Barbara L's Story
Barbara discusses the important friendships that she has maintained in her life, and how over a lifetime of working in film and theatre, she has maintained these relationships while also achieving her dreams of working on set.
“Friendship has always been really important to me, so I’ve done what I needed to do to keep those friendships. I have 3 girlfriends from high school that I still am in touch with a lot and go away with every year for a girl’s weekend, and a girls week when we turn 40 and when we turn 50 to some place really great. So that has been a real highlight of my life, that I have these wonderful friends from high school. As I said I have a friend that I am in touch with quite a lot, she was here this year visiting, that I know since I worked in San Francisco, a very good friend that I know that was a girlfriend of one of the grips. And we are still friends even though she lives in Oakland now, and friends in New York that worked on The Outsiders, that are still very good friends, that are a couple. He worked in casting, and she was the set nurse, who eventually became a costumer. So there are those folks, but then when I would be away on location, which I was a lot, if I was working in New York it was a lot easier obviously to keep contact with my friends, when I was living in New York. I was on location a lot and there was no cell phones, no internet, no email. So, the only thing you could do is call or write letters, and I did both. I was sort of able to keep in touch with postcards, but then I would get back to town, after having been gone for maybe six months, and you know, you start calling people and you don’t know how long you’re going to be there, maybe a month, maybe six weeks till I start again, maybe it’s only going to be three weeks and I’m going to be gone again. So, by the time you set up, you call them, maybe you find out what is going on with them, you plan to get together for dinner, and poof you’re gone again. Or if they are people that are working in film, they are gone again. My friend who was in casting, he stayed in casting a long time, and if he was in the middle of casting something, the only way I would see him was if I was willing to go to a play with him or see a new comic that he was thinking about casting in something. And that would be the only way I could see him because he was basically busy from morning to night. Everyone and everything was a little bit that way, with everyone that I knew, so it was lonely at times. I would sometimes be in a different time zone, and wonder “who can I call? I’m feeling lonely.” And I had an important relationship in college, but it really wasn’t until I was forty that I had another one that was more than a sometimes thing. When you’re in town, or you’re both in town, and during a film. In some ways, it made me be my own agent, you know have a lot of my own agency because I was my most consistent companion. It was just me; I was the only one who was always around that I could rely on. And I felt independent in the world and strong. We were talking about packing earlier, but I would have a plane ticket in my purse a lot of the time, and I would be able to pack in a pretty small bag and be gone for a month because I was just so used to living out of a suitcase. And I just felt good in the world, and I felt, having made it my own way with no one else helping me, besides my white privilege that is, I was able to have gotten myself to that position and I was happy. I kind of took it for granted in a certain way that I had done it, I did not always think about how I had done that for myself, but I was happy just having to gotten to where I got. To where I could choose the films I wanted to work on, where I could expand my role and do more producing and do script supervising sometime which was really fun. Being on the set and dealing with more of the actors, the director, and the camera people, it really was like my dreams come true.”