When I made the decision to participate in a short video documentary about dry eyes, life became very exciting. Initially, I wasn’t sure I was up to doing it and had to get over feeling self-conscious about my appearance. Thankfully, I overcame my fears because I was very motivated to share my inspirational story.
I was paid for my time and that was important to me because it made the project legitimate. I had no idea a film crew of three people would be flying in from Virginia. I was glad that I would meet the producer, Jackie, whom I’d spoken with several times on the phone.
I was asked to choose someone to interact with who knew me well and my childhood friend, Joni, agreed to participate. A week before the filming, we went out shopping together. It was “girlfriend” time!
In order to wrap myself around the idea of being filmed, buying something new was really important. I worked hard at letting go of being self-conscious about my appearance. When we tried on clothes, my sizes were much larger than I wanted to think about. The sales lady and Joni were kind and encouraging.
After shopping, we had dinner and then I dragged Joni with me to an open mic I’d never gone to before.
The big day arrived and it was such a magical experience; I felt so important! Of course, it passed really quickly and was very much like being Cinderella. Sharing it with my friend, Joni was such a special memory.
I had lunch with both my brothers the day after the filming. They hadn’t spoken to each other for four years and with gentle coaxing and time, I had encouraged this reunion. I could write an entire story about it.
The day after our lunch, I broke out in hives. Before and after the film shoot, I had an argument with each one of my sons, and that also left me emotionally overwrought.
It was definitely a roller coaster week!
I love my vocal coach, Hannah Anders. I am able to share my feelings with her before I start singing!
Click the blue link below to hear audio: (A transcription is below)
Judy: Well I’m back to earth, I’m Cinderella – Now I’m back to being my usual!
Hannah: I experience that on a regular basis.
Judy: Do you? That must be part of what it is – especially with the whole make up thing and the audience sees you as somebody you’re not, somebody else. I had a hive outbreak this morning so I’m itching, damn. That part is hard.
Hannah: I know . . .
Judy: It was wonderful and exhausting. They showed up to start the whole thing at 7 a.m. It was very interesting because I knew it was about dry eyes but they were really focused on my music. To me that’s the best thing in the world!
I went in my closet and dug out all my old artwork and I put it all on a table. I thought I’d make it look like I’m working on something. I took out my paints and made this whole display. And they said, “We’re not interested in your artwork. We just want the story to be how music helped to heal you!”
Hannah: That’s great!
Judy: It was great. They started off with saying, “Where’s your guitar case – the dusty old one? We want to reenact how you started playing guitar again. Let’s put it back in the closet and have you walk over, pull it out and look like you’re playing again – and it hurts.”
I had to be like a little actress!
Hannah: How awesome!
Judy: It was so awesome.
Hannah: Was it fun?
Judy: It was fun! It was fun watching them take interesting angles of my guitar. It was like having your baby photographed. We want more of this guitar and I’m like, “Okay!”
And then my friend, Joni, came over and they had us talk and walk across the street, while following us. People were jogging by and looking at this camera crew following my friend and I thought, “Oh, my God – who am I?”
Hannah: I love it!
Judy: I did love it! I mean the harder part was that it was hot and when I got back it was time for the interview using my brainpower. There were lots of questions – they didn’t really guide me; they gave me a list.
I’d be talking away and think, Oh, I’d better look down at my list and then try to make it sound natural. My friend would say, “Judy, when did your eye problems begin?” She was going from her list. And I’d say, “My eye problems began . . .”
So I talked a lot. I think after a while I started to repeat myself. What gets me is that all this footage and recordings are going to be reduced to 10 minutes and they took 90 minutes of speaking and 6 hours of video.
It was nice when they left that I was able to rest. I got up and wrote to a friend and said, “I’m in a show tonight and I know I could have my hair and makeup done professionally, but I don’t know . . .”
She said, “GO! Do it!!”
Hannah: Yeah! I’m so glad you did; you looked so pretty!
Judy: It was so strange – my hair was all poufy and when I got there, I could see the mascara was all over. I was weepy and my eyes water a lot, so I kept wiping and worrying. But it was great to be somebody else for a day.
Judy: And you know what? Now I’ve got to share; it was my best performance. I know there’s no perfection and I had one stumble with my lyrics. But honestly, my voice – what a change! I can’t say enough about how that conversational approach worked. I got all the high notes and I got all the low notes, so what more could I want? It was probably one of my best performances ever.
Hannah: I’m so glad!
Judy: Thank you!
Hannah: Yay! That’s very exciting! Good, so when will they have all that edited and put together for you?
Judy: In a month.
Hannah: Okay, that’s not long.
Judy: That’s what they told me; I don’t know. They want me to send them some of my instrumental stuff and things they might put in the background. I mean that would be really cool if they can use my music in it.
Judy: Yeah. I don’t want to be let down by things they might omit or put in that could be misconstrued; when things are edited, you don’t know. But I’ll hope for the best.
There were a lot of close-ups. Especially after my performance when my makeup was all smeared and I was hot.
But you know what’s interesting? All that dialog was about what I struggle with, but I don’t know that I had any scenes of what I go through – rubbing my eyes. I wore dark sunglasses outside, but they kept saying, “Now we want you to look serious.” (Judy laughing) I’m trying!
But when they said I could smile, I felt like a light bulb. So I think it will be very inspirational to see my smile.
Hannah: Good! Yay!
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