August 23, 2013
Learning lessons along the way…
I’m an actor and a few months ago I was shooting a short film. It was a rough schedule – in two days we worked a total of 38 hours! Yep, 20 hours the first day and 18 the second day. I learned the hard way a few years ago when I started acting that when working on independent low budget projects you can’t expect they will always provide healthy meals or snack options. I usually bring a bunch of healthy snacks with me in case I get hungry to avoid craft service which is usually bagels and cookies!
Getting back to this short film I worked on – I found myself in a bit of a pickle. They ordered lunch without asking anyone about their food restrictions. This is not the norm especially in today’s world where almost everyone has some food allergy, restriction or preference! So, here we are at someone’s house and the caterer comes in, droPs off sandwiches and potato salad and off they go. I was very excited because I was absolutely starving and a veggie sandwich sounded perfect to me! I was even going to eat it on white bread just not be too much of a diva.
We break for lunch and I slowly realize that the entire sandwich platter was meat. You can imagine the horror on my face and in my belly. How disappointing! How could a whole team of people not have thought to ask anyone if they could eat meat?
I was really baffled by this and didnt know what to do. I considered asking the director if someone could drive me to get my own lunch, but this was an “eat fast and get back to work” lunch because we were so far behind schedule.
I decided to eat the Lara bar and apple in my bag and planned on requesting veggie sandwiches the following day. A few people saw me eating my apple and felt terrible after I explained why. I felt really disappointed in the crew for not meeting my expectations. I learned if other people aren’t thinking of my food restrictions I need to be. I thought about this the whole way home that night (starving!) and realized I can’t trust other people to take care of my needs the way I trust myself to. I could have emailed the director a week before to make sure he was aware, but I just trusted there would be options for vegetarians. Lesson learned…