Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Intelligence of the MTA

No, I don't mean the whole thing about raising fares and cutting service - that's A. not exactly news, and B. too many people are yowling about it already.

No, the intelligent move for which I think they deserve praise is the fact that they have taken down the sign on the bus stop pole at 7th Avenue and Christopher for the crosstown M8 (on which I practically live). This was the sign that told you roughly when to expect the bus. Well, nobody who takes that bus EVER expects it to be on time going west. Going east, if you catch it at the beginning of the run over on 10th and Washington, as I do, it's almost always perfectly on time. But going the other way (coming from Avenue D), it invariably runs into trouble of some sort. So the clever MTA, rather than attempt to do anything about the on time habits of the bus, has sensibly removed the sign. Now nobody knows when it's actually supposed to arrive, so no more complaints! I think that shows excellent business sense. Clearly this is how our large corporations have been being run for some time...they seem to solve a problem by not actually doing anything about it. They just change the rules.

I have been doing very little of any interest whatsoever except getting up WAY too early. But I did manage to get five days of work last week, just in time to feed somewhere around 15 people on Thanksgiving, so that's a definite plus. I must say that my working habits do give me a tour of New York...49th and Lexington on Monday, Javits Center on Tuesday, 57th and 10th on Wednesday, 130th and Convent on Thursday, and 48th and 2nd on Friday. (By the way, in case you're keeping track, this required me to arise at 4:30 am Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 am on Thursday, since I had to be in Harlem by 8, and a blissful 6 am on Friday. I slept all day Sunday for some reason. I wonder why.)

My new pictures have not done a DAMN thing for my ability to get background work, which is annoying. My friend Caesar came over on Saturday and continued his absolutely nutty campaign to get me to change my name. He keeps screaming at me about this, which makes no sense at all. I figure if Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe), Archibald Leach (Cary Grant) and Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers) were all hired for films under those names (which they were - the studio changed them later), that's not the problem. Besides which, it seems to me inherently unlikely that a casting director is going to pick my picture off the submissions, look at it, go, "Yeah, that's the right kind of face," and then decide, "No, I don't like her name." I mean, Meryl Streep's daughter is acting, and her name is Mamie Gummer. Now look, if Mamie Gummer can get cast...

I am now going to look at the magazine and catalogue that came in the mail today. I'm having a lot of fun with my free magazines. It seems that I live in a VERY high rent district (well, I know that - every time I walk past the real estate agent's place on Hudson, I look in the window and they're showing studio apartments for $3500 a month). So publishers send me all these magazines with names like Gotham (and today's offering, Bal Harbor, along with the CB2 catalogue) which consist of pages and pages of pictures of society types at various functions and pages and pages of ads for Omega watches, usually followed by about ten pages of fashion photography of $12,000 dresses and maybe a spread of Mr. and Mrs. Gotrock's place in Cancun...you know, their 12 bedroom getaway cottage with the two pools. I have a lot of fun reading these things. And they even have a practical side - when a casting call goes out for Upper East Side types, or upper class evening clothes, I know exactly what type of clothes they want - it's the stuff I can't afford to buy. However, I do now know what it's supposed to look like, at least, so when I do get some money to invest in a few pieces for this sort of thing, they'll be the right ones. (And it's not as much of a splurge as it sounds - first, because Loehman's has great evening clothes of the right type at low prices, and second, because if I get the thing and wear it in a film, it comes off my taxes as a union member as necessary wardrobe. God knows, it's not like my own personal life contains anything for which I'd need an evening gown.)

And of course, movies are unfortunately not costumed by people who inhabit Manhattan, as far as I can tell. The first thing they invariably say in the costume notes is "No black." Aside from the fact that I don't know anybody in this city who owns evening/cocktail clothes in any other color, have you ever tried to buy cocktail dresses, for instance, in anything but black? You can get red, but they usually don't want that, either - point being that it's BACKGROUND, just that. Black and red stand out too much. So you're faced with a very, very small collection of clothing. Unless you're young, of course, when you can wait until prom season and find all sorts of pretty pastel things. If you're me, usually the only thing lying around that's formal is beige and in the mother of the bride section.

Oh, well. Since I haven't currently got the cash to worry about this, I think I won't. Also, I think it would make a LOT more sense to wait until I actually get some damn work and then ask other people - networking is the only way to go.

I will now go and see what the beautiful people are doing.

Love, Wendy

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