Tuesday, December 25, 2012

#26Acts


I have done my best to keep my mouth shut about the tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary School.  No matter how I'd try to word it, I felt like I'd somehow be glorifying it.  A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a lovely article about how Ann Curry wanted to do 26 random acts of kindness by Christmas to honor the 26 victims (children and teachers) of that horrific day.  The hashtagged number spread like wildfire on the Twitter and Facebook feeds.  I too, vowed to participate.  I have a couple of conditions though.
My backstory:  I've volunteered and done random acts of kindness for as long as I can remember.  Its just the way I was raised.  I don't keep tallies of what I do because I do these things without thinking about it.  I assure you I'm not looking for an award or anything like that.  But I need you to know this so you can understand why its taking me so long.
I decided that I would keep track of the specific #26 by doing something nice with a victim in mind...as if they'd be doing it themselves.  I saw that I wasn't alone.  
I haven't gone as far as xeroxing this sheet or tweeting...I've posted a couple of deeds on Facebook, but have decided to keep this blog updated instead.  I've technically failed because I haven't done 26 recognizable things by Christmas aka I've done things but without thinking of someone in mind.  Here's a few so far:

(due to some miscommunication, an actor was 3 hours late to a fitting.  All parties involved were extremely angry, especially myself b/c he had already been rude on the phone) The next day on set:
#1--I made peace with the actor and even called his agent to bury the hatchet.
#1-1--I gave him an expensive dress shirt from my own collection to make said burying of the hatchet official
I highly doubt 6 year old Charlotte would've kept a grudge past the 1 day mark.

#2--our crew had a holiday raffle. winner got around $700. child, i was praying to Jesus and all that's holy that I'd win that money. 
i didn't. 
the Universe works in mysterious and beautiful ways. the crew member who won the raffle had lost his vintage ride to Sandy. insurance said it would cost more to salvage so they left it submerged in the garage. that car was this man's pride and joy. i wish you could've seen his face when he won. 
i don't know why but my soul keeps saying this counts as one of the #26. i'm not going to fight it.

Daniel, I hope you're proud.

I was planning to spend the day at the movies today.  The goal was to spend no more than $20 on one ticket and a small popcorn and slither my way into 4 different screenings.  EVERYTHING WAS SOLD OUT.  Rather than go home, I decided to spend that $20 and see how many of the #26 I could do.
#3--bought a coffee and an egg sandwich for an ungrateful homeless person.  I also put a dollar in his cup.  Nothing was enough for him.  At least he said thanks.  Kinda.
Rachel, we're similar in age, so I'm hoping I reacted the way you would.

#4--bought another coffee and egg sandwich for a different homeless person.  With tears in his eyes he said "thank you so much.  God bless" and dove into the small meal. I put a dollar into his cup as well
Its as if he was thanking Olivia and not the haggard woman that stood before him.

I walked to Starbucks with the intention of buying a giftcard and a coffee.  It turned into something else.  
#5--I offerred to buy the gentleman behind me's order.  He tried to fight it, but ended up giving in.  I win :)
Mark:  that's so kind of you.  Do you do this regularly?
Me:  I try 
Mark:  that's awesome.  its so inspiring.
(his order was 2 coffees)
#6--(continued in Starbucks)
Me:  Mark, can you do me one favor?
Mark:  anything.
Me:  will you take this $5 Starbucks giftcard and give it to a stranger?  (I scribbled the words "$5 Starbucks from a stranger.  I <3 u="u">
Mark:  I promise
As I was leaving Mark's brother came up to me and thanked me for his coffee and gave me a hug.  I whispered "Merry Christmas" into his ear and walked out with one more cup of coffee
Enjoy from Josephine and Ana!

#7--one last coffee was given to another homeless person who was so grateful, he said that I'd turned his Christmas beautiful.
That's for you, Dylan.

#8--helped a very small man get his very large bicycle through the subway gate.  When we finally got it through, he wouldn't let me walk away until he looked  me in the eyes and made sure I knew he was thankful.
I'm happy to help, knowing Dawn would've done the same thing.

