I’ve just completed a shoot for a spot for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. It’s a brief spot about hiking and the majority of it will include the back of my head. (My hair looks quite good, though!) I had a great time and met some terrific people. However, events leading up to the shoot weren’t so great.
The day began in a promising way. The talent (that’s me) hadn’t been provided with directions to our location, though the address of the Berkshire location had been provided, along with a call time of 1:00 PM. So, Google Maps to the rescue! After scrutinizing the map, collecting my hiking gear, fueling the car and adding some oil, I was on the road. I’d given myself an extra 45 minutes to get to the location, just in case something came up, but so I could still arrive early.
Well, along the way, I hit two HUGE traffic jams in which I moved at a rate of about 2 miles an hour. There was no road work, no accident, no closed lanes. I still don’t know why the traffic was backed up. But, I wasn’t worried–I had that built-in, 45-minute buffer.
At 12:55 PM, I exited the Massachusetts Turnpike knowing I was still several miles away from the location. So, I called the production manager and left a voicemail message indicating that I had gotten caught in traffic but was only about 20 minutes away. Or, so I thought. Unfortunately, I got turned around and then lost. After 20 minutes of driving around and asking for directions, I had to call the production manager to state that I was lost and that I would be more late. One more stop for directions put me on the right path and, as I was pulling into our location the production manager called me to find out my status. I indicated I was only minutes away and he seemed contented. I gathered from his tone that the entire production was holding due to my tardiness. The time was 2:00 PM.
Hastily, I parked, ran in, greeted everyone, apologised for my lateness and changed into the outfit wardrobe selected from my hiking clothing options. From there, the day went smoothly, but I still felt this aura of shame floating over me. I hated being late. I’m not a late person by nature. I didn’t want this to reflect badly on me, badly on the casting company, or badly on other members of the acting profession. I realise that I could not have controlled the traffic and that even people with the best of intentions get lost from time to time, but, man! It sucks to be late.