On August 2, 2020, I booked my first on-camera job since the beginning of this pandemic. I vaguely remember towards the end of February when this all began and would’ve never imaged we all be where we are today. Living in a new normal, with endless questions to be answered.
I was ecstatic with a job booking after months of nothing, but I was also a bit concerned about how I was going to keep myself safe. Three days before we were set to shoot I received an email from production. Within this email, they noted that due to the current COVID-19 climate, that they will be completing all paperwork for the production in advance and 100% contact-less.
I also had to fill out a special circumstance waiver that was required for any cast and crew members that will be present on the location. That waiver was to ensure that no one would deem production responsible if COVID was contracted. Before I was even halfway through the first part of this email I was already more comfortable with the upcoming day. Another document that was attached to this email was COVID safe site practices. It was mentioned many times that safety was their number one priority above all else on the shoot. Production said, “If we all do our part, we can all make it work!“
It was an early Sunday morning, my alarm went off at 5:30 AM so I could get up and get ready and be on-site before 7 AM. When I arrived everyone was still setting up, there was a lot of hustle and bustle. After dropping my items off and checking in with the wardrobe department I met with the COVID Compliance Officer. At that time he verbally went through all the questions that were on the waiver that was provided in advance that I signed, and he confirmed that since signing that waiver none of my symptoms have changed. Before moving onto my work, my temperature was checked and I was cleared to work on site. All of this was done by 7 AM, making me feel comfortable and confident with a day ahead. The holding area was laid out perfectly due to the circumstances. They were a long 8 foot tables spaced more than 6 feet apart with only one chair on each far end of the table. If being on set wasn’t crazy enough within itself, image it now with all these new rules and protocols.
Before the official day began on set we were all asked to come to an area while staying 6 feet apart with our masks on to meet with the COVID Compliance Officer once again. At this time he went over everything to keep safety as a priority and offered his assistance if it anytime anyone felt uncomfortable or unsafe. My first scene required me to go in and out of the building many times. Each time we reset and before the director called action, someone from production would run in and disinfect the handle of the door. If there was more than one minute between a reset for the scene we would all put our masks back on and implement 6 feet distance between us.
Lunch was also very organized. Not the usual fun, social hour it once was. One at a time, all cast and crew would approach the catering table to grab a boxed lunch. This was definitely not what we were all used to, but it was for sure the safest way to keep food out of contact with others. As an actor, mealtimes are some of the best times to get to know the other cast and crew members. With all the safety precautions and distance put in place, this was not as possible as it was in the past.
Going into this long work day I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the extra precautions that were put in place that I would not have even thought of. At the end of my 12+ hour workday I was so happy to be able to do what I love once again.
Art in all forms is truly what makes me feel alive, and I also believe it can help us through these tying times by providing entertainment, a place for one to escape from the harsh realities of the world. This pandemic may not be over, but there are ways for us to move forward in a safe and pleasant way, so we can continue to do what we love.
Caitlin is an American, international actress, television and radio host, and print model. She competed in pageantry for 15 years, winning the prestigious title of World’s Perfect Miss in 2015. Caitlin also competed as a professional bodybuilder and powerlifter which segued her to attain a nutrition certification and establish her business KitBody. With KitBody, Caitlin coaches others from all across the nation, helping them achieve their personal health goals by providing fitness and nutrition consulting. Caitlin is currently represented by KMR Talent, Rage Talent and is managed by International Artists PR & Talent management in Los Angeles.