I am definitely up for the challenge. I AM SOFA KING EXCITED! Like, for real, for real... I can't even deal...

I really don't feel like a "cog" like I normally do on these shows. The production company I'm working for seems like they truly want their people to succeed and they like to promote from within. I'm talking super legit shit here... When I was told we get 2 FREE weeks off over Christmas and New Year's, I about fell out... This never happens to me... I've had some awesome opportunities and experiences... but nothing like this. I actually feel like a legit professional.

So wish me luck as I pursue this new venture because I think it's gonna be an interesting one. I'm hoping one day, I can be like Calvin in that McDonald's commercial and call my mamma up and be like "I'M ON THE MANAGEMENT TEAM NOW MAMMA!"... but I definitely won't be smelling like french fries that's for sure.

Speaking of french fries, I leave you with Dave Chappelle's version of "Calvin Got a Job".

Sky's The Limit!

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