Over the past few months I have been dealing with the untimely passing of a close friend. He had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, so although he tried to fight it with chemotherapy for a while, it was pretty much a done deal. All we could do over the next several weeks was make sure he was comfortable and know that he was loved. I believe we accomplished both of those.
But even while this was going on, I felt the best way to honor him was to keep doing what I do. For the DC 48-hour Film Project I played a guy in a dark comedy about using an event planner to help with his suicide. Yeah, I know. I made a point not to share it with any of my friends who were also close to him, but I did tell him, and he had a good laugh at the coincidence.
I got news of my friend’s passing the night before my shoot for the Baltimore 48HFP, and, oh boy, we drew Comedy. But I needed to soldier through and do it like a professional, both for his memory and for myself. Yes, I wept a lot while driving in my car to the location, but once I got there, I dried my eyes and focused on work. I wasn’t being strong, or brave – I just had to. I got through the day wearing a lampshade that had been made into a painful hat, and we made the comedy we’d intended.
In the weeks since then, I often think of my friend and that day. And I keep plugging away at this acting career I’ve decided upon. I miss him terribly, but I am doing the best I can to (I hope) honor him. It would be presumptuous to say something like, “he would have wanted me to do this,” because he never specifically said that. But I know he thought I was funny, and he did know that I am doing what I want to do, and I’m pretty sure he’d be okay with that.