#9--I've been getting spa services for the past 8 months thanks to Lifebooker.  I've seen the same technician for every visit.  Today's visit was a little off.  I asked 'J' if she'd lost weight.  She said no.  I tried to make more small talk and asked how her Christmas went.  She said that it was quiet.  Later she opened up and said her boyfriend died.  'J' said she was aware she shouldn't talk about this to clients but she felt comfortable with me.  I didn't press any further, as I could see it was still a fresh wound for her...and I was butt naked.  If it would've been acceptable, I would've embraced her right then and there.
Once she finished my session, I got dressed and said this to her: "J, I know many people probably told you this, but I want you to know that I truly mean it, regardless if I'm your client.  You have my number.  You call me if you need ANYTHING.  You want to yell, you want to cry, you just want someone to listen, call me.  I'll do my best.  Also, I am very aware you have been giving laser treatments without protecting your eyes.  I just found out that my mom is going blind.  As an artist, I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose my ability to see.  You have total control over this situation and I'm telling you this b/c I obviously care."
J said she'll listen, though I dunno if she really will or not...she's got plenty of other things to deal with right now.  Before she went to her next session, I stopped her and wrapped my arms around her. I tried very hard to pass off some positive energy in our embrace.  I hope she got it.
It was a hug from 6 year old Madeline!


In case anyone is curious, I started out with $20 and am down to 2 cents.  $20 was used on Acts 3-8 (12/25/2012)



#10--sent Christmas card to an ailing child whose dying wish is to set a world record for receiving the most Christmas cards ever. I signed my name and 6 year old Catherine V. Hubbard's as well.

If you wish to participate in this, please mail a Christmas Card to: Dalton Dingus, HC 62 Box 1249 Salyersville, KY 41465

#11--a friend surprised me with a tickets to see the Mummenschanz for Christmas.  If you know me at all, you'll know I've been wanting to see them since I was a child.  I was beyond elated.  A couple of hours before the show, I got a text from another friend.  We'll just call him Leo for now.  He was distraught over what was happening with his grandmother.  She had raised him but now with old age, her health is rapidly declining.  I couldn't just leave him there.  Afterall, Leo and I are very close; we just don't get to hangout since we are adults.  Anyways, I invited him to come with us and paid for his ticket, then treated both of my friends to a peanutbuttery meal.  I am including this because it was definitely random and I think 7 year old Chase Kowalski would've had a blast at the show.

#12--I have been volunteering regularly with New York Cares for Hurricane Sandy relief.  I am a Team Leader and I take pride in leading groups to bring supplies and comfort to those who have been hit the hardest...or even worse: forgotten.  For whatever reason, my group really liked me and applauded me and cheered me...what's there not to like, right?  j/k...
I tried to focus some attention of my co-team leader, Lily but no one cheered for her.  I didn't think that was fair.  If it were me, I'd feel hurt.  So I took her out to eat and thanked her for her hard work. 6 year old Jesse Lewis does too!

Today (01102013) was weird.  I actually tried to resist doing any good deeds today.  Not only was I being way human, but I was intentionally being selfish.  Terrible.  I don't know why.  But, the #26 popped in my head yet again and I was able to pull through.  Thank you, #26.
#13--An elderly gentleman came in the train with a cane.  No one offered him a seat.  I stared at him and I made a decision to make eye contact with him and not give up my seat. Why was I being such a jerk for no reason?!  Finally, it was 6 year old James Mattioli who convinced me get up and give him my seat.  Thanks James.

#14--I got off the train and a young man was in the station, smoking.  He stopped me and asked if I'd swipe my card to let him onto the platform.  I walked away, not making any eye contact with him.  As I made my way towards the stairs, I felt a tug at my waist.  I looked down.  Nothing.  No one.  I felt it again.  Still nothing.  I knew who it was: 7 year old Grace McDonnell.  I reluctantly turned around and told the guy to put out his cigarette and swiped him in.  I know this was illegal...but he needed to get somewhere. 

#15--I have been putting this list off for a bit because I don't have the best internet connection anymore and have to use the library's until something better comes along. I feel like I've been letting everyone down.  I'm sorry.  I had also made a list of the rest of my acts to type on here, and that list has now disappeared...so now I'm sort of having to start over from the beginning.  Anyways, a homeless man had fallen asleep at a desk when his wallet fell on the floor.  I assumed he'd notice but he never did.  With the heart of 52 year old Anne Marie Murphy, I picked up the wallet and set it close to him.

#16--This older Hispanic lady was dragging her very heavy cart up a flight of stairs.  With 6 year old Emilie Parker in my mind, I picked up the cart myself and got it to the top.  I also explained to the lady in Spanish that she should use the elevator next time :)

#17--6 year old Jack Pinto was boomin' this day because I picked up this man's reading glasses and followed him for half a block to give them back!  It was a little hard to get his attention.

#18--I attempted to give up my seat in the train to an elderly lady with a cart, but a woman and her child beat her to it.  I gave some sort of look and they got up and sat somewhere else, pointing the open seat to the lady.  Highfives, Noah Pozner, 6.

