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How I earned $25 (and ate free breakfast) for doing almost nothing | 720

[ 3 min read ]

Diary of an artist, Tuesday, May 7, 2019

#720 (countdown)


Copy of Copy of Copy of Adulthood smooth& tasty.

Woke up 3:05 am

Yesterday I spent five hours and a half on the movie set and all I did the whole time (minus chatting with people for about a quarter of an hour) was reading books (the books I’m currently reading: 1/ Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays by George Orwell, 2/ Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography by Joakim Garff and 3/ My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff), thinking, checking e-mail, and generally busying myself with taking care of all my affairs.

Luckily I drove there in my car (the set was not far from where I live, but I needed a suit so, I figured, it will be much easier for me to drive there with my car, and the cost would be comparable to that of a bus ticket).

When I got there it proved to be the right move as there was no room for people like us where we could wait (and wait for about an hour and a half was what all people who were not the set crew had to do) and it was a rather chilly morning, for May.

The second good move was that I wore my dawn winter parka, which meant that I could sit in the car without needing to run the engine to stay warm.

They didn’t use me even once during the entire time I spent there and because it wasn’t my fault I got paid the agreed sum (as if I had been used). Such things happen on movie sets. I experienced it yesterday probably for the fourth time during my whole “career” as a movie extra which started in late June last year, or rather in August for I only went to two movie sets in June and then went away for summer vacation and started frequenting movie sets again in August.

That’s how I earned $25 just for being there (appearing on the set and being on standby and practically busying myself with my own things). I also ate breakfast and drunk tea and coffee on the set (all perks of being a movie extra). And I could use the rest of the day for my things too.

The only problem with movie sets is that they start so early. Usually they start around 6 am so most people need to wake up at least an hour earlier (usually I think it would be an hour and a half) to be able to make it to the set on time. Of course it all depends where the set on a given day is vs. where one lives, but I’d say one hour is a bare minimum for the majority. It means that people need to wake up at 5 am or even earlier, which poses a problem for most people, but not for me. I usually wake up between 3 and 4 am and the only thing which bothers me is that I can’t spend more time in the morning in the quietness of my room and in a complete solitude, working (writing, thinking, conceptualizing).

Reading (since my last diary entry):

Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays by George Orwell (100 min, on scribd app).

Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography by Joakim Garff (100 min, on scribd app).

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (100 min, on scribd app).

Audiobooks (since my last diary entry):

What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir by Abigail Thomas (120 min. on scribd app) Second listening.

YouTube videos and movies (since my last diary entry):

The Chosen (on HBO Go) Finished it.

Special Report — The Future of Work (on HBO Go) Finished it.

The Art of Loving: The Story of Michalina Wislocka (original title: Sztuka kochania. Historia Michaliny Wislockiej (on Netflix) Finished it.

Kramer vs. Kramer (on Netflix) Finished it.

Avengers: Endgame (on the big screen)

Music for this writing session: Frédéric Chopin (on spotify)