Skip to main content

7 to 7 and Odd Jobs

Words honestly can't describe how lucky this last month has made me feel.

Typically, May is a month I dread, and between the finals I had to take and the unprecedentedly insane schedule I've had to juggle, this month was no exception. None of that makes me feel particularly lucky, though it does make me fall asleep faster at night. With the schedule and the finals, though, came an opportunity I'll never forget.

For the past few weeks, I've been working for the Hallmark Channel on their morning talk show, Home & Family, as they've been shooting a week of shows at Dollywood. I was an assistant cue card writer, which basically means I helped prepare cue cards for the hosts and correspondents to read from during the taping of the show. There are a couple of great things about this:

1. I love Dollywood. Like, really love it.

2. I gained professional experience on a national show.

3. I got paid for the first time in my life (for film work, anyway).

4. Did I mention I love Dollywood?

All of this would have made the experience worthwhile. It got even better as I watched the show's correspondents (they call them Family Members) film segments all throughout the park, getting to see professionals in action. Every Family Member I met was incredibly kind, humble, and, most of all, talented, so watching them film segments was a really rich learning experience.

So far, this has probably been really boring for those of you who aren't interested in reading about Dollywood and/or filming a talk show, so I'll get to the good part now: I got to work with Dolly Parton. DOLLY. PARTON.

The queen of country has been one of my favorite musicians and heroes for as long as I can remember. I love her songs, movies, and just about everything else she does. Above all, though, I've always admired how wise, humble, funny, and generous she is.

I've often heard that you shouldn't meet your heroes. People warn that meeting them will be a disappointment, that the actual person will never live up to the version in your head. In general, this rule is probably a good one to live by, but, wow, was this the exception to the rule.

I'll be honest, I didn't get to meet Ms. Parton, but for the best reason possible. The woman was working her butt off. In addition to answering questions about her career, life, and Dollywood itself, she was also singing live, engaging the audience, and rocking some great outfits. I wish I could show you pictures, but you'll just have to tune in to the show.

In watching her work, I realized everything positive said about the Backwoods Barbie herself is absolutely true. She didn't have to talk to the audience in between segments, but she did. In fact, she made a conscious effort to do so. She didn't have to personally hand out chicken sandwiches, but she did (still bitter I didn't get one). There are so many things she didn't have to do. She could have acted like a diva and not talked to anyone. She didn't even have to be here for the shows. She's a living legend, for crying out loud! She was there, though, setting an example for every man, woman, child, or otherwise in the audience, making a lasting impression as a kind and generous soul.

Not only did this experience fill my heart, but so did Ms. Parton. She was everything I hoped and more, and I'm forever grateful for that.

If you want to watch the shows, they air May 30th-June 3rd on the Hallmark Channel at 10 a.m. Eastern. They're honestly fantastic (and I helped).

I also now have a Facebook page for the blog! Click here to like it.

I'll leave you with my new favorite Dolly song. It's very Alanis before Alanis existed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Talking to Myself in the Mirror

I think it's a pretty safe bet that a lot of aspiring actors/writers/directors/filmy people practice their future Oscar speech in the mirror as kids. I did. Who am I kidding? I still do. It comes with the territory. My mirror talks go, ahem, went (who am I kidding? go) further. Sometimes, I do my makeup while talking to Barbara Walters. Other days, brushing my hair turns into a podcast interview. Most of the time, though, I rehearse what I'm going to say to my heroes. These hypothetical moments are incredibly important, and I can't afford to say anything stupid, so car rides, showers, and mornings getting ready are devoted to preparation. This probably makes me sound crazy. The word "narcissist" may also come to mind. I think one of my heroes would have appreciated both the crazy and the narcissism in this bit of oversharing, though, but we lost her this morning. One of my first posts on this blog was a tribute to Carrie Fisher. I read it over this afternoo

The Film List Project #2: MASH

Did you know MASH was a movie before it was a TV show? I didn't. Maybe that's a well-known fact. Maybe I'm very out of the loop. Anyway, I watched MASH this week. I'm just discovering Robert Altman, the director of the film. He made a movie in 1975 called Nashville , which I sort of felt obligated to watch since that's my hometown. I loved the film, especially because it had so many interesting characters mashed together. MASH  charmed me for the same reason. I've never been one for war films (this is set during the Korean War), but I was fascinated by the band of arrogant, witty surgeons in the film. It really didn't feel like a war film, to be honest. It felt like the Korean War was just where they happened to be. That feeling makes sense when you realize that these men and women are just trying to feel that way themselves. I don't have any personal experience with war, but I have read a few books about the subject, fiction and nonfiction, and

Cameron Crowe Ruined My Life

Believe me when I say that it pained me to type out the title to this post. Cameron Crowe is one of my very favorite filmmakers. To me, a guy who can write teenagers who are real people, really capture the full spectrum of human emotion, and incorporate a great soundtrack into his work is a real genius. Though it initially made me feel warm, fuzzy, and hopeful, a recent late night viewing of 2005's Elizabethtown  ended up making me a little nervous. I realized that Crowe was just like everybody else. Now, this probably doesn't make sense to those of you who admire his work. As a writer and filmmaker, Crowe definitely has a unique voice and vision that helps his work connect with all kinds of audiences. That's precisely the problem. Last week I wrote a post about how movies are only a reflection of life and not actually true to life itself. In the post, I mentioned that filmmakers are just one person with one perspective, and that is absolutely true of Crowe. In Crow