#19--I was about to walk upstairs from the subway platform, when I saw a woman with a desperate look on her face.  Everyone passed her by.  She stopped me and asked if I could help her carry her stroller up the stairs.  "Of course," I said as I hoisted the big cart onto my arms and lugged it up the flight of stairs.  Looks back and winks at 6 year old Caroline Previdi

#20--Its illegal, but I gave another person yet another swipe on my metro card...  You're welcome, from Jessica Rekos, age 6.

#21--A smelly young man entered the subway car I was in.  He was asking many folks for directions and no one would help him.  He needed help getting to Jay st for court.  I didn't judge him, nor did I question him.  I simply told him to ride next to me.  The ride was at least half an hour and we talked with each other like we were just catching up.  He didn't hit on me, nor was I creeped out.  When we got to his stop, we parted ways.  Good luck, from Avielle Richman, age 6.

#22--On set one day, I overheard a production assistant named Wellington.  He had actually moved here as a script supervisor but had to take jobs as a production assistant so he could provide for his family. I had a connection to a show that was currently looking for a script supervisor, so I had his coordinator anonymously forward it to Wellington from Lauren Russeau, 30 and me.  

#23--I really love those cold, stale subway platform churros.  In fact, I used to buy them everyday but due to a new diet and unforeseen financial woes, I've had to cut back.  However, one of my last purchases was cut short because instead of enjoying the sugary goodness, I gave it to a hungry person asking for food.  With love from Mary Sherlach, 56 and me.

#24--There are days when I don't want to give money to the church, simply because I cannot afford to.  Lately I have been pushing myself to just do it and assume everything will be fine.  Thank you, 27 year old Victoria Soto.  You've taught me a great lesson.

#25--My mentor, Mike had a birthday but had to work.  I felt bad for him because he already works so hard.  So I dressed up as a mini-version of him.  Hilarity ensued.  Kudos, Benjamin Wheeler, 6.

#26--I helped my other mentor clean up a flood.  We stood ankle deep in doodoo water.  I was in my favorite silver high tops.  I had just gotten a fresh manicure.  I'm a germaphobe.  But I could not bare to leave him to clean it all.  "This is love", I told myself over and over again as I scrubbed myself clean for 4 hours after getting my hands dirty from the nastiness of the flood.  Thanks for giving me a heart, Allison N. Wyatt, age 6.    


CONCLUSION:  it took me way longer to finish this.  I do nice things everyday, because as a human being, I was raised to help others.  It was so hard however, to do this without the goal of filling a quota; to have a pure heart about it and just remember to write it down as opposed to thinking "oh man I need just a few more nice things and I can finally cross off this name on my list".  I hope that makes sense...and I hope you will not stop doing good and that you do not rely on a list to ensure that.  Peace be with you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Conversations From Set

Me vs. The HMU Key
I get in the crew van as it takes off for the hourlong drive to set.  I said "good morning" to her and she looked past me and continued to gossip about famous people.  We arrive at the MoHo and I take off my jacket.  She comes up to me and says "are you wardrobe or talent?"  I answered wardrobe.  
"Oh," she says.  "My name is XYZ".  
"Hello!  Its nice to meet you!  I guess we could've done this in the van or something"  I extended my hand to shake hers.  She walks away and says "Nah.  I wouldn't have wanted to spend an hour talking with you on the way here".  She forgot my name and referred to me as "hey".  Hello, nemesis.

Me vs. The Other Stylist
There is one bathroom in the MoHo.  I've occupied it.  There is a knock at the door.  I clear my throat as sort of the universal noise for "occupied".  I handle my business, wash my hands and open the door to see her standing there.  Its awkward.  I hold the door open for her.  She does not move.  Finally, I ask, "I'm sorry, did I take too long?  Do you need the bathroom?"
She says, "Is it safe to go in there?"
I cock my head to the side and shrug.  I put my head in the doorway and ask in a French accent, "Hello, are there any boogie monsters lurking in the toilet?"
She sighs heavily, "Does it smell safe in there?!"
'Dafuck is she talking about?  I take a deep breath.  "Smells fresh and so clean clean!"

Me vs. The MoHo Door
Me:  this door hates me
Driver:  no it doesn't.  You're just not doing it right.  You have to tilt the handle upward like this. (demonstrates once; I try it after him.  It doesn't work)
Me:  your door is just racist.  

UPDATE


::::shuffle shuffle giggle giggle::::
HMU: what the? What are you doing?!
Me: just seeing if I can fit into the shoe bag. 
HMU: why?
Me: I like to challenge myself.

(beat)
HMU: ooooo me next! Me next!

