How I Leaped into Film and TV


"You will work on a film project that last six weeks."

It was a familiar voice, the inner one that whispers when I least expect it. I smiled inwardly, wondering how its truth would show itself—for often the voice within speaks in riddles that our conscious mind dissects to mean something entirely different.

I knew it would come true, but the how remained a mystery.

By Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World.

It was a rainy day in December 2008 when I embarked on a me-day to Munich for some shopping and exploring that would change my life forever. Months prior I had read a great review about a film that had been made in Munich. After a few holiday purchases, I set out to look for a theater that might still be showing it.

As if lead by Spirit, I came upon a theater in a side street that happened to be showing the film in thirty minutes. It gave me enough time to grab something to eat before I settled into my seat for a delightful two hours.

I had gone to the movie on the pretense of helping a client. Commissioned as a talent consultant by an Italian music composer for film and live performances, I wanted to investigate the film industry scene in Munich where he wanted to resettle.

While reading the final credits, I stumbled upon the name of a casting agency. When I Googled it later, I realized it wouldn't help my client fulfill his goal to work in Munich, but it might help me reach a lifelong dream of becoming an actor and doing camera work.

So I signed up with the casting agency, telling my husband: "I am turning 40 next year. I have nothing to lose, nothing to prove and a life dream to live."

He smiled in that knowing way and told me to go for it. I filled out my online profile, then promptly forgot all about it. A few weeks after the holidays I got several offers from the casting agency for TV shows. By February, I had already played a receptionist at a doctor's office, a hotel guest on a soap opera and a lay judge for a court show.

Soon I was asked to be a part of the crew as an "extra's wrangler," which is the person in charge of the extras on set. My most memorable gig was managing 55 extras during the filming of an Indian wedding ceremony for a long-running German soap opera, complete with two Asian elephants!

Every job is different. One commercial I did for BMW was wrapped in 90 minutes. For a beer company it took fourteen hours. Sometimes I have lines; other times I am "behind the milk glass," serving as a part of the background to make the scene look real.

No matter what part I play, I feed off the creative energy in the room and always leave feeling a sense of fulfillment that I've learned something new.

Through my various acting workshops, I have made friends with my acting coach who herself is a well-known German actor. She and I are thinking of collaborating on several writing projects, including a screenplay. Whether it is the film project my inner voice foresaw remains to be revealed.

But now I know it does not matter. It was the nudge I needed to take that leap of faith.

What I have learned from taking that special leap that rainy day in December is your dreams are the outline for your truest purpose. Live them. Honor them. For they are the reason you are here.

Fulfilling them brings you not only joy, but also impacts the entire planet with the positive energy that is unleashed when you take that first step in faith, love and humility.