Saturday, November 08, 2008

Make It Work

Today's title refers to Tim Gunn's signature saying on the reality show Project Runway. Tim looks over aspiring fashion designers' creations in various states of readiness and says, "make it work." What a great catchall statement. One can convey a variety of sentiments ranging from heartfelt encouragement to implied catty disapproval with this one phrase.

My television and film career thus far has consisted of only a few spoken lines and many extra/background roles. Adding a few more "extra" credits to my acting résumé last week, I pretended to be a college student for a Westwood College commercial and played a concerned constituent at a Dillon city council meeting for Friday Night Lights. I made some money while making it work.

This week, I was back on the Friday Night Lights set as an "upscale booster club mom". I donned my multi-strand fake pearls and tweed blazer with straightened coif to give the impression of an upscale mom. The wardrobe lady didn't like my tweed blazer, and while rifling through the other clothes I brought, plucked out a royal blue velvet blazer, aqua v-neck sweater and said, "I'm loving the blues. Make it work." She then sent me to change clothes. The pants I brought were too big and hung low on my hip bones. I wiggled out of them without even unzipping or unbuttoning them. So I tried a skirt I bought this summer. The skirt fit better, but was a little loose. I guess I made it work, meaning that my outfit looked okay, but this situation has driven home the point that it's time for another closet clean-out and another list of need-to-buy wardrobe staples as my body shape changes to a healthier size. Make it work.

Yesterday was a long, sweaty day on the FNL set. We shot a pep-rally scene in a school gym and then a hotel lobby scene as if we had traveled to an away football game. I spotted lots of FNL principal cast members, but am no longer giggly with starry-eyed fan feelings. They're just like the popular kids at school to me now. I like some of them, and don't particularly like others, but I respect their position in the pecking order. I was so glad when my scenes finally wrapped yesterday to come home and have a shower after wearing my sweater and velvet blazer outside in the 80-degree Texas weather. I heard a rumor that filming of FNL will move to Canada next year, which contradicts an earlier rumor I heard that this will be the last season of the show. I have no idea what the truth is, but think it would be odd to film a show revolving around landlocked, dusty, small-town Texas football in the chilly, scenic coastal city of Vancouver. Make it work.

I'm tired of being an extra. In stage shows, I am accustomed to playing larger parts with spoken lines and, well, some real acting. Walking back and forth through scenes without looking at the camera isn't really acting. And while I've never been an enthusiastic sports fan, pretending to be all cheery and peppy at the fake football pep rally yesterday wasn't really acting either. I'm having trouble right now making this work, this acting career that doesn't include much real acting.