I’ve had so much going on lately that this blog hasn’t made it to the top of the to do pile yet, so I asked Lily if she’d mind filling in for me so the blog-o-sphere doesn’t think I’ve fallen off the planet. Not that it would notice. Or care.
A day in the life of Lily Mayfield, huh? Hmm…I haven’t had a typical day in a while. Not since Charlie. Anyway, how about today? Actually, it’s quite atypical. I’m here, in a town car being driven to my first day as a real director of a real movie, House of Straw. I’ve only been in L.A. a few weeks. It wasn’t that long ago that I drove on roads that saw far more horses and buggies that Maseratis and BMWs. So I could let it scare the hell out of me–all the money and people with it who think it makes them something special. But there are good people here, too. Charlie, despite himself, has some really great friends that have welcomed me as one of their own. Marvin, the studio executive who’s letting me stay in his guest house; actors Sophie and David; pastors Jim and Josie Castle. I can’t remember when I had so many friends. Seriously. I’ve never been a person that attracts others, I guess. I’m not ugly, and I don’t smell bad. Honest. Just an introvert or something.
I don’t know if this has ever happened before–somebody with hardly any filmmaking experience being given a directing job on a studio feature film. I’m not even is the Director’s Guild so the studio and producers have to find a way make them happy. Probably the credit will go to someone else while I do the work. I don’t mind. They said they can make so I get the credit as an intern or something so I can apply to the guild later. As if. I took a filmmaking minor in college over 20 years ago, never once thinking I’d end up here. Dreamed it, of course. Who doesn’t? All I had to do was fall in love with a preeminent director and sign on to work on his film, have him dump me for a baby mama and go away for the weekend with his friend so he could try to kill himself. An unconventional way of paying dues.
I have to admit, I am good with the actors. It might be the subject matter that I’m so close to. Some of the scenes from this movie are ripped right out of my life with Mike, my late ex-husband who abused me for years. I’ll spare you the hows and whys, but I certainly can relate to the characters and now the actors, Blaise and Sophie. I’d seen them both on the big screen, of course, and recently there they were, hanging on my every word, taking direction from me. Blaise says we’ll get nominated for Oscars. That might just be his wishful thinking, but I do believe the work we’re putting in is award worthy. That scene that Charlie asked me to take so he could spend the morning with his baby mama, I have to admit was powerful. I wasn’t the only one with tears streaming when I called “Cut!”
Well, here we are, at the security kiosk at the entrance to Mythic Studios. If I get to say “Action!” for the first time without puking, I’ll be surprised. The car is taking me to the door of the soundstage like a VIP. I hope I play this right. I think I have it in me to do this, if only I don’t get in my own way. People believe in me. Charlie and others see things in me I always hoped were there but was too afraid to let out. Afraid of the world and how it works, afraid of people. And God.
Time to do this thing! The driver is coming around to open my door. Here’s my chance. I don’t have to be perfect, just have to be my best and give it everything I got. I mean, why would experienced filmmakers hand over a multimillion dollar film with A-list actors if they didn’t think I could produce for them. But I’m doing this for me. For my future so I can at least say I did it. And for my past, to give that pain and suffering meaning. And for now, for the women and men suffering from domestic violence today. To give them a voice again.
I can do this! I will do this! Watch out world. I’m here!