Behind the Scenes: An Actor’s Reflections on Netflix’s Luckiest Girl Alive Film Set
**Don’t read if you’re not down with cursing.**
Back in the summer of 2021 I booked a dayplayer role on the Netflix film Luckiest Girl Alive. I had to portray a really confident cunt of a journalist and that day I felt like a doughy(We were deep into Covid and I was deep into giving zero f*cks about dieting), doubtful mess of an imposter who was going to trip over her own feet and faceplant into the sidewalk on fifth avenue. Often my therapy is writing and before the shoot I gave it a go. Feelings have to go somewhere, right?
So this is what I wrote.
**(August 2021) I’m in New York for a shoot and I’m sitting here with ALL OF THESE FEELINGS. They exhaust me. There are just so damn many and they conflict, flounder, flip-flop, swing madly and how the hell have I not mentally imploded already?
Maybe I actually have and this is the resulting literary purge of all the brain space that I have left. Well, my plan is to keep trudging through and try to get to the other side. There’s no mop or map so this will no doubt get messy.
I am grateful. Then I am blah. Then I am just f*ck it. Then I am excited. Then I am a heap of doubt.
Why am I not more elated? Why didn’t I lose some weight? Why am I tired? Is this what I want to do? Why do I have to wear heels?
WHAT THE F*CK?
I’m not looking for advice. I know about meditation, therapy, exercise, journaling and most of the other “remedies” for the infinite cosmic mess of thoughts we process on a moment by moment basis.
I existed in a space of six years when the jobs didn’t come. In that time I worked at a law firm(shockingly, it didn’t go well), I wrote two feature length screenplays, I wrote and directed my first film, I worked on a few independent films as an assistant director, I started a business for actors with the goal to create everything I wish I had as an actor back when I took the leap and didn’t know a soul in this industry.
I tried to fill that space with as many ways as I could to stay connected to acting. To stay connected to creating. It wasn’t easy. I cried a lot. Who am I kidding, I still cry a lot. Life is insane and beautiful then back again. It’s a whirlwind of tears, smiles, eye crinkling laughs, yawns and hopefully many O-faces, too.
Anyway, back to the beginning…I’m working on a film shooting in NYC this weekend. I’m beating myself up thinking how joyful I imagine I would have been in this same scenario ten years ago. Why am I comparing myself to the person I was ten years ago? I want to relax into myself and accept all of these thoughts, accept how my body looks and be at peace with how I am.
I want to discover how to be at peace amidst the disarray that exists in my mind.
What if it isn’t disarray? What if that is exactly how it is supposed to be? What if I finally fully embrace how I feel and who I am on a day to day basis instead of thinking I need to be more focused, more organized, more happy, more decisive, more productive and more energetic with a bum that doesn’t bounce when I walk?
Still with me?
If you ever feel lost with where you’re at…you’re not alone. If your thoughts are overwhelming and exhausting sometimes…you’re not alone. If you ever feel wretched because you think you should be more grateful or more happy….you are not alone. If you ever feel shame about how you look…you are not alone. If you doubt yourself…you are not alone. If your butt gives you a round of applause when you run up the stairs without pants…you are indeed not alone. If your creative pursuits sometimes feel like chipping away at a glacier with a toothpick…you are not alone.
No matter what you are feeling, I hope you still show up.
I hope you decide to set your shoulders back, hold your head up and show up exactly as you are. I hope you are brave enough to create, too. Maybe those are our superpowers. Showing up exactly how we are and creating. I’m practicing lines, laying out my Spanx and praying to the universe that I don’t wipe out on the first take in those damn heels wardrobe picked out for me.
I’m a little scared.
I tell myself that means this matters to me. I’m still showing up.
Something I’ve had to learn to accept is that wherever I go, there I am. There isn’t a “fix” to make this all easier or a certain number of mountains you have to climb before it all is “smooth sailing”. That woman I was ten years ago, she helped get me to NYC today. She helped me achieve so many goals. She didn’t give up. Wherever you are in your journey, please know I’m rooting for you and shouting at you to put down the whip and pick up the feather. I always appreciate when that reminder comes my way.
I’ve had four bookings this year. That is an accomplishment and a huge part of me is really f*cking proud. It’s not easy to persevere sometimes. I love sharing my experiences, any insight I’ve garnered and helping other actors stay connected to creating. These social media platforms can be rough. It can difficult to see so many picture perfect curated lives that are always so #blessed.
I’m down here in the ring with you.
I’m doing the best I can and sometimes it’s a great success and sometimes it’s a shit-show. I just wanted to let you know that and a part of me wants to know that I’m not alone, too.
I hope I’ll have a good story to share with you from set, but if all I’ve got is “I rocked those heels” I hope that’ll be good enough, too.**
The film is number one on Netflix this week and I feel really proud to have been a part of it. I hope you pursue your art today. I hope you still show up for yourself even if you feel sad or unsure. I’m rooting for you.
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