Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Here goes nothin'...

I started writing this blog entry before retiring for the night, Tuesday, and will tweak and post in the early morning hours...I am not one to get sick often, but my semi-laryngitis set in Sunday morning and, well, I'm still not back up to snuff. Not even close.

I've lived a life with allergy attacks, sinus and asthma issues, and have had copious experiences dealing with colds and drips and coughs and fevers while performing professionally, be it on stage, on TV, talking, singing, acting, you name it. And here for the first time, or maybe one of extremely few times, I'm staring down the barrel of an industrial video shoot that is less than 24 hours away, a bigger than normal 'gig' that could not have come at a more opportune time...along with health issues that could NOT have come at a more INopportune time!

I know me, I know my voice, I know my 'head' situation...and this is an uncomfortable circumstance to be dealing with. Tuesday, I actually had a voice when I used it, but it was all in the upper register and a bit raspy. I have no bass ringing through, and when you do acting and voice-over work, let's just say ya gotta have that. Maybe it will back some by the morning. I don't know.

I do know I can't ask the company to wait a few days. They book the camera crew and set schedules well in advance, and had I told 'em two days ago that I was 'suspect' they would have hired someone else, in this case. And so I keep as positive an attitude as I can, stay as quiet as I can, take as much vitamins, herbal supplements and teas as I can...and also grimmace when I sip on the age-old remedy of Rock-and-Rye with honey and lemon. Just too sweet, not to mention the willy-quivers you get when it goes down your throat! But it really does help...

And so I am just sitting here musing over it all and figured I'd throw it out there. We all have our trials and tribulations, just in different ways. I know enough to be humble and be smart about what I do, as well as plan and prepare for emergencies or twists in the plans. The shoot is almost 3 hours away up in the NC mountains, and for you 'Enquiring' minds the video is for a new industrial concrete and stone scrubber/scraper/cleaner. In fact , click on the link for the for the .PDF file of the product itself:
"The Mongrel"
I like the name! Being into 'tools' and having taught science for 9 years in a prior 'life', these types of jobs fit me comfortably.

With that, I'll sign off on the the Tuesday evening portion of this blog, keeping it real, and will update in the early morrow with more...

(4:28am update)

Well, awoke with a voice no worse, maybe a tad better, but no bass register. I have spoken precious little the past few days, so haven't really taken the voice for a test drive, and won't until I'm on location.

I did awake to an email from my agent written last night around 8:30p, which is past my bedtime...it was a forwarded note from the project director with the attached scripts for the video. I've seen a lot of last-minute scripts, but never one this late, and this is the very first one they've sent me. On top of that, it is rather significant amounts of dialogue to boot, and in the best of health and voices this would be a bear of a project to grind out.

My crossed-fingers hope is that the director clearly knows what will be on-camera dialogue and what will be voice-over next week...many times even on a shoot they're not sure so they double up all the dialogue and edit later...that would NOT be a good solution for today as I know the voice wouldn't hold.

I have also had no direct communication with the director about anything, but having been in this business since 1991 I know to take my own make-up, and take along my ear-prompter. It's a pricey, small gizmo that lets me 'talk' script thanks to a wireless earpiece that picks up a tape recorder signal (in my pants pocket). I basically have my voice recorded and talk behind it a split second as it replays...watch a TV show or ad and try to say what the other person says immediately after them, on their heels. Some find it easy, some don't.

The best solution of all would be that they'll have a good teleprompter, but if they don't, it will add a goodly amount of hurdles through the day. This is far far far beyond the scope of any last-minute memorization options.

Well, there's the anatomy of a shoot, albeit this one having peculiar details others don't normally have. I have to go into Charlotte to get out of Charlotte, so will jump early to beat the traffic and then go against traffic when it's heavier. While my call time is 10am, this will comfortably have me there by 930a at the latest, which is just perfect.

The most important thing I can do is just relax and realize much of this is out of my hands at this point. The 3-hour ride will afford time to scan the script and make a few notes...
one of my strenghts is my ability to cold-read, which is reading something out loud the first time you see it, as if you've known it forever.

Alas, 'tis time to go pack, walk Mercy and be like Santa - gotta check my gear list twice!

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