This post begins with the Music Video. There’s Gotta Be More to Life Music Video with Stacie Orrico.
Look below to read about my experience on set.
The end of something
It is the end of May and a feeling of starting over has come over me. There are periods in life when I feel that I am ending something to begin a new journey. I am at that moment. I sometimes feel this way at the end of a month. For it is not just a month that is ending but also something else.
Wednesday the 28th of May 2003
I was right, it is nice to be right on occasion. A feeling of freshness was all around me, I even had more calls than I ever have up to this point on my new 818-207-4018 locale cell phone (that number is long gone – PJ march 2012) . Someone from a casting agency called and asked if I wanted a job on Thursday the coming day in a music video project, rate 150 for 12 hours work. I said yes and thanked her for the call. I began to think about how they knew about me. The thought came that I might have submitted for the job at Extrascastingguild.com. I can remember submitting for a job that required business people, and joggers. I was told to bring along three outfits, professional, casual and a jogger outfit.
Thursday the 29th of May 2003
The Music Video – There’s Gotta Be More to Life by Stacie Orrico.
I arrived in downtown LA at Los Angeles Center Studios at 8.20 am, and asked my way to where the crew for the music video production had set up camp. I was directed to an outside parking lot with a great view of the skyskrapers of downtown. I walked over to the canopy the Holding area for the extras (where the extras hang around and wait until called for) and stood and waited. I signed in and filled out the employment forms and gave it back again.
The first job of the day at around 10am was a scene outside of a Matrix like business building. Most of the extras were dressed in their fine business outfits. We were placed by the 2 AD (Second Assistent Director) and another assistent, to create the sense of random movement outside of the building. As we moved around three parashuters “landed” from a crane where they had been held 20 feet up. One of them was the singer Stacie Orrico. As they landed they gathered their parashuts and ran to the side door of a black van that came screeching to a holt close to the curb to pick them up before the security officers that came out from the building were able to catch them.
The next scene was of extras me among them walking on the sidewalk. Stacie stood in the middle of the sidewalk and mouthed words to her song “There is gotta be more to life.”
Another scene was of Stacie and the two other parashuters as they jumped into the black van. They also did a scene were she stood in the back of the van mouthing words to the song, as one of the crew stood outside shaking the van side to side.
As the black van drove off a police car did a quick uturn to catch up with them, but the car hit the curb and came to a stop. One of the extras I spoke with was shook up from having the car hit the curb right next to him, seemingly aimed at him. If the car had run onto the curb it might have hit him. The guy spoke with the 2AD and told her that he wanted to go home as he was really shook up from the experience with the police car almost hitting him. So he left the set. He told me that he had a cold sweat because of the experience. I stood a little ways from the car, but everyone in the area was just a bit shook up, as it was a very unexpected experience having the car suddenly crash into the curb close by.
The scenes outside the building took perhaps 7 hours and everyone skipped lunch to get them done. I am guessing that we waited around the building half the time when the crew needed to take closeup scenes of Stacie.
Lunch and dinner came together came at 5pm. Everyone was hungry and had waited for hours to get food. There was a crew table with various snacks, water mellon, chips, orange slices, etc by the office building we were shooting our scenes, so I snuck over there a couple of times to get at least something in my stomache.
After dinner came the marathon running scene we had brought our runner cloths for. The crew handed us numbers that we placed on our chests to show that we were a part of the race. They spread us out along one of the streets in the studio, and on “Background — Action,” we began jogging down the street toward the camera. Stacie stopped in the middle of the street and pretended to be exhausted while we ran on either side of her being sure not to run in front of her blocking the view for the camera.
We finished up the marathon scene and went back to our Holding Area, were we changed back into business outfits. There were probably 15 extras that were needed for the inside office scene, so the rest perhaps 20 others were done and let go. It was a wrap as one calls it for them, as I was one of the 15 to remain.
But before we did the office scene Stacie was to do a Photo Shoot scene. It was over an hour wait before she was ready to go as he needed to take a shower, get makeup done as well as hair before she was finally ready. Extras as well as crew stood around and waited. I walked over to the office building were they had prepered the space for the Photo Shoot and stood and waited. As I sat down for a little while on the 2 foot marble wall the 2AD, Dawn, after she had taken a cheese burger and french fries sat down beside me. It is interesting to see people’s responses to me, as they are often very similar responses I gave to people I am curious about or notice as well. Meaning I knew she wanted to sit down beside me but her shyness held her back for a moment before she decided to sit down anyway. We spoke for a bit, and had at times earlier in the day briefly spoken. She works freelance as a 2AD on Music Videos to gain money so she could write scripts.
