Hello from sunny Los Angeles!
Puffin and I just got back home last night from a month away in Vancouver, BC, Canada! I was shooting a movie up there, and if you have been following along with my Instagram and stories….then you know a lot about it!
The movie is for Hallmark Channel- it is a winter movie that is really out of box for the brand. It is about a New York City girl (me) who goes out of her comfort zone, faces her fears and takes on the world of extreme sports (hence all the crazy activities I got up to while I was there!) This is my first time working with Hallmark. I tend to be hesitant sometimes about working with new networks I’m unfamiliar with, but I have SOO many friends who have worked for Hallmark on films and series and they have all had the best things to say about their experiences.
So, that being said, I absolutely loved the script and jumped at the opportunity…and I am so glad I did. I had the MOST amazing time…it is definitely a work experience that I will never forget for many reasons.
For me, choosing projects is all about the content, the character and if I think it is right for me…and the character I just played couldn’t have been more right for me!
I am someone who loves outdoor activities and adventures, but I am also someone who is pretty afraid of doing anything TOO extreme. I get scared of heights and I tend to think very logically about situations- which is what keeps me from leaping off a bridge with a chord around my waist or jumping out of an airplane and just going for it….you know, that general fear of…dying or getting hurt? Yep, that’s what keeps me from getting too adventurous.
I also think that as I get older, I get more comfortable NOT putting myself out there in certain ways…a certain sense of complacency settles in and I think that is a very normal thing for most people. Most adults tend to get less adventurous as the years pass. Why? Feeling fear and facing that crazy adrenaline rush isn’t a very comfortable experience, it makes you uncomfortable and maybe even panicky…until you do it, that is.
Playing this character, Alex Burns, has opened my eyes again to a love of adventure and has really made me think more about stepping out of my comfort zone and facing fears. Which is a pretty incredible thing for a job to do to you! I rarely come face to face with what I am afraid of…and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to be put outside of my comfort zone.
This whole month was filled with more adventure than I have had all year…it sounds totally crazy to admit that, but is absolutely true. For the film I:
- Zip-lined 1,100 feet up through the snow covered mountains of Whistler multiple times with a camera rig strapped to my chest so they could capture the footage for the film.
- Rock wall climbed for hours for a scene while delivering lines, pretending to slip, nailing and not nailing the descent landing….all while trying to look good doing it!
- Skied at the top of Grouse Mountain in a crazy snow storm (SO many ski scenes in this film!) I also hadn’t skied in 9 years!! So it was interesting to say the least lol!
- Snow tubed at the top of Grouse- it was a bunny hill, but still….we had to make sure we didn’t plow into the camera crew at the bottom!
- Crossed a long suspension bridge while shooting a scene- this was scary for me, but I did it and by the end it was no big deal!
- Learned and performed a Texas two-step routine which involved me flipping over my costars back! Also for a fun scene in the movie.
- Did a ropes course- you know, those fun ones you had to do when you were a kid at camp! I didn’t like them when I was a kid and was too scared to do any of it back then…redemption!
- AND lastly, I had to stand at the top of a bungee jumping bridge, all tethered in, at the very edge of the jumping platform and shoot a scene there. I was terrified! They had to have us tethered in so if we fell by accident, the bungee chord would work properly.
OH, WAIT, THERE’S MORE- ALL OF THIS WAS DONE IN FREEZING COLD WEATHER BETWEEN…
15- 33 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT!
I have never been so cold in my life! HAHA!
I had to sign multiple liability waivers before taking part in a days work- waivers that basically said that if I died or got injured, it wouldn’t be the activity companys fault. This is the FIRST TIME ever that I have had to sign anything like that when shooting a movie!!
ALSO, myself and the entire production got stranded at the top of a mountain in a snow storm….not once…but TWICE!! Both times, the winds were too strong and visibility too poor, so the gondolas shut down and they had to get emergency rescue trucks with chain wheels to come and get us, which took hours up and hours down. It was very scary, but we all made it and we were all ok. I may need to not see a gondola for another year though- I think I have had my fill of them!
Yet, all that being said…I still had the most amazing time. This was probably one of the most challenging shoots I have ever worked on and I am so happy I did it. Challenges help you to grow; without challenges, we would never know what we are truly capable of! Who would’ve thought that a Hallmark film would push me in ways I had never yet been pushed?! I sure didn’t! BUT WOW- I feel like a new person now! Except for one thing….
On our way back from a week shooting up in Whistler, I was given the opportunity to bungee jump for real off that bridge we shot the bungee scene on with some of the crew members and my costar. I didn’t take the opportunity…mostly because I was scared. Scared of doing it and also scared of chickening out at the top and being embarrassed. And I regret it now. I regret not facing my fears, I regret taking the easy, comfortable way out. I know it is totally normal to be afraid of something like bungee jumping…but now I feel like I need redemption. It is officially on my bucket list, and I hope to gain enough courage to do it eventually. Does anyone know any good places to do it? If I am going to go for it, it better be in an incredible location right??
On my time off, which was only on weekends, I would explore the city, go for runs and hikes at nearby mountains. The conditions at the top of many nearby hiking trails became too dangerous from snowfall and ice, so I only got to hike twice. BUT, I really look forward to my next trip to Vancouver, hopefully in the summer time, so I can do a lot more hiking and adventuring. The whole city has SOO much to offer!
You all know I love to run when I am in a new city, and I definitely did a lot of it there! I ran around the whole city to take in the beautiful fall views, and see what was around- it is my favorite way to explore a new city! I also took some Crossfit classes, some spinning classes and yoga when I had the time…which was really only on the weekends.
I spent a lot of time doing treadmill runs when I had early morning call times or when it was too rainy outside. I used my treadmill interval runs, and created a new one that I will post soon! I also used my favorite fitness tools for traveling all the time in my hotel room and in my trailer on set- check out that post here in case you missed it!
I will make sure to keep you posted about when this film will be airing…it is not one to miss…I think I am going to be pretty proud of it! I’m certainly proud of myself.
Have a lovely week and Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!