My first taste of Hollywood

Columnist and actress Courtney Spry. Photo courtesy Spry

This year I received the opportunity of a lifetime when I was asked to join a film set to premiere on Netflix called “Lord Please Keep a Ring on It,” written and directed by Dr. Tiki Collins.

I met Collins in 2017 when she came to Florida searching for a talented child to cast in her film. Although I was too old to participate in the audition, I briefly introduced myself and went back to my job. I felt for some reason I had to say something but I wouldn’t find out why until three years later.

This summer I got the call and couldn’t believe she remembered me from the less than five minute conversation we had years before. Given that acting is one of my very hidden talents, I was shocked when she was interested in giving me a legit role.

Growing up I always wanted to act and in high school I took drama classes to improve and expand my abilities. Last fall semester I wrote my own 10-minute play for my dramatic writing class and was thrilled to see it performed live on stage.

Moving back to Miami in May, I was discouraged that I wouldn’t be able to act in the way I wanted (by participating in the Essential Theatre) but God certainly does work in mysterious ways.

It didn’t hit me until after I landed in New Jersey and drove to the property we’d be filming and staying at. The first day of filming was my first time ever on a movie set and I initially felt overwhelmed since I was a stranger to everyone I was working with. We filmed for over 12 hours that day and once Collins yelled the final “cut” we immediately ran upstairs and played games and icebreakers to get comfortable with one another.

I met actors who’ve had lead roles in Pepsi commercials, actresses who’ve been a part of Broadway and others who’ve been acting for over five years.

During my experience I learned so much about myself as a woman, the energy I give to those who don’t know me, how I react to uncertainty and that it’s important to always have snacks in arm’s reach. I cried, laughed and even sang all in a weeks’ time and grew close to people I never thought I’d met.

The compliments I received overall boosted my confidence and I plan on stepping out of my comfort zone completely before this year is over. My first taste of Hollywood happened unexpectedly and had some uncomfortable moments, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.