BY UFUOMA MCDERMOTT
I attended a filmmaker’s workshop sometime recently… contrary to my proclaimed promise to self.
See, I’m tired of attending so many fora and not using the knowledge I acquire. I felt like I was “overloading” myself with so much information without putting them to practice. So I decided never to go for anyone anymore. I lied.
I attended this workshop where we were taught so much about “packaging”; It’s essence and it’s effects on our entertainment careers. The facilitator for that segment spoke particularly to actors and producers both of which I am. So typically, like a true Christian, I perceived that message was for me.
She talked about perceptions and making people see only what we want them to see, but most importantly, understanding what they want and moderately feeding them. She went on to say though, how we should not mistake internet popularity as success. What??? I was then confused.
In my opinion, the effects of “packaging” were almost only always felt online.
As if reading my thoughts, she quickly explained that the people who really matter and can pay for the packaged products are most probably not Internet savvy or hardly spend that much time on social networking sites. And so the teaching went beyond the red carpet and pictures that found their way online. It should be our everyday life.
I pondered for a while. It made sense.
I had recently spoken to a friend who had a kid about my son’s age and she went on about how housewives get all decked up to drop their kids off at school or to pick them up after school. She insinuated that school runs was about all they had on the agenda for the week so they might as well put their best foot forward. I would get into my workout gear, drop my son off at school and head for the day’s workout. He gets dropped off after school so I never have the opportunity to “package”.
Soon, the perfect opportunity came. And it wasn’t an industry event.
It was end of term and end of year. My son’s school announced that the kids had been rehearsing for some time and were going to put up a carol performance for the parents. It was for 10 am.
I dropped my son off in school early that morning and went for my workout. Got back in at almost 9 am, and my husband was already prompting me to get ready.
By 9:30, I was still picking out what to wear. When he tried to rush me up, I explained the importance of the school staff “seeing me as I truly am”- a beautiful well known actress! I also explained that for the first time, we were going to be seated with many parents and we wanted to give the best impression for our son’s sake!
Guess what? It worked!
We got in about 10:30 am. As soon as we walked into the school compound, the compliments started pouring in.
My son’s teacher complimented my freshly tongued hair and my colourful ensemble. A parent commented on my brows and makeup. I guess it propped me up and made me walk on air.
As soon as I got back on the earth, I asked my son’s teacher when the carol would start.
“OMG! It’s over. Are you just coming in? We started at 10 am. We run the British curriculum and so we keep to time”
My angry husband tailing behind me, we ran in to see my son still in his costume sitting all alone. The stage lights had been packed up already. With tears welling up in my eyes, I turned to my husband. He scooped up our son and said something like “Hope you feel as good as you look”.
And that was how I missed my son’s first Christmas carol. Missed it forever… never to get a second chance until the end of time. At least I was well packaged. LOL.