Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My True Hollywood Story

I asked for the strength to trust.  I asked for the Universe to make it clear.  I asked for life to be better than I can imagine.  I got what I asked for.

Arriving on set Friday, I was led to my trailer - yes, my own trailer with my character name on the door, a full couch, microwave, TV, DVD player, refrigerator, vanity, and full bathroom with a shower.  As the AD closed the door, saying "I'll be back in a few minutes to take you to hair and makeup," I had a silent freak out, mouthing OH MY GOD and jumping up and down as quietly as possible, giggling uncontrollably.  I am here.  I am actually here.

I went to hair and makeup, meeting the awesome ladies there, talking and silently going over my sides while in the chair.  Then to rehearsal where I met the male lead and the director - somehow not feeling the butterflies I'd expected, somehow feeling calm and confident.  We set my marks & then it was lunch, touch-ups in hair & makeup, and getting into costume.  I took advantage of the floor space & full-length mirror in my trailer, practicing my lines & setting my own marks for the props I had to use, until I felt comfortable.  Then to set, where of course it's "hurry up and wait."  I sat in the director's chairs marked "cast" and made friends with everyone who came by.  I was just loving being there.

NOT where we were filming {source}

We started filming with the end of my scene.  I got two more lines.  After a couple takes, in the interim, the director came up to me and said (paraphrased):  "Can I be honest with you?"
Me (nervous, but smiling): "Please do."
     "You are the only person in this cast that I did not handpick.  You are the only wild card.  This is my life; making movies is my passion, and this is a good movie.  You're in a good movie, do you know that?"
     "Yes.  And I'm so happy to be here."
     "Well I've been watching you, and... you're talented.  You're doing good work.  So keep it up."
     "Thank you.  I will."  And then I fainted. 
No, just kidding.  But after the next take, I did, off-camera & away from everyone, do a silent little happy dance.  And I realized in that moment this is where I'm meant to be.  I can do this.  I'm good at this.  And I haven't felt that way in a long, long time.

We filmed all day.  I spent a lot of time talking to the other actors, the two leads, who were friendly and interesting and treated me completely as an equal.  By the time we got to the bulk of my lines, it was 1am and everyone was exhausted - no one had patience for the new girl, the "wild card" to mess around with multiple takes of the scene.  This was it - my trial by fire.  I had to hit it.  Without getting into too much technical detail, I was put into a relatively complicated setup involving multiple marks.  A few years ago, I might not've been able to handle it & they'd have had to do lots of takes or break the scene down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

The pressure was on.  I wasn't even nervous.  I hit all my marks, took my direction, and we only had to do 4 takes.  I killed it.  Drove home that night buzzing with adrenaline and unable to shake that feeling, that quiet, insistent voice in my head: this is what I've worked my whole life for.  This is what I should be doing.

 A film set, NOT our set.  {source}

Production had the weekend off.  I was back on set bright and early Monday morning, greeting everyone with a smile and getting smiles in return.  I walked on set for rehearsal and got a huge hug from the director.  During some of the plentiful downtime, chatting with the male lead, he suddenly turned to me and said, "you were really good on Friday.  Really good work.  It was remarked on multiple times by multiple people."  All I could choke out through my all-consuming smile was a shaky "thank you."

Later, I met one of the producers, who is the main reason I'm even in the film.  He insisted the set photographer get a picture of us together and we had a nice long chat.  He's the only one who knows I was planning to leave LA & he just looked at me and quietly said, "I hear you're doing a good job; I think you'd better stay."  At lunch, he and one of the other producers invited me to sit with them and told me they want to arrange a meeting for me with a big casting director; they want her to meet me.  I sputtered out, "that would be amazing, thank you."  Then the director sat down & asked me about myself.  I told him, we reminisced about the Southeast, and then he told me, very seriously, "I don't bother with untalented people.  You are talented.  And on top of that, you have a great attitude.  I want to keep in touch when this is over."  Is there a better complement in this town?  I don't think so.

Back on set, we filmed, I ran back and forth as my nervous secretary character, and lost a shoe at one point, which is my only chance at the blooper reel.  The director introduced me to a lot of the people on set and "psssss"d me over during filming to watch the monitor.  The film looks beautiful.

At the end of the day, the director gave me his contact information and a big hug, and I floated away thinking, if I had imagined this day, I would have giggled at myself because it's just too much good stuff to happen at once.  But it did happen.  And I was ready for it.

People say, "luck is when preparation meets opportunity."  I am at that intersection and I am infinitely lucky to be here.  All the years of classes and feeling like I was throwing money away have paid off in this moment.  Even if nothing else ever comes of it, I did this film and I did it well.  I have that to be proud of.

So, I might not be moving away just yet after all.  Maybe I just needed to realize that I don't need this in order to fully accept it.  Maybe I will stop planning and just see where this goes.  Los Angeles, you've made a hell of a convincing argument...

 L.A. on a great day.  {source}

Today I am just so dang happy and grateful.

xo! n.


  1. Congrats! Sounds like an awesome experience. I hope you continue to get opportunities like this!

  2. Sounds amazing and well-deserved!! xx

  3. I'm floored-I'm ecstatic for you! This is just one of many wonderful epilogues to come,in your life, to your brilliant monologue from SW1. The rest of the world will finally get to see what we already know. What a great story.
    I'm so proud of you goddammit!

  4. Wow...just Wow!
    Sometimes the Karma just comes your way.
    Love U

  5. CONGRATS, girl! This is amazing, and I'm so happy you're getting this great feedback about your talent and your attitude - keep that attitude in LA and you'll stand out, right? :) Can't wait to watch the rest of this unfold :)


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