And that's how we make peace.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanxgiving

I promise there are no spoilers.
I analyze the costumes and express a lot of color theory.

This year's Thanksgiving had the potential to be one of the worst.  Major holidays have always been tough for me so I try to keep busy with volunteer work, serving those who appreciate my time and company.  For some reason, there was a miscommunication with this year's organization (they were serving Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, not on actual Thanksgiving Day).  I was alone.  I'm totally fine with being alone on Thanksgiving, just as long as I've prepared myself for it.  Well, I wasn't prepared.  I had been ready to kick it with drug addicts and the homeless.  I wasn't ready to face this day alone.  The sad part stops here.
Onward.
I remembered I had some groupons for movie tickets and decided to spend a day at the movies and pay as little as possible.  Success.  I paid $2.50 and was able to slither my way into 4 films on my "Must Watch" List.  Some people "emotionally eat".  Well I "emotionally watch movies".


1.) LINCOLN

I cried from beginning to end.  It was a little sad, but what really got my tears flowing were those incredible performances.  What an amazing cast!  I feel like Mr. Spielberg has finally redeemed himself because I haven't liked his newer stuff in a while.  The style of the film was completely different than what he's been giving us lately; I'm impressed.  The lighting in particular was just SO PERFECT--I mean WOW even if you're not into photography, its hard to not notice how incredible the lighting is throughout this film.  Daniel Day Lewis should just BE the Oscar and the Academy should award HIM to any actor considered DDL-worthy.  I cannot put into words the amount of respect and admiration I have for DDL for his performance.  No words.

The costumes were beautiful...as any period piece can be (Look for an entry about period pieces in the near future).  President Lincoln is weathered and tired.  We see it in his face, and we see it in his wardrobe.  He's usually seen in black and white, much like the rest of the cast, but only his clothes weren't of pure shade.  President Lincoln wore dark browns and greens, even his legendary hat wasn't actually black.  I love this because it really symbolizes how tired he is and he lives by everything not needing to be just "black and white".  Okay, so point made: black has a lot of significance in this film.  I feel like I need to re-watch this though because the color mustard was also very significant here.  It stuck out so much in a couple of pivotal moments, I feel like I should pay more attention to it.




I also loved John Hawkes and James Spader as the sort of comic relief, but I really really loved their costumes.
I look forward to seeing John Hawkes in The Sessions; he is a favorite of mine.  A true actor.  Let me save my words for him in a future blog.  LOVE HIM.
As a side note, I just want to say that Lincoln came out at just the right time.  Our country has gotten severely divided over this election, a lot of it being debates over things considered "prehistoric".  I feel like the script brought up incredible issues that we very well could have been faced with again today if it weren't for certain people stepping up for our rights.  Way to go, Lincoln. 

2.)  LIFE OF PI

Ang Lee is a poet.  He's proven that time and time again in the films he's directed.  The overall rhythm in his films is always paced to help you get to know the character as well as the world created for him.  This world also becomes a character, which is something a lot of filmmakers forget to include.  Life of Pi is no exception.  Some might say Richard Parker was the antagonist here, but I disagree.  I feel like the environment Pi is stuck in is the antagonist.  Ang Lee proves my theory with his choice of camera angles and compositions.  Pi's wardrobe is simple but symbolizes a lot.  Our hero is seen mostly in white in the past and what's considered present.  He tries with all his might to be pure in his intentions and seeks only to love God.  He's never adorned in complicated accessories.  Once Pi begins to fade, so does his wardrobe.  When he is rescued, he is back in white. 
I really appreciate the international cast, particularly the actor who portrayed Pi in the majority of the story.  Suraj Sharma made me feel things that Tom Hanks and James Franco could not make me feel in their respected "solo survival stories".  I hope his career skyrockets from here.

3.)  SKYFALL
I have always been on the fence about Daniel Craig as 007.  He doesn't match the physical characteristics of the traditional Bond and that has always bothered me.  He's short, he has no neck, he's blonde, and he's a meathead.  The Bond I know is tall, suave, and a little bit cleaner.  Nonetheless, I really really enjoyed this movie.  I'm a total sucker for vengeance flicks and Javier Bardem as Silva is serving just that.  He was so dedicated to this role that he even had the script translated into his native Spanish to ensure that he could fully get into this psychopathic character without leaving anything out.
Of course all of 007's suits were perfect (even without a proper neck), but I really liked Silva's final outfit.  It somewhat reminded me of Bane's costume from TDKR, slightly dictatorial and revolutionary, while still somewhat  matching the cliched villainous looks of previous Bond villains.  

