This shoot with Lana is the first since I had a baby - and I'm feeling even more nervous than usual.
I'm always a little nervous before a shoot, especially one I'm organising. Have I packed everything? Will anything go wrong? Will I get there on time? I'm naturally quite disorganised and so I compensate by being extremely methodical. Lists, lists and more lists. I leave extra time and then double it to make sure I won't be packing late into the night. Even so, I often sleep badly the night before a shoot, my mind racing with anticipation.
This time, returning to film production for the first time after my parental leave, is even more nerve-wracking.
It hasn't helped that it's been postponed twice already. First Lana found out she had a hospital appointment the day before, so we put the date back a week to create more space. Then my toddler was sick and needed me to stay home, so we pushed it back another few days. David Oak, whose venue we are using, and who's also going to be taking part behind and in front of the camera, has been very understanding about the scheduling slips so far.
Now it's the night before the shoot and I'm worrying something else is going to go wrong. I hope we all get there on time. I hope I don't forget anything crucial. I hope I sleep well tonight, as well as can be hoped with a little one. I hope no-one's ill again. I hope I don't do anything stupid tomorrow, like failing to set the camera running or accidentally deleting footage. I hope my kid's okay with their childminder all day.
I'm good at thinking of things that might go wrong.
It's not true, but it feels a bit like I've spent the last week preparing. I thought the extra time would create more space, but the prep has expanded to fill it. Today I spent an hour clearing my memory cards, charging batteries and testing my mic (it seemed to have a problem the last couple of times I used it, but it's working fine now). I spent an hour on all the personal grooming I've been neglecting during lockdown. I spent an hour trying on outfits and finishing my packing, and an hour going to the shop to pick up shoot food. My toddler, who is feeling better than they were, helped admirably with those last two tasks.
To console myself after postponing last week, I ordered a new costume item that would be perfect for one of the scenes. I wrote Lana and I a nurse scene forgetting I'd got rid of my nurse uniform during a clearout. So I ordered a new one - and found out today that it's arriving tomorrow. Timing! So I had to raid my wardrobe and come up with an alternative.
Now everything's ready, and I just need to calm my mind enough to get a good night's sleep. At least I'm experienced enough these days that I'm no longer nervous about the acting, or the spankings themselves. Those are always fresh and stimulating, but in another way they're also delightfully familiar.