The last time I was pregnant I wrote and directed and acted in a short film! I felt like the queen of the world; I was creating a life, I was creating art, it was all easy for me, and I could do A N Y T H I N G. I’m already of that opinion about myself yet I still always do something to embarrass myself, so I really should have been on high alert and seen this next bit coming.
On day one of shooting I wore an adorable little striped dress and felt very maternal. My character was a mom-to-be as well, so I was vibing hard with her essence. I wanted to feel lithe and free but the 100 degree weather was a real hindrance. So, I did what any normal pregnant lady would do: I took off my underwear.
No one will notice, I thought. Plus, I was wearing foundation garments underneath my dress to help prevent any wardrobe malfunctions on camera. Everything was covered.
Then, the sound guy asked if I was ready to be mic’d. Sure thing sounds great! I insisted, but when the sound guy took a knee and began grabbing at my upper thigh to place a microphone, I became suddenly shy.
“Uhh, ha ha, what are you doing?” I asked.
“Oh, placing the mic. I thought we’d put it on your thigh since that’s the flowiest part of your dress,” he said.
“Oh, I was thinking we could put it up around my bra area,” I said, closing my legs.
“Hmm, the bra may conceal it, but it’s a pretty hefty battery pack and your hair doesn’t cover your back or anything…” He was clearly trying to work out how in the world he was going to hide this battery pack.
“It’s just that it’s hot out, and I’m… you know… a pregnant lady… extra body girth… usually equals extra crotch sweat, ha ha.”
Yep I said it. As soon as I did his face contorted into a weird half-grimace, half-sniff, and I immediately regretted everything. In an effort to help alleviate the palpable tension, I began talking and didn’t let up for awhile.
“I mean not right now! Ha ha, sorry that’s probably gross. I didn’t mean I have sweaty crotch now. Or that I will have a sweaty crotch today as an inevitability. I just mean, like, there’s more of a likelihood that I’ll get sweaty because I have this big belly. And because it’s hot. You know? I mean, like, I’ll at least chafe. I probably would anyway on a day like today, you know? Like, everything will rub together and get sticky. Is that really gonna work for the mic pack do you think..?”
“Uhhhhhh…” came the response.
Since I was the director this was technically my call. But, as a director part of my job was to hire people who knew more about their respective departments than I did so that I could focus on the picture and the story. This guy was trying to do his job to the best of his ability, and since I was the director, I didn’t want to waste any more time on where to place my mic pack. I made the swift decision to go for it.
“You know what, forget it. It’s fine. That’s obviously the best place for the mic pack or you wouldn’t have tried to put it there. Let’s just do it.”
Relief washed over his face. “Ha, ok cool,” he said as he knelt back down and grabbed for my leg once more.
“I’M ACTUALLY NOT WEARING UNDERWEAR BUT I DON’T MIND IF YOU DON’T!” My reflexive scream froze him mid-reach. He didn’t say anything, he didn’t move at all, he didn’t avert his eyes or change his mind. He just S T O P P E D.
So I stopped. Because what the hell do I do now??
I took a deep breath to relieve some of the humiliation, then said, “You know what, let me go change undergarments.”
“OK, great,” was all he said as he dropped his hand and leaned out of my way to allow me to move.
I went to my room and found the largest pair of underwear in my possession, panty lines be damned. I hoisted them up over my haunches, said a few affirmations into the mirror to bolster my confidence, then made my reappearance on set. Finally, I was mic’d and the day continued without another hiccup. But I do often think about the poor sound guy who knelt a foot away from my naked, 8-months-pregnant crotch that day, and I wonder whether or not he ever would have known if I had just kept my mouth shut.