I picked it, because, you see, I just got the biggest hosing I've ever gotten by anyone in the entertainment industry. What make this hosing on the larger side is that it was by someone with whom I worked before, who, I thought would never lie to me or leave me hanging in anyway.
Usually when I have similar stories, there's a long explanation to fully describe why it's so bad. This one is actually very simple. Almost three weeks ago, this person, a producer, offered me a role in his film (a paid role, too) that I accepted and thanked him for. He told me it would be filming one of three days last week and that he would get back to me with the exact schedule.
He never did. I wondered if something horrible happened in his life because I couldn't believe that he would have me hold my schedule, prepare for a role and then leave me hanging unless he had some really good excuse. Whatever happened, I assumed that filming must have been postponed.
It wasn't. I saw on his myspace pages that filming went on last week and that a certain horror star did the part that he had offered me.
Now, I still thought that this producer wasn't a bad guy -- but he did just do something crappy to me. So, on Monday, I sent him an email telling him I was hurt and angry that he never told me he didn't need me and that he went ahead and filmed with someone else without letting me know. (This was a short and contained email - not something scary emotional that would make someone afraid of me.) To be honest, I could have forgiven him for replacing me with a star -- if he told me about it right away. (It would have been a wee bit sh*tty to offer me a part and then take it away but I would have understood the reasons for it if this was someone who could sell the film.) What hurt was the blatant disrespect for me that he didn't feel like he had to tell me.
On top of everything, I truly believed that after sending him this email that he would call or email me to profusely apologize. I still believed that he was good and responsible enough to do that. It would have been a little too late, BUT, it would have been some saving grace for him.
OK, it's now been four full days since I sent the email. Even giving the benefit of the doubt that maybe he didn't get the email, you'd think that he would call and apologize to me anyway. After all, he must have noticed that, well, um, he didn't get back to me.
This was never an misunderstanding on my part. This producer sent me an email offering me the part and I called him to verify the information and accept the role. During the following week I sent him two follow up emails thanking him again for the role in this film. Finally, a week later, I left him a phone message because I had heard nothing from him and the filming dates were very close. He sent me one short email the following morning:
"My apologies. I will contact you soon."
But he didn't. If something had changed you would have thought he would say it right there and not keep me guessing. So, knowing him, and knowing that he simply would not screw me over, I kept my faith that I would hear from him and that I should keep preparing for the shoot.
What a dope I was. I now even think that he was trying to get the horror star for "my "role all along. He even told me when I called him that he had a few horror stars in this film and that he was trying to get this other woman for a part that would be written in for her. I actually thought to myself, hmmm, since my part was written for a woman in her 40s, that she would probably be better for it. Duh. She was. I was just the back up.
The stupid thing about it is how people make things worse for themselves by either lying or just simply failing to communicate. If he had asked me to be the back up I would have said yes (unless another paying job came through for sure, which was unlikely). Even if my suspicion isn't true, and things really did change in ways he hadn't expected, he could have made it all better by simply giving me a call.
I'm actually quite forgiving of people messing up. What I have a very hard time with, is people not taking responsibility, for disrespecting my time and effort, and for not being up front with me. What he did was cause me to not pursue other opportunities while also making me think I would have another $350 coming in this month. The money is the least of it, but still, he made me believe that I would be earning this check, which I really, really, really could have used. And heck, I was excited that I could tell my brother that I would be acting in a few scenes with an actor who was in the original Halloween.
That is why, as both an actor and a filmmaker, I am always up front with people about what my schedule is and what my intentions are. If I don't know something, I'm clear about it. If I can't promise something, I don't. And, if something changes along the way, my first priority is to let them know. I suppose I'm like this to a fault, because I probably have lost a few opportunities to people who promised everything. And often the manipulators (like I suppose this producer was, even though I admit I still have a hard time thinking of him that way) are the ones who cash in on the opportunities I have lost.
So, I'm not sure how my honesty is working for me so far. But I'll stick with it.