Picture this scenario: you’ve been working a 15-plus hour day, your hair is totally messed up from wearing “cans”, your make-up has been non-existent since lunch, and your eyes are blood-shot from staring at the monitor without blinking…You wouldn’t go out to get the mail looking like this…. but for some reason there’s a grip looking at you like you’re Jessica Alba. Then you look at him, he looks like he’s been working on a ditch digging crew, and has breath that would peel wallpaper. You watch him set up that courtesy flag for you, and you blush. Really, how could a bunch of stinky, sweaty, exhausted people be that attractive to each other? Yet, it happens on every film.
For many years, this bizarre mating ritual eluded me, possibly due to the fact that for all those years I was all about proving myself. I wanted people to know that I knew my job, and I rarely if ever allowed myself any time to talk and joke around with crew. I was completely focused.
Then as my confidence grew, my ability to simultaneously pay attention and goof off got better. Soon I was talking smack with the camera guys, joking around with the grips…and I began to watch how the other women on set behaved…flirtatious, fun. I realized more was happening than what I had seen before…
I began to notice married men cheating on their wives, married women cheating on their husbands, and otherwise normal, sane individuals flirting and acting like they were still in high school.
But the thing I find most amusing about this whole phenomenon is that these set crushes come when we are looking our worst. OK, I can’t generalize the whole crew, sure there are those that still somehow are able to keep themselves together…but for the vast majority of us after a week of 15 hour days…I’m happy to get to set on time and awake for the day. It might look like I got dressed in the dark (and maybe I did), but I made it and I’m ready for work.
Of course me being a smarty pants on set, I figured I’d be the last person on set the crew would find attractive, since the make-up and wardrobe chicks always looked more pulled together…but in the closing time at the bar mode…I too seemed to be “good enough” for a “how you doin?” line. Even with my dressed-in-the-dark look.
Something about being in a dark studio, or on location, pulling long days in the trenches, or surviving an evil director can cause even the most faithful of people to begin to stray…to start down the path…and then find themselves making that decision to turn and run, or take the chance. My advice? Turn and run. If you still like each other after you snap back into the florescent lights of reality six months later…then maybe you should start that relationship. If not you made the right choice.