Millicent Shelton, 47, is worried about the impact that runaway production is having on her twins, a boy and a girl.
“They are 5½ years old, and one of them is already having separation anxiety, because when I’m gone, it’s often for six months at a time,” Shelton muses.
It wasn’t always like this for the episodic TV director.
“I started working in 2005, and the only time I left town was for ‘30 Rock,’ until a few years ago,” she recalls. “Then things started changing. I had to leave town in 2010 for ‘Leverage’ and for “Pan Am.’ ”
Now, leaving town is the norm.
“My husband works out of the home, and he takes wonderful care of my kids while I work out of town,” notes Shelton, whose recent credits include “Parenthood,” “Dallas” and “The Fosters.”
Shelton says that at a recent meeting at the DGA “everyone said that they are outside L.A. from August to Christmas. When I get work in L.A. now, I feel super-fortunate.”
It’s not just missing her family that makes it rough to leave town.
“Working in Atlanta is a logistical nightmare,” Shelton says. “You have to wait for the wardrobe to come from Los Angeles; they don’t have cranes you need. It’s a real pain in the ass. The crews can be really infuriating. You’ll have the first two crews that will be OK, but then you’ll get novices on the next crew.”