Before Friends in Film, I was working late nights at a cocktail bar as a waitress. I was pursuing acting, I had a reel, but I was non-union and did not have legit representation or a manager. Commercials paid decent money, but not union rates, and what I really wanted to do was TV and film acting.
Even when you objectively make progress as an actor, it feels like you are in a standstill. Even though I was working so hard, I felt like a hamster on a wheel. And I didn’t like who I was becoming. Late nights at the cocktail bar made me sleep late, and then I felt like I didn’t have enough time in my day. Every waking moment was spent on my career, and I let my friends, my boyfriend, my family, and (in all honesty) my happiness fall to the wayside. And when fellow actors managed to find success, I felt worthless and jealous instead of happy for them. I felt selfish. I felt unhappy. I didn’t like myself anymore. And that seriously started to affect my craft.
After joining Friends and Film, EVERYTHING changed! I feel like I am part of a team again. I feel useful and like an important part of the production on set (as an actor, I felt rather useless sitting around all the time). I felt fulfilled and working in exciting new places with new people made me feel alive. In terms of acting, it allowed me to take a TON of pressure off my shoulders. I find that I can act with much greater ease.
I gained more confidence. I was GIVING more – I wanted to help other friends I made within the industry get work and succeed. I started to become ECSTATIC when friends made strides in their career. I became more supportive and felt like my generous, kind-hearted self again. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment with every improvement I made within my own career and gave myself more credit.
Now that I’ve secured my first long-term feature film project as a Director’s Assistant! I went on a location scout with ALL of the top players in a $34 million movie because I’m the director’s assistant. The Director, the Production Designer, the Executive Producer, the Assistant Director, the Director of Photography… everyone. We rode around Tribeca and under the Brooklyn Bridge on a YACHT. A BIG YACHT. At sunset, into the evening. We sailed straight by the Statue of Liberty. AND they brought 12 bottles of WINE! I stood in as the “lead actress” for our DP so he could take photos of shots we needed to get. It was one of the greatest days of my life, and I was getting PAID FOR IT.
I was flown to MONTREAL CANADA for a Whistle Sports shoot – we were taping interviews of the Canadian Hockey Team. I got to meet the star players, set up and break down camera and best of all, explore Montreal with the Director and learn his story. We were put up in a fancy Air Bnb that overlooked the city. We got to eat amazing food and watch a Canadians Hockey game. It was one HELL of an experience.
It was a blast, and it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t use the FIF “Get on Shoots” method to gain experience. I made a loooot of $$$ on this trip.
I feel like for the first time, I can relax. I can enjoy my friends. I take roadtrips with my boyfriend. I spend time with my family. At first I was afraid I would have even less time for any of that with 12-14 hour production days, but I’ve been able to establish a work-life balance. I know what works for me in this industry now!
AND FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE GRADUATING COLLEGE I AM NOT STRESSED ABOUT MONEY!!! I can afford an AIR CONDITIONER! IT’S AWESOME!! I’ve been able to decorate my entire apartment!! And since productions provide so much food, my food expenses have gone waaaayyyy down.
Above all, it really REALLY helped me pull myself through the tough times. I leaped into uncertainty and started a new chapter of my life with this program. With that came anxiety and worries and fears that would take over at times. But the community at FIF and Janet’s training with “Higher Self” helped me stay positive and pull through.
I am so. freaking. HAPPY. I experience incredible things with people who inspire me everyday. Life is SO good. And it is entirely thanks to Friends In Film!
You’ve changed my life Janet!!!