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Behind the Scenes
Julie’s life was never dull. As an actress, she got to experience a lavish lifestyle that very few could relate to. Walking down the red carpet, starring in the newest films, and conversing with widely adored celebrities became the norm for her ever since her claim to fame. On her drive to work that morning, Julie looked out the car window at the sparkling white Hollywood sign and felt great pride in her profession. Wow, I really do have everything. I have an amazing job in the spotlight, more money than I know what to do with, my supportive husband John, and my beautiful children. She soon pulled into the lot of the production studio. Today she was starring in her newest film, and she was eager to get started. It was about a woman who owned an office in New York City. However, as she stepped out of the car, Julie was immediately blinded by camera flashes as shouting paparazzi ambushed her, running after her like a dog chasing a bone.
“Julie! Is it true your marriage is in shambles?” one of them shouted.
“Are you really feuding with your co-stars over pay difference?” another rudely blurted. These ugly rumors plagued anyone in the spotlight, but Julie knew it was important to keep her head high and ignore the tabloids. As she entered the studio, she was greeted by the staff and directed to the set of her movie. Spotlights shined down from the ceiling, and the room was constructed to look identical to a real office. Cameras encircled the set, and behind them were a line of chairs labeled with the cast members’ names. Julie walked down the hallway to her dressing room, where a hair and makeup team prepared her for the part. The process was grueling, but she found it interesting to watch how these people could transform her into a completely different person. When she looked in the mirror, she was impressed with how unrecognizable she was when wearing her grey business suit, glasses, and her hair tied back in a professional-looking bun. Julie then went out to meet the director of the movie, Roger. Roger was a strict man, and he took his work very seriously. She knew that there would be no kidding around during filming.
“Hi Roger. Where are we starting off today?” Julie asked. Roger turned to Julie with worry lines engraved in his face, giving off an unpleasant disposition.
“Julie, thank goodness you finally decided to show up! You have some nerve waltzing in here 5 minutes late. We have a lot of work to do today. We are starting off at the scene where you are handing out the assignments to the staff.” As they began shooting, Julie felt a wave of boredom hit her. Because these movies demanded absolute perfection, it took what felt like a million takes in order to film a single scene. The heat from the spotlight was now beating down on her, and the constant shouting of “Cut!” was becoming increasingly irritating. The day seemed to drag on with no end in sight, and even her lunch break was cut short by Robert’s yelling. When Julie looked up at the clock and saw it was almost 6:30, when she would be leaving, she sighed with relief.
“All right guys,” Roger suddenly announced. “I understand that many of you want to go home, but we’re already behind. I’m going to need everyone to stay here for another two hours at least to get these scenes filmed.” Julie was exhausted. All she wanted to do was go home and see her family, and now she couldn’t even do that.
“But Roger,” she protested. “I have two kids at home, and I can’t leave my husband to take care of them alone. You can’t think that this is fair.”
“Listen Julie. I understand you have a family, but so do I. We’re all making sacrifices here. If you’re really looking to argue with me here, I can find a new actress for the film altogether. Remember, this industry is filled with people just as talented as you are. You are not special enough for me to beg for you to stay.”
“No, no, that won’t be necessary Roger. I’ll stay,” Julie said quietly. The next few hours were utterly miserable for her, but she pushed through and performed the best she could nevertheless. When Roger finally called it a wrap for the day, Julie quickly walked back to her car and drove off. Passing the Hollywood sign once again, she couldn’t help but notice the bright white looked duller this time. Julie pulled up to her house feeling sluggish after her tough day. She thought to herself. On days like this, I wonder why I even act at this point. However, after her husband John opened the door, her mood changed. He smiled and gave her a hug.
“Hi honey, how was your day?” he asked.
“Not great, but I’m glad I get to see you guys now,” she replied. She walked through the doors into the cool, air-conditioned room, relieved to be out of the hot studio.
“The kids wanted to stay up to see you,” said John. Sure enough, Julie looked over to see her two children, Matt and Rose, sitting on the living room couch with the biggest grins on their face.
“We missed you mom!” said Matt. They ran up and wrapped their arms around their mother, and Julie came to a realization. This is why I act. No matter how hard it gets, I do it to give my family the best life possible. She knew that the life of an actress meant taking the good with the bad, but it was worth it when she remembered she was doing it for the ones she loved.