I’m on Day 3 of shooting a web series that was won a local grant to shoot 5 episodes. It’s a really great part and I will tell you more about it later. It’s a fantastic experience for me but alas we are all working for free because it costs $10K to shoot one 8 minute episode – and pretty much all that money goes for equipment and food. I’m very tired but very happy to be working with such great talent and amazing crew. My last day will be tomorrow and then it’s back to real life.
I had the cold from hell last week! Literally I was stuffed in the head for 6 consecutive days so I’m thinking it was more like sinusitis. I was in bed for 2 days (though me and my kleenex box did a typing job Monday night, and took the kid to school), then I dragged myself to wardrobe call, got my eyebrows done and then to the doctor’s office. By that point I had acquired that same hacking, choking cough that robbed me of my mellifluous speaking voice and my voice was already down half an octave so my doctor told me I shouldn’t go to work. Oh, no, I proclaimed, you don’t get it. I am an actor who just booked her first gig of the year and I was going! I had already dosed my body with Dayquil, Nightquil, Tylenol Cold & Sinus, oil of oregano, saline in the nose, etc. I got the same antibiotic I used a couple weeks ago, dropped off my spit test at the lab and tried to get a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, I either had a fever or night sweats, and was up two times trying to dry off.
The shoot day went well. I think it was pretty obvious to everyone that I was sick (was it the dazed expression or the hacking cough that gave it away?) but the deep, congested voice gave my female cop a bad-ass edge. I truly felt about a step behind and the director was working very quickly and I made more mistakes than I usually do, but I got the job done and Bill even gave me an autographed picture for my kid. (Boo found out he narrated a Curious George movie he had been watching and thought that was exciting. Not the fact that mummy was in a movie. Nope.) I really wanted a selfie with him but I noticed that no one was taking pics and everyone had signed a confidentiality agreement, so I didn’t ask. I had so much fun though. I was home to read Boo a story and then I went to bed myself. Sure, I wish I had been PERFECT, sure I wish I hadn’t been doped up and sick, but I had such a wonderful day working. And my brows rocked.
I had gone to take my mum some beautiful roses last Thursday and spend a little time with her. She had a wheelchair sore so she was lying on her side in bed. I told her about my gig and she was so excited about it. So much so that she started to get quite agitated and started yelling and so I just sat quietly and waited for her to calm down. I could not find the remote to the TV (things are always disappearing in a home), so I just turned on the radio. I tried to get her singing to get her “unstuck” but it didn’t really work. I could not stay long and had to rush back to pick up my son, got stuck in traffic and hubby ended up going to get him at school. When I arrive, I give my son a steamed milk from Starbucks as I know sometimes he can be cranky pants after a long day at school. He takes one sip and announces he doesn’t like it and wants me to go home and bring him warm milk from home. I wanted to throttle him. I reminded him of all the starving children in Nepal with no homes. My prince was unmoved. I tell him instead that that is the last time I will ever buy him steamed milk from Starbucks and we all go home.
I’m not really crazy about Mother’s Day. With the exception of my first one, it’s all a bit much with overpriced menus and media ads for jewellery and such. It really has always been about my own mother but since she’s been in a home for almost 13 years, it’s a little bittersweet for me.
My son was excited to give me this fancily wrapped gift he brought home from school. I opened it up and it was a flower bouquet attached to a dragonfly. Also a lovely homemade card and bookmark. I oohed and aahed over it. It was wonderful!
This weekend we left to go the island to visit my inlaws as they had family over from Europe. I just missed my mum, but instead of feeling whatever I’m feeling over it or talking about it, I just don’t. My MIL understood and bless her heart for being the only person to understand how I felt.
I had a beautiful moment with my son. I told him how happy I was to be his mother and he told me that he picked me. I told him that the woman who gave birth to him wanted him to have a mummy and a daddy and she chose us to take care of him. He asked why I couldn’t have a baby out of my tummy. I said I tried but it was broken. He said, did you try everything? Yes, I did, but I’m so happy and lucky to be your mother.
