Sunday, April 26, 2009

Volunteering for the San Francisco International Film Festival

IS SO MUCH FUN. I'm really glad I decided to do it. It's keeping me really busy this weekend, so I don't have to just sit here and think about how cool my new job at Cryptic is going to be tomorrow ;D

My first day was Friday, when I did two shifts at the Kabuki. First I was line wrangling, which was pretty easy. This nice lady was talking to me the whole time and this cheerful Australian guy kept bringing me water and programs to leaf through, etc. Very easy way to start off. The second shift that night was part line wrangling OUTside (much more exciting since there is more actual wrangling) and then devolved into taking ballots and seating the late show. 

Saturday I worked at a hall at the not-yet-open Disney Museum in the Presidio. Had a hell of a time getting there, but once I did it was great. I first helped other people figure out where to go and then go to bus tables. The coolest part was that one of the brothers who wrote a ton of songs for old Disney stuff (back when Walt was around) was there playing the piano and singing. Really classic stuff, and he was a classic showman, too. Very entertaining. Lots of the songs everyone knew, of course, so it was sort of heart-warming to have all these adult cinema patrons singing along to Winnie-the-Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, etc.

Bussing tables at a cocktail party is actually more complicated than you might think. You have to be sort of aggressive with some glasses that are half full or a plate with a crumb of cheese left if it looks like no one is around, but on the other hand, you don't want to take away a glass that someone is still working on, or saving for another round of the traveling wine. I love when you can walk up to someone right when they need you, like right as they put that last bite-sized cream pie in their mouth, so you can take their plate in one smooth motion and they thank you for being so attentive. So satisfying. I could definitely see myself doing more catering-type stuff. It's really fun to work schnazzy events. 

Incidentally, a tangent: I've meet at least two people who do this sort of thing for a living -- traveling around working different film festivals while freelance writing or maybe having one main gig (at Sundance, in the case of the Australian guy) and then loaning themselves out to other places. That is a lifestyle I would be very interested in. It's really eye-opening lately, the amount of jobs I'm seeing that I think I could be quite happy doing. 

Today I met a really cool lady at the Kabuki. We chatted a lot while working the will call table together. Will call is pretty fun, except when the tickets aren't in the box. Then customers get upset (understandably) and we have to call over a box office manager *sigh sigh*

Anyhow later on I will be at the Castro doing line wrangling or ushering or whatever they assign me ;D Looking forward to it. I'm gonna try to pick up some hours next Saturday morning, I think. This is really one of the coolest things I've done in the city (as I tweeted earlier) so I want to take advantage while it's around. (Not to mention that I'm going to get a free San Francisco Film Society membership :D) W00t!

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