The other day, I finally watched one of the last film projects* I had worked on before Maternity Leave (which turned into being a stay-at-home parent). It was bittersweet, bitter because the movie was the equivalent of diet cookies (yes ladies, tell yourself it tastes just like the real thing and keep shoveling those lies down) and sweet because it took me back to a time of being naive (sometimes ignorance is bliss).
I had a thought that in some ways my experience working within the television and film industry prepared me for motherhood.
Running on little sleep - Projects are a lot of work and start way before production begins. Planning, scheduling, casting, building, costumes, shooting, editing, re-shooting, scoring, marketing and distributing are just some of the process before, during and after. Long hours for the many people involved so one person cannot let a bad night ruin a working day.
Reset & first positions - Working as a continuity supervisor and production assistant I did a lot of placing objects, furniture and people back into their starting positions during each take. Every evening I collect all of Peaches’ toys, books, debris and put them back in their “homes”. Everything should have a home.
Freelance worries - Being self employed is constantly chasing the next job while trying to focus on the job at hand. Yes, you can seemingly set your own hours and take holiday time whenever.** It is a consistent juggling of chasing, planning, preparing, researching, paying, collecting and worrying. So is parenthood - except your work is alive and you get in legal trouble if something goes awry. Trying to be freelance and a SAHM is the fun I get up to now! YAY!
Patience - With so many people involved in projects, you may spend a lot of time waiting before continuing with the next step. Awaiting decisions from directors, producers, casting directors, talent, writers, designers, and the millions of decisions that go into productions. A little patience goes a long way, especially with the long gruelling hours you and everyone else are putting in. Everyone is trying to do their best, do not let your lack of self-esteem come out as a twat. The world does not centre around you, Peaches! I mean, production people. Cue nervous laughter.
Repetitive - Oh boy! Working in casting I found a lot of my days had repetitive actions, which I weirdly found huge comfort in. A boost to do my best which each actress/actor. I find that same kind of comfort in the schedules I set up for my little one. Oh, what’s that, she has decided to completely change everything as soon as we find our pace? Perfect.
Little big egos - This can be found in any industry, on any playground and asleep in Peaches’ cot. Everyone has their things and that can get in the way of treating others with equal respect. Heck! I get it whenever my husband asks, “how my day was?” But that stems from my fear of being invisible and ignored…
..by Jove I think I am on to something!
Pfft, just kidding.
*The name of the crappy movie will not be mentioned, as so many people put a lot of hard work into it (and I do not want to ostracize myself from future project opportunities). This post is not about berating the film industry for still pumping out manic pixie fixed by emotionally withdrawn man drivel.
**TIP: Do not book your vacation time when schools are not in session - you are more likely to be needed then (lesson learned hard way).
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.