Later I sent a text to his birthmother expressing my gratitude and wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day with her 2 sons. I wonder how she feels about it.
We all had a nice brunch, I looked fabulous and this week I will be working on appreciation and gratitude. And getting over this massive cold that I now possess.
My previous post (posted today) wasn’t really for Microblog Monday, but this is: I had a callback for a movie, which I nailed by the way and then I was put on the short list and then….nothing for over a week. I just let it go as I thought the project had already started. And then my agent called me – I booked it! Yay! And guess what – you know why I was so excited? Cause the director is W.illiam H. M.acy!!! I am a great fan of his and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with him.
Last week, we finally went to my mum’s storage unit to sort it out. And then again yesterday. Year after year, the rent would increase and now it’s close to $300 a month. Ridiculous, since I knew that what was in there was mainly junk. Yet because of how my mum packed 13 years ago (yes, it’s been that long) I knew I had to go through every box because she had just thrown things in there in a chaotic fashion. Her mind was not functioning right and it showed. She packed the mailbox, a rusty ironing board, cheap vases, dollar store Christmas decorations, brass goblets from Value Village, every piece of crap I ever made her in art class, every paperback book I had ever read, it just went on and on. We stayed about 2 1/2 hrs and got through many boxes but we had many more to go through and several suitcases. I pulled out photo albums and pictures and even some important documents. I found a copy of my grandfather’s deed of property from Barbados. It was sold to him for a dollar from a plantation owner. Lots of artwork, a lot of the stuff was mine from when I was obsessed with Peggy Hopper prints. I would stop and show my husband my old black and white headshots from my early days in acting, scripts and my high school diplomas. Even a cup I won for public speaking in grade 8! The puca shell necklace I used to wear was still hanging from it. I saw a black and white photo of my mum all dressed up, ala Grace Kelly, young and happy. In fact, there was dozens of headshots of her. There were many good memories but wading through all of chaotic and worthless junk my mum decided to move across country. It was both painful and heart wrenching. Carefully wrapped glasses and random mugs from her cupboard. Old address books with notes of significant things that happened to her. Divorce papers, small court papers involving a window installer, a copy of a ticket for careless driving. I had to decide what to keep and what to let go of. One more visit and we should be done and then I’ll call a junk hauler and get rid of most of it. I can’t keep it all. I don’t have the room, we live on the top floor of a house and our storage is a padlocked wooden garage outside.
Guilt; I hadn’t been there for her. I did not know she was displaying signs of mental confusion. The times I had visited her she was well versed on hiding her memory deficits. She wrote down everything, constantly made notes. But my mum was always making notes. My mum had been writing me notes since I was a kid. She was always squirreling things away for Christmas and the forgetting where things were. (Frig, I do that!) And by the time I found out she was having TIA’s (trans ischemic attacks (I was pressing her to move to Vancouver. I had accompanied her to neurologist’s appointments and she was still passing all the tests and he wasn’t telling me she had Alzheimer’s or dementia. No doctor took me aside and warned me.
Anger; my eldest sister and her family lived about 15 minutes away from her. It was obvious they didn’t do anything to help her. Box after box, suitcase after suitcase… it looked liked she just shovelled things in there. All well packed and papered, but so much worthless stuff. It costs thousands to ship. I opened a box of her music books, sheets, tapes, sheafs of papers with lyrics written down. I finally broke down and sobbed. My husband pulled me into his arms. Her music was everything to her. Everything. I could not just put it in the discard pile. I just couldn’t. She was an artist.
For most of my life, I thought I was nothing like her. I felt like I had been dropped into the wrong family. And yet, as I looked at a poster of a production she was in, the dozens of headshots, the music books, it was clear she was an artist. She had many art pieces, oil paintings, abstract pieces, and yes even my old framed Peggy Hopper prints. She had worked in a cereal factory for years and I know she was desperately unhappy. But when she sang, all decked out in sequins and rhinestones and the microphone in her hand, she came alive.
More boxes to go through, some furniture, and yes a piano. 7 years dealing with infertility, 5 years of Boo’s life and finally I have the strength to do this task.