Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Process

The day the crew came from the Marilyn Denis Show was an experience like none other.  I woke up early to go over my furniture and floors to make sure everything was clean.  I cleaned out my fridge because I knew that they were going to be doing shots inside it.  LOL

As the time drew nearer for them to arrive, my nose started to bleed and my heart began to race.  As I held a kleenex to my nose, I began to laugh out loud to myself.  Really?  Can this be happening?  I know it was just a nervous laughter because there wasn't anything to laugh at!  I was sitting in a chair holding a kleenex to my nose for heaven's sake!  That lasted almost an hour and a half!  Then the phone rang.  It was Sharon, the producer, calling to say they had arrived.

Just like I couldn't get my nose to stop bleeding, I couldn't stop my mouth from talking!  I just babbled on about how nervous I was and blah blah blah.  I'm sure they had some second thoughts.  As they went through my house looking at the lighting and distractions, the team of five began to actually look like real people.  I mean they said normal things, they looked normal, and they acted normal.  How strange it must be for them to walk into a strangers home and start looking around?

It didn't take too long, maybe about two hours before I began to feel a little more like myself again.  The first thing they did was do a group interview of myself, Jocelyn, Stacey and Jenn.  After that, they did a personal interview of myself.  Sharon asked many personal questions about my eating history and weight gain.  She asked me again if I'm an emotional eater.  I am beginning to think that I am.  A couple of times now, as I have been very conscientious of my food intake, I have found myself wanting to grab something to put in my mouth as excitement, or disappointment or other feelings rise up.  One of the things I talked about was my brother Bill's suicide.  The camera man, Michael, said he was appreciative of my honesty.  I said that it doesn't help anyone, myself especially, if I don't talk about the things that are deep in my heart.  I told him that I have met many people since 1987 that have had either attempted a suicide or had someone they loved die by their own actions.  We have a bond that others won't understand and perhaps there will be a viewer that struggles with that too.

While that was going on, another producer, Seta, was interviewing Stacey.  I don't know what kind of questions she was asked but  I could see through the french doors from time to time that Stacey was quite animated!  After arriving at 10:00 am, they crew left at 2:30 pm to get some lunch and then head over to Jocelyn's and Jennifer's house.  While they were gone, I started to prepare for supper.  They were going to be shooting us eating a family dinner of shepherds pie.  When they arrived around 5:30 pm to do that shoot, I think they were a little surprised by the commotion that goes on during a dinner.  It was funny to watch the camera man run around the table taking shots of different ones eating and whatever went on!  The crew finally left at about 9:15 pm for the night.

The next morning, the crew arrived at Jocelyn's house around 8:30.  Again, I wasn't there, but Joce said they had a lot of fun.  My girls didn't seem nearly as nervous as me!  Why is that?  LOL  At 10:15, three of the crew came to Grand View School to film an average day in the Library.  We imported six children to do that with me.  Parents had to sign a media release.  The kids didn't seem to care that there was a camera there.  After that shoot, we went to the Cambridge Preston Church of the Nazarene to imitate a typical Breakfast Club day.  Betty and Bea Ayres helped prepare the food with me that day.  The same kids were in that shoot as well.  After that shoot was done, we did one with me going through a McDonalds drive through.  I don't eat there much anymore, but there was a time when it almost seemed like a staple.  It's funny how your lifestyle dictates your actions.  As all of that was going on, another crew went up to Wilfred Laurier University to film Stacey in different activities around the campus.

We wrapped filming around 2:30 that day.  I have to say, that Patrick and Michael, the cameramen, Brett, the sound man, and Seta and Sharon, producers, were absolutely the most patient people I've met in a long time. There were times that one of my girls wasn't comfortable talking about or shooting something that made them feel uncomfortable.  They respected their requests and made them feel at ease.  I liked that.  While some of the conversations were perhaps not easy to talk about, they are real.  As the producers pointed out, there are going to be people sitting in their living rooms hearing our story and may connect with one of us.  Isn't that cool?

As I typed out that second last sentence above, I thought, "Yup.  That's what a testimony is.  Someone can relate to your story.  Someone can get hope from you."  As a christian, I hope that when I do share my story, someone can see hope.  I hope someone can see that.  The art of storytelling is rare.  The sharing of ourselves is rare.  I just realized that God has given me an opportunity to share Him, not necessarily through my words, but through my actions on a national tv

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