Chapter 5: LA part 8 – MTV Burnt part 1 Rehearsal

Thursday the 5th of June 2003

Feeling alive! Plugged in and energized!

MTV Reality show Burnt – Part 1 The Rehearsal –

I felt so alive this morning as if God had plugged me into a socket last night and recharged my batteri. Relaxed and refreshed I got up wondering what errends I was going to do today. But I did not have too much time to think about it before my cell phone called, and a female voice with the name of Jennifer from Allesi Casting wondered if I wanted/could take a Rush Call and work on a MTV job in Pasadena. I was at first perplexed, not saying much, so she continued on saying that I needed four outfits, a bartender look with a black pants and white shirt, upscale look, hip hop, and casual. I told her yes I could take the job, and she proceeded to give me the address to Q’ues Billiards in Pasadena. Jennifer told me she was on the internet so she could check Mapquest.com to how to get there. I told her that I actually was on the internet at the same time so I could look it up and figure out where it is. Conversation over…..

The Rush Call

I now suddenly had a Rush Call on my hands. Others for the job had met at 8am that morning it was now 11am, so I gathered my cloths but knew well that I should have bought some additional cloths for myself when Melvin and I had gone to a very very cheap cloths store the evening before. I needed Melvin’s help, as I am not good at buying cloths for myself, and find it so much easier having someone else suggest cloths that I should get. I left the apartment in Pearl Street 20 minutes later and meet Melvin a while after that at the store in Hollywood, so he could pick out some cloths I should get. I know he knows what kinds of cloths are most often used in TV and/or movies so it would make it a lot easier and quicker.

Pasadena here I come

I have been in Pasadena once before for when I worked as an extra on Cheaper By The Dozen. Now I was back again, but this time I had an extra job for MTV. The only other details I was given over the phone about the MTV job was that this was rehearsal day and that the recording would first happen on the following Monday.

Q’s Billiards

I got there around 1pm after having asked someone on the street where Q’s Billiards was located as the number I was given was the wrong number. At least I was on the right street, the main street called Colorado in Pasadena. Parking was tricky but I was able to find myself a 15 minute parking close by so that I could quickly run inside and find Levi my contact to hear where I could park. I did not meet Levi at that moment but someone else on the crew and I asked where I could park and the guy told that they had reserved places across the street from Q’s. He asked me to hurry as they were beginning again in 25 minutes, and I snapped my fingers showing that I was on the go-go-go and jogged out to my car and moved it around the corner to across from the bar. As I pulled in someone had just pulled out, so I was probably the one was parked the closest. Back to the bar I went with my garment bag and an extra bag with shoes, as well as my backpack which I usually take with me all over the place as it containcs headshots and my model pictures and a few other things.

I went back upstairs to the second floor where MTV had rented the whole floor. Actually by the stairs going up a note said Private Party, well one can always call it that. I asked someone if I was going to show my wardrobe but the wardrobe girl came out and told me that I looked fine as I did. I wore a light blue shirt and regular blue jeans, and was then ready for the rehearsal scene in the pool/billiards area.

Playing Pool

I walked over to where other extras were standing and waited around with them for a bit before we were given directions to where we were to stand or sit. Right before this I was handed my voucher (proff that I had worked) and was asked to fill it out and hand it back after I had done so. During this scene I sat on a regular cafe chair next to the pool table while watching some guys play pool. We did not do much and parts of the day passed with us playing pool and talking to each other as if it there was not cameras around.

Hidden cameras

There were hidden cameras and microphones spread around. One camera in one of the corner pockets of the pool table that was aimed outward at another table, two cameras in each their cabinet, two cameras strapped on the lamp overhanging the pool tables, and one big camera hidden behind a black window in a cabinet. Microphones in plants, under tables, and some of the extras had microphones on their purses or on their body, and they also had tiny earpieces so they could get instructions from the back room where the director and others watched what was going on.

Burnt

The reason for the hidden cameras and microphones is that the rehearsal we did is for the reality show Burnt. Burnt is about setting up a friend, as if it was Candid Camera, and to get that friend to embarres him or herself on TV. The rehearsal also included having some of the extras pretend that they were friends of the “target” just to see how things would perhaps go.

The rehearsal

Later in the day I believe it is one of the Producers asked me to go with him, which I did. He took me over to one of the extras that had improvised the scene earlier, and gave us this scenerio. I was a friend of the target and I had brought the target to the Pool place to meet some people, and I was jealous of all the girls that he could get, but he usually got girls by lying to them and that I did not like. The Producer also told me that we would walk over to the pool tables and I would meet a friend and then say that I had to leave, but that I would be right back. I would then rush back to the control room where someone would set a mic on me.

