June 23rd, 2009


Ah ... SHOW BIZ ...

I was AFK all day yesterday, helping out the Lombardi Street folks with their Chicago auditions. This is a project started by my former boss at Simuality, and was the template on which we'd been basing the ill-fated "Planet's Best DJ" contest.

They've been getting some key production companies partnering with them over the past few weeks, but up to this point, pretty much everything has been "crowd sourced" with all the writers, techs, producers, and directors (many seasoned industry pros) coming out of the folks on the Lombardi Street site.

More pics available HERE.

The auditions where being held at the Act One acting school down on LaSalle, and the local coordinators weren't sure what equipment we'd have available to us, so I ended up schlepping down some of my stuff just in case it was needed, and was prepared to operate the cameras (which I did for the first hour or so), however, I was pretty much there to lend moral support and "hold space" for Antony who wasn't able to make it, being in South Africa for a family funeral.

Shooting on the "pilots" (there are going to be six 10-minute "episodes" introducing various characters / backstories / sub-plots) begins in August, and while the main characters will be cast by the first week in July, if you're interested, there are still TONS of secondary/side characters who need to get set, so get on over to http://lombardistreet.com and sign up!

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Another frick'n SCAM!

Over the weekend I got my resume out to dozens and dozens of job sites and boards and services, etc. And I'm now getting some responses, which vary from outright MLM pitches to things that at least sound legit. I had a call this morning from a "Bankers Life and Casualty Co." which was purporting to want to interview me tomorrow for an "executive position". I say "OK" and start to look them up on the web. Needless to say, it's never a good sign when the first few things I see on Google include the word "scam".

It's too bad to find that the company that funded the MacArthur Foundation has ended up like this.

Given the company's history (and it seems to be a part of a big insurance conglomerate) I'm very tempted to give them a chance, but there are red flags everywhere on this. The main HQ for the company is actually in my neighborhood, but I'm being asked to come to a small suite in a non-descript office building out in Des Plaines. The stuff I'm reading on-line talks about these high-pressure "group interviews" (that nobody is told is for a group until they get there), that once you're "hired" you have PAY for your training and then PAY for your state accreditation, and that the jobs involved are "boiler room" sales positions. And, to top it off, there is NO WAY to contact the company ... I just spent the better part of an hour between various phone numbers and web sites, NONE of which will let you get through without entering a policy number (or putting you name on a contact list for a sales call). The number I was given on the phone goes to an obvious "call center" and I got transferred to a full box. With all these factors, I can't see spending the time and/or money to put myself through what is very very likely to be a bogus interview.

It really pisses me off that folks try to take advantage of the desperation of the job seeker to hook them into what is clearly a scam. But, i guess there are enough people that fall for the "Nigerian Scam" that it shouldn't surprise me that that a lot of folks fall for these much more subtle (if less costly) sleazy hoaxes!

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