Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Year End round-ups

Things and things that I haven't talked about (maybe?) -

- Esra and I are going to Istanbul.. Jan 13 - 23rd. very exciting. her mom's side of the family lives there and.. as her dad, mom and brother (and cousins) will be joining us, and as Esra and family have planned an 'engagement dinner' of sorts at Fenerbahçe Club

- Many pictures of Istanbul to come... ala the kick-arse camera we bought with christmas money (for 1/2 the amazon price, wooo!)

- I've worked on the following since I last told ya what I've worked on: Macy's, Macy's, Macy's, Dave's Bridal and, it still makes me laugh: Honey Bunches of Oats.
the Macy's were 2 commercials and 1 print ad, the Dave's Bridal was a commercial. Honey Bunches of Oats was a music video 'homage', let's say, to Flight of the Conchords and/or Tenacious D and/or the SNL Digital Shorts music video spoofs. The 'song' was "Breakfast in Bed" complete with the lines "girl, I love it when you masticate" and (referring to their bowls of cereal) "wanna make sure I dont finish before you". ya. weird to watch, for sure. mostly funny tho. And being the "hey, Kory normally does Art Dept PA work" guy, I got 'borrowed' by the Art Director often and put to much use building walls (it's someone surprising how rewarding it is to turn a box of screws and some 2x4's into solid walls in under 5 minutes). Long hours though.. 17 on one of the 3 days, 15 on another.

- Then it was my birthday, yeayyy. We went here. Also, I know it goes without saying but, it was Warren Sapp's birthday too.

- Speaking of the Raiders... I will respectfully not speak of the Raiders except to say that they are still the best team ever.  by ever, I mean next year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Song of the Week

A true stick-in-the-header, for sure:

hmmm.... interesting... under youtube's "related" videos shows... what i do believe is actually the original version a cover of heartbeats.. by Jose Gonzales,  annnnd... now having (re)seen the video, i do remember clips of the bouncey balls bouncing down those SF hills.  check it out..  talk about MUST SEE videos... yeesh.

Song(s) of the week - making up for lost time

I still have a few rumbling around in the old noggin that need sharing, for Surely:

   (the video is a must for this one.. tis great, from 2:15 on needs to be seen)

this one isn't stuck in my head, but as far as videos go... this oughta be seen too

not really a stuck-in-the-head song either but the video is freakin beautiful; great concept.

Song of the Week

in the interest of writing more than I have lately (ie. none), I'm going to start posting links to songs that get undislodgeably stuck in my head.  Until they get dislodged by the next song to stick in my head, that is.  if you dont 'get it' the first go-round, give it another listen.  there's gotta be a reason I'm groovin' on it, eh?

And so... this week's song is:   April March - Chick Habit


(from the credits for Death Proof.  also from the movie But I'm A Cheerleader)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sense of smell returns, wish to god it hadn't

Who would have thought that one would actually be disappointed by a human sense returning?

Yes. when I first moved to NY, be it allergies or genetics or even just good fortune, my sense of smell all but vanished. As in, I could smell some things, but random, totally useless smell noticings - like the newness of a roll of masking tape but not a trash can full of dog poop near the dog run in the park. Someone could say "what is that smell?!?? eyew" and my usual response would be "huh? my sense of smell kinda sucks, sorry". Conversely, someone could say "mMmMmm! what is that smell?!?!??" to which my response would usually be the same. The interesting part, came in those middle grounds, usually where someone didn't say anything at all. Then, I could sometimes smell things. I feared I was psychosomatically blocking my own sense of smell because I'd already become used to identifying myself as someone who doesn't smell things. Why would I do that? I dont know, why does anyone do anything psychosomatically? Honestly though, I tried not to question it, lest I lose my envied ability (to not have an ability).

Lately though.. I've been able to smell.. just about everything. I think. I mean, do you really know you're not smelling something if you're not smelling it? (with no one to ask if you're smelling it or not of course). And damn it.. I want my sense of not smelling back. When I moved here, I quickly realized that not smelling New York was a blessing. A profitable trade off of a lot of bad smells not smelled and just a few good smells not smelled. Now I smell that damn charcoal that heats pretzel vendors' carts, the chemicals they use to try to mask the dog run smell and rotting street trashcan trash, crowded subway cars and standing gutter water, the permanent gas cloud at Macy's perfume counters and New York's unique homeless body funk.

