An Actress's Thoughts

I did it! – Geschafft!

I Did It!

In the air. May 14, 2017
Today‘s text is about achieved and not achieved targets, it‘s about Riga, an international conference of female filmmakers in London and NEROPA.

Pursue your Goals – We’re Running Up That Hill

Three years ago next month I started running, and if you‘ve been following my blog for a while you might have read the occasional text on this topic (Write a Blog and Ride a Porsche, Running – Twelve Weeks Later….Blimey, this is so German…). Today you will get an update. I‘ve continued running, I‘ve continued participating in running events, mostly over my favourite long distance, the 5.000 metres, but occasionally also over 10 k. Last September I heard of the marathon weekend in Riga, a runners‘ meeting with not only the marathon distance but also half marathon, 10 and 6 k plus a race for kids. Riga, former cultural capital of Europe is a beautiful town, I was there last year for a commercial shoot and was very happy about spending a couple of days there. I had also thrown a coin into the Daugava, which is the local river, and that will ensure that you are coming back one day. ^So I registered for a run in Riga in December, and indredibly enough I chose the half marathon (!) – with the option of downgrading to 10 k until a month before the race if my preparations don‘t go as planned. However, a bit carelessly I mentioned my registration in a half-public interview in January that was filmed, so now quite a few people knew of my plans, so obviously it was sort of mandatory to actually have a go at the distance. Because it would be a bit weird to react to questions like .“How did your half marathon go?“ by saying “Alright, I even managed to finish it in 10.000 m.“.

So I started on a 9 week preparatory training programme (a bit late though, with only six weeks remaining), and I set myself the following goals, in this order:

The Targets

  • cross the finishing line (after 21.1 km)
  • run all the way without walking in between
  • finish in less than 2 h 15 min.


There‘s generally a catch to targets though. Some don‘t depend entirely on your own willpower and effort (e.g. getting cast for the next films by Agnes Jaoui and Sabu). Especially as an actress, and indeed as an actress who‘s past 40, in a way I am at the mercy of sometimes unfavourable circumstances (did I mention already that roles for actresses are getting less after 40?).
And that on the other hand is one of the many good aspects about things like running: it‘s entirely up to you. And on top of that it‘s great, it‘s fun, it clears the head, it helps to digest things, it promotes thinking and planning, it gives you that extra bit of energy, you‘re outdors in the fresh air and sunshine (sometimes) and so forth. But back to my targets:

The Balance

I was in Riga on May 14, and:

  • I made the distance.
  • I ran all the way (even at the water stations / stops).
  • and I stayed unter 2 hours 15 mins (with 2 hours 5 minutes and 34,1 seconds!).

Something else I appreciate in running and participating i races are those spontaneous 10-minute-friendships with fellow runners. You meet on the bus, in a queue at registration or the drop-off station for your bag or somewhere else, and you start talking to each other just like that, you‘re happy for them and their history, you get advice from them or tell them of your ideas, nobody cares about your age or your profession or how much money you make, nobody wants to take anything from you, you are not rivals, instead you might even push each other to a better performance in the race, and should your finishing times be the same then you simply were just as fast as the other (in film productions, if you are equally good and equally suitable for a part or team position, only one of you can get it in the end). And on the top this, the majority of most runners will be in a good mood. In Riga – as it is probably the case in most bigger events – the field was very international with runners from 65 nations. And what was also very nice: the marathon and the half marathon started at the same time and we ran big parts of the race together, with the marathon runners of course running longer – by that I mean farther: the fastest man and the fasted woman were just over my finishing time, but for twice the distance!

And what about the Relaunch?

There‘s another target which I could only achieve on my own, and that‘s the relaunch of the NEROPA website. This is something I actually wanted to have completed by February, and then at least before I went to Riga because – and I am writing this on the plane from Riga to London – I‘ve been invited to present NEROPA at a conference organized by Women in Film and TV WFTV UK together with the British Film Institute BFI.

Making a Difference

WFTV UK’s Making A Difference Conference is “a one day conference looking at best practice in gender equality initiatives in film and TV around the world“. It takes place literally at the centre of a three-day-meeting of Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) representatives from all over the world, from the other WIFTI Chapters as they are called.

The different panels of the conference are:

  • Session One – What are organisations in UK doing to help?
  • Session Two – What gender equality initiatives are happening around the world?
  • Session Three – Get Active – how grass roots activism can make a difference.
  • Session Four – What helped me. Women tell us who/what has helped them in their careers.
  • Session Five – The way forward: what can we do together, in our own groups, as individuals?

In addition to that there will be opening and closing notes and of course pauses and drinks at the end to network. A good extensive day to which they had also invited ‘outsiders‘ like Jean Rogers und Flip Webster von Equity UK, Polly Kemp from ERA, – and Natalie Wreyford from the Calling The Shots research at Southampton University, with whom so far I’ve only had digital contact.

The NEROPA Website

Unfortunately I did not reach my goal, I can say that the website is three quarters revamped but there are subpages where I still have to complete the texts and so far I‘ve only managed to edit the Emglish version of the „How to do it“ NEROPA video clip (which I obviously prioritzed for London). Never mind. the new version is online now, reponsive and bilingual. Go and have a look at it (still at and then again in a couple of weeks to see the additions.

I am happy that my casting-tool NEROPA is also being recognized internationally and I am grateful for this opportunity to present it to film women outside of Germany. And of course I am also excited about the conference and about meeting old (see SchspIN in London) and new friends.


Diversify the sources of your self-esteem.
Anne Morrison. Deputy Chair of British Academy of Film and Television Arts BAFTA.

So why not take up something like running? Where else would we grown-ups get cool medals and above all that sense of contentment, to test our boundaries and broaden our horizon? (I mentioned the many people I met: this is also quite inspiring if you act or write scripts).

Finally I was also planning to mention that the prize money usually is the same for female and male runners – #EqualPay – but in Riga it was a little bit different as you can see on the symbolic cheques in the photos. But maybe that was just a spelling mistake.

This text was published with some delay, sorry.

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