Posts Tagged ‘stress management’

I had tickets to the opera after set one day. Timing with the shoot day meant I’d have to dress for the event at work. Once dressed, however, I happened past the Wardrobe department, and apparently didn’t pass muster. My biggest gaff was to wear a large-face (practical) watch which clashed horribly with my outfit.

I offered to remove the offending watch, but no, they’d find me the perfect accessory; my outfit would not be complete without the right watch, you see.

They sifted through their inventory to find a watch that matched seamlessly with my outfit. Indeed, they found one that was a perfect match. The only problem with the new watch was that it didn’t work. No battery. No ability to wind it. But then again, on screen why would you need a watch whose hands move? So we set the time to ten minutes before two (an aesthetically pleasing placement of the hands), and after a few happily imposed touch ups from the Hair and Makeup departments too, I was now ready to go to the opera.

The next problem… I had no idea what time it was anymore. Yet somehow I made it to the theatre on time and found that without knowing the exact time – as I usually do – it was a very relaxing, stress-free evening.

So it truly was the right watch for that outfit!

Cheers & good work-life balance to you,


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My (very British) grandmother was born on a Wednesday… and Wednesday’s child is full of woe. So when she lost her budgie, it was just another standard crisis. What was unusual about this event, though, is that the event revealed a great truth.

She looked everywhere for the budgie: up and down around the house, in the back garden. She enlisted a neighbour to help. She asked the nearby chip shop to post a notice in the window. All to no avail. Panic was rising.

Then the neighbour suggested the natural next step: “Now dear, let’s sit down and have a nice cuppa tea.”

Reluctantly my grandmother agreed and so they went back to to my grandmother’s house. They set to making that cuppa tea: boiling the water, warming the teapot, placing the sugar bowl on the table, sharing friendly chatter amid worry. Next my Grandmother opened the fridge to collect the milk. There he was – the budgie – shivering slightly on the jam jar. A moment passed as they regarded each other.

The budgie realized he was rescued, stretched his wings and flew out of the fridge to safety.

My Grandmother realized a truth: stopping for a cup of tea can solve anything.

And she’s right! Take a break for “a cuppa” no matter what your rising panic is: the stress of the production or of looking for freelance work. At the very least you’ll take a few minutes to clear your head. At best… something about that break could solve everything you’re worried about.

Have you ever had a serendipitous cuppa?

Cheers & have a great cuppa tea,

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Life can teach you about filmmaking even when you’re not making films… here are 3 things I learned from horseback riding:

1. Get back on when you fall
It’s not “if” you fall, but rather “when”. As with horseriding, a career in the film industry is full of ups and downs. Keep trying. Especially try to learn from your mistakes – though this is a harder concept than it sounds. Your persistence will pay off in the long run as you become a seasoned professional.

2. Relax; your stress is being communicated
Horses KNOW when you are stressed as you sit on their back, and they will echo back your frame of mind. Horseriding then becomes harder and harder you fight their reaction and your rising stress level. Once relaxed, the job is easier, more pleasant, magical. Film crews can feel your stress level too. Find a way to relax (but stay focussed) and see the production atmosphere around you echo back a more pleasant, more functional environment. 

3. The shovelling and the cleaning is all part of it
The image of riding off into the sunset on a perfect, warm summer evening may attract you to horseriding as the glamour may attract you to working in the film industry. You still have the clean and feed the horse, shovel and sweep the barn… small payment for the reward of a perfect day of horseriding. In film, there is payment for the glamour too… all those small, seemingly insignificant jobs that contribute the bigger picture – right down to cleaning garbage cans on set. Be prepared for these jobs, they are the payment.

Happy trails and a good shoot to you!


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