The past few weeks have been an absolutely whirlwind consisting of early wake-ups, smiling faces and an experience I couldn’t have dreamt of in my wildest dreams.
For those of you who aren’t following me on Instagram, or those people I haven’t told directly, I went over to Nusa Penida about a month ago for an audition to be in this commercial for Indonesia. I didn’t think much of it when I applied – It was advertised by a girl who lives in Nusa Lembongan and I just happened to see it. They also wanted someone American and blonde, so I didn’t really fit the brief. When I went for the audition, I realised that this wasn’t really a small thing. This commercial is going to be shown worldwide. It will play in all airports that have a direct flight to Indonesia (so Australia, United States, Canada, New Zealand and Europe) as well as on big billboards across the world and on any TV at any time of night or day, and even in Times Square.
I got a call a few days later to say that I got the part.
Now, why wasn’t I screaming this news from the rooftops as soon as I found out? I guess I’ve just had the experience of being told I was lined up for something before, gone and told a bunch of people and then it’s all fallen through. I’m mindful not to get my hopes up too high, just in case. And maybe there was a part of me that thought that they would turn around and decide to use someone else they found last minute. Someone without tattoos with a prettier smile and nicer, blonder hair.
But no, they wanted me. They wanted me from the start and now I’m here, doing the commercial.
It’s been so surreal the entire time and I’m just taking everything in and learning as much as I can. Firstly about filmmaking, and secondly, about myself.
The first four days of filming were all in Bali. The storyline is that there are four friends from around the world who come to travel in Indonesia and meet up together in Bali. The other three have each shot their individual parts and then we all met up in Bali to film there, and then I head to Lapuan Bajo in the east of Indonesia to film my solo part.
It was four days of very early mornings to sit and get makeup done (usually around 4.30am) and then going to different locations to drink cocktails, (or mocktails most of the time) eat delicious food and just swan around like best friends on holiday. That is something I know how to do!
The other cast members were lovely. Two guys and one girl. One of the guys, Kevin, and the other girl, Lilly and I all ended up getting along really well. Kevin and the other guy, Zidne, are both from Jakarta and Lilly is Swiss. Lilly is a beautiful little 18-year-old who just finished high school with long blonde hair and big blue eyes. She is so gorgeous. It was really wonderful for me to work with her as I have a little bit of experience on her, both with filmmaking and in life, me being 10 years older (oh geez!). Lilly told me that she really admired the way I would handle some situations we were in and it made me feel really nice; to know that I’m now kind of an adult who has her shit together because sometimes I forget.
Saying goodbye to them both was sad, but I was also so glad to be able to work with people as lovely as they are.
I then took a flight with the crew to Lapuan Bajo. The director told me when we got off the plane that the hotel was a 5-hour drive away. So I got settled and ready to just stare out the window until the sun went down. But he was very cheeky and the hotel was only a 5-minute drive away. And my room!! Wow! I have a big comfortable bed, hot water, and a view of the ocean which the sun sets in to.
I had a moment as I was watching the sun go down tonight that I literally pinched myself because I was wondering how this could actually be real still. They picked me! What?! And as my smile grew, I saw a sliver of the moon smiling back at me.
We filmed here for five days and it’s been so stunning. The scenery here is incredibly beautiful, and I’m getting paid to stand in it and look pretty. What a job! We went to a cave, on a boat, to mountains, met dragons, dived with turtles and swanned around a hotel that the cheapest room is $500 U.S. a night!
I even got to do some yoga on the beach in Komodo Island where the drone footage looks ridiculous!
As I wait for my flight back to Bali before I go back to my little island again and start teaching yoga. I cannot wait to go back and be in my space again. I also very much miss teaching yoga and not having to wear make up every day.
When I first got the news that I had got the part, my dear friend McKenna happened to call me right after. It was beautiful to be able to share that excitement with her, and her words to me were “I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of this than you.”
They were really beautiful words at that moment and they came back to me as I watched the sunset to remind myself that I am exactly where I’m meant to be. All of life’s lessons and all the good and bad times have lead me to where I am now. To sit on my little ledge in my hotel room, as the moon smiles down on me. I am here. I am present. And I am deserving.
Big thank you’s go to the entire crew for being super supportive of me and helping me every way they could. I didn’t sneeze without someone offering me a tissue, ginger tea or to sit down. Main camera man Putra for always giggling along with me when he would say “now bite your lip” and I would make the ugliest face possible – good thing it was a close up shot. And the biggest thanks goes to Christy, the director. Most of all, for believing in me every step of the way. This team of people are very special and I’m so grateful for all of them!
I’m just gonna put a BUNCH of photos here now. Enjoy.
You can follow along on my Instagram @mermaidyogaadventures.