bring on the rain & 12 hour days
This weekend (well Friday-Sunday) is going to be a first for me. In many ways. I am shooting a feature film called Fields of November with a director I’ve worked with in the past (one of the projects mentioned last week) and 1) I’m on camera 95% of the time or maybe even more if stuff ends up being a two-shot 2) it’s being shot on the RED camera (two actually) which I’ve been itching to work on and 3) it is all improvised. Now don’t get scared, there is a plot and a story structure and various dialogue sketches BUT it is mostly going to be us actors letting it rip on camera. I am both blissfully excited and a little bit nervous.
The most surprising thing is that I am not MORE nervous, or slightly terrified, by this proposition. I’m not. I am relaxed and jazzed up about it. Even though it’s going to rain like nobody’s business for the majority of the next three days. I feel that this is a watershed event (ooops, no pun intended). Both in the project design/potential and also for me as an artist. I trust the director, I place value in the professional cast and crew around me and most importantly I trust myself. As I’ve been given information about the story and the character, all these ideas have swirled around in my head. I know who she is and I feel safe playing her. I think about projects like Before Sunrise and Before Sunset or Mike Leigh’s work. Now while I know much is carefully crafted and delicately shaped, the work is fierce and honest and vital in its raw, improv-like form.
Mostly though, I simply feel this calm. A sense of rest before a big adventure, one that I cannot possible prepare for in any way. As much as I can get my costume additions together or buy some snacks (I’m tough on craft services because I have celiac disease) or go to bed earlier than usual the night before, I cannot really “get ready for the shoot.” It’s going to be what it’s going to be. I can only show up. I wish I could talk myself into viewing my life like this in other ways.
But I’ll take it where I can get it. It’s nice to not have the choice but to go with the flow. Because there is nothing else possible. And I idealistically and optimistically anticipate magic. Why not? What do I have to lose by hoping that it is absolutely inspired? And in any case, when I was talking to the lead male actor I said “when else do you get a chance to sit on a set with an amazing camera package and a brilliant crew and just go for it?!” It’s a gift, one that I plan on embracing fully. I’ll let you know how it goes next week. Cross your fingers and send some creative thoughts my way.
Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes all the difference.
– Virginia Satir
TWO CHARACTERS I LOVE: Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Tinkerbell from Peter Pan