I created + host an LGBTQ+ Podcast
I voice characters for Scripted Podcasts
I publish a writing blog
I have published essays
THINGS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW TO GO ON A FASHION PHOTOSHOOT
by Mathura Hawley
YOU'RE SO HIP. You work in the fabulous world of fashion. (OK, you started out as a receptionist and now you're a stylist or some clothes sorter that has a title with "director" in it.) You'll go to exciting places and stay in fancy rooms. At first, you'll be grateful just to go along and be quite humbled by all the work that goes into creating a picture of a guy in a white shirt standing next to a tree. But get wise, sister; there are things you need to know before you can just show up. Let's get you a little gumption - it's the only way you'll be invited back.
ALWAYS LOVE BIG OR OLD DOORS
Speak up: "I LOVE that old door - it's too bad we couldn't shoot against that." "Did you SEE that FABULOUS door made of....wood? It's am-az-ing..."
WHEN SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS, TRY TO BE THE FIRST ONE TO SAY "WE SHOULD JUST RUN THAT!"
Yell this immediately when a prop falls, or you can see the clips holding back a model's shirt, or when some item from the real world accidentally doesn't get removed from the set, like a Vitton bag or an overweight stylist.
ABBREVIATE CLICHES TO KEEP THEM FRESH
"It looks fabulous!" becomes "Fabulous!" becomes "Fab!" becomes "Phhhf."
Be the first to say "She's soooo phhhf!"
ANYONE YOUNG AND CUTE IS ALWAYS CORRECT
If a model comes to the set and he's wearing a cut-up hefty bag for pants, you should comment loudly that you LOVE them, then quickly suggest that the pants should be in the picture, then be the first to have the new tailor create a pair for you to wear to the second shoot day. You have to move on this one, because everyone's watching the models at breakfast.
Also note: the title of whatever music the model is listening to should be entered into your phone to be streamed later and expensed - and remember to give more weight to whatever the models say - ie., repeat everything they just said to a group of people - because, well, they're just soooo cute. Give them things. Try to be the one that suggests that ANY young, even remotely cute assistant should be in the picture - your reasoning should be that "they're as cute as the models but somehow more 'real'."
HATE THE CATERING
Tell the caterer how good everything looks, then when you get back to your table, act disgusted and say something in a pretend whisper like "What IS that?" or "I'm NOT eating that," or "How far are we from a Panera or a Starbuck's?" HA!
HATE YOUR ROOM
Just assume that someone on the call sheet has a better room with a better view and start complaining as soon as your bags are dropped. Make sure you have a list of other people's room numbers so you can get on the phone right away and join the bitch-chain. They'll have already called other rooms and this way you can gang up and get word back to your office on who has the best room. Also, embellish the cost of the best room by at least 50% for dramatic bonus. You should rotate a list of who is going to "walk out of the hotel" or who "moved rooms three times" so one person doesn't carry the burden of forcing the expensive upgrade. Be careful of exaggerating bug/pubic hair stories - they don't have the punch they used to have.
SUGGEST THAT ANYONE WITH A HIGHER TITLE THAN YOURS SHOULD BE ONE OF THE TALENT
"Bob, LOVE your cargo pants! YOU should be in this picture!" Or, "Why don't we use Bob's poodle, Giselle - she's sooo phhhf!"
BE VAGUE ABOUT DINNER
This is multi-purpose. First, you can hold out for the coolest combination of people that will be dining at the coolest place; if this happens, then your vagueness will also confirm to the people less cool than you that don't get invited that you are indeed cooler. Second, it gives you a mystique to exploit. If you hold out but then don't get invited ANYWHERE, then you can stay in your room and make up your own story of elitist outrageousness, which you should embellish accordingly. One important note here: do NOT wander out of your room after 8PM if this is your plan, because you might get caught wandering around with a handful of Snackwells by the tailor or a camera assistant, and this would be DISASTEROUS.
MENTION GETTING STONED, EVEN IF IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU DO
At the very least, the production assistants (PA's) will pay attention to you and treat you well, thinking that there's a chance you can score for them. Besides, if everyone thinks you have a substance problem, they're more inclined to invite you to dinner.
GRAY AREA IS FOR COMMON FOLK
Remember to LOVE or HATE everything and especially everyone, but reserve your judgment until you hear everyone else's opinion. This ties into which group you'll want to dine with (see above) but does not include the tailor/PA's / camera assistants, which you should feel free to make fun of openly, even within their earshot. It's not only acceptable but encouraged to label all things/people with a loud, one-word declaration, which will be understood by anyone who matters - ie., if you see a model in a prestige ad ala Versace, just hold up the magazine to everyone and say "LOVE," or if you overhear someone discussing a star of a movie that's not making any money, just ask "who are you talking about?" and when they tell you, just roll your eyes and say "HATE!" These declarations save you some much needed time, which you can use later in your room, when you're eating Rice Krispie Treats from your mini-bar and phoning everyone to ask if they've checked out the gym.
BE THE FIRST TO ASK AN "EXOTIC PERSON" WHERE THEY'RE FROM
By definition, an "exotic person" is anyone with an accent -- not including Canada -- or with questionable ethnicity. Play the geography game: you'll be competing with the others to see who has either lived or vacationed closest to the foreign hometown of the exotic person. The winner gets to "own" the exotic person for the remainder of the shoot. Note: It's the responsibility of the winner to repeat his winning story every time he overhears someone ask the exotic person where they're from.
GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE
There's a moment around 3:45PM when you won't be able to down another Coke Zero or manipulate a PA into leaving the set to bring you back an $8 latte. This is the time you should choose someone to hate. It will help to pass the time dishing on them until the last, painful shot. Turn to someone freelance and comment "Hey, at least we're not in the office - oh yeah, you don't HAVE an office." It's funny, and it makes them feel bad. Tell a cohort about how you just made fun of someone to his face and kill another ten minutes. It's very cool to be "over" everything, including the people you're with and the actual shoot you're on.
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