As I sit here and think back to last 8 months, I can’t quite believe 1) How fast it went…. and 2) That I actually did something that was only ever a dream to me… which brings me to 3) Feeling unbelievably happy…. 4) So completely grateful… and 5) Ready for the next one!!
Let me fill you in…. a few years ago I wrote a book, namely “Confessions of a Hollywood Bartender”. I wrote it under the Alias “Sarah Anne Smith”. I did this because I am indeed an actress in Los Angeles and I wrote the book based on my adventures during auditions as a bartender in Hollywood. If you’re ever thinking of coming to LA to start a career in the “Business”…. everyone will tell you, having a survival job is most definitely a MUST. Breaking into Hollywood can take years…. even decades for some. It’s not an overnight thing… not matter what anyone says! But if you believe in Art and are determined, passionate and dedicated then you CAN succeed. You just need to keep your eye on the goal and your feet on the ground. So, I published the book and was, at the time, producing and starring in “Collected Stories” over in Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The book got the attention of a Producer in Hollywood, which led to several meetings and then it inspired my Pilot script of the same name, thus leading to a TV show being born. It was like a seed had been planted and I literally couldn’t stop. After completing the Pilot script, the Bible, the Treatment and the One Page Pitch, I had SO many storylines, ideas, characters, you name it, it was running through my brain. I felt like J.K. Rowling must have felt when writing the Potter books… you just can’t stop. I sat down at my desk, and Episode 2 came, Episode 3, Episode 4… all the way to 12 and a completed First Season. After finishing and sending them to my Manager, boyfriend and mum to proof, they all gave me the same response….. YES!!!
I felt like I had birthed a child. Not physically of course! But like I had born something into the Universe that now had a lifeline. It was alive, and it was ready to GO!
After knocking on so many doors and having no-one answer back, not even reading the script, I sat down and thought, Ok, this town is a NO town. It’s built to tell you NO, and we live in a “Show me” world, so, what do I have to do to make every NO I’ve ever had, become a YES. You know there’s so many books written about it. How to create your dreams…. how to live the life you’ve always dreamed of…. but it’s taking those DREAMS and making them a REALITY. I shut my eyes, I meditated and I listened to every instinct that came to me. Step by step, one by one, I knew I was paying attention to the signs. No matter who told me I couldn’t do it, I turned the other cheek and stuck to my gut. I started my own Production Company, I hired the necessary people, I solidified my team, I set everything in place, then we began to cast the show. It was like a domino effect…. one perfect square falling into the next, then the next and the next. It was like a sort of magic had begun and I could feel it…. my whole team could feel it. I worked, and worked and worked and worked.. and every step was an absolute JOY!!
When the day came for our table read for the Pilot, I sat down in this huge conference room in Hollywood’s “W” Hotel and I looked at my comrades. These superb actors who landed the roles that had once been a blip in my imagination, now coming alive. My stomach was giddy with excitement…. Trevor Donovan, Greer Grammer, Lindsey McKeon, Ryan Merriman, Roberto Montesinos, John Griffin, Yves Bright, Carlos Moreno Jr…. and so many more, but to name a few…. all sat around me and we began to PLAY. The show was real. The characters were born and the magic was truly here!
At the end of the read, the room applauded. I knew we had something special.
A week later, we started filming. The two weeks that followed were nothing short of FANTASTICAL! (Officially now my favorite word!) The sets were incredible, the background talent brought their A-game, the crew were sensational and the Principals… well, let’s just say it was as smooth as butter!! DELICIOUS:)!!!
We wrapped. I was exhausted. I was exhilarated. I was ready to SLEEP.
I got on a plane and I went home.
December 2015 – SCOTLAND. I sank into my mum’s sofa in the living-room and didn’t leave for days! Oh, don’t get me wrong… I finally got up and met my friends in the pub for some much needed drinks, but boy did I SLEEP! For a month. It was heavenly. But… once again, my brain was on a mission. More ideas, more storylines…. they were swarming in. So… I went to work. I sat down in my house in Edinburgh, stared out at the rain coming down outside, and with my laptop in front of me, I began on Season 2. It poured out of me… Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3…. on and on and on, ’till all 12 were completed. Once again, I was giddy…. living in this world of CONFESSIONS…. The story was more alive than ever.
Upon my flight back to Los Angeles in January, I sat at the window staring out to the clouds outside. I thought about what I’d done and my stomach kicked over with butterflies. Standing on my set that day and watching the hustle and bustle around me of crew, actors, production designers, make-up department…. the whole Shabang, made me pinch myself. When I think back to the day, when I got on that very first flight to Hollywood, from Edinburgh, I was 21. I was a girl with a dream and I knew no-one in this Country. To then have that moment of watching the first episode of my show being filmed with a dream cast and crew, made me almost think that I was dreaming. I stared out at the clouds as I reminisced of the years in this City of Angels and my life that I had created to this point. It was truly a moment where I felt like I wasn’t even in my body. So surreal, so beyond what my mind at one point could even comprehend, that I smiled to myself. I KNOW that dreams come true. I KNOW that you can do absolutely ANYTHING you set your mind to. I KNOW that NOTHING is written, until YOU write it. I KNOW that life can go wherever you want it to. I know this, because I did it. And if I can do it, coming from Edinburgh, Scotland to an entirely different world, then ANYONE can do it.
I always think of that great phrase from “Field of Dreams”… “If you build it, he will come”. I believe that. Because, that, my friends, is LIFE.
So DREAM it, BELIEVE it and BUILD it. For life is short and dreams DO come true!
All my love…. until next time…