“My mom has schizophrenia,” Katty opens up, “and because of that, I'm encouraged to just be the best person I can be...”
Raining cats and dogs is more than an understatement in describing the last couple of days. As with streets and sidewalks drenched, I am grateful for the good people who I have worked with over the last couple of days. A crew of talented individuals who despite sideways rain, set crushing wind, and all the obstacles a production can expect from such, held together in losing no steam. And now, as I reflect on their efforts, my head settling from a breakneck filming pace, I feel it most appropriate to publically share my appreciation for you all. For without each of you, my job would have been impossible.
50 plus diverse people who, from young to old, mixed faiths, lifestyles, and assigned job descriptions; and despite rained-out locations and cramped conditions, managed to unify in telling a story beyond the assignment we each contracted our talents to produce.
A story that, proven to me time and time again, reveals a power greater than the walls that divide us. The existence of a bridge that, although unseen in the coldness of the storms that prevail, has the reach to pull even the divided together—That being: Positivity, acceptance of varied outlooks, and a true desire to assist our neighbors—regardless of common grounds or dissensions.
The last of the crew and cast are departing, and as I extend my day closing thank you’s, they draw me in. The two of them no longer the doctor and nurse characters they played for the day. And as I took my moment of silence, something about them captured me.
So I asked if they would like to share their whys.
They gracefully accepted.
“My mom has schizophrenia,” Katty opens up, “and because of that, I’m encouraged to just be the best person I can be. I think her mental illness has definitely affected me to a point where I’m like, she’s not able to do a lot. And it’s hard for her. I wish that her illness wasn’t on her, and it’s hard on me because looking at her suffering is hard for me.
I think that’s the one thing that motivates me to even do acting—acting is my escape.
When I was younger it was very hard to even be in the house with her. Her just crying all the time and her different changes and stuff.
I want to take her all over the world. To just show her things that she would want to experience.
I’m always looking at the bright side of things. I always make sure of that because of the environment I grew up in. It was so hard to even look at the bright side. Like I would always be like, Why me? Why me all the time?
So now changing my perspective has changed my whole life. Just changing my perspective on thinking more positively, enjoying life, and just really, you know, being the best person that I can be. So yeah, I think that is the biggest part. Just mentally being aware of who and where you are… Yeah.”
“There’s people who choose to follow or not to follow God. For me, it’s God. And I have faith in God that things go better. I know a lot of people that would say so many different things. And that’s their choice. But my choice is to believe in God and have faith that things will be better in my life.”
By our side sits co-player, the doctor of today’s scene: Gilda. A person of warmth and apparent faith, who without interruption, has been compassionately listening to Katty and me.
She asks a question.
“This doesn’t have to solely focus on career or acting?”
Not at all, I respond.
“Forget about all the stuff that we do.” Gilda resumes, “When you look at the world, you look at your life, or you look at what’s going on out there beyond you. And if you had to just fathom the reason for why is it all here? Why should we be here?
Well, being that I come from a Christian family. My father was a pastor and my sister is a pastor. And I have a lot of faith, and I believe in God. Some people don’t believe in heaven or hell. But I believe there is an evil power, which is the devil in this world right now.
There’s people who choose to follow or not to follow God. For me, it’s God. And I have faith in God that things go better. I know a lot of people that would say so many different things. And that’s their choice. But my choice is to believe in God and have faith that things will be better in my life. Or when I pray for something it will turn out that God will grant it that way for me. And I believe that we’re living in the days where people need to realize there is a God. That there is a heaven and hell, and that they need to make the right choices.”
Here we are, Katty, Gilda, myself, and you (the many who I love as strangers-now-friends, or better yet, strangers-to-be-friends).
A majority I like to call the compassionate ones who, as demonstrated to us today in meeting Katty and Gilda, have an equal stake in the equation of what we are to become as the diverse and powerful people we are.
So in bettering this tribute to the cast and crew of this day. To carry forward the linking moment shared by Katty, Gilda, and me. And in the spirit of energizing us all. I have one general request. An ask if you will: That you take yet another brief pause to absorb a notion—one that perhaps each of us can apply in our daily working schedules, as well as in deciding how we choose to view the cultures where we live. And as we do, to reflect on the premise emerging in the stories we are sharing. That being, no one fully knows what we are each carrying in our hearts and histories. For in each of us are hidden and endless stories that unaware to one another, and in their quiet ways, are driving this shared human existence.
The last lights are being shut down. The grip trucks driving away. The closing walk-through is over. And as I wrap in my jacket readying for a blast of cold outside air, I inhale my night-closing breath. In my lungs. More than oxygen. Even more, a chest relaxing truth of a peace just shared by three unique strangers-now-friends.
Katty, Gilda, thank you for your trust.
Talk tomorrow my good friends,