Monday, February 28, 2011

Bleeders and Fakers

Gaaaaaaaah, people. Just gaaaaaaaah. The past two weeks have been insane. I have been sick, I got over being sick, but my voice stubbornly refused to come back for awhile. I dogsat for Ginger Puppy and Basil Diva Dog, I took another interview for a potential new dogsitting client, then scrambled to make an introduction to a referral when the new dogsitting client wanted someone to be at the house during the day (in other words, a freelancer.)

I’ve been researching travel details for my family’s trip in October to St. John to celebrate My Mother The Phone Harpy Whom I Love Very Very Much and My Dad, The Great Stoic Wonder’s 50th anniversary. It involves flights, ferries, cost comparing taxi cab companies, all SORTS of fun!

I’ve gone to career groups, I’ve met with people on potential new projects, I’ve emailed with people on other potential new projects, I’ve introduced people to the wonders of zombie movies, I’ve gone to dinner with other friends who desperately need to stay out of their house for personal reasons, and I’m currently dogsitting Pepe and Pembleton, the crazy Dalmatians, who look very cute as they’re sleeping next to my desk, if only they would cut out the dog farts. One more of those, and I’m kicking them both out.

The Twin Whammies were another blood drive last weekend, and another stint as a stand-in for the Nameless Award Ceremony this past weekend. If I could just survive those things, I could go get a massage. I desperately need a massage.

I ran a blood drive at my church last week, even though my voice was more Muppet like than anything else (I was fine physically.) I ushered in 31 people onto that Bloodmobile, and 24 units o’ red stuff was collected, which isn’t our best number, but it was MY personal best. Because even though I barely beat the Red Hemoglobin Machine O Death by two tenths of a point, I filled up the pint bag in my fastest time ever, five minutes and 3 seconds. FIVE MINUTES AND THREE SECONDS, PEOPLE! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A PERSON BE A SPEEDY BLEEDER LIKE THAT!?

Seriously, all the nurses were stunned. Even the bloodmobile driver came up to take a look, “Miss AMY!” he said, “How did you DO that?” “You guys wanna go home, right?” I said, “I aim to please.” But in all honesty, the secret is caffeine. Drink a can of soda about thirty minutes before you go in and you too can bleed like a stuck piggy and save lives in the process. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

One Whammy down, on to Whammy #2! I once again signed up to volunteer at the Nameless Award Ceremony this weekend. I had such a blast as a stand-in last year, I had very high hopes for this year. I was working with a lot of the same folks, including the assistant stage manager, and the camera crews, so there’s a common shorthand among us all.

Last year, I fake won once, and had to approach from backstage. This time, I fake won THREE times, and got to walk through the football field sized tent THREE times to collect my award that’s not mine.

But this year, the awards I fake won for were GROUP awards. Meaning I had an entourage of other stand-ins representing actors, producers, casting directors marching up behind me, and standing behind me on stage while I stepped up to the microphone to deliver my fake speech.

So if that’s the situation, you’re kinda limited in what you can say in your fake speech. You can’t really make it all about you, your parents, your dreams, your jokes, when you’ve got four other people behind you that helped you fake win this award that’s not yours. I can’t even thank God, suppose somebody in my fake crew is an atheist? Or an agnostic, or a Jew or a Buddhist? The possibilities of who I could offend with my fake speech ARE ENDLESS.

It’s kinda hilarious, actually.

So I kept looking at my fake family that was certainly acting the part by hugging each other arm in arm with big grins behind me, “Thanks guys! I couldn’t have done this without you,” was my stock opening line. Then I went on to thank the voting body that gave us the award, and some inspirational lines about original voices translating to original stories, and how important it is to keep that alive, so thanks very much.

The few times I let loose was after we suffered through hurricane winds and rains and the tent started leaking in several parts, including the stage. After several mops, hastily put down carpet, and several admonitions from the director to take our time getting to the stage because it’s slippery, I get my crew of six people up the stairs and the first thing I say into the microphone is “Nobody tripped on the stairs! YAY US!”

Then there was the time I had three women behind me. I look at them and crack, “It’s all chicks up here! Women in film ROCK!” which we do, except that’s not the organization giving the award. HA HA HA! Nobody called me on it, though, so it’s all good.

And in all honesty, my benchmark was my camera crew. If I could make them laugh behind the camera, even when I wasn’t winning, I knew I was doing good.

Which is how a mock fit that I pitched at my table when I didn’t win Best First Screenplay ended up being bumper footage leading out to a commercial break later on in the rehearsal. I mock screamed silently. I mock picked up invisible things at the table and chucked them at the winner walking up to the stage. I mock wailed at the injustice of it all, that all this hard fake work I did on this Best First Screenplay that I didn’t write didn’t win.

And the only people that noticed were my camera crew and the guy who made the decision to use that footage as the bumper later in the rehearsal. It’s the little things, people.

I think I deserve my massage now. A real one, thank you very much. :)

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