Thursday, June 22, 2006

Today's Shoot

I got a call this morning from the producer of the photo shoot to come in a little earlier than scheduled. "No problem," I said, "I'll be right there."

It was at a very well-known studio called Smashbox Studios. I've seen countless magazines where they've been credited as the location, but I've never actually been there. I have, however, sampled one of their matte base makeups while shopping with a friend at Sephora. She said it was the best for photo shoots as a matte powder is mixed right in. I didn't buy any, but I thought it was interesting information.

Like I mentioned, I was to play some sort of yakuza character. In fact, I was just a Japanese businessman. And I was to be photographed next to a harajuku girl and a DJ. The DJ was a cool guy and it was his first photo shoot. It was also the harajuku girl's first shoot, so I was the most trained of them all. Still, the whole thing felt a little silly.

Anyway, they asked me to get ready to shoot, so I waited around while they were setting up, and then took a look outside where a photo shoot was already taking place. A guy was standing just inside of a doorway, with a bluescreen for a backdrop. I watched for a little while and wondered if it was for the same photo shoot. Then the guy being photographed saw me and said, "Hey, how's it going?!" I said, "Hey, pretty good!" And then I walked back into the studio where they were setting up.

I walked up to one of the assistants and asked if the photo shoot outside was for the same production and he said no, it was for someone else. I said he looked kind of familiar. He was tall, with semi-mussed-up brownish blonde hair. He wore jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.

The assistant said the guy was some "famous, famous guy. You know the one. Ashton what's-his-name..."

"Oh, Ashton Kutcher. Yeah, I thought he looked familiar. Hmm..." And then I went back outside to take another look. Immediately, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed up my girlfriend and told her I was just standing about 10 feet from Ashton Kutcher in a photo shoot. Truthfully, I was about 20 feet away, but who's measuring?

Oh, about the girlfriend... I just started seeing someone who I also happen to work with at the aforementioned office job. It's been a couple of weeks now and it seems a bit premature to call someone your girlfriend, but maybe I'm just being optimistic or hopeful. Then again, we're a pretty good fit and I won't question that part of it. I suppose I'll update my status as we go along. And yes, she knows about this site.

So there I am, on the phone, watching this photo shoot take place. And then I realize, as weird as this seems, it's actually pretty normal in Los Angeles.

And so I'm called in for my shoot, posing as the Japanese businessman, and somehow, I just don't feel so silly doing this anymore. After all, some famous guy next door is doing it, too.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This Job Is Starting to Suck!

I once had a girlfriend who had this dog. The dog would often just stand in the middle of the living room, on the carpet, not knowing if it should sit, walk or run. I watched this dog with some curiosity. But what was more interesting was my girlfriend, who seemed to be waiting for that dog to do whatever it was she didn't want it to do, so that she could scold it.

Well, that's what I'm feeling like right now. That dog. Here, in my office of 5 months, I'm feeling like a dog that doesn't know if it should sit, walk or run. Why? Mostly because I was given a job description before I got here, and then was given jobs completely out of that description.

Not only that, but I wasn't even briefed on simple procedures such as taking days off, so I've been slowly trying to figure out the system. But as soon as I do something wrong, I'm scolded. That's just frigging fucked up, ya know???

There's other stuff that bugs me. Such as the fact that I have a huge communication problem with my supervisor. And, I should say, a huge logic gap with him too. I think one way, he thinks another. And somehow, my way just doesn't make sense to him. Meanwhile, I don't really understand his way either. Am I just in the wrong office? I've never had problems like this before. No matter how fucked up the office politics were, I usually understood the basic processes of the office. This time, the processes seem to keep changing, and I try to change with them, until of course I am scolded.

I hate being scolded. I don't mind being told I fucked up. But I don't like being scolded. It just feels like being treated like a kid, only I'm an adult who is being scolded. That's really fucked up!!

So the other day, I got this job notice from my temp agent. It's a good job. Pays 20% more than what I'm getting now, plus serious executive-quality benefits. Meanwhile, I feel like I'm stuck here in this twilight zone where communication always gets funky and I'm unhappy because, well, I'm always being treated like a screw-up.

You know, I used to have a certain amount of pride in my abilities. I used to think I was a pretty good worker. I used to think I was a darn good proofreader. I used to think I cared about my work. Now, I'm not so sure. Lack of confidence? Well, more like an abundance of scolding!!

I'm working a print job tomorrow. (I can't wait to get my mind off my office job.) I'm playing some sort of yakuza who has a couple of harajuku girls with him. Yeah, I don't understand it either. Japanese company, apparently.