Alun Clewe (alun_clewe) wrote,
Alun Clewe

Of Broken Glass and Liquid Nitrogen

Remember how I used to occasionally do those comparisons between my plans for the day and how the day actually went? Well, whether you do or not, I'm about to do another one.

Though before that I should mention something that happened yesterday. Or possibly the night before, and I only found out about it yesterday. But anyway, the point is that when I went out to my car yesterday to go somewhere I found that the rear drivers' side window had been smashed in. I don't know why. As far as I can tell, nothing was taken. This is annoying. So I tried to find a place that would fix it that night. This would have been a lot easier had it not been Sunday.

The first place I called quoted a price of about $170, but said they were booked that night and wouldn't be able to do it till tomorrow. The second place I called quoted a price of $129, but not only said they couldn't do it that night but assured me that nobody would do it that night, because the warehouse was closed. (Yes, they apparently meant to suggest that every window repair company in the area uses the same warehouse. I strongly suspect they were lying.) When I said I was going to keep calling, they asked if they could call back in ten or fifteen minutes to check in. The third place I managed to get through to also couldn't do it till the next day, but quoted a price of only $75. I called the second place back to let them know I'd be going with someone else, and was returned a barrage of questions that, combined with their earlier lying and hard-sell techniques, ensured that I have no desire to ever do any business with that company. (P&G Auto Glass, in case you're curious.)

Oh, I suppose it's also important background to add that I had an audition in Burbank this morning at 11:30 for a position as a science host. (I had also had an audition for a part in a movie for almost the same time, but managed to get that one rescheduled.) Now, the producers had some expectations about their desires for this role that the casting director seemed rather dubious could be fulfilled. In particular, the producers wanted someone who was the "Criss Angel of science", someone who had a degree in science and a strong science background but was "edgy", ideally with tattoos and/or piercings. Obviously, that is not me. But the casting director apparently had serious doubts that any such person existed, so she called me in anyway.

Oh... I should add, perhaps, that this is, I believe, the first audition I've gone to where I was specifically instructed not to bring a headshot. The producers didn't want an actor, you see; they just wanted a science specialist. The casting director had told them that this was L.A., and everyone was an actor, but still advised me to downplay my acting experience. (Despite this being L.A., there are, no doubt, plenty of people with science degrees here who are not actors. Those people, however, are very unlikely to be browsing listings for acting jobs...) I told the casting director that, if they weren't looking for actors, it might be worth my mentioning to her that the name I had submitted myself under for the part was my stage name, not my real name. Would this be important; should I give her my real name? But she assured me that at this stage, that wasn't important, and I might as well go ahead and use my stage name, their desire for a non-actor notwithstanding.

Regardless, I figured, given my, um, lack of "edginess", I had to do something at the audition to stand out. So I decided I'd bring in some liquid nitrogen, and show them a little demonstration with it, that would involve pouring some over my hand. I figured that would get their attention.

So, anyway, my plans for the day (times approximate):

Go to the glass repair shop, and get my car window fixed.

Stop by a chemical supply store and pick up some liquid nitrogen. (I couldn't do this earlier, because the liquid nitrogen would evaporate.)

Get to my audition

Stop by home, then go to the gym and work out.

Go to campus to check in with my research group

Get to my parents' house to put in flooring, refinish the kitchen cabinets, and help out with some other things they needed doing.

That is not what happened.

Here is what actually occurred (times, again, somewhat approximate):

Get to the glass repair shop... somewhat later than anticipated, for various reasons. Then, after they've cleaned up the broken glass and removed the panel from the door, find out I'd stupidly told them the wrong model year for my car, so they didn't have the right kind of window. At this point, after apologizing for the mistake (and before apologizing for the mistake again), I told them I had somewhere I had to be and that I'd be back around 1:00.

Leave the glass repair shop, in what I figured should still have been enough time. And, indeed, things seemed to be going well, until I took the Sunland exit from the freeway, and found that Sunland was completely blocked off for construction. I tried to find another way around, but I don't know Burbank that well, and the streets I figured would come around and reconnect later didn't. I keep a Thomas Guide in my car, but it's missing one page. This, of course, happened to be the page that Burbank was on. So... I ended up driving around Burbank for an hour trying to find where I was trying to get.

Yes, at this point I was still wandering around Burbank, but I realized that somehow, in trying to get to the chemical supply store, I had actually ended up at the site of the audition. This left me with a choice: I could either forget the liquid nitrogen and possibly make it to the audition on time, or at least not very late, or I could call and tell them I'd be late and resume my wandering to try to find the liquid nitrogen. I chose option B; I pulled over long enough to call the casting director and leave a message explaining that my car's rear window had been smashed in (which, while true, had very little to do with why I was late, but I figured that sounded better than saying I had been stymied by a blocked street and gotten lost), and then headed off along a route I hoped would take me to the chemical supply store.

Finally get to the chemical supply store, and buy the liquid nitrogen. It was a different guy at the desk this time, and I think he overcharged me a little, but I wasn't about to quibble over a few dollars.

Arrive back in the vicinity of the building where the audition was taking place. Drive around looking frantically for a parking space.

Finally make it to the audition. After filling out a form and waiting a little, I finally had the audition; the casting director and (a woman I assume was) one of the producers were present. Given the circumstances of my broken car window, the casting director seemed forgiving of my tardiness. The liquid nitrogen did indeed make an impression as I had hoped, although most of it had evaporated by the time of the audition so I was only able to pour it over my hand once (after, of course, a suitable buildup). The only real stumbling block came when the casting director asked about my name... this wouldn't have been a problem, except that she explicitly asked "So your parents gave you that name?" Which, of course, they hadn't, since it was my screen name. But I think I covered that about as well as I could without lying, explaining that no, actually, that was a name I'd chosen to use in performing, but I'd come up with it years ago long before I actually used it in that capacity. (Which, as it happens, is entirely true; I had chosen my stage name years before I started acting, anticipating that I might get into acting someday.) She then asked if I'd ever been on television. Fortunately (given the fact that she didn't want actors), she didn't ask about movies, because I've been in a dozen independent feature films... but I've done very little television. So I think it turned out okay, but we'll see how it goes. I mean, if some benoseringed Goth with a doctorate in chemistry shows up for an audition, he'll get the part, but I think I did well enough that I'll definitely be in consideration if they don't find the kind of semi-mythical "edgy scientist" the producers want.

Got back to the glass repair shop, so they could finish fixing the window.

Window done. Paid my bill and left.

Returned yet again to the glass repair shop, after realizing after I'd almost gotten back home that I'd left my bag in the waiting room.

Finally got home. Considered going to the gym. Probably should have, but didn't. All the other stuff I was going to do today? I guess I'll do it tomorrow.

So, yeah. Today, once again, did not go as planned.

Previewing this entry before posting, I note that I have been quite inconsistent about tense near the end, switching from present to past for no good reason. I feel like I probably should correct that, but I won't. Sorry.
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