So I am working on a movie in the middle of a desert right now, and one day as I am dressing an extra I this funny experience. The Extra keeps looking at me smiling and shy. He finally got his courage together and asked if he could ask me something. He said, "I am sure you get this all of the time but are you in a bunch of movies?" I laughed. I said yes I am in a few cheesy ones, with very small cameos, but nothing too exciting. He disagreed and said that he had seen me in several of his favorite movies, that he loved the cheesy Mormon Movies. I laughed and told him that really the only place that people think I'm famous is in Idaho. And that more than one person had stopped me in the store when visiting family up there. It has been funny to be asked in the middle of Shopko pr Wal-mart if I am "Sonja Nelson", or asked if I was in such and such a movie. Once someone told me that they had a "Sonja Nelson Movie Marathon" while they were decorating for Christmas and watched 3 of these movies back to back. The Extra didn't think this was that funny and told me that he and his family love my movies and proceeded to tell me who I played in each one. I was a bit shocked, and almost waited for one of the guys I work with to jump out and tell me he had put the Extra up to this and get it all on tape. But Bruce Wing or Kee Miller or any of the other jokesters never jumped out, and this guy was in dead earnest. The Extra told me that his Family looked for me in every movie now, and always got excited to see me appear in something new. I was puzzled until he told me that he had to go to a wedding the next day...in Idaho. So again, I find it funny that Idaho thinks so highly of a wardrobe designer that is occasionally in a very small part in a movie.
But what is even stranger is that the week before and had another odd yet similar conversation. I was at a dear friend's wedding and I didn't know many of the people as we waited outside the temple for the couple to reappear. I saw someone I wished to avoid and said a little prayer that I would be able to find someone to talk to instead. An cute older couple about my parent's age approached me and asked if my face had recently been on the cover of the Ensign. I laughed (I tend to laugh a lot in these situations...guess that is better than taking myself too seriously.) and said no, my mother would have been sure to have called me if so. They said that all through the wedding they had been trying to figure out where they knew me from, and decided it must have been in the Ensign. They were then puzzled and started trying to figure out how they knew me. Again it was one of these small movies. But then they were thrilled to talk to me about my profession in Wardrobe for film. A conversation I like much more than my acting. They had seen several movies I had worked on and took a list of others that they decided they needed to get at Deseret book before they went home. But this time home was not Idaho. It was California. I loved being able to talk to them of some of the other more serious films I had done, and they were sweet to introduce me to all of the grooms family which I hadn't ever met. It was a bit odd to be treated like a celeb. I think I would be bored quickly if I had to lead that kind of life.
But I do like the opportunity to work in what I do, and am so blessed to have been able to work on movies that are more than fluff and entertainment. It has been amazing to use my skills to build up the kingdom, and to testify of what I believe. Right now I am getting to work on the New Testament Library Project. I am so grateful that I can help make a difference on such an amazing project. I am grateful for the many teachers and opportunities I had in college and summer Theatre that have prepared me to have something to give. Working on the Church Projects I'll never be recognized for something I made, nor my name be in credits, or have people stop me in the store and ask if I worked on this show. But I am honored to be able to create something worth while, that will change lives and help others to come unto Christ. This project could have rolled on with out me and done just fine. But I am thankful that I can assist in some small measure with so many other talented women. I am also grateful for the many hands that are serving for free. We have a sister missionary and several other amazing seamstresses who have sacrificed their time talents and skills to be able to come and help us build the clothing that is helping to tell the greatest accounts of history.