I had so romanticized my awesome inability to smell New York (and the hope that my other four senses would compensate, turning me into a cat like superman - moreso than I already am of course) that I really feel like .. I got stripped of a special badge and now, I have to ... sigh.. live like the rest of you. You .. smellers.

Seriously. How do you do it? it's still the best city on earth but man it stinks.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dary and Paige Dayani wedding pictures

my brother and his .. well, now, wife, got married in south dakota. esra and i went. good times were had by all. take a look at their professionally done photos:

and here:

then take a look at my disposable gems of photographical fine art that took me a million billion years to upload just now:

Interestingly enough, I almost started my photos with the one
below this one. Right. not my wedding. got it.

See why I almost put this one first? Our hotness is barely irressistable. Kudos to Ms Esra for the one-armed picture taking. I've taught you well, young one.

See? even cheesy smiling... hotness.

My dad, stealing kisses. As per usual. Daughter-in-laws are few & far between. I understand.

Did I mention that we were in South Dakota?

Need proof? Yes, that's me with a fully automatic Uzi submachine gun. Possibly not the best picture of me to have on the internet.

And that's me with a fully automatic extra large cocktail shrimp.

Esra and my dad just after the wedding ceremony. Did i mention that these pics are horribly out of order?

For example, my dad, his gf Betty and friend Art at the reception dinner, post wedding.

Aaaannd, back to pre-wedding.

And then to the reception.

And then Dary and Esra pre-wedding. Dary had that ... suit? outfit? ..made. Incidentally, I was made to wear tuxedo shoes vs. the awesome shoes I had brought myself and I will not be letting anyone involved live that fact down, ever. Hope you like pointy pink elf shoes Dary, my wedding's in September.

Oops. again, we're post wedding (groomsmen). Please do not sing Time Warp.

If you really feel like it, you may sing a cover version of Van Halen's Jump. Any looks of pity you receive are solely your responsibility.

The view from our hotel room. South Dakota (as you will unfortunately not see from our pictures) is flatter than a flat, flat... very flat object. that is flat.

Oh goodness. Seriously. where did my lovely Esra learn to take photos? Yes, you got the tent's crossbar perfectly framed, good. Now cut off the best man's head.. great. Now wait for Kory's eyes to .. [click!]

Ok, that's a bit better.

Esra also really loves pictures of a) flower arangements. b) tables full of food c) there is no c), see a) & b)

See? I cant wait for thanksgiving.

My dad and Bette

Honestly. Is there a better way to leave the trunk of your rental car? I think not.

Dad and I on a Circle Line tour around Manhattan.

And Bette and Esra.

And Larry (Esra's dad) and his girlfriend, Eirlys

Due South. Lower Manhattan,David Bowie's apt is covered in the white building-shroud thingy. David Geffen's apt is two above that.

Due west. the Puck Building.

Due East. lots of interesting stuff obscured by haze.


Southeast. Brooklyn and the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges not visible due to haze. Stupid haze.

Our engagement party? I think? Lookie what ring made it into the shot. : )

My lovely Esra, at the lake near Sharon, MA she grew up near.

the boardwalk out to the beach, Provincetown - Cape Cod.

Esra's mom's condo-pool.

Mystic, Connecticut. as viewed from a long way away from the actual downtown portion of Mystic.

Esra & her mom in her mom's backyard. cute as buttons, I tell you! both of them.

Rice to Riches, SOHO, NY. all things tapioca.

Hey. look, it's me on my second PA job ever. The Verizon commercial on Lake Sebago.

Kitty-boys! in a sink and beyond sink.

Lombardi's pizza in SOHO.

On the drive back from Cape Cod. random river side pictureness. One armed bandit anyone? Ohw yeahhh.

A NYTimes review of the Guggenheim staged reading I worked


the review below, that is. I, personally had a blast. My unofficial mentor to becoming a buyer/shopper / set dresser called me with a four day job that her & her new company partner had booked - high profile names would be in the show and audience (see below - I only saw Cate Blanchett who, I'm sad to say, was not as Cate-Blanchett lovely in person, Elaine Stritch who is lovely (ok, not really) and Anita Ekberg who, a google image search reveals, was freakin' wow-lovely in her day)
My job, along with my PA friend Hudson, was to go to prop houses and stores and rent or buy all the stuff we'd need for the show.. mostly, 8 chairs and the below mentioned lips couch. yes, a lips couch. it was the director's idea and judging from the review, it was the least of his problems... without further aideau, I'll let you read about the car crash, below....

