I’ve stumbled into the wonderful world of film! The day after my Music Breaking Barriers concert, Mom was clearing out her piled-up emails and noticed one about a film company called Lifesmartz. They make movies that help people improve their social skills, and they’d been holding auditions – the deadline was the date of my concert! My mom quickly sent out a query which included my TED-talk. The response: “We’ll accept a last-minute video audition.” We put together a clip of me reading from the script and, by the next day, we heard back: I was being offered the male lead!
This particular film – my first – is about financial responsibility and was shot on location at a couple of restaurants in the Denver area. My character, Jack, is regularly taken advantage of by a co-worker who pretends to forget his wallet when they go out to lunch. Jack has a good friend (my co-star, Jacqueline Gest) who listens well and gives good advice. Jack learns to stand up for himself and to negotiate the tricky interactions with a guy who seems very friendly, but is definitely using Jack.
The clever thing about these films is that various options for handling the problem are presented, and we also see possible consequences if Jack doesn’t set limits. The films are accompanied by a teaching curriculum, and there are “pause points” where group discussions can take place before various resolutions to Jack’s particular problem are offered on the video.
This first foray into filming has been terrific! It’s so different from being on stage, and I can bounce on my gymno-ball or lie down on a yoga mat during the frequent downtime that happens when camera angles and lights are being reset. And I like being able to do several takes of a scene without stressing about possible mistakes. I definitely want to do more of this – it’s right up my alley!