I was reticent when I realized the latest Personal Chef Approach video shoot was scheduled right in the early stages of Mercury retrograde (with a blood moon to boot), but team PCA persevered and prevailed in spite of the many naughty delays the planets were showering upon us. In fact, the group of people I am lucky enough to collaborate with are so professional and supportive that we simply shrugged it off, and pulled together like a well-oiled machine.

Julie Anne Rhodes

Julie Anne Rhodes

It all started the evening before the shoot when I came home to find my bottom oven door wide open with a note from my cleaning lady attached letting me know she cleaned it, but the door mysteriously refused to close. Okay, I admit I started to come unhinged (literally and figuratively) as I frantically called several appliance repair companies at 5:30PM to no avail. The likelihood of having the oven repaired in time for an 8AM call-time was rapidly waning, so I called Chris and Sasha at HDK Media to let them know we’d most likely have to postpone the production.

Chris, Sasha, and friend to the rescue

Chris, Sasha, and friend to the rescue

Silly me! Like knights in shining armor they arrived on my doorstep with another friend an hour later, removed the oven door, and miraculously repaired it! The show would go on.

Liz, Jess, & Chris discussing the morning's dramas

Liz, Jess, & Chris discussing the morning’s dramas

Then, the morning of the shoot, my uber talented hair and make-up artist Jess Berrios awoke to an alarmingly empty cage next to an open window. The gigantic python she was snake-sitting was missing! As you might imagine, that would be rather stressful considering it was big enough to swallow her Rottweiler whole, not to mention the dread of having to explain to her friend that she lost the 12 year old snake. Luckily the snake was found quickly, so off she raced to get to set on time… or not. Her voice did wobble slightly as she called to let me know the freeway resembled a parking lot, so she would be unavoidably delayed. Always the consummate professional, Jess still arrived with a smile on her face and her incredibly contagious bubbly personality intact. Thank GOD, because this vampire is not fond of early morning call-times, and her bundle of positive energy is more energizing than a triple espresso!

Daisy self-appointed herself production manager - keeping an eye on the hero shots

Daisy self-appointed herself production manager – keeping an eye on the hero shots

While Jess transformed me, food stylist extraordinaire Elizabeth Grove arrived with her friend Jade in tow, and they quickly set about getting the hero shots of each meal I would be preparing ready for Sasha and Chris to film. Next they were onto prepping each meal to make the “TV magic” flow like clockwork. Daisy designated herself location manager, diligently keeping on eye on every detail.

Sound engineer Evan

Sound engineer Evan

Of course, moments after Evan (our sound engineer with the most impish grin) got me all mic’ed up, I had to ask him to “please turn me off so I can pee in peace.”  Evan sits so quietly in another room listening and watching his monitor, that it is SO easy to forget he is there. Sound guys are to hearing, what voyeurs are to sight when you think about it, so we did have a good giggle when I asked him about the most embarrassing things he’s overheard during the course of  his career.

Daisy and me waiting for the beeps to stop...

Daisy and I sat waiting for the beeping to stop…

Still right on schedule in spite of the planetary delays, it was time for “lights, camera…. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!” A massive, very loud truck decided to deliver a new skip to the construction site across the street at the exact moment Sasha called “action,” yet another delay chalked up to dear old Mercury retrograde.

Make-up doesn't always stand the heat in the kitchen

Make-up doesn’t always stand the heat in the kitchen

As the day wore on there were other minor delays due to car alarms, and lights dimming every time my air conditioner kicked in to combat the intense heat in the kitchen threatening to melt the make-up right off my face. When I jokingly requested a fan boy for the next shoot, Chris actually obliged – sending us all into further fits of laughter. Are you allowed to call it “work” when having this much fun?

However, the final blow came after we wrapped – Jess went to load her gear back into her car that had somehow managed a disappearing act? Turns out the grumpy old git two doors down spitefully had it towed, claiming it was blocking his driveway (it was not) – $230.00 later we managed to get the car back. While it is rather tempting to train Daisy to do her business in a certain yard from now on, I do believe in karma, so I will continue to clean up after my dog in spite of feeling a distinct lack of “neighborly love.”

The Weekly Menu Plan

The Weekly Menu Plan

Sometimes you really can’t do anything other than pause and find the humor in the situation, which luckily everyone did while we munched on this week’s menu plan available individually in the shop, or enjoy a new menu plan every week along with many other benefits when you join the Personal Chef Approach.

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