PERFORMA 07 Cate Blanchett, seated, in a Pirandello play reading staged by Francesco Vezzoli.

Published: November 1, 2007

SLUMPED in a rolling chair behind the information desk at the Guggenheim Museum, clutching about him a vast fringed leather coat from Prada, André Leon Talley, the Vogue editor at large, emitted a theatrical moan. “Where, where, where is Cate Blanchett?” said Mr. Talley, elongating the actress’s name, not altogether sotto voce, until it became a trans-European bleat, a cry of pain.

LINES VS. LONE Cate Blanchett at the Guggenheim.

Ms. Blanchett, as it happened, was off in the wings, wherever they are, of the great museum, being kitted out in a John Galliano couture dress and trench coat for a star turn that, when it actually occurred, registered as a blur for many of the 800 people who’d already endured several hours of waiting.

By the time Ms. Blanchett appeared, her head swathed in tulle veils, amid flashes of theatrical lightning, not a few people were desperate to follow Mr. Talley, who rose at line three of her monologue and bolted for the door.

This all took place near midnight Saturday, as elsewhere in Manhattan Halloween revelers from foreign lands (well, New Jersey) gaily and drunkenly disported themselves while dressed as prostitutes and clowns. In the museum’s rotunda, a group of eminent actors began an earnest reading of Luigi Pirandello’s “Right You Are (If You Think You Are),” the play, in this case, not exactly utilized as such but as a prop text in a performance piece orchestrated and staged by Francesco Vezzoli, the artist and social gadfly and “bad boy” of Italian art, a person New York magazine recently said “exists at the center of the art-celebrity-fashion nexus that is, controversially, defining the art world today,” whatever that means.

Ostensibly a commentary on the nature of celebrity, the evening featured some of the celebrities Mr. Vezzoli collects, and whom he has cast in performance works like the 2005 “Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s ‘Caligula’” (Helen Mirren, Benicio Del Toro, Courtney Love), and this year’s “Democrazy” (Bernard-Henri Lévy and Sharon Stone as a presidential candidate and her spouse).

Saturday was the inaugural event of Performa 07, a performance-art biennial organized by the art historian RoseLee Goldberg. At a dinner held before the event at the Upper East Side town house belonging to the art dealer and socialite Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Ms. Goldberg said that her personal litmus test for successful performance art is that it makes people weep. “That’s my measure,” she said. “If you cry.”

By that standard “Right You Are (If You Think You Are)” was a galloping success, since people had shed tears to get in, and also battled with flacks and politicked with gallery owners and bartered with friends and pleaded, of course. There were waiting lists for waiting lists. This is because the evening was to feature movie folks like Ms. Blanchett, and Ellen Burstyn and Natalie Portman (in a Prada suit and a glue-on mustache) and Peter Sarsgaard (in a real mustache) and Dianne Wiest and also, let us not forget, the 76-year-old Anita Ekberg, whose “special appearance” amounted to her perching on the pillowy lips of Salvador Dalí’s Mae West sofa, looking as remote (her nickname in 1950s Hollywood was “The Iceberg”) and disgruntled as a Pekingese.

Did the audience feel Ms. Ekberg’s evident unease? It did. Discomfort was built into the evening, as central to it as the Pirandello script, written in 1917, and which, as one critic noted, toys with how “the social role built up by one character for himself is continually destroyed by another, devaluated into a sick sham existence that outsiders accept as real only out of pity.” Put less dramatically, the play and the performance piece both concern a group of provincials speculating interminably about whether a Mrs. Ponza does or does not exist.

Anticipation and duration is always a recipe for a serious reception in New York; add a pinch of punishment and you’re made. The sentence, in this case, took the form of the 90-minute wait in the chill air to get into the museum, a common enough sight at blockbuster shows, yet one that infrequently includes socialites, celebrities and multimillionaires.

Rarely, that is, does one spot the philanthropist Anne Bass or the actress Lucy Liu on the wrong side of a velvet rope. And it is a tribute either to the women’s fortitude or Mr. Vezzoli’s currency that they hung around. Plenty of people defected, stomping off in their Louboutins and Manolos after obediently lining up in the dark for an hour.

Was this part of the grander plan? “I don’t know, I’m not sure, but it’s possible this was part of the intention,” said Miuccia Prada, a supporter of Mr. Vezzoli, who stuck it out for the show and a second-row seat alongside Uma Thurman and near Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Mary-Kate Olsen, the art dealer Marian Goodman and Ms. Liu.

