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Dance-tress Acting Up: Getting Cut From a Feature

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Where oh where have I been? Quite busy to be honest. In fact, I’m on set as we speak. I’ve actually been on set pretty much all day since I got back in town last week. I’m working as lead set director on a feature film.

I took a week off to go and visit family since I knew I wouldn’t be able to go home for Christmas. While sitting at the airport getting ready for my flight, I got a phone call from the producer saying that the schedule has been bumped up a day earlier. Well, that’s a problem because I will still be out of town the day filming starts. In the midst of panic, I got online as fast as I could to start making arrangements to have my assistant/friend work on some things that I was planning on working on the day I got back. Also, to make sure I got the day off at work (this also was a HUGE problem). THEN, my computer crashed and wouldn’t turn on for the next few hours. What a way to start my “vacation”.

I feel as though my whole trip was filled with anxiety and I couldn’t truly enjoy time with my family. You see, when I signed on to do set design, I also stated that I was not really interested unless I have a role. Let's remember, I am looking for a career as an actress, not a professional set designer. This is a project that I have known about for the past year. “Yeah, we'll get you in the film”, “Yes, you will definitely have a role”. And the closer and closer we got to day one, nothing had been confirmed of which character I would be playing. I started out with a nice supporting role. Then, a featured student on campus. Now, I am just a glorified extra. This sucks. Not only does it suck, but it hurts. It hurts being on set every day watching girls say my lines. Maybe it’s just my ego?

In fact, one of the days, an actress had a problem getting to set (there were issues with the location allowing people into the gated community, even though production had paid for it) so I ended up taking her role. Hooray! All of my grumpiness instantly went away considering that it was one of the roles I thought I would be playing once I found out I wouldn’t have a supporting role anymore. It was a small role, but it was better than no role. Plus, I knew it had additional scenes throughout the film. This was great.

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Two days had passed. It was one of the days I had requested off from work. Not just requested, but argued and made a big issue out of getting the day off. I HAD to be there to decorate the set AND to film the remainder of my scene. I have an actual role now, so it would be kind of messed up to not show up to set. Can’t let this opportunity slip away.

As I’m looking at the call sheet I see that the other girl's name is still listed. Oh well, I figured the other producer just forgot that I had already filmed the first scene as that character. I call them up to remind them that it will ruin continuity if someone else just magically appeared. Well, turns out that this girl is a good friend of theirs and they were determined to get her in the movie. Here’s what happened. Are you ready for it? They gave her MY lines and once again cut me out. They created a whole new role for her and even put her in a new scene. Yup, shafted.

There’s not really much I can say about this other than they wanted to cast their own personal friends regardless of what was promised and who would have been right for the role. As upset as I was, I will use this as motivation. I know what NOT to do on my own projects. And as a bonus, I will use this time to work on my next script. :) Everything happens for a reason, right?