Donna in Hollywoodland

The blog from Los Angeles and Hollywood by Donna Grayson

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Don't Ever Handle Cash

Today, I went and volunteered at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
My shift was to start at 3pm. So I got there about 1pm so I could walk around a bit first.

I did not decide up until the very last minute if I would drive or take the bus. The #2 bus goes straight up Sunset, right to UCLA.
But I had heard it might rain, so I didn't want to be stuck waiting for the bus in the rain. Which was a consideration since I had pneumonia just 4 months ago. But I need to get the breaks on my car done so it would be better to take the bus ... oh, never mind, I'll drive.
It wouldn't have been so bad, except that it took me 3 parking lots on the UCLA campus before I found one that wasn't full. The cool weather made more people decide to go out and visit the bookfair. It was more crowded than I ever remember it being.

I met up with a another volunteer who was getting off her shift at 1 pm. We went and had lunch in the student union. Then she had a ticket to hear Sue Grafton speak.
I walked around alittle more. And I happened on Aaron McGruder , the creator of The Boondocks , who was speaking on one of the Main Stages. I stopped and listened just for a few minutes. It always amazes me when the general public has a chance to raise their hand and ask a question - some of the stuff they come up with.
A guy, who seemed somewhat anti-religion, asked the question "Why aren't you addressing the issue of the pedophilia Priests in the Catholic church? Why don't you introduce a character of a Priest in your comic strip and deal with that issue?"
The answer was basically, well, making fun of religion - especially in the Sunday paper - would most likely offend alot of people. Especially on a Sunday.

And he did say that they are working on a Boondocks TV show. And the Christmas shows are addressing "The Church of Santa Claus" and
talking about commercialism around the Holidays.
Now, that does sound interesting. I may catch it.

I walked around some more. Lots of cute Dogs . People bring their Dogs to a Bookfair - only in Los Angeles.
I start to miss the dog I used to have. So I try to think about my cuddly cat.

I stop in to a few of the book dealers. But I am really happy that I show restraint and I don't buy any books. Now that I use the Los Angeles Public Library so much, its nice to not have to spend money on books.
I love to read, and using the Library's online order system is perfect. Plus, if I start to read a book, and I hate it - I just stop reading it, I don't have to feel bad that I wasted money on a book I didn't like.
I think about buying some of the $5 books, from the $5 vendors. There are some nice hard-cover books for 5 bucks. But I talk myself out of it.
I thought about buying a bookfair Tshirt or Coffee mug. But I just didn't get around to it.

Somehow, I go too far, and end up in the Children's area. There is a show onstage with some weird looking costumed person singing a song where the lyrics don't make any sense. I try to figure out what the character means, and I just decide its a case of really bad song writing - even for a kid's song.

I start my shift over at the booth. My little "volunteer' badge goes on. And I got tired very quickly. In addition to selling donated used books at our booth, we were also selling Movie Posters . And we are the only place that is selling Movie Posters - and it
seems everyone wants one.
I get about 5 or 6 teeny-bopper kids who all want one right in a row. One boy wants the Star Wars . Another boy wants the Japanese Anime poster. Some little girls go crazy over the Without a Paddle posters.

Then for about an hour, I had to handle the cash while one of the other people took a break, and went to hear Alexander McCall Smith give a lecture.
I hated handling the cash.
I made a system. I write up the receipt. They hand me the Cash. I rip off the receipt. I get the change out. I hand them the receipt and the change together.
Very simple, huh ?

One man bought 5 posters. While he is over by the posters, he hands me a twenty. I rip out the receipt, and make his change. I have the receipt and the change in my hand. He is looking a books, looking at books, looking at books. He finally walks over and - hands me another twenty.
"Ah, ah, ah ... Sir... you just paid me."
"Did I ? Are you sure ?"
"Yeah, when you were over by the posters. Why else would I have your change and your receipt in my hand?"
"Are you really sure?"
"Well, yes... do you want to count the money in your pocket?"
"I don't know"
"Sir, I am sure you paid me while you were standing at the posters. Here's your change."
Ok... at least I am honest.

But then another situation. Some one bought a bunch of books. For all the books they bought, they got a free poster with their purchase.
Well, I made a mistake and told them they could have a poster that I didn't realize wasn't supposed to be given away free. That one had to be sold.
They bought the poster anyway. And they got a free poster for free.
I did the same thing when the person paid for their books. I gave them the change with the receipt. And off they went.

Five minutes later, they came back.
"You know you never gave me my change."
"But I gave you the receipt?"
"Yeah, but you forgot my change." They were very insistent.
And what could I do ? It was my word against theirs . No one else saw me give them their money. But I knew that I did. So I had to give them their change - again. They basically got their items for free.

