Saturday, May 5, 2012

What's been going on?

I never intended to go two whole months without a blog post but that is what has happened. The urge to write has come to the forefront within the last couple days so I thought I would write about a few things we have been up to over the last couple months.

Since my last post was about my experience working on Grimm, I'll start this post off on that subject. It has been somewhat interesting over the last two months. I believe we have worked on Grimm six or seven times since February. On some days we have only spent a few hours on set while others have been much longer. Sometimes we have been used quite a bit while other times we have not. On one occasion we were on set for eight hours and were not used at all. The crazy thing is we get paid the same regardless of how much we are used. The first episodes that we worked on have just now started to air. So far, we haven't been on TV. We have been in the background for a particular scene or two but haven't come that close to making an appearance. We have a much better chance to be on TV starting with the episode that airs on Friday, May 4th. These are the scenes we are in with the stars of the show.  We just walk or kneel down next to them. We are playing the parts of police officers or crime scene investigators depending on the scene or episode. It just depends on what footage they use whether we'll be seen or not. Sometimes scenes are cut out altogether plus they often shoot the same scene from different angles. They also do not show extras that frequently from what I have noticed. When I watch the show I pay almost more attention to how they show extras versus the actual show.

Officer LaRowe on the set of Grimm
Grimm is on hiatus for a few more weeks before they start filming season two sometime in late May. The last time we worked on the show was in mid-April. If we are not busy with other projects I think we will both make ourselves available to work on the show next season. Overall, I have enjoyed working on Grimm. The work isn't all that glamorous. What I enjoy most is being behind the scenes and seeing what all goes into the production of an episode. It is also kind of neat to watch a show on TV with a little bit of knowledge of what occurs before it airs. Despite working on the show we often don't know how the episode will play out.  We're only aware of just how a few scenes in a hour long episode will go.

Officer Alethea & Greg - My jacket was way too big :-)
What else have we been up to? For starters we have started the volunteering season. Volunteering for us means working at beer festivals! We both have an interest in craft beers and enjoy being involved in the local beer scene. It is also been a good way to meet new people here in Portland. So far we have volunteered at the Spring Beer and Wine Fest and the Cheers for Belgian Beers Festival. The Spring Beer and Wine Fest was held at the Oregon Convention Center which is only a few miles from our apartment. It was a two day festival featuring mostly local food and drink selections. We visited the festival on the first day just to check things out and use our drink tickets since we were working the closing shift on the second day. During our shifts we mostly poured beer for four hours. Alethea and I didn't work at the same booth however. I actually worked at a booth that served beers owned by the conglomerate InBev (Stella Artois, Leffe, Shock Top, etc) while Alethea worked at a booth for a brewery called Good Life Brewing.  I was surprised at how busy I was and how many repeat customers I had considering Oregon is know for its craft beers. A lot of people commented they weren't big beer drinkers or were looking for something familiar instead of something they haven't had before. Alethea and I are the opposite. We go to the festivals to try things that we haven't had before or cannot easily purchase in stores.

I served beer next to this car at the Spring Beer & Wine Fest
The Cheers for Beers Festival was a little different. It was located at the Metalworks Fabrication facility in north Portland. The crowd differed for this festival. Most of the people were there because they enjoy Belgian Beers. Alethea worked the main check-in area while I poured six different types of beers at two work stations. I was pretty busy. The time flew by for me. We did get free t-shirts, a drink glass, a free meal we weren't expecting, several samples of Belgian beer, and we also got to meet some new people. Alethea wrote more about these two events on her blog (Spring Beer and Wine Fest and Cheers for Belgian Beers).

Server row @ Cheer for Belgian Beers
These two festivals are just the start of the season for us. I believe we are signed up for four more additional festivals between now and the end of July. I am also signed up to volunteer at Chris Guillebeau's World Domination Summit in July. I'll write more about that event at a later date. I don't plan on just volunteering at beer festivals this summer either. Alethea and I are both passionate about the environment and will hopefully line something up in that area as well. I actually signed up to volunteer at a tree planting event sponsored by REI but it coincided with the Cheers for Belgian Beers Festival. Beer won out over the trees on that day :-).

My initial workstation @ Cheers for Belgian Beers
It hasn't all been fun and games out here on the west coast. I have been more active in the job search process over the last few weeks. I will not go in to too much detail because I plan on writing more about the process for future posts. I will highlight where I am at and what I have been doing. I have started with the basics. I've re-written my resume and written some basic cover letters. I've actually never written cover letters before. I do think they are helpful and necessary. Alethea has been a big help in the editing department. I created several opportunities for her to use her grammar editing skills :-).

The job search itself is going pretty slow which is kinda of what I expected. It has been awhile since I have actively looked for a job. I think it takes a little time to get in the right frame of mine which I think I am now in. Although a little frustrated I am still pretty positive and hopeful. I have been submitting applications and resumes. I am starting to lay networking foundations. I attended a networking event earlier this week. It was targeted more for people working in or promoting green business. I am interested in this industry but this isn't something I am necessarily looking for at this time. It was still nice to attend an event where I introduce myself and mingle with complete strangers in a city that I recently moved to. Ultimately, I think networking of some type is how I will find a job.  That is pretty much all on the job front for now.

Little surprised to see this truck in Portland. Thought I was back in  Tennessee for a minute :-)
That is all for this post. The goal was to highlight some of the things we have been up to over the last few weeks. I promise I don't plan on going another two months without posting. My challenge is getting started. I think I'll set aside some dedicated time to write on regular basis. I aim to post at least every two weeks. This sounds like a pretty good pace to me. Hope everyone is doing well!