GOD MUST BE CONFUSED
About a year ago, I felt an unnatural calling that I should put myself out there to the entertainment industry…to give it a try. It was so conflicting because this is NOT something that I would have chosen for myself. As much as I tried to bury these thoughts they would not go away. I am a big believer that God speaks to us through our thoughts and intuition. But why would God be trying to get this message to me? Was he confused? Doesn’t he know that I am an artist, wife and mom? I know God doesn’t really get confused so I sheepishly went and got head shots taken and sent them into John’s talent agent here in Nashville. After I sent the pictures in I thought to myself, “Okay God, do what you will with this journey,” while I secretly prayed that he would take this feeling away.
Then, one evening this summer, I got my first audition call. Eek! It was for the country band, Brothers Osborne’s music video for their new song, “Stay a Little Longer.” The band’s casting call was a diverse set of “real couples with a story.” It turned out that John’s and my story fit the bill and would be auditioning together. John has worked in the entertainment industry for years so it was nothing new to him. But I was terrified. And, although we’ve had our struggles, there was this God-infused comfort in my heart knowing that my first audition was going to be with my husband.
That next morning we drove to downtown Nashville and signed in for the audition in what looked liked an abandoned warehouse. Waiting in the holding area, I felt like I was in a cattle call – sitting in perfectly lined-up metal folding chairs, silently surrounded by cold cement floors and plain white walls. The artist in me immediately thought of all the things I could paint on the wall while I past the slowly moving time, sizing up our competition. The room was packed with all kinds of different looking couples, none of which were rocking the preppy suburban mom and dad look that John and I were sporting. It’s safe to say that we stood out, but it didn’t feel like a good thing in this situation. Most of the other couples looked like trendy hipsters or artsy musicians. After an hour and a half of waiting, we were finally called back to audition.
We went into a small room and stood side-by-side as the casting director and a few of her assistants asked us to slate our names while they began filming. You have no idea how indescribably nervous I was! When it came time to say “Sarah Mabry,” my shuttering voice could barely be understood. John took over and started sharing more about our story before the director said, “Thank you.” The whole thing lasted all of five minutes. I was convinced we did not get the job. I mean, who would hire someone when they can’t even pronounce their own name?!?
The very next day we were out to eat celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary when we receive a call saying that we booked the job! In that moment, an euphoric feeling consumed me. It felt like the past trials had been erased and our marriage was being healed and renewed, a special moment that I will never forget!
PREPARING FOR THE SHOOT
The filming took place in a run down abandoned warehouse just south of where we live. Let me explain “run down” to you! I’m talking – there was a rotting dead bird in our makeshift changing room. And the bathrooms…oh the bathrooms! They hadn’t been cleaned for at least 30 years. The toilets had things growing in them, the sinks were overflowing with old trash, and cob webs and a foul stench filled the whole area. Ok, enough of that nastiness. After signing the required paperwork all of the couples got their hair and makeup done. The make up artists were instructed to keep all of us looking as natural as possible. Boooo! I was really hoping for a full-on Extreme Makeover: Sarah Mabry Edition. Didn’t happen. Next, the stylist picked out our outfits from suitcases full of clothes we each brought from home. Once again, I was anticipating that the stylist would select something edgy or hip. Instead, she decided on a simple pair of skinny jeans and a striped top from Loft, which is my typical everyday mom ensemble. Boring! Nevertheless, I was ready for my on camera debut.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
Once everyone was ready, each couple was assigned their “room”, which was a semi-truck trailer backed up to the loading docks of the warehouse. The trailers were 95 degrees from the mid-summer heat and the camera lighting, making it literally a steamy experience before all the kissing began. Don’t stop reading now it’s about to get interesting!
There were five different trailers, one for each couple, that were decorated as different rooms in a home with vintage furniture and props. John and I
were assigned a living room that consisted of a Goodwill-like couch and coffee table. Not knowing what all the shoot was going to entail, I gladly accepted our room because the one next to ours was set up as a bedroom…and what exactly would they want to happen when the only props in the bedroom were a bed and two people?!?
The director and Brothers Osborne gathered all the couples and explained that they were hoping to capture us couples facing crossroads in our relationships. In simple terms, they wanted heated arguments and passionate make out scenes. Being rather conservative with P.D.A. (public display of affection), I thought to myself, “Oh geez, what in the world did I get myself into? My dad is going to be so mad!!” After much self talk, I justified it that I am a married woman in her 30’s with 3 kids and that it is TOTALLY okay if I step out of my comfort zone and kiss my husband with cameras right up in our business. I was reminded that God put me here for a reason so I let go of my inhibitions and tried to trust the process.
We shot for eight hours, rotating between fighting and kissing scenes. The cameras moved back and forth on a dolly system while the song played repeatedly in the background and the director shouted, “I want to see SEEEEXXXYY!” You should have seen my face when the director told me to rip John’s shirt off on camera…utter shock. Seriously, I can’t even remember the last time John and I kissed that much! My face hurt from his whiskers and my jaw was sore.
After so much time in the dim lit trailer, I almost forgot that other people were present and that cameras were filming. Sharing eight hours of uninterrupted, kid-free time seemed to be the perfect alternative therapy for us as we continue to rebuild and strengthen our marriage. I found myself living out Brothers Osborne’s lyrics, “wishing we could Stay A Little Longer.”
I am so glad that I chose to step out of my comfort zone and follow my heart in order to pursue this opportunity. Never would I have thought that God could use this industry to rekindle John’s and my love for one another. Even if this is the only ‘acting’ job that comes my way (and there is a large part of me that is okay with that), I know it was 100% meant to be for the good of both of us at this point in our marriage. It’s amazing to witness God’s work first hand. I guess it goes to show that God knew what he was doing and that he wasn’t confused after all.
Without further ado, here’s the video