Casting a younger Q raised some eyebrows but it totally makes sense with the modern gadgets used.  Q would definitely be some stringy tech geek in his late 20's/early 30's with preppy sweaters...makes sense to me!






4.)  FLIGHT



 It was good....but just that. Good.  I wanted it to be so much better.  I had so much hope for Flight.  The plane scenes were crazy and had my heart racing but all in all, the film was nothing but a story of pure convenience.  I will praise Kelly Reilly for her incredible performance.  She stayed committed to her role and that's always admirable since so many actors fail to do so.

Denzel Washington for example, did not stay committed to his physical impediment work.  The injured leg kept switching sides, along with his cane.  Not cool.  The key costumer also failed to keep continuity on his watch, which also kept switching wrists.  I will say this though: John Goodman's character and outfit resembled a later version of Walter Sobchak.  #LEBOWSKIWIN

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Red, White & Blue!

 I dressed Comedy Central's Indecision 2012 on Election Night.  It was a blast.  The prep for it was a little crazy but this is the type of work I live for.  My client had a specific request.  They wanted patriotic jeans from Urban Outfitters and matching Toms.  The problem was that these items were limited edition 4th of July items.  What's a stylist to do?  MAKE A BETTER, BADASSER VERSION OF COURSE.  I told them I had a vision in mind: Long Live Vintage.  

I started with a pair of white Toms. It helps to have a past in graffiti. 


  These were for my male model.  Unfortunately, I did not get to photograph him rocking these patriotic Toms along with the outfit I had for him.  He had some "problems" and was escorted out of the event.  Oops.  I got tons of compliments on the shoes though!  YAY!






 I bought 3 pairs of white jeans from Forever21 for $15 a pair.  You can't beat that.  Especially when I found beige ones at Urban Outfitters for $68 a pair.  They were size 6's and I altered them into size 2's.  It was a very very long night.        
  

 I went full on vintage/graffiti on these pants.  I didn't want it to look 90's--clean bold lines.  No.  I wanted messy and careless.  It defines the current generation.  Lots of splatters.
 Emily looks pretty amazing in them.  She liked them so much she asked if she could keep them.  Of course I said yes!  PS--her shirt says "Join the Party".  I cut the neck and made it hang off the shoulder and cut the sleeves to make it flowy.
Bianca and Wihlamena were our patriotic Vana Whites.  They were originally supposed to be in the other patriotic jeans but these dresses and wigs were such a hit that they stayed in those outfits.  
So many people came up to me and said everyone looked amazing and that I'd outdone myself and they didn't know I could do things like that.  I was truly humbled.  I was just doing my job!  You should've seen my hands.  They were still stained from all the paint.  It was a tad awkward when it came time to shake hands with VIPs...
This was one of my favorite gigs to date....even if I ended up a zombie afterwards.

BTW--I spent less than half my budget.  (pats self on back)  GRIN

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Good Job

This is a very thankless job.  I was trained to think: if no one says anything about wardrobe, consider your work perfect.  I'm still a firm believer in that...in most cases.  I don't do this for glory or fame or money.  I do it because I love it and even if I try to walk away from it, I just can't.  Consider it a syndrome.  I recently spoke with a rather naive "model" who seemed to think I was in this business for a different reason, and that was to get the attention and respect from other "artists" and society.  I explained to him that if I'd wanted that, I would've chosen a different career path.  Its simply not in my circuitry to be like "oh look how wonderful my work is, everyone!"  I may joke about it from time to time but really and truly, I do it for myself.  Otherwise my OCD takes over and I just can't let the shoot continue.   The conversation continued, because he wasn't willing to let it go.  "fine.  If you really are just doing this for yourself, then why do you have a Twitter page, fan page and this blog?  Why do you show people your work at all?"  Hmmm...fairly good questions...if you're naive and you just don't get it.  But I'll answer them just for shits and giggles:
-Twitter page @alittletree: for posting my awesome one-liners.  Its also my go-to place when I'm sad because I follow a lot of comedians.  I use my twitter to generate more fans and readers as well.
-Facebook fan page facebook.com/drapeme:  let's face it.  Facebook is huge.  Everyone who's anyone uses it.  If people/clients want to be my friend on there, I tell them to "like" the fan page first.  Its good for business.  Its advertising.  Girl's gotta eat right?
-This Blog xtinakim.com/blogspot: combination.  It keeps track of my progress, tells of misadventures I've had with celebrities, and educates people about working with a true costume designer.  Its honesty and realness of my career.  
-my website xtinakim.com: photos of my work and how to get a hold of me.  its more "like what you see?  then hire me" than glorification. 

