Friday, January 8, 2010

Ms. Independent

Thursday was slow. The only real information to report was that I worked on the French script more - my coworker and I picked up on our banter from yesterday and we were only able to complete another 12 or so pages.

My tea routine has also started up again in full force. For whatever reason, I'm not sleeping well most nights - I think my body is thrown off from all the traveling. Either way, constant supplements of caffeine is necessary for me to complete most tasks. At work they have a water boiler, which I am dearly in love with. I'm sure they're common enough, but I've never seen one before. It's basically like a tea pot, but it's electric and could be used anywhere that has a power outlet. Any way, it boils water really quickly. I'm contemplating adding it to my wedding registry.

This morning I was busy working on the script for Zoom, which I was scheduled to host. An hour and a half into my web searching, I still had not come up with any stories. Desperate for help, I turned to some of the more seasoned hosts for ideas. Unfortunately, they, along with the other producers, were called into a meeting. It seems there is a habit of meetings being called on the mornings of days that I host Zoom. I wrote what I could, following the ideas they had suggested before they went into their meeting, and prayed it would be enough to fill my time slot.

By the time they were ready for me to record, the producers were still in their meeting. Typically before I film, I have one of them read over my script and have my supervisor, who is also the producer of Zoom, "okay" my outfit. I was behind on having both tasks done and started to feel the panic set it. Thankfully, the meeting wrapped before I decided whether or not I should interrupt and I was able to hand off my script. However, the real issue seemed to be what I was wearing.

I'm still figuring out the whole "on-camera" thing, which largely includes what you're supposed to wear. I had decided to wear one of my favorite dresses for today's Zoom and lovely though it may be, it was decided it was too "night" for TV. I had brought a sweater and skirt on the off chance I would need to use it, but had not expected to. I'm lucky I even thought to bring it.

I respect the decision of having me change outfits, but like any woman, my self-confidence took a little hit. The sweater I had brought wasn't ironed and I had to use my hair straightener to smooth out the wrinkles. So here I am in the bathroom, trying to pep up my spirits and ironing my sweater with a straightener, and I got a little lost in thought. Snapping back into reality a moment too late, I realized I had melted part of the sweater's collar. I looked at myself in the mirror and despite what I had expected myself to do, I laughed. You know, sometimes crappy things happen, but I was determined not to let them continue. For whatever reason, I tend to have my "growing" moments while getting ready for Zoom in the bathroom.

Thankfully, the melted portion wasn't visible with my hair down, so no loss there. I finished getting ready, took a deep breath, and went to the studio to film. The nerves were still there, despite this being my third time filming. I flubbed up my first few takes, but the cameraman was really cool and kept encouraging me that we'd take as many tries as necessary. Settling myself, I started up again with determination. The next take went well and I found my confidence coming back.

And then the cement truck showed up.

Salt + Light doesn't technically have the best facility for filming. The studio is up against a street and just recently construction started next door for a high-rise condominium. The studio isn't soundproof, so frequently filming has to stop due to an ambulance passing, people walking heavily on the floor above us, people in the office talking too loud, and so on - all of this gets picked up on the sound and messes up the take.

So you could see why having a cement truck park outside the studio, churning and beeping, could mess up our take. At first, I was a little frustrated because I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish filming in time. But I slowly began to realize that the truck was really a blessing in disguise. The noise it made happened randomly, so I was never really sure whether or not I was recording a final take. This really took off the pressure. Filming took longer than it should have, but I walked away feeling confident in my performance for the first time.

I busied myself the rest of the afternoon with the French script and tax receipts. Around 4:30, I was called in to watch the Zoom. It thought it looked pretty good - for the first time I didn't think I looked scared. If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch it here:

I decided I would go see a movie after work. I don't typically go see movies alone, but I've done it before and the prospect seemed better than going back to the convent and having nothing to do. There are a lot more movie theaters throughout the city than Houston has - I did a Google search of the area around my office and came up with eight - and that's only in a few blocks. I didn't understand why the need for so many theaters until I actually showed up at one near the convent. Apparently the rest of Toronto had decided to go see a movie as well.

I ended up going to see the New Moon - I know, how embarrassing. The movie wasn't as good as the book, but it was good to get out and do something. The movie finished up around 9:00 and I headed back to the convent. I tried waiting for the railcar, but after 15 minutes of standing on the corner while it was sleeting, I opted to walk. Stupid, Michelle.

The cold weather isn't too bad for the first couple of minutes you're outside. You kind of fake yourself into thinking you're warm enough to stay out longer than you probably should. As I started to walk home, I became colder and colder. I kept telling myself "one more block, one more block", even though I was still a ways off from home. When I finally did make it back to the convent, I was thoroughly frozen. The worst part about cold weather, is going back indoors after you've been outside for awhile. Everything that was cold burns and stings - so not fun.

As I warmed myelf up back in my room, I took account of the day. All in all, it was a pretty successful day, and more importantly, I was proud of myself for becoming a little bit more independent in this huge city. In light of my new found courage, I decided tonight that I will be doing one of those "Hop On, Hop Off" Tours tomorrow. I want to make sure I get a good look at Toronto before I head home, even if I have to do it by myself. I'm sure it'll be fun.

So, my goal this weekend is to stay busy. This is my last weekend in Toronto and I'll be heading back to Texas this Friday. I guess we'll see how fast things go.

Goodnight everyone,


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