Thursday, July 28, 2022

"What Did I Give Up?"


*Note: As previously mentioned, I'm going through an old journal and posting some entries here. This is one of them.

What did I give up?

I left a show, a family, that's been there fore me for the past eight years to spend the next five months working with strangers, all for a Gaffer I'm not even sure I like. One who often promises things he'll forget about or not follow through on. 

I've given up day playing with people I haven't seen for over a year to work for someone who never once asked me if I was okay when I got sick on his show. I given up up working with people who care about me to work for someone who ignores me once someone else starts talking.

Right now, I feel like I don't fit in here. I don't know what he expects of me. Honestly, I'm not even sure what I expect from myself. And I don't know why he practically begged for me to be here if he's just going to cast me aside. I feel somewhat lost and lonely, which is something I haven't felt in a while. If ever. 

I don't feel like I made the wrong choice by being here. But I don't feel excited or happy about this opportunity either. 

Maybe because I don't have a sense of purpose here and I keep thinking about the other jobs I could be on. The projects where I'm valued and it's noticed when I'm gone. Projects where we work as a team. Where I feel like I'm somebody and matter. 

Am I feeling sad because I'm mourning the loss of my "other life"? The loss of [a longtime co-worker]? Both? Or am I just that unhappy here? How do I figure this out?

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

My Gamble: Update.


The previous post was a journal entry from years ago, and the follow up to it is that yes, I felt lost during those five months. And I was miserable at work. But I did make the right choice in going. 

As adrift as I was during that time, not knowing where I fit in with the local crew, it was definitely an opportunity of a lifetime and I would have regretted it had I not taken it. Travelling while working was something I thought would be so fun when I was a kid and honestly, that was part of the appeal for me in joining this industry. I wanted to travel and make movies and get paid for it so I did this for childhood me. I can spend the rest of my career doing TV shows in LA, but at least I can say that, if only for a little while, I had my dream career.

I also not only got to experience a difference culture, but I got to fully immerse myself in it for a few months. I learned how to live in a different country on my own (maybe with a little help from production) and travel around in that country on my own (we won't talk about the time I boarded the wrong train). I learned (parts of) a new language that I still swear in from time to time. 

I met new people and forged new relationships that lasted well past the expiration date of the job. One in particular, after surviving the hurdle of keeping in touch after the show ended, I hoped would last a lifetime. Instead, it was disappointment after disappointment before it's abrupt and heartbreaking end. But I still don't regret it. It was what it was and I'm grateful for the good times we did have.

I guess that's kind of the takeaway from all of it. During those five months, I did feel lonely. I did feel lost. I felt useless at work. I felt like an outsider most of the time. But there were pockets of good times. Great memories. I'll have stories to tell for years. Insights that others may never get. Once in a lifetime experiences. My childhood dream was fulfilled. 

Despite sometimes being unhappy there and some things falling apart when I got back, I don't regret going. I made the right choice. Otherwise I would've spent the rest of my life wondering "what if..." and to me, that's worse than anything that could've happened...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

My Gamble.


*Note: As previously mentioned, I'm going through an old journal and posting some entries here. This is one of them.

I am essentially alone, 5,000+ miles away from anyone I know. Today is the first day I've actually thought about what I've done. That I'm actually taking some kind of risk instead of just taking an opportunity. 

Part of the reason why I've day played for the last year and a half is because I enjoyed the freedom. I could say "no" if I didn't like any aspect of the job. I turned down at least three full time spots on jobs with people I actually like because I didn't want to be tied down. 

And now, here I am, 5,000+ miles and five months from anyone I know, and 5,000+ miles and five months away from another job, I've come 5,000+ miles to work for someone I barely knew a handful of years ago and haven't heard from since. If I'm miserable here, I'll be miserable for five months, including 85+ shooting days. And if I'm lost, I'll be lost until at least December. I'll be feeling adrift for that long and I hate feeling adrift at all. 

If this doesn't work out, I'm trapped.

But I suppose this is what they mean when they say the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. I just hope I made the right choice...

Saturday, July 9, 2022



I had no idea it's been so long since I posted anything. I thought maybe a couple months had gone by instead of half a year! 

Truth is, I've been in a blah mood. I'm still running with some good crews and stayed away from the previously written about shit crew, but when I don't have the distraction of work, I'm feeling unmotivated. It's been almost a year since that show wrapped and honestly, I still think about it a lot. I still keep in touch with a few people there (I loved them enough to stay after all) but sometimes I think back to how terribly I was treated and how those I needed to have my back, didn't. I think I suffered a lot of mental trauma from that show, questioning my self worth and my self esteem taking a hit. It took a long time for me to be comfortable actually participating on set when I went back to day playing and sometimes it still surprises me that co-workers are looking at me when I'm speaking, because they're actually listening to me. How fucked up is that? (How fucked up am I?)

Anyway, I'm hoping that I'll eventually be in a good enough place to write about it. This blog is kind of a journal of my life in this industry, and it wouldn't be complete without this chapter, especially since it's effected me so. But I'm still trying to wrap my head around what exactly happened and see the bigger picture. I need some clarity before I can step back and reflect on it. And as I've tried to spend the past year trying to figure that out, life also keeps coming at me. Loved ones have passed. Loved ones have left. New worries arise while the old worries are still hanging around. These past few months have been a lot and I'm just trying to get through it all, one step at a time.