Maybe, they made an honest mistake and just misplaced their change. Or maybe they were mad at me for saying they could have the poster for Free, and it turned out it wasn't one of the ones available for Free. Whatever, there is nothing I could do about it. I told someone in charge, and gave them the cash purse.
I didn't want to be handling the cash anymore.

Its funny how you can help 50 people - and then one person comes along, and just ruins your whole day.

And I did meet alot of interesting people. Its funny what people say when they are roaming about a book fair.
One lady saw one of the Posters, and said her Son had won an Emmy for writing it. Another woman told me her husband had worked with Nicolas Cage on Windtalkers . Then Leonard Maltin stopped by the booth and chatted for a bit, so I got to meet him.

By the end of the day it was getting chilly - but at least it didn't rain like the weather report said.
I really wanted some Kettle Corn - but all of the booths had to close down at 6 pm on the dot. So I didn't get my kettle corn. And I was pretty exhausted. But it was a very interesting day at the Festival of Books.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Payday and Shopping

So its Payday. On my lunch I head down to the ATM. First thing I do is stop off at The Juice Fountain and pick up one of their ready made salads. Add a scoop of tuna-fish salad. The salads there are good. There's shredded beets and shredded carrots... so it makes them alittle high in sugar though.

I turn the corner and stop off at the little convenience store on the corner. To Buy A Lottery Ticket.
Now what I really intended to do was buy a ticket for 4 plays out. That the same numbers played for the next four games. But I just wanted some Quick Picks. And the lady at the cash register said you can't do that.
If I want to buy for future lotteries, I have to get one of those forms where you fill in the numbers you want. Since I don't have time to fill out a form on my lunch break, I just grab some forms and put them in my purse. Then I only buy 5 Quick Picks.

My dream of winning the lottery ... I would spend one year going to numerous well-known and expensive acting schools around Los Angeles . I would study with numerous top-notch teachers. Just be an acting student for a whole year. Then, maybe a film student. And maybe then make my own film with some of the lottery money. Submit to Sundance, and win.
Well, I can dream ....

So I turn the corner again ... this is actually a nice walk on my lunch break.
I stop off and buy a copy of Backstage West.
Last night, I happened upon about 50 pictures and resumes tucked in a corner that I didn't know I had So I figure I might do some cold mailings out to some Casting Directors.
Then I need to get some more pictures printed up. Probably new ones from the same shoot. Its only one year ago, and I look exactly the same.
I would like to get some new ones done, but I can't justify the expense right now.

After work, I head on over to Office Depot .
I buy:
Nice computer stationery for my cover letter to the casting directors (It has flowers on the edges.)
Black Ink cartridge for my printer
Mailing envelopes for my 8x10 (With clasps, because you are never supposed to seal them).

Oh, I am not done yet.... time to run to Ralphs . Me and everyone else who got paid today. Just the necessities. Bagels,Cream Cheese, Water, Toilet Paper .... and Cat Food. Sushi for dinner - for me, not the cat.
I was completely out of Cat Food. And if I had returned home tonight with out The Cat's Food... the cat would have gone nutso. And then I would have had to run to the store at 11pm so I could feed the Cat and get some sleep. You never, ever, ever want to forget to feed The Cat. Especially if I am having Sushi for dinner.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Cat and A Book

Ok, terrible day. I am doing so much computer input at the office that my butt hurts ... for real. And when I stand up, all the bones and muscles in my hips and knees creak .
I needed to stay late again. But I totally could not handle being in the sitting position at my desk one more minute. My butt was numb.
Go home on time one day this week.

Well, the cat was happy.
I jumped right into my pajamas. Pillows and blankets on the couch. Glass of wine on the end table.
Still reading Parasites Like Us.
I really enjoyed it. Its a very different story focusing on an Anthropology professor. Alot of dark humor.

Well, as I read the book. Curled up on my side ... not my butt... My cat Cinnamon was happy and purring away by my side.
She so seldom gets an entire evening to just curl up with her mom.

I really need to get a new scanner or a digital camera so I can post pics of the Cat on the website.
Someday soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Overheard On The Elevator

"Wow, so Roberts not in today?" said the hip guy with the earing and faded sweater.

"No....they are Casting for his film today. He is over there auditioning actors", said the petite chick with the blue streaks in her hair.

"So he's shooting a film. He has a budget and everything?"

"Yeah... well, its an Indie, so he has a small budget"

"Oh, yeah, yeah, for sure ... but still he's shooting on FILM - not digital?"

"Oh, yeah...totally".

