Not Scheduled

Elyse writes:

I was told by the UPM to go ahead with getting a job as a PA on the tv show set I’ve been standing-in on, and she told me to speak with one of the ADs. I spoke with one and he was going to set me up with the person to hire me but we never got around to crossing paths that day.

I’m not scheduled to be on set on Monday but I’d like to go up there (I know the call time) to maybe just speak with the guy I needed to talk with on Friday. Is it inappropriate to show up on set when not working just to square the deal on the job?

For those of you who don’t know, a stand-in is quite possibly the most perfect manifestation of how lazy actors are.

See, when the DP is lighting the set, he needs someone standing there to make sure the actors will look as pretty as they can be.  Now, a normal person might think, “So, what’s the problem?  Have the actor stand there.”

But that’s not what happens.  What happens is, the production hires someone to… stand there.

That’s all.  Stand there while the crew works around them, and the actors rest in their trailers.  During the actual filming of the scene, the stand-ins sit on lawn chairs at the edge of the set, reading People magazine.

And these people get paid as much as I do.

I’m glad to hear that Elyse wants to do real work on the set.

Normally, I wouldn’t advise just showing up on set to ask for a job.  No one hires a PA off the street.  But if you work for them regularly, and no one would think much of it if they saw you on location, I’d say sure.

I would also suggest you give yourself a lot of time.  I assume “the person to hire you” is the 1st AD.  The first is pretty much the opposite of a stand-in: busy all the time, and working very, very hard.

Also, he’s probably kind of a jerk.  You don’t want to interrupt him, and make him direct his stress and anger at you.  You’ll almost certainly not get hired then.

Instead, wait around until he’s got a free moment, then have that conversation.  And good luck!

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3 Responses

  1. I’ve been hired off the street. it was awesome. the movie comes out today as a matter of fact. 🙂

  2. do you have his email address? may be better to follow up with him/her or email the upm

  3. For those of you who don’t know, a stand-in is quite possibly the most perfect manifestation of how lazy actors are.

    Seems kinda harsh both on the actors, who usually seem to use the chunk of time between blocking and shooting to get their lines, and stand-ins, who may not have the most demanding job in the world but can screw up everybody’s day if they fail to observe and repeat the moves.

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