Working Then vs. Working Now
Updated: Feb 8
Sawdust. Whenever I smell wood being cut, my mind travels back to when I was an actress. Sound stages are like construction sites, and the crew is always creating new sets for actors to act in, so the smell of sawdust is prevalent. This isn't a story about the senses and how they impact your brain, but it is pretty interesting how my I'm quickly reminded of when I acted.
I acted in a lot of films when I was a teenager and young adult. Harassment, missteps, and my own bad attitude under the pressure, and not knowing how to navigate it all, made me walk away, go home and have children.
But the smell of Sawdust! I can just be walking through the town I live in and BAM! I'm on a movie set. The memories I recall aren't the bad ones, before it went bad, it was so much fun.
My first audition was an open call in the middle of Times Square for the TV show Punky Brewster. The cattle call was blocks long, and it was freezing outside. My whole family went to the cattle call. It was pretty funny. We were all so excited. My mom, my grand mom, my aunt, her husband, my cousin... Somehow, I was selected by Brandon Tartikoff, then President of NBC, to be his pick for the show that ended up starring Soleil Moon Frye (who was spectacular).
I didn't get that show, but that day launched a career that spanned 2 solid decades, filled with wonderful memories of amazing people, travel, and creative fun.
Most people look at me and say, Why don't you act again? But most people don't know, it's not that easy. Recently someone very close to me asked me, "Why don't you try it again? Throw all of the navigation and sometimes jerky people, and just see if you like it."
Well, after a little bit of research, I did just that. I worked on a short named Cooties. Kat Gueli, a beautiful, smart girl with an interesting outlook came my way. I decided I would give it a shot, and see if I found the "art" of being an actress enjoyable anymore.
It was a fun shoot. Everyone was so young. They're all just starting out, haven't experienced anything to make them jaded, and it's just wonderful to be around that energy. Everyone was respectful, and worked hard. Kat and I worked very well together exploring my character, a mother unraveling when a tough issue is presented involving her teenage son. And YES! I did enjoy the process. It was everything I remembered it to me in my early days.
So, what is the takeaway? I guess we will see. The moral of the story is (yes, it's irritating; but yes, I am a mom), never let bad experiences let you convince yourself that you don't love something you genuinely do love, because it becomes difficult.
I'm sure I will inevitably be presented with the smell of sawdust once again, and now I have more recent good memories to think about. Ones that I'm pretty grateful for.
If you would like to see clips from Cooties, go to my imdb page. www.imdb.me/amylocane