My affection for this business started when I was very young. I used to sit on sets where my mother had been hired as an actress and watched her work. From the start, I didn’t just watch the acting (sorry mom). I was very curious about the process as a whole, the collaboration between departments, the hustle to get the shots set up, where the camera needed to be, culminating with a quiet set, as the actors said their lines.
At 18 I became an actor and have worked steadily in television for over 25 years. But that relationship to the process as a whole has never gone away. I’ve always been very mindful of working in tandem with all of the departments, knowing that we have a collective goal to get the page count done. And, over the years, I have taken it upon myself to create a sort of on the job ‘film school’.
In between set ups (and when my kids were napping) on The Practice, I would sit in on editing. I have always asked about lenses and payed attention to why and when the camera would move and how it serves the story. But one of the biggest advantages I have is that I understand actors. And I like them. I know what interesting, sometimes strange and often sensitive people they can be and how they like to be talked to, in order to create the most supportive environment for them to do their best work.
The (seemingly) simple idea of navigating the writer’s words, the actor’s emotion and the camera’s eye is wonderfully challenging and fulfilling to me. I want to be a TV director, because this is the medium I understand. It’s in my bones.