I like to think of myself as a loyal friend on a psychological and emotional level. However – in the event that physical harm can be done to me – I am not your girl. For example, on a commercial shoot in Florida recently, a HUGE bug landed on the cameraman’s shirt. Mid-sentence I took off running, only looking back to scream, “You HAVE A BUG ON YOUR SHIRT!” Let’s just say I’m more of a shoulder to cry on than a port in a literal storm. You’ve been warned.
I’m telling you this because we had an earthquake today in DC …and I panicked. Not like ran into the street panic, which a lot of people did and that’s the last thing you should do, but like froze up, couldn’t think, heart palpitation kind of panic. I'm calling it "Mini-Stroke Panic."
When the tremors struck I was sitting next to my boss, working, and I couldn’t help thinking, “If I die in the clutches of this job, I am haunting my coworkers forever. The bad kind of haunting.” I usually have this thought during plane turbulence on a work trip or ‘close calls’ if I’m driving a rental car and almost get in an accident. I can now add “earthquake” to the ways I may die while slaving away in a production studio. Great.
So like I said: I’m sitting next to my boss, and having never experienced an earthquake before, I quietly asked, “Why is there shaking?” He replied without looking up from his computer, “It’s probably just an earthquake.” Thank God. Just that.
That’s when I froze. Though I realized the rumbling and shaking were growing in intensity, I absently stared out the window wondering, “If that building across the street falls, then I’m really [insert expletive here].” Trying to decide if I should get under a doorway or something, and before I could come to a reasonable conclusion or form a complete thought, it was over and I started laughing like a crazy person. See – not your bridge over troubled water. I couldn't move, think or speak. Mini Stroke 101.
What really amazed me was the amount of people who managed to ‘evacuate’ within this 20 to 30 second span. I couldn’t find anyone in the building for 15 minutes. Sheesh, it took people longer to decide if they should evacuate for Katrina. And that was serious damage.
Then of course there’s the 24 hour news – nothing like sensationalist media coverage of the 20 second equivalent of a garbage truck driving by to really amp up public hysteria.
Please guys, the camera shakes more when you're filming without a tripod.
In summary, I hope you bring a few things from my stories today. 1) When you’re hanging out with me, it’s every man for himself. I can’t help it, it’s Darwinism. Kind of. 2) The odds increase everyday that I’m going to die in the workplace AND that the world is coming to an end. Matt – you know the drill. 3) I blame the media for my feigned overreaction, and I’m quietly snickering at people that left the building.
4) Thank God we weren’t hiking because cutting your own arm off for a movie deal is so last Oscars.
What? Too soon?