Acting and Las Vegas

Regular readers may recall I mentioned the Ex-GF was a wardrobe consultant in the movies for many years. Now that she’s decided to get out, she’s decided I should get in. After much badgering, I agreed to have headshots made last month. Thinking this was all a harmless hobby on her part, I let the Ex-GF submit me for a few roles while I went about my business (i.e., economic/statistical consulting).

A few days ago, it struck home that perhaps this hobby isn’t harmless after all. I got a callback. Yesterday afternoon I spent five hours running around in a cop uniform. (I had one line, but otherwise I’m background while a couple of detectives try to solve a 30 year old murder in one of those murder re-enactment type shows.)

Pay for such a thing is dismal, though there’s a lot of food available, some of it good. (This is because the cast also eat that food…. the actors are merely an excuse to have the production company pay for the meals of those who decide what food is going to be bought.) And I knew it was dismal going in. So why do it?

In my opinion, the callback was simply dumb luck and I don’t expect it to happen again. (FWIW, I have a lousy voice, and it sounds lousier when reproduced electronically. I guess I’d be OK as the nerdy buddy, the professor, or the accountant.) So I figured – let’s see what its like. A friend of mine, also a non-actor, played a zombie in a low budget movie for the same reason. I was at the set from mid-afternoon to night. My friend the zombie was at his set all weekend.

So… this was entertainment. Which leads to a thought I had in Vegas about ten years ago. Everyone knows the house wins in the end. But people sit with their cups full of quarters, or stand around the roulette or blackjack tables for hours. Why? Well… I think “for hours” is the key part of the sentence. If they take your money away over a period of 4 hours, in a nice setting, with free drinks, its entertainment. If they take it away in 5 minutes, its a mugging. People go back to Vegas because they don’t feel they’re getting mugged.