The last job I had was sort of rough. Like any other job in Los Angeles, I was working for a fella that had very specific, yet non-specific wants and needs. He had big plans for many productions when I joined the company, but in my nine months of working there, only one production materialized. I was told that I’d learn how to coordinate on the shoot, but because we didn’t hire a PA/runner (even though I’d had one waiting in the wings), those responsibilities fell to me.
Additionally, I was in charge of lunch. According to the call sheet, lunch was to be at 4pm. I was proud of myself for taking initiative, getting my shit done quickly, and leaving to pick up lunch early. This would give me more time than I’d originally scheduled. This was a good thing, because my boss insisted that rather than ordering from one restaurant, we order from two because he wanted a specific vegetable dish, which was kale. (In addition to salad. Regardless of the fact that the first restaurant we ordered from ALSO served kale. Kale and salad. Guess what we had extra vats of at the end of the day? Yes, kale.)
Anyway, I was stoked, because with the extra time I found for myself, I had more than enough time to set it all up prior to 4pm. Awesome. Way to go, Meredith!
My boss called me as I was parading 40 lbs of food all by my lonesome around downtown Santa Monica, to my parked car five blocks away from the restaurant. Because, by the way, we filmed on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Fun.
“Where are you?” he asked, “Everyone’s hungry.”
“….I’m downtown. Wait, it’s 3:20, I still have plenty of time to get back to the house and set everything up.”
“The scene wrapped early.”
OF COURSE IT DID. I felt pretty defeated. The one thing that I was responsible for, the one thing that I thought I was doing right in the face of adversity/kale, was fucked. Forty hungry actors and crew members were waiting on me and the kale. I wanted to cry, but instead I texted my best friend and drove up the PCH as fast as was legal.
She sent me back the following. It was a slew of texts that were exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time.
You are just fine. That shit happens, and this is a rodeo you haven’t been to many times before. Breathe. Be nice, but don’t apologize for anything you don’t have to. You are just fine.
While we may aspire to be as unconcerned with what people think of us as Tammie Brown:
It’s often just not realistic. We are only human, after all. We ‘Girls Who Like to Be Good’ can’t let ourselves be as white-knuckled as Shanel:
…as much as it might feel natural. As much as it might feel like the right thing to do. As important as being perfect might seem.
The best we can do is try to be like Alaska:
…and be GREAT at some things… And feel good about that, but not too good. And be TERRIBLE at other things and to be okay with that. Because, hey, whatever.
And to be sincere but not a doormat. Funny but not desperate for the approval of everybody. To apologize for nothing about the knock-knee man in a dress that we are on the inside.