Werking and Getting High
I was working in the film business as a set dresser over 30 years ago which is sort of amazing on one hand and kind of sad on another level.
I was a lead man or rather lead person for many years mostly for Cindy and I worked on some pretty impressive shows and then I was set decorator for several years.
I even served as Vice-President for the Set Decorator Society of America for a term and was on the Executive Board for two years before that.
So on a certain level there is a seen-that, done-that attitude. but more to the point I don't want my job to overtake my life; I don't want to take it home with me, which is somewhat ironic in that I don't have a home to take it home to.
It really struck me how engrained this business is in me and how much apart of my persona it has become when a few years back I received an update on my pension hours, which showed I had over 70,000 worked hours; keep in mind, I was working rather minimally for several years when I was home-schooling Skye and my 10 years as a set decorator had my weekly hours capped at 52 hours per 5-day week although I was probably working closer to 70 hours a week, except on Barbershop 3, but that's another story or perhaps blog post or....
Recently I have been day-playing as a set dresser back in Los Angeles and thankfully I've really been enjoying it.
I remember now how much I like doing the job.
Even when it demands me to do something I am not particularly comfortable with; for instance working all day in a "man-lift" fully extended very high in the air.
Scared of Heights
I think I developed a fear of heights when I was in my teens and my dad forced me to finish the climb up to Angels Landing at Zion National Park There's no view more dramatic than what you see hanging onto a chain bolted into a cliff.
Angels Landing is one of the world's most renowned hikes and is an unforgettable short adventure hike worthy of all bucket lists.
"Anyone in an average physical condition can make this heavenward trek, but it can be mentally challenging with its steep switchbacks and sheer drop-offs. There are chains bolted into the cliff to provide secure handholds. People who have a severe fear of heights should not attempt the final stretch but can enjoy the trail all the way to Scout Lookout." from the Park's trail map.
I was so scared I didn't even get to enjoy the view and I think it damaged me in regards to my ability to manage my fear of heights.
However in the film business it can be hard as in you might find yourself unemployed if you're not willing and able to perform certain tasks.
Honestly it was scary working in a little one man lift fully extended but I never felt endangered. I had my safety harness and I was working on a flat and stable surface. I was just really high up in the air.
Getting sunburned and wind burned were more damaging at the end of the day than dealing with one of my personal demons.
It was a beautiful day and a wonderful view.
Jon Danniells is an adventurer and traveler, a teacher and student, a husband and a father, a cook and a farmer, a "week-end warrior" (very amateur athlete) and has not earned any money on these labors of love.When I googled myself what showed up first was my IMDB listing, which is basically a resume for my 20 and then some year career in film, for which I fortunately do get paid.