03 Dec Lights, Camera, Vomit. (And Your Exclusive Pre-Release Sneak Peak!)
On Monday, I went to visit my surgeon, (famous for treating the infamous Mayor Rob Ford), Dr. Zane Cohen, at Mount Sinai Hospital about my twisted intestine.
I wasn’t there for longer than 20 minutes, but in that time he managed to stick his finger inside of my ostomy, poke at the back of my intestines more than a few times, and assert that he could fix it with a few cuts, some adjusting, and by making me a new stoma. Surgery.
I’ve been going over it in my head since I left his office; whether or not I’d go through with surgery. Though he assured me it would be simple with an easy recovery, the idea of messing with something that isn’t that broken (everything else), scares me. But, can I live the rest of my life like this?
It got me thinking about the time that I really struggled with this twisted intestine, back in February/March of last year before I even knew what it was, while i was in the midst of filming a new show I created called In Public.
We had filmed our first episode over the course of 2 weekends, but the majority of my scenes were on weekend 2. The first big shoot day for me was the Friday night and it had gone well. I was stoked for the next day.
Ok, so I must have jinxed it because I woke up early to get to set and could barely move. I was having insane stomach cramps, I was sweating, and I had barely any energy to get out the door.
I crawled to the shoot location, and sat in my makeup chair, slumped over. The makeup artist looked at me and asked if I had “gone hard” the night before. If by “gone hard” she meant “hit the bed hard to get a good night’s rest”, yes, I had.
I was clueless about what was going on with me, but the pain was getting worse and I had no energy to move.
That was until I bolted to the bathroom to vomit.
You know how they say in showbiz that “the show must go on”? I had a cast and crew of 20 people waiting for me. It was my shoot day. I couldn’t just call in sick and tell them all to go home. I had to do it.
And I did.
The director would call for me and the other actors to start so I’d crawl to set, stand in fetal position, and breathe deeply to prepare myself.
The director would yell “Action” and I’d get myself up into an upright position and jump into character.
We’d act out the scene in front of the cameras and the director would yell cut.
I would then run to the bathroom to vomit.
Makeup done. Wardrobe donned. Microphone around my neck, for which the sound technician quickly realized that she would need to turn it off every time I ran off set unless she wanted to hear the glorious sounds that were coming from the pit of my stomach.
Lights, camera, vomit.
I did this. Over. And over. And over again. It was one of the most horrible days I’d had in a while.
But, now, looking back, I don’t think I would change that day if I could. Just like when people ask me if I could go back and not have ostomy surgery, would I? No. It’s made me who I am. Every story makes me who I am. How awesome is it that I overcame my stupid twisted intestine to create a product that I am so fucking proud of?
So, my supportive and amazing community, I would like to introduce you to this product. A product I’ve put my heart and soul into. A product that I managed to create despite upchucking every ounce in my body. A product that we have not yet released but that I wanted to share with you guys first. Yes, you are the first eyes to see it, give feedback, and hopefully help us make it a success.
I’d like to introduce you to my show, In Public – a mockumentary unveiling how brands use public relations to market to you.
Want to watch it later or provide feedback? Click here!
Like what you see? Subscribe here!
I am even more so excited to share this show with you because I am hoping that we can use it as another vehicle for ostomy awareness. My character in this show, Jess, is based off of me in real life, which means that we are going to be introducing the ostomy!
How awesome is that? When was the last time you saw an ostomy portrayed in a show in a positive light outside of the context of a hospital? Or how about the ostomy being portrayed in a positive light at all? I can’t think of any examples
So, my amazing and supportive community, I am really hoping that you can take a bit of time to watch this episode, tell me what you think of it, and share it! We can’t get to episode 2 unless episode 1 does well, but we need to get to episode 2 so we can start talking about the ostomy!
As a sidenote: I know there will be someone (there always is) who says I’m just trying to promote my latest project, blah, blah, blah. Well, I’m going to beat them to the punch and say this: I have wanted to be an actor since before I was sick (like at 6 years old). It wasn’t until I had ostomy surgery that my passion for acting grew deeper and my vision became clearer – I want to be that actor that has an ostomy. Diseases such as Cancer, Parkinson’s, and HIV (as the latest with Charlie Sheen), have all been thrust into the limelight because of the celebrities behind them. I want to make sure the ostomy is next in line. And hey, if I don’t get famous or anything, at least this show can be a fun way to highlight such an important, life-saving surgery.
Anyway, at the end of the day, I am still not sure whether or not I am going to have surgery. It will at least have to wait until I get married next year, so September at the earliest. Can I survive on peanut butter and smoothies for another year? I’ve made it this far. As long as I don’t end up on set in fits of vomit again, I think I’ll be ok.
Besides, now I have a story.