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Rewards Greater Than Money

Posted by Lane on August 2, 2011 at 3:54 PM

by Elspeth Grafton


We do things we need to for money.

We do things we want to for joy.

We do things challenging for those we love.

With luck, patience, and gratitude, rewards are greater than money



THAT encapsulates my time shooting in Regina.


When we last left our heroine, she was realistically optimistic about job prospects in and out of film. As is the way in this whacky industry, fortunes can turn as a result of one phone call.


Boy did my fortunes turn in ways I could never have anticipated.


Just days after ‘Patience and Gratitude’, my last blog, was posted, my phone rang. My name had been passed along to an Independent Feature being filmed in Regina. They needed someone quickly, the pay was crap but the crew was fabulous. Was I available?




See? Patience can be a virtue – having faith and asking the universe for what you want and getting it CAN happen! I might not have won the lottery or cured the ills of the world, but I asked and I received…


I literally had a day to sort out my life in Vancouver and get on a plane, my head spinning from the speed that things happened. Reading back on my personal journal I wrote while waiting for the first plane to board, I was so hesitant – the last 6 months leaving such a bad taste in my mouth – both for my own ability to do a job I love (silly, I know), and my ability to interact socially. I’d felt so invisible in Vancouver! I’d allowed that to happen, for numerous reasons.


Within an hour of touching down and heading into the Regina Production Office I met our fabulous director, and realized right quick that being invisible here was not going to be an option. Being able to shed that which I’d imposed on myself was liberating to say the least. I was an unknown entity in an unknown city, but far from invisible. I could be completely myself, warts and all, and not worry about what people thought. I had only committed to a 15 day shoot. They could take me or leave me. They probably got more of the real me than I’d allow to be shown on a regular show, just because I was so out of my element – working with people I didn’t know, in cities I didn’t know (is Moose Jaw considered a ‘city’ or a ‘town’?)


Getting hired on a show without a face to face interview with either the PM or Director is rare. It just adds to the ‘X-Factor’ of an out of town gig. It could have been a disaster. The director and I could have NOT gotten along. The cast could have been atrocious. It is a dark, dark script. It could have been an absolute nightmare. Instead, it turned out to be one of the best filming experiences of my life.


I asked and I received far more than ever expected.


I received so many personal and professional affirmations in the 28 days I was away from Vancouver – too many to put into this blog – but they’re being written about and explored. I don’t think that the people involved know what gifts they bestowed. I don’t know if I could even verbalize it accurately. If there was a reward for enduring the heinous six months previous, then I cashed it in – big time with this experience. I toss thanks up to the Universe for putting the opportunity in my way. I also give myself thanks for taking the risk, leaping into this experience without looking too hard at it, and trusting that the landing would be soft.


I think I broke even financially after the 4 weeks away. I don’t care. What I got out of it is far more important to me than a plumped up bank account. I got relationships – I got memories – I got to do a job I love, and do it well under adverse conditions. I got appreciation. I got a bit of respect too. I got to be me when I hadn’t felt like myself for a long, long time.


Regina will always hold a special place in my heart, for the riches it provided me – riches of landscape, riches of heart and riches of people. The city changed me. This filming experience changed me. The people I met changed me. I’m only better for it and for having them in my life.


We’ve now all scattered to different corners of the earth (literally), back to our regular lives. I’m resolved never to live an invisible life again, and to hold dear and nurture the friendships made.

Categories: Working Girl

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