An Acting Gig During COVID-19
I got a call from a director I recently worked with--she offered me a day rate gig to be featured in a series of introductory training videos for an online university course.
F**k yeah! Do you know how much purpose and inspiration I get from any opportunity to work? I don't think I even knew the answer myself before this COVID quarantine began. Sure, staying sane and healthy at this time is a full time job in itself. Navigating the grocery stores (our favorite clerk at Ralph's told us he's barely holding on today), the news waves, and all the opinions and emotions in our feeds... it seems like it would be enough work. But in the midst of so much quiet time at home and efforts to self-motivate, I never felt more ready to get to work in any capacity.
There's something about being given a job to do and having the tools to do it, that puts a real pep in my step. It was uniquely set up and orchestrated, but it went over as smooth as any other gig I've done on a lot or in a studio.
It was like everything fell into place: we had an empty bedroom full of film equipment. We had an actor and a camera operator. When I explained to the director that Bae is a filmmaker, her team seemed just as stoked as me, and they hired us both.
Come 9am, a gloved, masked director of photography drove to our place and handed off some (sterile) equipment, which Shane helped set up in under an hour, in a room he had pre-set to dampen sound and natural light, with rugs, blankets, towels, and yoga mats. In the days before, I had worked out my outfit choices with the director/producer and received four lengthy monologues to read off a teleprompter. I was playing a manager for a team of engineers in a renewable energy company. Seems appropriate--I've always been naturally bossy anyway.
The director Facetimed us, went on mute for the scenes, and gave Shane and I both direction through four scripts that we filmed against a plain grey background and a green screen. Lunch was catered--we haven't eaten anything but groceries for a while so the lack of dishes was nice. We also fit in a bit of ad copy for the production company, and an audition for another potential gig--directed by yet another producer looking to pitch me to a client (shows how quickly your network grows when you show up prepared and leave a good impression). What a joy, and relief to play 'someone else' for a day, to smile through someone else's writing, and to just feel helpful. What a kindness to be thought of at a time like this, and what a delight to know that not only is there work out there for me, but there is mutual work for Shane and I both. I've been pretty much on a cloud ever since.
Will it last forever? No, but it was the reminder I needed to stay in touch with all my passions, it reminded me of how truly lucky Shane and I are to be able to live and work together, and it kickstarted a habit of waking up a little earlier. :)
Stay safe out there kids!