Do people seriously not know that it’s January?

I received another project notice this morning casting background actors for yet another show that doesn’t seem to realize that it’s friggin’ cold outside!  Keep in mind, this is a totally different show/production company from yesterday.  I will also be ignoring this one…

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 10.20.43 AM

I could almost deal with getting sprayed in the face with water while standing outside in the freezing cold IF I was able to wear multiple layers, wool socks with boots and my new super sweet North Face jacket – especially if I was also able to carry my trusty towel à la Arthur Dent.

But now they want me to slap on a sundress, strappy sandals and shades and parade up and down Broadway acting like it’s not thirty some odd degrees outside?  I’m sorry, what?  I’m pretty confident in my abilities as an actor, but I don’t think I’m good enough to pretend that my teeth aren’t chattering and my lip aren’t turning blue.  And all for minimum wage!

There have been a few times on set when it’s been the other way around though – i.e. shooting for winter in the middle of spring.  I remember one such occasion on the set of The Big C a few summers ago.  It was a gorgeous day in June.  It was probably eighty-five degrees outside, but we were shooting for New Year’s Eve…in Minnesota.

With the help of a snow-making machine, a water truck, some (probably toxic) spray-on snow-like foam substance and some artfully placed Christmas decorations, the production team turned a hot summer morning in Connecticut into a cold, bleak December afternoon.

Bic C winter

[The scene was supposed to take place at some sort of fun run  – hence the crushed paper cups everywhere.]

Before each take, the water truck would spray down the road to make it look like recently melted snow. Wet roads, particularly in night scenes, are used frequently in films and bigger budget TV shows because they reflect the light better.  Plus it just kind of adds to the overall gloom.  [Next time you watch a street scene that’s supposed to take place at night, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that the roads will be soaked.]

As with any shoot, the background actors do as much to set the scene as anything else.  I was playing a spectator that day, so the costume department had me all bundled up…

big c

…of course, underneath all that winter garb I was wearing a tank top and jeans.

You can’t tell from this picture, but the makeup department also did their bit to make us look cold by putting blush on our cheeks, ears and noses.  Some of the background actors (and almost all of the principles) carried styrofoam cups full of dry ice to make it took like they were carrying steaming hot drinks on a cold day.  Those props also functioned to mask the fact that you couldn’t see the actor’s breath as you would on a truly frigid day.

Now that’s the kind of non-seasonal exterior shoot I can get behind.  Until another opportunity like that comes along I think I’ll just stick to interior shoots, thanks.  Speaking of…hello…

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Sure it only pays $70, but that’s cash money.  Besides, if I’m gonna be unemployed and sitting on the couch watching People’s Court anyway…

Update:  Apparently the production company from yesterday’s post is having a bit of trouble finding people willing to get sprayed…

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My faith in human intelligence is somewhat restored.

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