Monday, October 08, 2007

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)

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