A Story of Empathy

So, I’m on a friend’s shoot, helping them out for the day as an actor.

While I’m there I find myself talking with a particular cutie pie, a fresh-faced singer-dancer straight from the oven of the Big Apple, and now carving her way in the Big Orange… Somehow for some reason we start talking about singing at open mics and I tell her about one of the things that kill me during open mics (especially when I first started doing them)…

Empathy. 

Yeah, okay, maybe some empathy when people are tanking or the room isn’t paying much attention to them, but more EMPATHY when the singer’s would be straining their vocal chords… They’d be wrecking themselves, but yet I, not doing anything, would find my own vocal chords starting to hurt a little.

Anyway, flash-forward a few hours… She’s wrapped for the day, done. And I’m in a car looking for traffic with the DP, director and producer.  The DP in the front seat has a bit of a skin condition that seems to be when he gets anxious or nervous, hives occur. Well, we had less than an hour to find a traffic jam to shoot a scene in, and wouldn’t you know it, this particular day we couldn’t seem to find the “right” stopped traffic. Now, the clock’s ticking, the producer in the backseat continues to ask, “did we get it?” and tell us, “We have to get back.” The director’s not happy with the composition of the traffic flow… “It’s not stopped enough.” And the DP starts itching, broken out with hives…

It’s completely obvious that he’s extremely uncomfortable, and those little suckers are driving him nuts. As he scratches his legs through his pants between takes, me, the at times very empathic one, starts to feel my own inner hives starting… Yes, it’s like my skin is now itching. Yeah, I know weird. So, we are looking for “better” traffic, not finding the “right” traffic, and the DP is itching like a mad man… I want to peel my own skin off from my own empathic hives… But the whole time realizing saying anything wouldn’t serve anyone, itching would not serve anyone, scratching would only be bad for camera… And the reality of it all, NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH ME.

Yeah, I know, “Actors… All about them…”

Anyway, when we wrapped that series of car shots, I sprinted from that car probably before I even put it in park, and dove into my own truck to get a handle of it all before meeting up with them for the next shot.

— And scene.

– Quiche Out

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