June 18, 2016

Day Two

It's been hard to sit down and write this self-centered post after hearing about the very sad situation in Orlando this week. Writing it seems so very frivolous, next to all the pain that has affected so many people in the wake of the shootings. My heart and love goes out to all the victims and their loved ones.

My heart goes out to all of us.

Day Two of the Shoot:

7am: We have an early start to the day. The night prior, before we parted, creative director, Lauren Sally, asked me what it was that I would like to discuss the next day that we hadn't already. Gosh...I thought for a minute, it was becoming hard to remember all that we had already talked about as Lauren had asked me questions, almost constantly, throughout the first day of filming- often repeating the same ones, reaching perhaps for new or deeper answers.

I finally said, "I would like to discuss the beauty of allowing ourselves to age naturally and the ebb and flow of a long marriage."

Scene 1: Cooking in the kitchen. While I have my hair and make-up done, Liz Caven, the production manager, measures all the ingredients into small bowls for the granola recipe that I am about to make on camera.

I emerge with a new hairdo, looking like the suburban housewife, that I am always trying to avoid being.

But I kind of like the new look.

After I make the granola and put it in to bake, I stand at the oven and Lauren interviews me in depth, for the second time. At the end she asks me what it is that I would like to say, that I haven't. What comes to mind first is how grateful I am to have been chosen for this project. That I've been writing Lines of Beauty for 6 years and am blown away that she found it and has basically asked me to tell my life's story. I thanked her for the acknowledgement. I am near tears at this point, probably with a visible quivering lip as well.

9am: As I am pulling myself together, suddenly the doorbell rings. I feel alarmed. Who the heck is at the door? Is it UPS? A neighbor? I feel as though we are all on this secret mission and have been caught.

It turns out that it is the two people from the food company, who are in charge of branding. They have flown in for the day, to keep an eye on things. Heading into this project they are one of the things that I was most worried about. Are they going to arrive in suits and be all corporate and controlling- and make me even more nervous?


They are in jeans, and seem laid back and friendly. They unpack the new product that we are launching, go out on the front porch and I almost forget that they are there.

Scene 2: Product planting. The product is placed on my kitchen counter, in the background. I've never tried a nutritional drink because I've always assumed that they are disgusting- things that elderly people drink, that are full of crap. This one however is a cleaned-up version with lots of vitamins and minerals. I take a sip and it reminds me of chocolate milk. I like it so much that I drink the whole thing and stick another one in the fridge so that I can try the next one chilled.

Scene 3: Lauren then announces that its time to blog.


I am shocked, as this scene was not on the agenda that they had sent and my office is very messy and has not been cleaned. I'm temporarily horrified, but they push away all the tax papers and mess, and in an instant, we carry on.

Lauren asks me to pull up a few of my favorite posts. I draw a total blank, as I am so caught off guard, but decide to write into the blog's search box  the word "mom" and then the word "fitness". I find a few of my favorite posts. I get through reading the fitness post, which is about a very inspirational 92-year-old swimmer who I met, but when it comes to reading the post about my mom, which is about how much older people need to be touched, it takes every ounce of me to not ball. I pause and look down at Lauren, who is seated on the floor off to the right of my desk, but out of the way of the cameras. Her eyes are filled with tears too.

I take an even deeper breath- it feels like reality TV but it is all so real.

Scene 4: All 9 of us get into several cars and head to film a walking scene, where we meet up with my friend Brenda, who is a women's entrepreneurial coach. I bring along another friend's rescue dog and we walk around a reservoir, with microphones hidden on us. Prompted by Lauren, we discuss the importance of having close friendships. We also discuss where in life we stop ourselves from doing things, out of fear. We discuss many different subjects, which all seem a blur to me at this point. One thing I do know is that much of this scene is shot by the cameras at a distance, and Brenda and I almost forget that they are there. We almost forget, only until Lauren yells, "Turn around and come back this way!" or when she shouts out another question for us to answer.

Scene 5  1:30pm: No time for lunch- our next shoot is at an outdoor community pool. I am so glad that I put "the product" in a cooler and brought it along so that I can infuse myself with strength before they ask me to swim two lengths of butterfly at a time, over and over again. They have no idea how hard this is for a 55-year-old to do. I pretend however that I am temporarily 15 and manage through it, without my wheels falling off- thanks to the nutritional drink. They film me under water again here, as well as put a harness on me, where they connect a go-pro camera to my chest.

What the?

I am as happy as a dolphin.

3:00pm: We finally break at the pool for another take-out lunch.

Scene 6: Back at the house we shoot the scene, that will be the lead up to the run, that we shot out in Concord the day before. I come down from the second floor, stop at the bottom to put on my sneakers and tie them, do some stretches and then run out the front door. You'd think that this would be a quick scene to film but to get the camera angle right and not have me fumble when I tie my laces, requires many retakes, which I am very happy to do.

I know that we are about to conclude another eleven hour day and that soon everyone will be packed up and that I will be sad to see them go.

Before they leave, Lauren takes time to show me some footage of the the last two days.

It looks really good.

I suddenly feel like I am about to say good-bye to my new summer camp friends, whom I don't want to leave.

I  walk out into the drive-way, hug them, thank them and bid them farewell.

I suddenly feel as I kind of did back in 1988, after our wedding was over.

So sad to have the festivities end.

So I head-out and celebrate with Brenda for dinner, which begins with a very large, extra-dry martini and many olives.:-)

Next week's post-

The things that I haven't yet been able to divulge :-)