The scene happend in that way, and my “friend” came to the room to get me and we walked back to the pool tables. There we played some pool with some of the girls in the room, and at one point one of the girls whispered in my ear that it was time for the “private” time with the target where I would talk to him about the girls there. That “private” time was meant as a way to get the target to say something like yeah I am trickying them but so what, it works. The target played around a bit more with the girls and the scene was done with. Rehearsal continued with interviews of the target and some of his other friends.

 End of the day

We were almost done for the day and the Producer asked who could come back on Monday for the recording. I raised my hand and noticed two others did as well, but as I looked around I saw many faces that gave out a “I am not coming back here again” feeling to them. Through the day many seemed to be really bored, and it made me wonder why they were there in the first place. Extra work can be boring if you let it be boring, I don’t. Today I was able to play a lot of pool and actually be paid for it at the same time.

I will call tomorrow evening the phone number we were given and hear if I am picked out to take part in the recording on Monday. It seems likely that they will have picked me out. I will find out….

Heading home to Santa Monica

As I drove back home to Santa Monica my dirty cloths were on my mind. I knew that now was the time to wash them and have them ready for whatever is to come next. I dropped by at home with my work clothes and drove to Ralphs the chain grocery store here in Los Angeles to get snuggles anti static wipes to be used in the dryer, some body soap, dish soap, Wasa crackers, strawberry and grape jam, and a three pack of paper towels.

The Coin washing machine

Finally I was ready to try the coin washer and dryer in the building. It is actually the first time I have used a coin washer and dryer. I now have cloths hanging all over my room as I opened the dryer door a bit too early so it stopped and would not restart when I closed the door. Finally I have lots of clean cloths again, and even more ready for whatever is to come next. My wardrobe is growing as I need various types of cloths working as an extra. Each job requires me to bring different types of clothing, and the longer I am here the more I have to choose from and know which types of cloths wardrobe prefer.

Elite model agency

A few days ago I went to an open call at Elite Model Agency in Beverly Hills, but they were not looking for my type, so the visit went real quick. I did though leave my business card. There are other model agencies to visit.

Saturday the 7th of June 2003

Greg Orson & Ron Digman – The Sit-com Workshop

I received some information through e-mail from Leslie Intriago who was arranging the workshop.

Hi Paal,

If you go to www.imdb.com and do a search under “Greg Orson” and “Ron Digman” you’ll see all their credits. They currently cast Reba, and they just cast 4 pilots which will hopefully get picked up to series (I hope so,
I’m in one of them). They already have 3 pilots lined up for next pilot season. Greg Orson rarely does workshops so this is a good opportunity to meet someone very active in television casting.

From my own experience in this industry, I can attest that both Ron and Greg are good people to know. They got me my first pilot and have since brought me into read for Reba and other projects they were casting at different
times.

The workshop will have introductions by both Ron and Greg, a Q & A session, a mock audition and then we will pair you up with another actor to do scenes from some of the shows that they’ve cast. Ron and Greg will then give the actors feedback and suggestions. We’re limiting the workshop to 24 people.

The workshop costs $250 per person. In order to reserve a seat, we need half ($125) as a deposit up front ($250 to reserve a seat for both you and your friend). You can send a personal check but it should be made out to
“cash”. You can pay the rest (in cash) the day of the workshop. The workshop is 3 hours long and will be held at The Complex in Hollywood (6476 Santa Monica Blvd.).

If you’re interested, please send a cashiers check, money order or a check (made out to cash) to:

Leslie Intriago
1746 N. Orange Drive, #511
Hollywood, CA 90028

Also if you have a headshot, it would be great if you could include that. Also, please email me your age range so that we can find you a suitable scene and scene partner and let me know which workshop (the 10:00 am
or the 2:00 pm) you’ll be attending..

Thanks for your interest and hope to meet you!

Leslie

I found the place in Hollywood and arrived just before 10 am before the workshop started.

Ron was the one who gave us various tips and Greg put in some comments.

Later they gave us scripts that we had 10-15 minutes to go through. One by one we went inside and read for Ron. When it was my turn the setup was different then what I had thought, and that surprised me. There was no another person on stage, but Ron sat in a chair below the stage. It was hard to keep up any energy as he read it flat. I did not have much eye contact with him but glazed above him at the seats around. In general the reading went terrible, but I learned a lot from it.

We had another reading later on, and that we had with a partner, and that went a lot better.

I enjoyed this workshop and felt that I got a lot out of it!