Early Mornings and Stereotyping
Today started like any other. Bar the fact I had to wake up at 3a.m. and drive nearly 3 hours to get to Greater London by 7a.m. that is.
Wasn’t all that bad though, this production which is a highly-coveted Hollywood production which I auditioned for a feature on so can honestly say I was a little excited.
I managed to get myself into the holding area at 6:30a.m. as my Lucozade Sport was staring to wear off (seriously, that stuff is DAMN good for long distance drives!). As I was mellowing off my hot coffee, letting the steam open the pours in my face hoping that some caffeine would seep in before it cools to a temperature that I could could drink the damn stuff without scolding myself, I couldn’t help notice some similarities.
Mainly, I realised how regular I am in certain scenes as for the first time ever I didn’t recognise anyone I was with. But there were a few people who evidently did the rounds as the were greeting each other saying the same old things “haven’t seen you since we worked on such-and-such” and the likes.
Whilst still brewing mellowing over my coffee, there was also a gentleman to my left who was talking away with another lady who they had connected over their breakfast choices and being vegan. Now, I like my meat (don’t be rude) and have nothing against anyone who makes their own dietary decisions. But this guy… Damn. I was fixated about how much of a stereotypical hipster he was. Not just aesthetically with a massive beard, shaved undercut and long-haired top-knot but his ideologies he was forcing on this poor girl who was blatantly not interested. My favourite moment when he was proclaiming that it should be made mandatory by law that every high-rise block building should have it’s own allotment on top to “promote self-sustainable foods and add pressure to the dominating corporations over the genetically modified foods they oppress society with.” I kid you not. When he finished his sermon, the girl responded with “Yeah… I’m just trying to be a bit more healthier“. I nearly choked on my coffee and pretended I had a text message.
After that things really started going downhill. On a massive production like this you’d expect a massive budget and a substantial amount of planning involved. If that was the case, it’s obvious that they didn’t give a crap about the SA’s as they ran out of food. On both days. Bear in mind the crew had their own separate caterers so there was no excuse really. Dinner on the first day I was back of the queue as I was in no rush and assumed they’d be enough, but I assumed wrong. Serious, who’d think that one singular tray of lasagna would be enough for nearly 100 people? The second day I wasn’t going to make that mistake again and managed to get myself in the middle of the queue, which I dislike doing. Like a mob of desperate Christmas shoppers clambering for that elusive gift at the till. But I had another 6 hours on set and another 3 hours drive home, I’d need the sustenance.
As for the scenes itself I can’t really going into details due to non-disclosure agreements. But what I can say is the feature I was initially given as one of three “experienced computer personnel” due to my background experience of Max MSP coding and Masters in Science didn’t happen. Why? Well literally 5 minutes before that scene was shot I was told that, and I quote:
“We need to meet certain ethnic minority quotas.”
With that, they gave the role to 3 asian guys. To deal with computers. Good job, Hollywood.
Now, I’m all for best person for the role, I’m more than confident in myself to accept that. But to change the 3 guys who have the experience and skills with computers and change it to the first 3 asian guys to “fill minority roles” isn’t just stereotyping. It’s actually outright racist. The runner however was quite apologetic and it was evident he was embarrassed by this change also.
Still, the day wasn’t fruitless. Had a call-up for an even more coveted role during the day! More to come on that one.