A few weeks ago my husband took the week off work to be home with our daughter. He'd told his co-workers he was being a solo parent for the week because his wife was shooting a movie on the beach. That made it sound so much more glamorous than it was, but technically it was true. Our childcare provider was on vacation that week, so he stayed home, and I was in Seaside, OR filming.
Last year I was in a senior project film up at Western Washington University in Bellingham called BAILEY. It was co-directed by Penelope Kipps and Tristan Olson. Earlier this year, Penelope emailed me to offer me a role in her first post-college film--KELP. This would be unpaid, but she would reimburse me for gas, and there was an Airbnb for out of town cast and crew members to share, so we didn't have to pay for a hotel.
I've been focusing on on-camera work only for the last year or so and decided to accept this unpaid opportunity. Penelope (and Tristan) were enjoyable to work with and gave me good footage in a timely manner. For CCM (Copy, Credit, Meals) tier work, getting the copy of your work, which looks good, and arrives soon(ish) after filming is unfortunately rare.
This was the longest I'd ever been away from my daughter. We'd done a night apart before, but this was 4 nights away! I thought I would be aching with longing for her, but I was surprised to feel...free.
Of course, I absolutely loved getting to FaceTime with her and wished I was there to hug and kiss her, but the rest of the day, while I was working, I was pretty focused on what I was doing, and it felt good. There's part of me that feels like I should have felt bad about being away. Why was I so okay with not seeing her? Is it because she's 2 and in full tantrum mode? Is it because she's developed a habit of smearing her poop on the floor of her bedroom? Is it because being away from loved ones once in a while is OKAY?
The filming went pretty quickly. On the first day, we shot three scenes in the morning, then I was free the rest of the day. I had gotten an audition for a TV show that shoots in WA, scheduled for Tuesday, but wouldn't be in town for the audition. While I was bummed not to be able to go in person, they did accept self-tapes, and Penelope offered to film it, and one of the cast members offered to be my reader!
On Tuesday, we shot a beach scene, which I was NOT prepared for how cold it would be down there! It was June and pretty nice up in town. One of the extras offered me a thin sweater, which was lovely, but I still was pretty chilly. The wind was out of control too, so it's possible my hair will just be whipping in my face for that whole scene.
Wednesday I was off, so after my shots were done on Tuesday, I drove to Portland to stay with some family friends. It was nice to explore Portland by myself, and spend hours in Powells! Thursday we had one more scene (indoors this time!) and while it was a big group scene, it all went smoothly and I was able to hit the road.
Getting home was a rush of excitement and warmth--getting to see my husband and daughter flooded me with joy. I'm so grateful to have a supportive family, who allow me to take opportunities like this, which I hope will benefit my career. Though, it may be a while before I'm away from them for that long--hopefully, I can book some local on-camera work soon!