A year or so into our marriage Chup was hit with a major conflict in his career. He was given two parts in two movies that were shooting at the same time. One was in Idaho, the other in Utah. Both were being made by his good friends and both had enticing possibilities to go big.
The first script offered to him was a small part in a teenage comedy directed by one of Chup's favorite people on this planet. The second script was offering him the title role--a teenage drama about an inspiring teacher in a high school. I don't know the rules of acting, but I think all things considered, an actor gravitates for the bigger role. But maybe I am wrong.
So Chup accepted the second script.
The film shot in a ginormous high school in south Salt Lake valley. He was shooting for a couple days and one day he asked if I wanted to come up and see him. This was a major conflict in our marriage, because I didn't like being on set. It was my living nightmare.
Because being on set brings out super insecurities about me. Because people on set take their jobs really seriously and I feel out of context. Because being on set requires you to be quiet. Absolutely quiet, and I was always worried that I'd be watching a scene and an accidental body noise would come out of me and everyone would look at me exasperated like, "You know how much money that hiccup just cost us?"
Hiccup, burp or . . . you know.
It's really intense and being on set makes me feel like I have disappeared.
But I accepted his offer.
The day I went on set I found him in front of lights and cameras with a push broom and a couple of teenage punks. They would do their scene and someone would yell "Cut!" and then all sorts of ladies would jump all over my husband, touching up his make up, "Your skin is perfect Chris!" getting him water, "Do you like designer water or tap, Chris?" going over lines, "In the next scene you will say 'It's okay Josh, I've been there too, be strong man.' Ok Chris?"
I don't even call him Chris.
And I sat there melting in the heat of feeling stupid wondering, what am I doing here? Until finally the director yelled, "We're taking a break!" which is when Chris waved off all the attentive women and walked towards me, took my hand and said, "Let's go find a place."
So we walked out of set and out into this ginormous high school and over to the auditorium where we climbed stairs to the balcony and sat there for awhile. Just sat there. I think he was decomposing his character so he could be him. The guy that auditioned for me and got the part.
And then, well, we made out.
I am going to write this next paragraph whilst battling a lumpy throat but: I guess I am telling this story because it's the way our relationship works. His security is enough to overcome my insecurities. And when I am feeling horribly inefficient or tired or stressed or confused, I envision myself with him, finding a place. And when we are alone, I climb on his lap--with my body completely folded up on his legs--and he wraps his big arms around me and we just sit there decomposing our characters. I really hope this is what heaven feels like, because it's the safest place my mind can reach. Gosh I am crying like a goat right now.
Happy Birthday Chup.
*thanks Jed Wells for this photo. Did I ever tell you I was six months pregnant when we shot these? With Chris' baby no less.
I am c jane and I don't think we ever saw the film Chup shot that day. But the second script? The one Chup passed on? It went big.