Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Welcome to the Season of Excuses

October 19, 2005

Well I thought I had heard it all.

Well I had, until this.

I like to call what we are in, right now, the “Season of Excuses.” Business will grind to a halt. If it hasn’t already. Or maybe that is just my perception. But these months are fertile with excuses for agents and managers to dole out to curious clients looking for work. I can distinctively remember the first excuse I ever got in this business. That was from my commercial agent that proclaimed, “It’s slow for your type right now.” My type? A twenty-something, white male? Commercials are flooded with my type. How could that be? Welcome to the business of excuse making. I didn’t buy it then and I’m not buying it now. But I have a higher tolerance and a greater understanding. And so should you:

Here is how this “Season of Excuses” always sounds to me:

“Did we hear back from those people,” that’s me.

“Not yet. . It’s the week before the Jewish holidays. Probably won’t hear back until next week,” that’s somebody I’m doing work with.

That’s just the beginning because the next week is the actual Jewish holidays and nothing gets done. Then it’s the week after the Jewish holidays and people are just getting back into the swing of things. Wait… there’s another Jewish holiday on Friday? Then it’s the week after that Jewish holiday and we can’t expect people to be ready to work… yet. Then it’s the week before Halloween, the week of Halloween, and of course the week after Halloween. Yes, yes, Halloween is a non-working holiday. People do have kids out here. And now it is the week before Thanksgiving, the week of Thanksgiving, then the week after Thanksgiving. Then it’s the weeks before Christmas. People need to shop and prepare. December is basically a wash. Then Christmas comes and goes. And so does New Years. “HAPPY NEW YEAR!,” we all yell. We pop champaign. We all celebrate. A new beginning. “This is going to be my year.” If I say that to myself one more time! Then of course nothing is up and running at full speed until February. Which for those of us in LA means, the “Season of Excuses,” has now bled into another season—“Pilot Season.” (Our seasons aren’t weather contingent.) Pilot season is also the “Season of Hope.” The season we all compete for the few coveted spots on new television shows, which are called pilots, and are mostly, sort of cast, well, ahead of time. Shhhh, that might be a secret. Which means it’s slow for my type again. My type meaning, not one of the people that the networks had in mind prior to general casting for the part. I am, in fact, part of the group that they use to prove that the guy they had in mind, was actually the right choice. I have never, in all my years of auditioning, ever seen the guy who actually books the job at the audition.

So, I was completely thrown off this week when I was offered up the most incredible excuse of all time. “We won’t hear back today, it’s raining. Nobody’s working.” Now, had I been quick on my feet I would’ve said something witty like, “What’s the five day forecast for my career? Partly active?” But I was too shocked. And I was sitting down. Did he just say rain? Is that another Jewish holiday? It hit me like a ton of bricks. A weather contingent excuse! Have we sunk that low? Rain motivates me. But that’s just me.

Now, tomorrow it’s supposed to be cloudy. I think that’s proper work getting done weather. Don’t you? But I could be wrong. I can already hear the phone ringing: “We won’t hear today. It’s overcast. People are leaving early.”

Hope is a great coping mechanism. Hope is what carries us from one disappointment to another. Thanks for making it to the end of the page. If I had the time, I’d make an “Excuse of the Day Calendar,” and give them out as holiday gifts. I mean, they deserve something for all the hard work.

© 2006 Orny Adams and Icrushed Productions, Inc.

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