A few days a week, Lauren “Renni” Pollock – a 2ndAC and Local 600 member since 2013 — breaks the monotony of quarantine by teaching an hour-long yoga session via Zoom from her living room. Joining her are up to a dozen people including friends, colleagues and occasionally someone she doesn’t know. They Zoom in from Portland, Oregon, from L.A., even from as far away as Amsterdam where a teacher friend of Pollock’s now lives.
Yoga with Renni, as she calls it, is more than a hobby or a diversion. Pollock has been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and is a certified instructor who trained at the Lotus Seed in Portland.
For now, the three-times-a-week living room sessions are working out well. Pollock donated the proceeds from the class to the 3D Agents of Shield and to the Loveland Foundation which provides free therapy to Black women and girls. Based on the feedback she has received, Pollock contends that everybody gets something out of the experience — instructor and students alike.
“Sometimes we work on balance. Sometimes it’s digestion. It’s an hour for them to take their minds off what’s happening in the world and just kind of focus in on the self,” said Pollock. “A lot of us are doing activism work on the outside and I think it’s really important to take care of yourself so you can help take care of other people.”
“I like order and I like having a schedule,” she continued. “I created this space to get people involved and also to help give people a schedule of things to do because essentially we’re all trying to figure out what to do with our lives. People have shown up and it’s been pretty cool.”
A native of Peoria, Illinois, Pollock studied documentary filmmaking and broadcast TV at Northern Illinois University. She lived in Chicago and worked in broadcasting for several years but eventually moved away from TV news. After periods of time living in Portland and Los Angeles, she relocated permanently to LA in 2013 determined to earn enough hours to join Local 600 within a year.
Instead it took her six months, courtesy of the film The Bounce Back. Pollock started as the camera truck driver, moved into digital utility and ultimately to 2ndAC when the project flipped.
“I ended up getting all 30 of my days on that movie,” Pollock said. “I got really lucky, but I also worked hard. Generally, I’ve had a really good experience working with the union.”
In the weeks leading up to the industry shutdown, Pollock had worked on several commercials as well as a day of underwater shooting on Ryan Murphy’s The Prom. While she is very much looking forward to getting back to work, the yoga has been a beneficial constant.
“I think I’m an intense person. You kind of have to be to work in this industry and also make it in camera,” Pollock said. “So having an exercise that’s also about calming and focusing on relaxation is very key. It’s the one constant exercise that I come back to.”