Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Screeners Are Here

It's SAG screening time again. And the good folks at the Screen Actors Guild, my fellow thespians, are interested in my opinion on the top films of the day.

I am more than happy to give it to them. As well as my $108 a year for guild fees to keep my membership active. And to keep me eligible for SAG jobs I'll never get.

The fact is, I haven't been on an audition for at least 15 years. And when I did, it was only for voiceover work -- easily, the most overpaid job on the planet.

You may be saying, "Siegel, I never knew you were an actor."

And the truth is, I'm not. But years ago, I did the scratch tracks for spots we were presenting to ABC. The client became so enamored with my nasally, awful-though-comedic voice, they decided to stick with it.

In the industry, this is called "Demo Love".

Long story, thankfully shorter, I did the VO on many ABC promo spots in the late 90's. It was only later that I found out that residuals were not paid on media promo spots. So my daughter's college tuition windfall was more like a gentle summer breeze. Or the quick burst warm exhaust coming from the tail end of a Santa Monica bus.

Nevertheless, my voice was on several commercials. I got called back on several auditions. And I gained entry to that most exclusive club in Hollywood -- SAG.

Every year I get free movies. Well, not exactly free. But the math works heavily in my favor. This year for instance, I've received three DVDs, see above. And I've been given free rentals of three additional films on iTunes.

These are all freshly-minted movies playing in theaters.

As you might have guessed, I'm not all that fond of going to the theater. It's expensive. It's noisy. And I always find something repulsive on the seats -- people.

But for $108 I get to watch, from the comfort of my own home, Argo, Silver Linings, The Sessions, Hitchcock and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Of course, my wife and daughters are going to make me sit through Les Miserables, so that puts me just above the point of breaking even.

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