Mr. Vezzoli, for his part, insisted otherwise. “We were late because of the hair extensions for Anita Ekberg,” he said. In the aged star’s silent presence, he added enigmatically, could be found the key to the work. “For me, putting Anita Ekberg on a Surrealist pedestal was my way of signing the work. I’m sorry that people had to wait, but it’s so rare to make people angry with art that that’s a form of achievement in itself, I suppose.”

At any rate, as Ms. Portman, in her role as the character Laudisi, inquired: “What can we ever know about others, who they are, why they are, how they behave? Who can finally say what is true?” Not much, to reply, very little, almost nothing, a bit and we’ll get back to you. Still, if there’s anything about celebrity culture all can agree on, it is that it’s no place to go looking for sincerity.

A stampede away from the museum followed the performance, a select group of guests trailing Ms. Prada to a party she held for Mr. Vezzoli at the Bemelmans Bar of the Hotel Carlyle. There — as white-coated waiters passed drinks; and Salman Rushdie buttonholed the hostess; and the artist Terence Koh (a k a Asianpunkboy) held court beneath the deceptively bucolic Bemelmans mural, in which an armed rabbit stalks its innocent brethren; and Mr. Sarsgaard circulated with his girlfriend, Maggie Gyllenhaal; and Mr. Vezzoli sat in a corner looking dazed and febrile after three sleepless days — one forgot the wait, the longueurs, the pretensions of the evening, in part because the Champagne was flowing and also because Mrs. Ponza, or Cate Blanchett, had finally showed up, dressed like a ghost from a Boldini portrait, in a two-minute coup de théâtre that took place just as the evening threatened to slump to an “Inside the Actors Studio” end.

Elegant, substantial, starlike, Ms. Blanchett, as Mrs. Ponza, descended the museum ramps amid an entourage of cameras, light crews and assistants flashing strobes.

“I am whoever you believe me to be,” she said in a sonorous, cinematic Elizabethan accent. “Are you happy now?”

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Engagement Party Pictures

are here: Engagement Party Pictures

Just so you can match up the names & faces with who's who, here's a run down of names and who they are to me ... / us. in no particular order (except the one I gave it, based on outright bribes paid directly to me)

Esra: she's m' lady!! (ooooEeeeeOoooo!)
Kory: that would be.. me, I think. let me check. yes. me.

Chris: 1/2 of best man(s), volleyball teammate
Jillian: his girlfriend, volleyball teammate and "my" bridesmaid
Matt: 1/2 of best man(s)
Karen: his fiance
Holly: Maid of Honor, bridesmaid
Dawn: Esra's friend, bridesmaid
Karl: Dawn's boyfriend
Marisa: 1st catskills trip-mate, my 'hero' (got me 1st of PA work)
Seth: Marisa's boyfriend
Meredith: volleyball teammate
Mike: volleyball teammate
Ash: volleyball teammate
Steven: volleyball teammate
Meredith ("Steve's meredith"): Steven's girlfriend
Clare: carpoolmate to this wedding we attended
Rich: Clare's husband, also carpoolmate
Theo: Rich & Clare's baby who'd been in utero during that wedding
Jeremy: Esra's former coworker
Rachel: Jeremy's girlfriend
Dana: Esra's former coworker, friend
Sandi: Esra's former college-mate
Alicia: Esra's Boston friend

did i miss anyone?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Freaky rooftop moment

-- last week, I was sitting on my fire escape, having a cigarette when I heard "excuse me". Odd, as I live on the 7th floor and no genies were floating nearby. A college age kid, it turned out, was on the roof of the building next to me and was asking me for a cigarette. The problem was, there's about an 8 ft gap between their roof and my fire escape so ... he wanted me to toss him the cigarette which, I started to do until I realized that I really needed to be ultra-accurate with my throw, lest this moron go plunging over the side & fall. I showed some hesitation (this is freakin' stuuupid, what the F??) to which he displayed his conviction by... crawling up on the roof ledge and ... dangling his feet over the edge of the roof, arms extended in a "ok, I'm ready to catch the cigarette you're going to throw". All I could say was "woahhh DUDE!!" still flabbergasted that this was some sort of challenge or bravery contest he was determined to show me and his friends he could win. Not only did I have to toss a cigarette (not exactly the most aerodynamic of tossables) across an eight foot gap, I had to get it between two direcTV cables coming off my roof to my apartment. As I lined up for the shot, all I could think was "if you fall and die, I am going to be sooo pissed" and "what kind of f#%ing moron dangles his damn legs over a ... ahhh F it, here goes" and yes, before I could think any more about it .. I tossed it.
-- It honestly could not have been a more perfect shot. Except that.. it hit him in the chest and bounced on his thigh and then... he nabbed it before it rolled off the edge of the roof. Knowing that my heart was about to explode from almost helping this dipsh!t end his life, I barely even heard him say "thanks man" (like it was nothing, like I'd just pointed someone on the street to the subway) and then roll back off the edge of his roof to rejoin his friends, smoke in hand.
-- No way in hell was I going to ask him if he needed a light.