"Thats great ! I never knew Robert was a Film Student." said the guy.

"Oh, no .... He's Not... It was just something he felt like doing."

Note: Perplexed look on the Hip Guys face

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I think I mentioned that I am helping out while a coworker is out on maternity leave. Which means, I have alot of extra work, and I have to stay late.
I mean, I haven't had time to do my laundry and vacuum the carpet, or update the blog, its getting so bad.

Well, tonight I had plans to go to another Meet-N-Greet with a Casting Director. I got all dressed up this morning, because I was planning on going straight from work.
No way the work on my desk was going to get done.

So I canceled my plans to go the Mixer.

Oh... no... why would I want to meet a casting director ? Especially when I can stay at my desk sifting through big stacks of papers.
Free Liquor ? I don't need free liquor ! I'd much rather keypunch invoices into a computer all evening.
A Casting Director and Free Liquor ....nah, I think I'll pass, I'd much rather be surrounded by big stacks of paperwork.

And even though certain people knew I had canceled my evening plans to stay late .... nobody said "thank you".

I should have gone to the Mixer, mingled with the Casting Director and had a free glass of wine.
And let the paperwork sit there.

Sigh ...

Monday, April 18, 2005

Money, Money
This morning I stopped off at the check cashing place inside Vons Hollywood - to pay my phone bill. Before it got disconnected.

I saw California Lottery Tickets - cute ones with Doggies and Kitties. Well, it was mainly the kitty ones that got to me, they looked like my cat Cinnamon.
I also saw the Star Wars ones. You can get the whole Set.

So, I bought 5 lottery tickets. Yikes ! These were $2 each.

On my lunch, I scratched 'em.
I won one more free ticket.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Always Check Your Email

It all started out like a regular Sunday morning. Read the LA Times while drinking my
Half-Caf with vanilla soy milk .... the large and fluffy Cinnamon Cat on my lap purring away.
I went to Church .
Then after church was over, I had about an hour before an Audition that was scheduled at Los Angeles Film School for a student film.

Once again, spoiled by the fact that I live in the Big City - I parked my car in the employee parking where I work. Do you know one of my co-workers was leaving as I as exiting the parking ? She had been there working - on a Sunday. She saw me in the parking lot.
I said "No I am not here. Just using the parking. Running across the street."

So since I had an hour before the Audition, I went to the Cafe inside of Borders Books .
I had Decaf. And a blueberry muffin. While I read the book, "Parasites Like Us" .
At first I sat in the chair outside facing Vine Street. I stayed there in spite of the fact what people were smoking. They can't smoke inside, so they take up all the patio areas. Even if the air was clean and fresh, I wouldn't know it because of all the smokers sitting out on the Cafe Patios. Then the wind kicked in and it was chilly and I was wearing a dress. So I moved inside. The smokers stayed out to freeze.

Overheard At Borders Cafe:

"Oh, Dude I just woke up like 10 minutes ago" said sleepy guy.

"Hey, thats right - your Thing was last night. How did it go?" Said the friend.

"Oh, we had a good turn-out. Generally it was okay, we got a good response. But I could tell, there were some rough spots. Places
where things could have been tighter. Looking back, I probably should have hired a Director."

Oh, so Sleepy Guy Produced a Play .... and he was to cheap to hire a director. Only in Hollywood.

Finally , it was about a half hour before my audition. I still had plenty of time, but I like to arrive early because there is usually paperwork to fill out and people ahead of me in line.
I walk over to the LA Film School. The receptionist at the front says no one from the film I am auditioning for is here yet.
She says "I know these students. They will be late."
So I leave. I walk outside. Now, what to do....

I see the new cute little coffee house on the other side of Jack in the Box .
It thinks it is called Coffee and Community. (I tried looking it up on the internet. I will have to update this later.)
***Later Update:
Its called Groundwork Coffee Their tag line is "Coffee Tea Community" - thats how I got confused..
End Update***
I think, oh, I haven't been in there yet....
I walked in, and My, My - isn't this the happening place for hip computer geeks on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Everyone huddled over their lap-tops sipping away at their coffees. Quite the "Dot Com" type of place. Alot of cute "Dot Com" types of guys. I wish I wasn't dressed in my Plump Midwestern Mom type of dress.... (thats what my audition is for). I get yet another Decaf Coffee. (Thank heavens I used the Ladys Room over at Borders.) Their Decaf is alot heavier than the Decaf at Borders. More 'body" and 'richness".
I once again brave the tables out on the street. Hmmmm, this time it isn't as cold. And there are no smokers either.

