Friday, June 10, 2011

The shoot

In spite of a series of monsoons training straight across the country from South Dakota through Chicago and Northern Indiana, all on a track parallel to Toledo, we were completely spared from the storms.

Anticipation of the violent weather caused some rejiggering of the shoot schedule, but everything seemed to dissipate once it got near Lake Erie. So we had pretty mild weather and got our outdoor and indoor shots accomplished on schedule.

In addition to mowing a lawn (or at least, two strips of lawn over and over and over) for the first time since I was 14, I got to do a little of the ol' acting thing. It's very odd. Dramatic acting has never been my strong suit. On stage, at least, I just don't seem to be able to bring it the way I should -- the emotion and authenticity and all that.

But for the camera I seem to do all right. Maybe because the camera requires less. I was doing the big climactic scene with my Alzheimer's patient mother, and we did a number of takes and I kept waiting for them to say, "more, more." I mean, I feel like we barely scratched the surface, but they were good with it. Great with it, actually.

So I don't know. Maybe it's the camera, maybe their standards are lower or maybe I'm getting better at this. "This" in this case being expressing relief, joy, sadness, fear, resignation and acceptance all at once.

I was definitely helped along by my intimate acquaintance with the subject matter, I suppose. And though there were some weird echos of my own personal experience, I kept it together just fine.

The storms did affect our travel back, in that our flight was canceled due to backups at O'Hare. I was very motivated to get our asses home last night, while the other actors kind of hemmed and hawed about staying another night and getting a ride up to Detroit the next day for a "maybe" flight back OR a day spent in the Detroit airport. I said screw that and got us a one-way rental car and we bombed it back to Chicago in four hours.

It's odd. I tend to take a lot of time for decisions that don't require an instant answer, but when I'm up against the wall, the right thing to do always feels incredibly clear to me. I've got to find a way to make that skill a little more portable to the everyday parts of my life.

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