Martha, my brother and Macy's

seemingly, these things would have .. ok, little in common. or maybe a lot.

five weeks of Martha Stewart Everyday Baking or Everyday Food: Baking (depending on who you ask) is in the bag. It was a blast - a great learning experience, easy (as pie, ha.. ha) work, the best hours I've worked so far (8am-6pm) and I ended up with a freezer full of catering leftovers and pantry cupboards full of kitchen staples (hey, our fake set kitchen couldn't have fake set food, right? (answer: wrong, but shhhh)). Also, I managed not to gain 500 lbs working on a show that produced nothing but cakes, pies, cookies, tarts, puddings, etc, etc, etc. How you ask? take the smallest size piece of whatever's offered to you, take a bit or two out of it, throw the rest in the trash.
Everyone I worked with was great, good people, all around - comparatively at least. All productions seem to have a few folk who are consistently .. at least mildly annoying. We had one & even she wasnt that bad. We shot in a studio at 33rd & 10th which was, we found out, where MTV first started (again, another "god I love New York" moment). We ate lunch on the roof with a great view of the west side & Jersey, ships making their way up & down the Hudson. Since the show didn't have an art department perse, I was a general production PA with duties ranging from setting up breakfast & striking lunch to runs around the city in a van or cab, working on set, in the kitchen, assisting the props people - really, a little bit of everything. (oh, the first and last two days consisted of going to Norwalk, CT to get, drive and set up everything we'd need for the set, the kitchen, props, etc - a huuuge, heavy and tiring undertaking) As for the show itself, for about half the time I worked with the culinary producer on set, setting up & clearing the various desserts we made, cleaning up spills, fingerprints, the tops of jars & whatnot - pretty much everything pristine you see on a cooking show was what I made happen. Obviously, not the most difficult job in the world but whenever I thought about it, I remembered that a) I was getting paid well to do something different every day b) I used to sit in cubicle-land, wasting time surfing the net for funny cat pictures. c) I was working on a Martha Stewart show. d) I was experiencing a strange feeling I hadn't felt at a job in almost 20 years... I think it's called ... "self" .. "re ... spe ... ct?" e) I was making a lot of contacts on the show who have a lot of contacts with other culinary tv shows whom I will be hopefully working for soon.
The show will air in January, I'm told - they're in post-production now. Not on the Food Network but whatever channel shows Martha's show.

----My brother. he is getting married. yes. it's true. October 13th. just a few days from now. in South Dakota. very exciting. ok, not the South Dakota part, the wedding part. his fiance Paige is awesome, matching my brother's awesomeness so... there you go. awesome. all around. I feel like I should have more to say on the topic but when your brother is getting married, it's a bit surreal. my little brother's "all grownsed up"!

----Macy's. the next set of Macy's commercials start shooting next monday. at the same studio I worked at for the Verizon commercial (both of which are currently airing by the way.. Verizon commercials are the black guy in the verizon bucket being lowered/inserted into everyday life scenes & helping people with their problems.. the Macy's commercials are thanksgiving day sales & any other one day sale commercials you see. Until I stop doing Macy's commercials I guess, all the Macy's commercials you see will be ones I've worked on.) I'm not so much looking forward to the hours we do for Macy's (7am to 6:30 or 7pm) but I am looking forward to working/training more as a buyer / set dresser, which is what I want to move into, job-wise, in the near future. I've honestly never had as much self respecting fun and fulfillment as when I got to spend someone else's money ($2800 in two weeks) on things that the art director kept confirming were exactly what she wanted. Set dressing also proved to be incredibly rewarding as well as I often got to be a little artistic in my choices and set up of some background items (a nightstand table full of stuff or christmas package wrapping & placement, etc). There is a little bit of frustration in all this in that I want to be a buyer/set dresser now. I keep needing to remind myself that I've only been doing all of this ... what? four months?

