I'm in a movie! We began filming yesterday. In the process, over the next 12 months I'm going to become slim, fit and gorgeous!
Thinkin' Trim Taut Terrific is the business name and website of my dear friend Letitia Lee, who is making this film with the encouragement of the film production company Screenworks. She is in their mentoring program.
Letitia describes her film not as a documentary but "a reality film from the heart". She herself is the star. She has employed her own methods so successfully in the past that she wanted to share them with the world, and regained weight on purpose so as to be able to demonstrate how to lose it. I've known her long enough to have seen her both ways.
A small, select group of us are the supporting cast. When I heard she was making this film and advertising for cast members, I begged to be in it because I know this girl can get things done. Heck, she was one of the prime movers in the fund-raising drive that got me to Texas in 2006 to feature in poetry festivals there. In the last couple of years I have put on – well, let's just say more weight than I'm happy with. I'd like to avoid diseases associated with obesity, recover the energy I have had in the past, and yes, look good too.
This is one of my baby photos and some of me as a youngster. You can see that slenderness was always going to be something of a challenge. It doesn't appear to have been part of the design!
There have been times in my life that I was slim – sometimes bordering on anorexic, I realise with hindsight (a condition that hadn't been identified back then). They've always been interspersed with periods of overweight. And yes, I know all the ways to lose weight, and am a (temporarily) successful graduate of both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.
What makes me think Letitia's program will be any different? It's holistic – and I'm not allowed to say much more about that. We all signed a contract yesterday not to divulge the details of the program; though you can find out some things from the website. One of the most appealing things about it, which I can tell you, is that we aren't going to be existing on lettuce leaves. On the contrary. We're all overweight because we love food, and we're told that on this program we'll be eating well. In fact Letitia promised us, "This film will be food porn!"
Yesterday we filmed the opening sequences, where each of us appears in our natural habitat so to speak. I was shown on stage as a performance poet, wearing my purple Goddess gown which has been the costume for many performances. (I do have other clothes, but it always goes down so well.)
The cameraman wasn't prepared for the oomph I put into my performances. When I burst on stage and launched into my opening line, he said, "Hang on, I wasn't prepared for that!" and made some quick adjustments to his equipment. (I don't know ... sound? focus? I didn't ask. I was too busy feeling gleeful at having surprised him. Somehow, without meaning to, I always manage to project "ladylike"; people get a shock to discover my true outrageousness, and I love it when they do.)
The cast and crew are a great bunch of people; we all bonded quickly. I suspect some of that was due to Letitia's experience as a facilitator and team builder. She's very good at putting everyone at ease, at the same time as keeping them on track. It looks like being an interesting twelve months!