I'm a control freak choosing to work in a business where I'd guess about 90% of everything is out of my control and nothing is ever guaranteed. I am a crazy person. Last week, I auditioned for & booked a commercial in French. I know, pretty exciting stuff! The commercial was actually being shot in English and French but they hired different groups to do each. Though I wouldn't have any lines, I was going to be the "Hero Girl" prominently featured at the end of the commercial.
Shoot day, I go through hair, makeup, wardrobe, then sit around and wait. When I finally get to set, they put me and Hero Girl English in mics because it turns out they've added some lines. A very sweet deal that means I would be getting way more money than originally anticipated. They film everything in English and have us watch to make sure we repeat things exactly as we saw them. Then they switch. I take my position on the set. Microphone & makeup is checked. We are good to go!
That's when I hear it: "The client wants to switch them."
'Them' being myself & the other girl in the background.
So I went from being a featured player in a commercial to being in the background in the blink of an eye. After two takes, I was told they wouldn't need me anymore & wrapped for the day.
Yes, I will still get paid my due, but that doesn't make any of it feel less shitty. And to top it all off, I found out that this sort of thing is normal and happens all the time (!) in this business.
After having a chat with an actor friend, I decided to bring this incident up because I want other actors out there to know, it's generally not about your talent or your professionalism. If this, *insert deity here* forbid, were to ever happen to you, it's probably not even about you. It can very well be because they are four hours behind schedule and can save a shot by using the same set of hands in both commercials but yours aren't black and we're pretty sure the viewing public might notice a discrepancy.
Thems are the breaks.
In the meantime, just be happy you've got rent covered for another month.