Most people in this industry are in it because they love it.  I mean I guess it may be harder for this "model" who is just used to getting praised all the time for his looks....no offense, dude.  I don't really consider what you do as art.  Pretty sure the photographer, H/MU, and stylist are the artists.  You're just the canvas so you don't really have much clout here.  Get to steppin'. Go kick rocks. 

Anyways, back to the topic of this entry.  As I was saying, this is a thankless job.  Its still rewarding though as long as no one says anything :)
However, sometimes there are people who have eyes specifically for what I do and when they take time to tell me "good job", I am truly  moved.  I'm moved because that means someone is paying attention.  Not to me, but to the work.  Ah a breath of fresh air.  I got an email from a director for a show I did fx makeup on Discovery ID. He said he was looking back at the footage and loved it; that he really appreciated my work and couldn't wait to work with me again.  I went to 2 industry parties and had people actually recognize my work.  I was amazed...what were they doing staring at costumes and not paying attention to the story?  Maybe they watched it twice.   LOL.  It was really unexpected and also nice...this may sound backwards compared to the material above but I disagree.  
The difference is, I don't do this seeking the words "good job" in everything I do.  Its more to be able to mentally say "I did it."  Its all for me and my sanity.  "Good job" is always nice to hear, but "I did it" sounds way better to me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Homecoming



(postdated from October 4th)
I've sort of been on tour for the past couple of months.  The show's been great because we'd travel to destinations with little or no cell/internet reception.  It was hard to adjust at first, but eventually life just felt normal.  Within those months, we had no idea what was going on in the rest of the world.  No tweets, no news, not even Skype.  We even missed the debates lastnight. 
At one of our layovers, I sat down, put my feet up and attempted to wrap my head around some "world news".  Funny, I didn't realize that whatever Miss Kim Kardashian was wearing had priority over what was going on with our troops or the Pussy Riot situation.  Fine.  I get it.  Actually I don't, but whatever.
  As I sort of glazed over, my eyes and ears perked up at this headline:  "Bullied Teen Nominated As Homecoming Queen As Joke".  17 year old Whitney Kropp said she felt like trash and even thought about committing suicide when hearing about the horrible prank.  I was bullied in school as well, so this hit pretty close to home.  Pretty soon, the airport's many TVs were surrounded by all kinds of people, curious and sympathetic about this teen.  The boy who had been picked for Whitney even withdrew.  Her peers pointed and laughed at her in the hallways.
  Whitney somehow stuck it through.  With the help of her friends, family and even local businesses, Whitney was transformed into a lovely queen.  Students drove hours from other schools, leaving their own homecoming games to come support Queen Whitney.   *I'm unsure if she was actually crowned queen, but she's considered royalty already.

  Let me tell you something about Whitney Kropp, from a stylist's perspective.  She's beautiful to begin with, but in about 3 years, she is going to be one hell of a model--should she choose that type of career.  She's got legs that go for miles, thin arms and a pretty decent neck for photoshoots.  She's got the perfect frame and height for sample sizes and beautiful bold, defined brows that will excite any makeup artist privileged to work with her. 
  Its been hard to finish this post.  I don't blog often, but I usually try to keep it light or funny...this has just been too painful but at the same time a little bit trendy.  I feel like everyone is on this huge anti-bullying kick and that's just unfortunate.  Bullying should've died when my generation graduated high school.  Instead, its just gotten worse.  Worse than I ever could've imagined.  Take heart, everyone.  Weird is so so sexy.  It just takes a minute for everyone else to recognize that.

*I'm told that boy who withdrew eventually jumped back in to support her.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Gentleman

