perspective is everything
During my time as an actress, I was lucky enough to work on many films and TV shows. And though I've been on every studio lot in LA County, bar none, Paramount will always hold a special place in my heart. There is such an old Hollywood energy there, and every time I stepped on set, I felt connected to that ineffable glamour of cinematic magic.
One night I was working on a TV show there, I can't even recall the name because it only lasted a season or two. As primer, I should point out, that whenever you watch a night scene, chances are, that scene was shot from sunset to dawn, making it a very long and most likely, very cold night.
The scene was summer in New York, so all the ladies were in skimpy little sun dresses, except it was actually winter in LA and we'd been filming for hours. Between takes we would huddle together, a bunch of complete strangers employing body heat as a means of survival. It's pretty inspiring how you can become so close to people you hardly know when you're freezing your ass off, exhausted and basically trapped.
After a while we all started to play roles within our roles. Some one us, including me, became helpless damsels, so cold and tired that the others (the men) took on the more protective roles; bringing us hot tea, hugging us into their warm chests and giving us mini pep-talks between takes. I often joke that real acting is pretending you're not cold when you're freezing or you're not fatigued when you're exhausted, all the while wearing a tight wig and really uncomfortable heels for hours on end.
As the night went on, the temperatures got lower and our group got smaller as certain people were "wrapped" or told they could go home. It was rounding 5 or 6am and there was only a hand full of us left, huddled together and pale from both the cold and exhaustion as the sun slowly began to make its appearance. We'd all become pretty good freinds by then and bonded over our collective predicament.
"That's a wrap!" I heard someone yell in the distance and we all looked at each other with relief. "I can't believe I still have to get into my car and drive home." I said the words out loud to no one in particular. A girl curled-up in the corner, very matter-of-factly said, "I can't believe I still have to take two busses to get home."
I was mortified and felt like such a brat in that moment and apologized profusely for my insensitive remark. She just laughed and said I was being silly.
That moment has stuck with me, it's been over ten years and I still think about it sometimes. Perspective is everything to me, and at the end of the day, no matter how bad things might seem at times, there is always an abundance of things to be grateful for.