(how are the above related? answer: macy's carries martha products, my brother will probably get a few as wedding presents)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Listicle 27.L5

yet another song and video (watch the end at least) that just. makes. me. ridiiiculously. happy.

"All children would become scientists if they weren't discouraged by influences ingraining the assumption that it was geeky or hard" - heard on NPR

something i typed 2 minutes after it happened, from when I was still at IPC:
"WOW and wow. i just stood thru a tornado. dust and dirt and lower manhattan grime. oh my good god, it was SOOOO. much. fun.! it so shouldn't have been. watching tourists panic and scatter, watching street vendors chase after their wares (that part i felt really bad about, but c'mon, you saw the wind & rain coming! why didn't you pack up???). i had to shake about a half pound of sand out of my hair and pockets (and eyes)... it was like.. dirty.. non-wet snow. i got back upstairs & they said our building had swaying. wooooo! danger!!"

great e-cards for friends. when going beyond the truth is the best option.

to say this was an accident is to deny my free will and excellent stabbing-with-a-champagne-flute aim

great pics. no, i'm still not sick of them. never will be.

this is basically how i woke up this morning. except it was flapjack maniacally chasing down a fly, right on my ribs. - yesterday it was hambone's turn (in the hallway, not on me thankfully) nails on hardwood, doing the fred flintstone run-with-no-traction. cracked out eyes, front paws swiping wildly. he's black, he's fast, but something about that fat fat belly makes it seem less like ninja and more like chris farley as ninja.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the jobs, they rain down, like the manna, that rained. down, I mean.

