I’m often asked “What did you do when you lived in Paris?”
Ouf. The answer is, to opt for an oft-used phrase, “It’s complicated.”
I did some free-lance consulting, editing and copy-editing, and of course I created and fed this blog, my third child.
But one of the most fun, intriguing, and personally fulfilling volunteer gigs I had in Paris was to be a part of the Lafayette 250th anniversary celebration a few years ago. Bright lights! Big city! Cameras rolling!
It turned out that a big part of the Lafayette anniversary woop-de-doo was of serious interest to acclaimed American filmmaker Oren Jacoby. How he and I initially connected is too long a story to be of interest (it has to do with librarians, historians, and archivists, so don’t fall asleep). But ultimately, I ended up as an enthusiastic, starry-eyed participant in Oren’s great documentary about the Marquis de Lafayette and his involvement in the American Revolution: Lafayette, the Lost Hero.
There is always the but, right? And biz being biz, after all those hours, I ended up on the cutting-room floor, so to speak. (Actually, I’m in the outtakes on the DVD, which you can purchase, or if you simply need to believe me.)
Such is life. But, seriously, I wouldn’t have traded the learning-curve experience for anything. For example, for one memorable day, camera crews were rolling all day in my apartment in the 7e arrondissement (which I dubbed Studio 54, for the address.)
|Bright lights at 54 rue Vaneau|
|Of course, there’s zero stress in having your apartment filmed for posterity…|
In Paris, I was filmed tootling around the Marché de Saxe on my bike, climbing the stairs at the French Senate (the Palais du Luxembourg) and at a gala at the Palais de Vincennes, interviewing the director of the Musée Carnavalet in private tour of the museum’s galleries, just to name a few segments. My then-college-aged kids agreed to be filmed as I lectured them about the “Declaration des Droits de l’Homme” in the Concorde metro station. I counted among my Lafayette co-stars such journalistic luminaries as Michael Oreskes and Jim Gaines, plus the mayors of Lafayette cities in the US.
On the other side of the pond, too, I was there. Back on home turf to see my son Harry, I plodded around the Bunker Hill monument in Boston in the rain, cameras running as I chatted about Lafayette history. In Charleston (while on a visit to Miss Bee in college), I learned a lot about South Carolina history as we focused on Lafayette’s arrival there in 1777. All for my hero, Lafayette.
And a plus: I learned a lot of film lingo. Such as “sticks,” and “wrap.” You know, how cool am I? Heady stuff.
Here I am with the great guys of the crew, South of Broad in Charleston.
|Sometimes I felt like Snow White!|
But how do I put any of this on my resume?