It felt good deep inside connecting with her at that moment, and I feel lucky to have met such a warm hearted person. The Photo shoot scene began a little while later and I watched as Stacie stood in front of the camera doing the movements the Director, Dave Myers from Radical Media asked for. Mike did not look like a Director but rather a guy off the street that seemed to have wandered into the wrong place.
One interesting scene with Stacie was when they took an earlier cafee scene which was done in Venice beach (Venice is down the street some what from the place I am writing this in Santa Monica) the day before. The Director looked at a freeze frame of her from the cafee, and took the current film camera image of Stacie standing on the set and overlapped the two. Dave gave her directions so that her head would be in the same location as in the cafee scene, so that there would be a smooth transition from the cafee scene to the photo shoot scene. I stood behind the Director and a few others as he lined up the two frames. It was fascinating to watch.
Finally! The last scene of the day.
The last scene of the day. It was probably around 10.30pm and I had been there since 8.20am that morning. We wandered over to a new location in the building. A white space used for the office scene. I was not picked out so I stood in the back watching the rehearsal. Earlier in the day I thought to myself that I would probably not be able to watch the music video as I hardly ever watch MTV. But as I stood in the back, the Director sat down in front of computer right beside me and looked through the video. So I was able to check it out for myself. The video looks nice, and I hope that I will get myself a copy sometime. Earlier in the day I happen to ask the 1AD (First Assistent Director the one who takes the instructions from the Director and makes it happen) about when the video would air on MTV. Since Stacie stood close by preparing for the next scene she said “in July.” Stacie seems like a good and relaxed person. My worry about not being able to see the video was taken care of, and I felt suddenly there was a reason why I was not a part of the office scene. I was able to see the video and felt a smile from the invisible beings around me, telling me that they are around, and it became a reminder to me that my life is as I know very much directed as a music video with my own soul directing the human being called Paal Joachim. But I kinda forgets on occasion.
I was let go, and was told to go and sign out. With a grain of unwillingness I left the set and walked back to the skyscarper parking lot “camp ground” to get my bag and sign out. Dawn was there waiting for Staccie to become ready for the next scene, so I told her that I enjoyed meeting her, and she replied that we would probably meet again on another music video. I gave her my card, and went to sign out.
I have now had three jobs:
4th of May. Cheaper by the Dozen with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt.
9th of May. A TV series – Curb Your Enthusiasm. The guy who made the Jerry Seinfelt series is also making this series.
27th of May. The music video – There is gotta be more to life – singer Staciee Orecco.
I am now at a point where I will begin to attend open calls at model agencies, as ISM the model/acting management seems to be a company that really does not know what the heck they are doing. In ways similar to myself when I began three months ago. Within the three months I have been here in Los Anegels I have learned a lot, mostly about myself.
I have finally begun to settle in. And have even found an apartment in Santa Monica that I share with three others. I am here in this apartment for a reason and I am slowly beginning to see why, but that is another e-mail to be written.
Sag – Screen Actors Guild
I have come to the conclusion that the time is right to join SAG (Screen Actors Guild). We have discussed it in my acting class, and the sooner I join the better, as SAG will very likely soon merge with AFTRA (Association For TV Radio Artists). When the two join it will become harder and cost even more to become a member. The cost to join now is also high $1360, but I am at least able to join because of the voicover I did for Culvers restaurants back in Minneapolis last December. If one has a leading role in a production one becomes eligible to join SAG. Joining SAG I will get higher paid on various extras jobs, but at the same time I will not be able to get non union jobs any longer. Joining SAG also shows that I am serious in becoming an actor, and one must also be a member of SAG for acting jobs. It is the goal of many people to be able to join SAG, and in some extra work they hand out SAG vouchers (payment stubs), And with three SAG vouchers one is able to join SAG. But because of the principal (lead) voiceover I did, I am automatically able to join.
It seems I am now at the stage of getting myself deeper into this acting stuff, as joining SAG is the next natural step to take. It feels right, and what will happen of jobs next I will find out when I get to it.