Here you have (quite possibly) the youngest attendee of the TxMPA Rally and Lobby Day at the state capitol this morning. I'm kicking myself for leaving my camera at home; it was quite a sight to behold. Red was the color of the day and approximately 600 people connected to the entertainment industry in Austin showed up bright and early on the south steps of the capital. It was a bonding experience -hundreds of people united for one cause: to bring the film industry BACK to Texas by creating tax incentives that compete with New Mexico, Louisiana and Michigan. Lots of people say how Austin is such a hot place for film, but that glorious time for the industry has passed. For the past several years Texas has not been able to compete with the tax breaks surrounding states are offering to film productions and many of Texas' best crews and actors are making a mass exodus in order to stay employed. Today is a day where the industry is attempting to change that in a BIG WAY. If these bills don't pass today, it will be a few years before they can be considered again and that may be too late.
Decked out in red, Wilder and I mingled with the large crowd and provided some light, morning entertainment. Folks thought my wee one was pretty adorable -sporting a red hat, red sweatshirt and red shoes. One lady loudly cooed to her friend, "Oh, Looooook! A FILM baby!" I had a good laugh at that. Wilder thought the capitol offered a nice selection of leaves in neat little piles on the walkways which he enjoyed sharing with me in big fistfulls. AND he LOVED clapping -which there was a lot of during the speeches by the likes of Richard Linklater, one of the producers from Friday Night Lights, the president of TxMPA, and our very own Gov. Rick Perry. We left after the speeches and got back home at.... 8am. Yep, an early morning, but it was well worth the trouble. I am so glad I got out of bed to support my profession and join together with others who like living and working in the industry in TEXAS. Hopefully we will make a difference!