I'll get through it all eventually. I just don't know when. But in the meantime, I found an old journal with some stories that relate to this industry, so I might post those. Maybe converting them here will inspire me to write more and get me out of this funk I'm in. 

Sorry for being M.I.A. I hope you're still here reading.


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"Don't Leave."

I wanted to quit. I was going to quit. I was deeply unhappy on this job and as much as I liked some of the people, one of them was a horrible enough person to spoil it for everyone. I wanted to leave.

I had planned on letting the Gaffer know at wrap that I was going to be leaving the show and why.* He was the one who hired me, after all, so I figured I'd owe him at least that much. But then I got a phone call during lunch that changed those plans. 

The phone call itself wasn't an important one. It was about a job over the weekend that I was going to do regardless of whether I had quit my show or not. The important part was that one of my colleagues had overheard/misheard part of my conversation and assumed I was leaving the show. 

"Please don't go," he said. "It's so terrible here, I don't know if I could stay if you weren't around."

I sighed. Fine, I thought to myself, I'll just stick it out a little bit longer and take it from there.

Some more time had passed and things only seemed to have gotten worse. Or maybe it just seemed worse because the misery had been going on for so long now. Either way, I was seriously thinking of quitting again.

This time, another friend must have sensed it was coming. He's seen me metaphorically kicked around the most and has been the main person I vented to whenever another incident happened, which was a lot on this show. But I guess he felt that this particular episode would be the one that broke the camel's back and after listening to be vent for the millionth time, he asked me not to quit. I hadn't mentioned to him I was thinking of quitting, before or now, but he still asked me to stay. He said he hated it there, too. But hanging out with me made things more bearable. So I stayed.

Some time later, surprise! Things were still terrible. I was crying on my way home from work a lot and we weren't even halfway through shooting the season. There were other jobs starting up with people I knew would love to have me that I enjoyed working with. I had to leave for my own sake. 

But again, another colleague must've sensed how bad things were getting. We were eating lunch together one day, just the two of us at catering, when he asked me not to leave. He hated it there but couldn't leave. He depended on this crew for work and didn't know if he could fall in with another as easily. But what he did know was that I made things better there and things would be worse if I left the show. He's a sweetheart of a guy to the point that I can't stand to see him sad, so again, I stayed.

Again and again, people kept asking me to stay. Some of them repeats, some of them new. All of them saying that the show was terrible, everyone was miserable, but things would be worse if I wasn't there. Apparently I would be the highlight of their fucking day, if that give you any clue to how awful the job was. **

All in all, about half of my entire damn department had asked me at one point or another to not quit. 

Only one of my colleagues said they would support me if I chose to leave the show. She saw the horrible way I was being treated. She knew I deserved better. She'd been in my position before and had to resort to extreme measures because she didn't know how else she could get out of it. She didn't want me to go through what she did. She saw me struggling and gave me her full support should I decide to walk away from the show. She said she would be sad if I left, but she'd understand why. But she didn't have it that much better on the show that I did, she just had more chances to hide from it. I felt like she was the only one who really saw the mental toll this job was taking on me, and in turn, I think I was the only one to see how much she was struggling as well. So despite her giving me permission to leave, I stayed for her sake as well. Her support meant the world to me and I could sense that she could use some support as much as I did. So I stayed for her. 

Despite coming close to walking away from this job so, so many times, I eventually made it to the finish line. Things never got better, though it may have felt that way at times. I think instead I just came to expect getting treated like shit and could predict when the hardest hits would happen, which, when I think about it, just makes it all worse. 

In the end, I learned that I'm the type of person, that despite it being one of the worst job I've ever been on, I do not regret staying in misery for half a year for my friends. I'm glad I could make things better for them. However, there's no way I can ever go through that again. If put in the same situation now as I was then, I would leave. 

I guess you don't really know how much something affects you until you look back on it. It's been five months since we wrapped and I still tear up when I think about how I was treated. How worthless people made me feel there. It took months for me to feel like my old self again on a job, and if I'm being 100% honest, I'm not really there yet. 

As much as I want to be selfless and be the type to do anything for my friends, the reality is that I need to start being more selfish and put my wellbeing before others. I can't help anyone if there's no more "me" around. I learned that I need to be selfish for myself because there's no one else to be selfish for me. 

*It's probably important to note at this point that shockingly, Production wasn't the problem here. The misery was 100% caused by people within my own department which is probably the most disappointing thing of the entire situation.

**How this terrible job ended up so terrible is another post. Coming up soon-ish.

Saturday, January 8, 2022


I realized I hated the show I was on last year when I'd spend my commute home fighting back tears (though oftentimes, I wouldn't even fight it). Almost every day. I know I should've quit but for personal reasons I'll touch on soon, I couldn't. 

So almost every day, I'd cry on my way home. 

But today, in some kind of morbid way, I learned that I'm at least an optimist. Because my tears always came at the end of the day. 

I never once cried on the drive in.

That's something, I guess...
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