Aina Dumlao

Actor. Filmmaker. Mother of Chihuahuas.

Actor. Filmmaker. Mother of chihuahuas.

My "Scandal" on Scandal

December of last year, I booked and shot my 2nd ever TV/Film gig, Scandal. Especially coming from the heels of my 1st gig on State of Affairs where I was gnat-sized on-screen in the episode, this was crazy-good news. Finally, a solid credit and footage for my cred-thirsty reel.

Let's play the "Where's Aina?" game on this  State of Affairs ' Bellerophon' snap.

Icing on the cake was that my role was juicy. It had the markings of a Monica Lewinsky type of liaison. Cherry on-top was my incredible on-set experience. Most of my 6 hours on set consisted of me hanging out with the series regulars. As the only day player, I was sandwiched between Tony Goldwyn (to my left) and Portia De Rossi and Darby Stanchfield (to my right) in the holding area. They were very inclusive in their conversations, took me to lunch with them, and made sure that I was 'at-home'. Halfway through the day, when the cast was narrowed down to just Tony and me, he asked about my background, how I got into acting, my life in the Philippines and what brought me to LA. The comfortable environment everyone setup for me translated into my scenes, where I felt at ease and confident and completely in my element. I was on acting cloud 9.

Fast forward to February 25, a couple of Facebook posts and CD postcards later, I found out from the director that the air date of the episode was pushed by 2 weeks. I was a tad bit disappointed but didn't think too much of it. So when Linda Lowy's office emailed my agent the next day that my scenes weren't gonna air because of a change in story lines, I was completely and utterly devastated.  My mind went down a downward spiral. 

Needless to say, I went on a self-loathing, woe-is me tirade. Was this the culmination of thousands of dollars I've spent on headshots, outfits, gas, etc? Was this what the hundreds of hours (not including the equal time Bru spent holding my hand through all this) preparing and getting to auditions amounted to? I already knew I wasn't young enough and pretty enough, but was I also ultimately not talented enough?

Thanks to Bru (aka the wind beneath my wings), the kind director of my episode Sharat Raju, my wonderful STG manager Wendy Lungaro and CNN... I re-realized a couple of things. This industry is not for the faint of heart, that it's a marathon and not a sprint. And to be privileged enough to be born into a life that allows me to even pursue this career is something I should always be grateful for. I am lucky, so very lucky, to be pursuing a life that I absolutely love. And from here on out, come hell or high water, I will savor every step of the journey.

PS. Special thanks to Linda Lowy Casting for being gracious and considerate enough to reach out to my agent about what was going on. And thank you, thank you, thank you for always calling me in!