Hi there.  Its been a while.  I've been super busy.  Back in January (right around the time we lost Whitney Houston), I lost my home in a fire.  It is now August and I am just now settling into my new home.  I'm still not used to it, but at least I finally have a roof over my head.  Life has been less than kind to me lately, but I am grateful because 5 days of smiling (unrelated to his post) makes up for 8 months of crying.
Enough sad talk.
I've been on quite a few gigs in my absence on here.  I'm just going to catch you up on the most recent one though.
I recently did a big budget job for a commercial.  It was a grueling 2 weeks.  With temperatures in the high 90s and humidity at 100%, tempers flared and patience was tested as we shot exteriors almost the entire time.  I feel like everyone was at each other's throats except for our star: Phil Reeves.
When I first met Phil for his fitting, he felt so familiar to me.  He was very casual as if we'd known each other for years.  Judging from his vibe, I knew we'd get along.
Apparently Phil was a big deal...I mean the dude had his own trailer.  I looked him up and realized why he looked so familiar.  He's been in everything:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0716277/
He casually spoke about past gigs and joked about set antics with Jim Carrey....I'd just assumed he was an extra or something.  NO.  I've practically grown up watching this guy and never realized it!
I'm so TeamPhil because he was so laid back even when he had to wear a wool jacket and hat in 100 degree weather.  He always had something hilarious to say to break the tension on set and we'd joke about sexy lower back tattoos when I'd come hold his coat between takes.
Phil's comedic timing is UNSTOPPABLE and his sense of humor is beyond ridiculous.  At one point he was sweating so bad, he was begging for his pants to be cut into shorts like Lieutenant Dangle's from Reno 911:
That's the extent of his diva-ness.  When I'd go to his trailer to switch out his wardrobe, I'd find everything neatly folded in a corner and on the table where I could reach it (as opposed to the high shelf).  One time, there was a production assistant trying to figure something out and Phil asked if he could help him find who he was looking for.  When the PA gave him the name, Phil said, "Ah geez I dunno who that is but would you like me to find an AD for you?  I'm sure they'd know" WHO DOES THAT?!?!?!?!?!  Phil Fucking Reeves.  That's who.  A real life gentleman. An endangered species.
As I had mentioned before, this was a rather grueling gig.  At the last minute AFTER WRAP, I was told that I needed to go find more shirts for another one of our actors.  It was pouring down rain and Phil got out of the front seat, stood in the rain, and helped me out of the back along with 2 huge bags.  He got completely soaked but was only concerned with when I'd be able to rest.  WHO DOES THAT?!?!?!?! Phil Fucking Reeves.  That's who.
We had several more big names on the gig--Eli Manning, Mike Ditka and Joe Gibbs--everyone was very hush hush and oooh ahh about it...except for Phil.  He'd just go up to them and pat them on the back and say "Hey its great to see ya!  Thanks for coming out!"
Conclusion:  Phil Reeves is the MAN for being a GENTLEMAN.  His positive energy is contagious, he's a phenomenal actor and he's just plain hilarious.  Until we meet again, good sir.  High fives, Phil.  THANK YOU.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1963-2012

I don't know how many of you will actually read this. I will not be posting this on any of my social networks, so if you-the subscriber happen to stumble upon this, I suggest you also take some time to reflect upon our fallen star.
Its been about ten days or so since the world found out that we had lost Whitney Houston. I didn't watch the funeral. I feel like I would've gotten angry like I did for Michael Jackson's funeral. To be honest, I've been a bit of a wreck. I mean, I cried when we lost MJ, but I'm like really depressed Whitney is gone. She was such a big part of my life and I just hate that she left this world as a joke and forever labeled as a crackhead. I feel like this happens too often to other fallen stars--Amy Winehouse and ODB for example, left the world too young, and the world didn't raise its brow in the slightest way because no one was surprised. Well, I'm here to say, I'm always surprised. I'm surprised we've become conditioned to shrug it off when we lose a brother or sister because "they had it coming". I'm not okay with that. For the loss of Whitney, for the loss of MJ, for anyone.
We don't know how she officially died just yet. But out of respect to her, I'm just not going to type/assume anything, until we hear results. She's still a person, someone's mother, sister, and niece. No one should joke about her passing.
The photo I posted is the way I will always remember her. This was when she won a Grammy in the late 80's/early 90's for best pop vocal. I was just a kid and remember being in awe of her and feeling so honored that she had a daughter named Christina, whom she addressed on camera that it was time to go to sleep since it was past her bedtime. I obediently turned off the television and felt like a good little girl because I listened to Whitney.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mucho Macchio

I've had the HONOR of working with the lovely Ralph Macchio a few a times now and its time I address how awesome he really is. I adore Ralph Macchio in every way possible. This is not a love letter or some sort of lustful fantasy; he is a happily married man, and a father of two...and while I do find him extremely handsome & attractive, I will be keeping those thoughts to myself and sticking to praising his professionalism. Ralph is what many consider a child star from his Karate Kid fame. Little do we know, he was already in his twenties when that movie was made. Still, he was young and very well could've fallen through the cracks many others in young Hollywood have been prey to. Ralph stayed clean, out of trouble and committed to his family. How often can anyone say that about an actor--or about any man in general?
My experience with Ralph has been most pleasant. He's so down to earth and extremely laid back. Nothing phases him. If anyone deserves a real Betty White-esque comeback, its Mr. Macchio. I want nothing more than for his career to re-skyrocket, and to be shaken off of this whole Karate Kid persona. He's been quite the good sport throughout the years' jokes and its definitely time the nice guy finishes on top. I really hope 2012 reignites something big for this guy. Love you, Ralph!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin; Based on the novel: We Need To Talk About Kevin