A few minutes before my audition time, I head back over to LA Film School.
Waiting in the lobby is already another lady who is my "Type". We are going to audition for the part of a Mother in a small town. So we are both somewhat the Plump, Midwestern Types.
We stand at the reception desk - oh, forever. The film we are auditioning for has not been assigned a Room Number for auditions. It is not listened on the Cork Boards in the lobby, where the other films are listed. The receptionist has no idea what to tell us. Except, that these Students usually run late.

As we talk we both wonder why there aren't more Plump Midwestern Type Moms auditioning. And where are the auditioning daughters. And the auditioning husbands. We are both really patient, and we wait a half hour.

Finally a young woman emerges from the elevator. She is talking to a young guy. She says the name of the film that we are supposed to be auditioning for.
I perk up " Did you say "XYZ" ? That would be us ! "
The other auditioning lady and I both grab our 8x10 portfolios, and move up right to her.
She looks surprised. "Oh, no - didn't you get my email?"
"What email?"
"I emailed everyone last night. We had a major emergency. The director was in a car accident."

Oh, well... what can you say. If they say someone was in a car accident, you have to believe them. And there is nothing you can do.

The other lady said something about she had checked her email at 11pm last night, and it would have been better to telephone us if they were going to cancel. I agreed with her, even though I don't think I checked my email all day yesterday.

We were still chatting about the confusion. When it really sunk in that we were not auditioning, and I headed out the door pretty much in the middle of the conversation.
I mean, you have to understand. I wasted my afternoon Not Auditioning for a Non-paying student film. Errrrr.....

As I drove away, west on Sunset - I saw two more Midwestern Mom Types come out of the Building with their pictures in their hands. I guess they arrived only to leave again.

I had places to be. After two coffee houses, I went to Mel's Diner for dinner. Then I went over to the Egyptian Theatre to volunteer.
I think by this time, all the waiting I did made me too tired to stay for the movie. I did my volunteer shift taking tickets. Then I left, going home intending to get my Blog caught up.
Instead I took a nap. It must have been all that Decaf Coffee.


08/26/1990 - 09/02/1990   12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003   12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003   12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003   12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004   01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004   01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004   02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004   02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004   03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004   04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004   05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004   05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004   06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004   06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004   08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004   09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004   09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004   10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004   11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004   12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005   01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005   01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005   01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005   02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005   02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005   02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005   02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005   03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005   03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005   03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005   03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005   04/03/2005 - 04/10/2005   04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005   04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005   04/24/2005 - 05/01/2005   05/01/2005 - 05/08/2005   05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005   05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005   05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005   05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005   06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005   06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005   06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005   06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005   07/03/2005 - 07/10/2005   07/10/2005 - 07/17/2005   07/17/2005 - 07/24/2005   07/24/2005 - 07/31/2005   07/31/2005 - 08/07/2005   08/07/2005 - 08/14/2005   08/14/2005 - 08/21/2005   08/21/2005 - 08/28/2005   08/28/2005 - 09/04/2005   09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005   09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005   09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005   09/25/2005 - 10/02/2005   10/02/2005 - 10/09/2005   10/09/2005 - 10/16/2005   10/16/2005 - 10/23/2005   10/23/2005 - 10/30/2005   10/30/2005 - 11/06/2005   11/06/2005 - 11/13/2005   11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005   11/20/2005 - 11/27/2005   11/27/2005 - 12/04/2005   12/04/2005 - 12/11/2005   12/11/2005 - 12/18/2005   12/18/2005 - 12/25/2005   12/25/2005 - 01/01/2006   01/01/2006 - 01/08/2006   01/08/2006 - 01/15/2006   01/15/2006 - 01/22/2006   01/22/2006 - 01/29/2006   01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006   02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006   02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006   02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006   02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006   03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006   03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006   03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006   03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006   04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006   04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006   04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006   04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006   04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006   05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006   05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006   05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006   05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006   06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006   06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006   06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006   06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006   07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006   07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006   07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006   07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006   07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006   08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006   08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006   08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006   08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006   09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006   09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006   09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006   09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006   10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006   10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006   10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006   10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006   10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006   11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006   11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006   11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006   11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006   12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006   12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006   12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006   12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006   12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007   01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007   01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007   01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007   01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007   02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007   02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007   02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007   02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007   03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007   03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007   03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007   03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007   04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007   04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007   04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007   04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007   04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007   05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007   05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007   05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007   05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007   06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007   06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007   06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007   06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007   07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007   07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007   07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007   07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007   07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007   08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007   08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007   08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007   08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007   09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007   09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007   09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007   09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007   09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007   10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007   10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007   10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007   10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007 Main Page
Donna's Music, Poetry, Acting Resume, and More ...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?