This is a tough article to write for me. As I will be talking about a pet peeve that rocks me to my very core on a daily basis. I don’t know how I could possibly whittle this text down into an easily digestible read, but I will try. The topic of the day is time – We either have too much of it on our hands or not enough in the day. The real bugger is that time is the only non-renewable resource – once a day is over, it’s gone for good. And, within reason, we are all left to our own preferences on where and how to spend it.
Some days I am a super-woman. I simply cannot believe how much I can get done in one day when I’m organized and use my time efficiently. Then there are the days where I waste a whole lotta time. You know, those days where you accidentally spend an hour scrolling through Facebook to see who the girl in your ex’s photo is. Or space out watching three episodes of Forensic Files in a row. Usually, at the end of these days, I kick myself for not doing anything important. However, I try to be kind to myself and make a promise to do better tomorrow.
Then there’s that third way to spend your time. Having other people waste it for you. And THIS is the one that really “gets my goat” if you can pardon my language. Throughout my life I’ve heard the terms “Time is money” or “Don’t waste my time”, and it really sunk in that everyone’s time is valuable, no matter who they are. And, just because you may have the entire day off and are free as a bird to come and go whenever, you shouldn’t assume that the same goes for those around you.
PAUSE FOR A DISCLAIMER:
If you do not own a cell phone, you are THE ONLY humans that get away with not calling to let someone know you’re running late. Wait! Or, heaven forbid, you or someone you know has had an accident, you’re off the hook. Accidents and people “off the grid” are the only ones excused!
HERE ARE SOME MORE EXAMPLES OF TIME WASTERS:
People assume that because you work from home, you aren’t really working. I coach clients in my home. On far too many occasions, I’ve had clients show up 15 minutes, 30 minutes, sometimes over AN HOUR late – with no apology and no phone call. This is unacceptable. I may have another client scheduled right after you. Or, I don’t know, maybe I had plans this evening that didn’t involve waiting for you! Come on!
Then, there are the folks that believe they can fly. Let’s say you live in Glendale. We have plans to meet at 1pm in Hollywood. If it is 12:50 and you haven’t left your house, YOU ARE GOING TO BE LATE! Call now. Immediately. If you haven’t left yet, that means I have time to stop somewhere first. I could, say, grab a coffee, check out that cute clothing store down the street, read a magazine, catch up on emails, pay my bills online, throw in a load of laundry, call my mom. ANYTHING! Anything other than sitting and waiting for a person that is not even close to arriving.
Whew! Now that I’ve got a little of my personal schtuff outta the way, let’s explore how an actor’s timeliness affects others in a professional situation.
On a professional film set, there is a 12 hour “turnaround”. This is the amount of time that the crew must have off before returning to set the next day. The clock starts at camera wrap. This means that all of the other folks that still have to clean up and make the set safe are still working while you’re on your way home to sleep.
Let’s say we are all on set bright and early Monday morning at 6am. We work at 12 hour day (not uncommon) with a 1 hour lunch break. This means we will wrap at 7pm and will be back on Tuesday at 7am. If we happen to shoot a 12 hour and 45 minute day, now we’re back tomorrow at 8:45. At this rate, by Friday, we will be wrapping around 11:30pm (if we’re lucky) and the rest of the crew will be getting home and falling into bed sometime around 1:30am (if they’re lucky).
So, as you can see, any delays in this schedule at all, especially in the beginning of the week can really screw over the entire crew. If they fall too far behind, they can end up wrapping at 6am on Saturday morning. They sleep the whole Saturday away and have less than one whole day with their families before being back on set at 6am Monday.
In addition to this, time is most certainly money on a film set. The producers are already dancing around overtime for the entire crew if they go over 12 hours. Also, longer days mean a second meal for everyone on set, even if it wasn’t planned to be that long. The location fees are huge and, if we’re outside, we’re racing the sun so we don’t fall behind on tomorrow’s schedule. Every second counts! Don’t be the person that runs late.
AT A CASTING SESSION:
Being a person that makes time a priority, I made sure to take great care when scheduling audition times for my most recent project. I carefully calculated how many minutes each role would need to be allotted. I factored in the “how do you do’s”, the audition and redirect for each individual role and scheduled actors accordingly. I gave us a generous 45 minute lunch break and an hour extra at the end of the day in case any of the actors were stuck in traffic.
Auditions began at 10am and I was stressed because we were cutting it too close for my taste. I arrived about ten minutes early and rushed to set up the camera and sign in sheet. Then, we waited…for 45 minutes for the first actor to show up. And it was all downhill from there. To compensate for the long wait, we cut scenes and stopped giving redirects. At one point, my camera’s battery died in the middle of someone’s audition and I just let them continue because we didn’t have time to start again.
At one point in the day, the actors informed me that they had been waiting for nearly TWO HOURS! We never even got to eat our lunch. All of this because people decided to stroll in at their leisure without communicating their schedule to us. It was a frustrating day, indeed.
WRAPPING IT UP:
Remember that making time a priority is part of being a professional. Hey, tardiness happens. I mean, I live in Los Angeles for cryin’ out loud. Determining exactly how long it takes to get anywhere is nearly impossible. But, going forth, I challenge you to do your best to, at the very least, communicate with each other about your timing. Set a realistic schedule, allow for traffic, and value each other’s time. Then, we’ll all have more time to waste however we want. I’d like to spend it outdoors with a margarita!
****This post originally appeared on Msintheiz.com****