What a disturbing story, shown in the most perfect way. There was one timing issue in the end but I don't want to give too much away...I realize I've done too much of that in my previous posts. I suppose I should work harder on that...nah. This is MY blog, so NYAH!!!
I feel like this film was a cross between The Good Son and Taxi Driver; a rather healthy marriage, don't you think? I don't know, something about psycho children just sort of points me in that direction.
Tilda Swinton gives a chilling performance as she portrays a mother whose son has gone on a killing spree. I saw a little tiny bit of Winona Ryder in her flashback scenes, but I definitely don't see that as a problem. Swinton was absolutely dead behind the eyes, something that is not easy to convince on camera.
Ezra Miller is Kevin and I fear seeing him in any other performance because I will only be able to picture him as this psycho. There are very fascinating moments with Kevin's wardrobe where it would often be duplicated from his childhood. It was such a simple thing but it caught my eye and creeped me out even more. Oh psychos....you're just so complicated and smart.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2 Great NY Films


I spent yesterday at a local cinema. I dedicated all that time to honor two very special New York films and I wanted to make sure I could watch them both on the same day. Both were so incredible and explored love and sexuality in two very different, raw and pure ways. Neither film glorified sex or nudity, even though they had a fair share of both (one WAY more than the other, but again, it wasn't glorified and was very very much justified). As an audience member, I was really really moved by both films. As a person who works in film, I had a few notes, but I will try to keep them short as to allow more gushing.
"Shame" explores the life of Brandon Sullivan, a sex addict. Honestly, this film really educated me, because I (like many people) felt that all men were sex addicts, and they used it as a medical term to get away with being creepy perverts. Wow. Just wow. I stand corrected. An addiction is an addiction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or in this case Sex. Director, Steve McQueen did a tremendous job expressing that. Wealthy, attractive and successful Brandon would often times resemble a junky when he is trying to get his fix. This is where I give a small kudos to the Costume Designer, David Robinson. At first I didn't understand what he was trying to accomplish, but the minute I saw which way the film was headed it all made sense and immediately earned my respect. In fact I found it rather genius.
I'm going to take a minute to objectify Michael Fassbender. He should change his surname to Assbender because that's exactly what he is in this film. Superb performance. He really really gave himself to the character and I applaud him for going that far with it. I loved him in Inglorious Bastards and have been looking forward to seeing his beautiful face onscreen again. I got more than what I wished for; I got to see more than his face. Thank you, Jesus. YES.
Mr. Assbender is a very very handsome man, but his talent and IQ make him uber sexy. It would be a pleasure/dream/fantasy to dress/undress him.


Carey Mulligan plays Brandon's sister, Sissy. She was good. All I have to say is, whenever I saw her in her white outfit, I kept thinking she looked and sounded like Drew Barrymore as Casey from Scream.
This is from my absolute favorite scene in the movie. I really enjoyed the cinematography in this film because of its long, uneasy shots. This particular scene (and shot) was very long and I felt like my heart was going to explode. It was so intense in so many ways yet with hardly any movement at all. So uncomfortable, but so incredible.


Pariah was an absolutely amazing story. I felt like there were technical issues with sound and man did this crew desperately need a tripod. The uniforms in this film were unconvincing, and took me right out of it but it was only for the length of the scene.
I promise, those are my only notes...Pariah introduces us to Alike (pronounced uh-LEE-kay), a lesbian struggling with sexual identity, risking friendship and family; a true pariah.
It's so refreshing to see a story about gay characters who aren't victims of rape, hate crime, or AIDS or as some over exaggerated flamboyant butt of a joke. This film deals more with life at home and school, something we can all relate to.
The ending made me cry, which is hard to do. I'm still haunted by Alike's final poem.
Much respect to Eniola Dawodu, the Costume Designer of Pariah. She doesn't have much experience, but I was quite impressed at how she was able to dramatically transform such insanely beautiful women to a pair of masculine "AG"s.

Adepero Oduye is absolutely stunning as a fem and an AG. Job well done. Her performance still haunts me.
Pernell Walker's transformation blew me away as well, as did her performance.
Before I close, I have to mention Kim Wayans. Like Mo'Nique in Precious, I was quite impressed with this comedienne's approach on such a serious role. She made it easy to hate her, which means she served the character well. I will always prefer Ms. Wayans in the comedy world, but very much appreciated her work and dedication in Pariah.