Robert Rodriguez is a filmmaker. He has made such films as El Mariachi, The Faculty (didn’t know that one, did ya?), Sin City, Spy Kids, Machete, and From Dusk Til Dawn.
He also wrote a book called Rebel Without A Crew
In this book, Robert Rodriguez keeps a diary of his times raising money for and making El Mariachi, his first movie, which later was made into Desperado.
He became a lab rat. He stayed at a hospital(? — It’s been a long time since I read it) and they tested different medicines on him and that hospital is where he wrote the script for El Mariachi and raised the money to make it.
I’m not quite doing that. Well, technically, I was a lab rat once so far…. but just a psychology lab rat. No medicine taking, well not for that… occasionally for fun. But, I have been doing odd jobs. Some odder than others. Some in the industry, some not.
I’m hoping I’ll actually be able to get the script set for the web series I’ve been working on writing for over a year now (it’s been marinating).
So this is what I mean by “Robert Rodriguezing” it. Yes, he is a verb now, thanks to me (and him, too… I guess.) I’ve decided to keep an account of it so everyone can be let in on my bit of fun while I attempt to make rent for August and September… until loans come in.
It had recently come to my attention that I would need to make money over the summer. Since I am a senior (and by senior I mean verging on Van Wilder – don’t dick around, kids) at school, majoring in Television and minoring in Film, who has already worked (I say worked, but mean interned and got paid) at ABC News Now and has been a PA for a fashion Photographer, and has a pretty impressive overall resume – I figured getting a PA gig once in a while would be easy.
Back in the day (early 2000’s) I used to go on auditions for commercials and such. I wanted to be an actress and my mom thought it was fun to take me on auditions. She was NOT a stage mother, just a cool mom. I took a bunch of acting classes and was in a bunch of school plays so she thought, why not. Plus, my acting teachers doubled as agents, so it was no skin off anyone’s back.
I never actually got paid for anything, but I was in one commercial. It was a “Parents: The Anit-Drug” commercial so inefficient I could not even find it on youtube. It was set in a club where, at 14, I would have never been. We were all to look like club kids
Ok. So it wasn’t this intense, but we all had fishnets on and different color hair.
The main part of the commercial was this pierced, crazy colored hair girl was going around whispering in peoples’ ears asking for something… which you were supposed to assume was drugs.
Turns out she was just asking for a cellphone to call her mom because she was going to be a few minutes past her curfew!
Awwww Parents the anti drug.I didn’t have a speaking role, but I was in one of the groups of people who she asked for the drugs/cellphone (we didn’t have any… this was also back when my actual cellphone had snake on it… and only snake).
Also, when “Parents: The Anti-Drug” showed up on the screen, my arm went past it and part of my head showed up in the bottom of the frame. Boo Ya! I had made it (which turned out to be very ironic for how much pot I would later smoke).
I saw an ad on Craigslist for Paid Audience Extras. There was no mention of feet or other weird fetishes… and I was just going to be sitting on my couch watching tv anyway, so I thought what the hell and applied.
I got a phone call literally 3 minutes later (and yes, I’m using the word literally literally) asking me if I was free and that I would sit through two tapings for $25 and 3 tapings the next day for $40. Considering I owed my roommate 75$ for the zipvan we used to move (for 16 fucking hours) I decided to go.
I had never heard of the show before (and I’m almost positive I’m not supposed to say what show), but let’s just call it Trashy Maury (yes, I realize Maury is already trashy).
The first day was pretty tame. Everyone seemed nice. They played rap music to get the audience (who wasn’t all being paid, some were just unemployed and loved watching the show) excited (or riled up possibly). I noticed all of the guests were black… which seemed odd… but I decided not to mention it. I kept to myself, read David Carradine’s Kill Bill Diaries (I”m still sad about his death with the wanking and such) and got my $25 dollar gift card (which, upon getting home, I promptly handed to my roommate) to sit around for a few hours and watch people scream at each other for cheating or being in jail or what have you.
I also met a male model, who suggested I could be a model (Please, stop….. no – go on).
All in all a good day… and no one asked to sniff my feet.
Day two was a bit more interesting.
I’m waiting on line. The audience coordinators remembered me and told me that they were keep a few of us downstairs to film a “red carpet” type thing where we have to scream a lot for the host and the special celebrity guests. I’m standing on line and the girl behind me starts to talk to me… even though I’m reading.
“I’m just doing it for the money.”
“Oh, shh. We’re not supposed to talk about it. Be careful who you say that to.”
“Well, I just assumed. You were here alone,” she replied, laughing at me.
“Right, but some people come on their own because they like the show. So make sure you don’t say anything because then you won’t get paid.”
Some other girl walked up on line behind us. The idiot behind me immediately said “So did you find this on Craigslist?”
I was going to make my $40 whether she wanted to or not.
This taping was way more exciting. The first taping was a talent show, I stress talent because there wasn’t any, but the celebrity judges were cool and we heard this rap…
The second and third show were kind of a blur. The security was used a lot. One guy stole his brother’s identity so to get back at him his brother slept with his girlfriend. This guy threatened to hit his wife because he thought she was cheating. Lots of shit. Let me tell you, this is not staged. Audience reactions may be a bit, but the crazy ass people are for real.
I was curious so I had to ask what fossils are. She said they were lizards and the way we figure out how old they are is probably wrong.
After the third taping, a fight even broke out in the audience (the unpaid part of it).
An old woman screamed something like “They trying to hit my grand baby!” and later the girl was crying because they said she was pretty.
Slowly, but surely, I’m Clawing My Way To The Top