Filmmaking is for the Spontaneous and Courageous (AKA My Acting Debut)

A few weeks ago, writer/director Rodney Smith was out in NYC on a snowy night engaging in what he called "spontaneous acts of cinema." He texted me and asked if I wanted to join in and, yeah, I did! I met Rodney and actor Daryl Ray Carliles in Union Square ready to run around town and help Rodney shoot... well, actually, I had no idea what he was looking to shoot, but NYC at night with a camera sounded too fun to pass up.


When I arrived, I learned that Rodney wanted to shoot a 1-minute minisode for DOMINION, his upcoming webseries. The only problem was, while he had a script and an actor, he was short an actress. Yep, you see where this is heading - he asked this writer, soon-to-be director, to work on the other side of the camera.

My first thought was, "no way!" My second thought: Am I really such a wuss? My third thought: Damn, I wish I'd brought makeup.

In all of a minute, I decided to be brave and put the success of the shoot ahead of my fear of being on camera. I let down my hair, literally and figuratively, and took Rodney's direction plus Daryl's encouragement and went for it.

It ended up being a great night. We shot in Union Square Park, and then on a subway platform and in a subway car. It was all shot guerilla-style, just the three of us and a camera, and it was huge amounts of fun.

What I thought would be a lesson in acting turned out to be a lesson in what it means to be a filmmaker. Filmmaking is for the spontaneous and courageous, and when I was asked to leave my comfort zone for the benefit of the shoot, I'm proud I can look back and see that when I had to choose whether to step in front of that camera or not, my hunger for movie-making crushed my fear.

And now, without further ado, my acting debut: