This week I worked on a movie called "Dear Dumb Diary." I was a background player portraying a cafeteria worker. The set was dressed like a modern middle school cafeteria and it brought back a lot of unpleasant memories for me.
First—and this wasn't a bad memory, just a weird one—part of the film included an 80s flashback so I saw a bunch of kids wearing neon and crimped hair. I haven't seen that since I was those kids' age.
Then there were the signs about the school being a "bully free" zone and promoting friendship over bullying. I was bullied a lot when I was growing up and back then, no one seemed to care. Not even the teachers. I even recall being bullied by a substitute teacher once.
There was also the fact that the scenes we were shooting were in a cafeteria. Lunch time was a difficult time for me. My parents didn't seem to care if me and my sister ate or not. They didn't sign us up for school lunch, nor did they put much thought into having much for us to take to school with us. As a result, I didn't eat much during lunchtime. There was one time I recall in elementary school when I got to have a school lunch. I stepped away from my tray for a minute and when I came back, someone had chewed up something and spit it into my food.
I was grateful for the ability to work on this film but I didn't like the memories it brought up for me.