Pronunciation: 'fa-m&n Function: noun
4 : a great shortage


Pronunciation: 'fEst Function: noun

_____After the Verizon commercial, it seemed as if the jobs would be rolling in. Not so, it turned out. A week of waiting for calls I thought would come and then another week of making calls to folks I'd worked with or had helped in the past (my oh-so extensive "past" of .. what? 2 months doing PA work?). And... cue famine. nothing was happening. I knew there was a Macy's commercial in the works for 2 weeks from then but I obviously didn't feel like sitting around waiting for it. Calls, emails, online job searching (which is a 100% waste of time, by the way. I've gotten 1 call back to about 100 or more jobs applied to - which is perhaps a sign that I shouldn't be trying for anymore office jobs, video/film archives or not).
_____Then, as luck or fate or both would have it.. more jobs than I could handle started coming in. First was the last day of a set of Macy's commercials.. "returns" days, they call them. The stuff you've rented, bought, borrowed, whatever.. all gets returned whence it came (ya, I just said "whence", deal with it). Next came the Honda commercial.
_____There's early, and then there's early. As in, the A.M., as in, the very definition of unreasonable. Yes, my call times to be on location were 2:30am for Saturday, and 1:30am on Sunday. Yes. 2:30 and 1:30. Me. ME, getting up at .. well, more importantly is me going to sleep at 7pm and 5pm respectively. Yes. 7pm and 5pm - and that still didn't get me 8 hours sleep. The shoot itself was fine and sort of fun - we shut down 5th Ave at 56th and had a few cars driving through the same intersection, supposedly for the lead car (a Honda Oddessy) to pick up his waify blonde toothpick of a shopper girlfriend with her expensive shopping bags. The unreasonable part was that we showed up at 2:30am, took about 40 minutes to set up... then sat around for 3 hours till the light came up enough to shoot. The same the next day. Among other things, I was in charge of walkie talkies for the first time. Sounds simple, right? Pssh. No one wants to be in charge of walkie talkies (except me, 'cause I'd never done it) because you have to sign out about 100 walkie talkies to every different department on location noting what extra equipment they take (headsets, batteries, mics) and then at the end of the shoot, make sure you get it all back. If you lose anything, the production company is charged for it all, walkies typically costs $450, a battery $100, headset $100, mic $150. The second day, I was also in charge of shutting down 5th Avenue at 18th St (other PA's shut down 5th on down to 13th St) - luckily I had a traffic cop to help but 5th Avenue is .. well.. 5th Avenue. People dont like being delayed (as much as .. oooh, 4 minutes!) for a commercial shoot. Oh, I also almost got to drive a NY Taxi.. in a commercial no less. One of the drivers took a bathroom break that lasted longer than the assistant director had alloted for everyone and "we need someone to drive that taxi.. Kory, jump in that cab!" - umm.. you bet your freakin' arse I will. I'd no sooner got my hand on the cab's door than I heard "heyy, sorry. I'm back" from the cab driver. (I briefly thought about clubbing him unconscious and stuffing him into the back of the cab). There is a chance I might be seen in a white cube truck parked so as to block a Trump Hotel sign, in the first day of shooting. Alas, you will not see any of this. Unless you are in Japan, watching television. Yes, it seems the Japanese love to shoot their commercials in NY. With waify, toothpick blondes.
_____A day later, I started work on two weeks of Macy's commercials at Steiner Studios. 12 commercials in all, I think. They'll be airing up through Christmas, keep an eye out for 'em. For these, I got to drive around one of the set dresser / shopper as we went from store to store to store buying stuff. And more stuff. And more. And this is perhaps where I should warn you that all of this stuff that we buy for commercials... umm.. gets returned. So when you are in your favorite store.. let's say it's Macy's or Bed Bath & Beyond or West Elm.. and you buy that set of bed sheets, and you get them home, and they look .. used? Right. A (true) story from the set goes like this: "you know the movie Short Bus? the orgy scene? ya, those sheets got returned. unlaundered". [you may shiver now] So ... word to the wise.. do not take anything home if it looks like it's been opened already.
_____Shopping is.. how shall I say this.. the most awesome thing in the universe. I was not only getting paid to shop, I was getting paid to spend, with near reckless abandon, someone else's money. "When in doubt, get at least two different styles of the same thing so the art director can buy off on one of them" That is the mantra of the "shopper" (also called the buyer or purchaser depending on what job you're on). If you know me at all, or dont - I love shopping. How much? what's more than "a lot"? k, now what's more than that? cool, now multiply that by .. a lot more. There have been many, many, many a weekend where I've done little else but go to Macy's, Bed Bath & Beyond, the Container Store, etc.. just to window shop around, seeing what new stuff is on the market. I am a fan of housewares and bedding in the same way that some people like to keep up to date on what the current state of electronic gadgets are, via magazines & whatnot. It's a little ridiculous and something I probably never would have admitted to you all except that it helps explain my future calling. Kory Dayani - shopper / set dresser. Seriously, I want to and will be a shopper in the nearest future possible. At this point, there's nothing I'd enjoy more.
_____Hmm... so.. what else? the studio was amazing.. a 747 or two would easily fit inside. The shoot was massive - the crew numbered about 100, easy. Wardrobe took up about 200 feet of clothes rack space. Our purchases & props probably rang up to at least $50 or $70 thousand. Big. So big, they "locked" the set, partly to keep a snooping union rep out (trying to catch any union workers on set, working a non-union job). Catering & craft services was amazing as well.. delicious and plentiful food, whenever you wanted it. I got a double day (2 days of pay, ..sorry if that was obvious) for working 16 hours on one of the days - that was sweet (most days went 12 - 13 hours, so getting an extra $200 for 3 more hours than that? suuure). All in all, it was a great gig and while I was on the set, I got a call for ....
_____A Martha Stewart special that starts tomorrow! running for a month! Yes, the same Martha I semi-jokingly had a crush on 10 years ago. The same Martha that has helped hone my sense of style and all things proper. The same Martha that I've been saying I'd love to work for (her main studio/offices are in Chelsea, 3 subway stops from my apartment). The special is called Easy Baking and I have no idea when it will air or any more information on it really except that it'll have more regular hours (8am to 6 or 7 or 8pm, tops) and I'll get overtime after 10 hours! which is almost unheard of for non-union production work. I .. cant .. wait. The only part that sucks is that I got a crick in my neck saturday morning and it's now (monday afternoon) about 70% gone. Tomorrow will be a light day with the following day being more lifting and such. I'll be careful of course but hopefully the neck will be in much better shape by then. All I know is, like being pepper sprayed, having a neck crick is sooo all consuming of your focus, it's hard to enjoy or hate anything or do anything really, without thinking about what a useless invalid you are at that moment. This weekend, we drove to Cape Cod to scout wedding locations - thankfully, there wasnt too much neck movement needed. If I'd had to work? And lift stuff? forget about it.
_____But I digress... in fact... I .. have been typing for too long now.
_____and so I'm signing off.

Happy Kory Who Is Fulfilled By His Employment