Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Street Style #006


Having moved within Crown Heights (again), I am now in a Hasidic area, where many of the women are impossibly stylish. I love that they can take a basic template (skirt, long sleeves) and make it inspiring.

This woman had a billowing, frothy green scarf which really brightened my day, and a voluminous but structured black skirt. Did she buy it in my neighborhood? Because I really want one.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Working Hard For No Money

Amazingly enough, I have reached a point in my career when I can say no to (some) things.

I've been working in the wardrobe world for slightly longer than two years now, which means I know some people who can get me some work. It's through hard work and a pinch of luck and privilege, and I am extremely grateful for it. I count my lucky glow in the dark stars stuck to my bedroom ceiling every night.

A former coworker of mine offered me a PA position on a TV show, and through circumstances which weren't under her control, it was not a good working environment. The thing was disorganized from the top down, and it was an insane amount of stress for very low pay and no union hours. I bowed out appropriately, and I wish them the best of luck.

But things like that make me so angry. Asking somebody to work for 14 hours & get paid $150 is appalling. Maybe if I had never worked on a film before in my life I would stick it out so I could learn something, but the fact of the matter is I have already interned on a movie, so "experience" isn't going to cut it. I can't pay my rent with "experience".

Some people, I know, will take the attitude of "well that's just how film & TV work." First of all, no, no it's not. And second of all, isn't that why people created unions? So they wouldn't be abused by their bosses? It seems bizarre to me that on a Union show people could still be treated that way, in the name of there not being enough money left over to go around.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Round-Up of My Past Few Months


I have been very lucky these past few months. It's possible that I  make some luck myself, but some of it is just serendipity.

At one point this past June, when a show I was working on closed, I got this strange feeling of "I know I am going to be okay." And miraculously, it's been true- my schedule since then has looked something like this:

-Venice (Public)
-Restoring Hats for a Museum Show
-Shakespeare in the Park
-Disney on Broadway Costume Shop

I have been trying to nurture this feeling of success. The fewer catering gigs I take, the happier a person I am. The happier a person I am, the more productive I am.

Since the Disney gig has ended, I have had my first moment in months to take stock of where I am professionally. As I bounce around between freelance gigs, I am once again trying to weasel my way in to the Wardrobe Union. I also have more time to draw, both for love and money. I may even get time to go on a small vacation.

I also moved,  at some point in there. The lease was up on the old apartment, and after an uninteresting saga of bullshit I moved to a new apartment eight blocks from the old one. I don't have  roof access anymore, but I do have a backyard, and laundry in the unit. Amazing, I know.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Pledge Drive

WNYC is doing their fall pledge drive again. This time last year I took the plunge and actually joined during this drive. I decided I had been living in NY & listening to WNYC every morning for two years, so maybe it was finally time I did my part. I could easily do without $8 a month.

A few days later, we were hit by Hurricane Sandy. I  went upstate to stay with my parents to avoid getting trapped in Crown Heights. Two massive trees came down in my parent's front yard, and we didn't have power for a week. If the trees had fallen the other way, I might not have parents anymore.


We still had hot water, and my parents have a typical suburban house in a cute little neighborhood; we didn't have to climb innumerable stairs up to our apartment, or fear getting robbed while doing so. We weren't stranded in a city neighborhood by lack of subway transportation, with dwindling supplies at the local grocery store. Overall, we had a pretty okay time.

But it was cold, and it was dark, and we didn't have TV to tell us what was going on.

What we did have was WNYC, and Brian Lehrer. All day long, Brian took calls from all over New York and collated the information coming in. He told people where they could get cash, where they were giving out food, and reiterated the official messages coming from the city and state government.

When I look back on Hurricane Sandy, what I remember is Brian Lehrer, calmly vetting and distributing information. I remember sitting in the darkening kitchen and marveling that Mr. Lehrer had probably been at the station since the hurricane hit. I remember being thankful that WNYC existed, and was able to operate the way it does.

I even wrote a little sustaining member Haiku:

Hurricane Sandy
Tuned in to Brian Lehrer
A voice in the dark

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tap Dancin' Fools

It might be a slog,
and I may have just consumed questionable leftover Chinese food,

But I get to have the most talented friends imaginable

and most days, that makes it all worth it. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Adventures in Millinery- Mining Felt


My first Millinery class at FIT was on Friday, and of course I was given (in our professor's hilarious and roundabout way) a laundry list of things to purchase in time for next class. One of those things was felt fur hoods, the material we put on the hat block to make a hat.

Luckily I had enough free time this week to make shopping a two part excursion, so I spent all day Saturday running around buying all of the things I could get outside the garment district, including a thrilling new bag to transport my wares in.

Monday, was for buying everything else, as garment district shops are only open Monday-Friday 10-5:30. City that never sleeps my arse. 

One of my first stops was Hyman Hendler and Sons, and while I at first thought I was in search of a hat block, the lovely and helpful lady behind the counter told me they carried felt fur. I dug through the large cardboard box at the back of the store, and came upon a beautiful dark purpley blue color they were calling "capricorn." I asked the lady behind the counter if they had any more in that color. What happened next was a hilarious New York surprise.

"Hey, Hyman!" she yelled up at the office on the second floor. "This lady would like to get another fur felt."

A harried looking businessman stuck his head out the window and peered down at me.

"What do you want?" He scowled.

For the faintest moment I was cowed and willing to leave him alone, but fortunately this city has taught me how to be pushy. "I'd like to buy another fur felt in this color. Do you have any more?"

"Well we've got like... 30 boxes downstairs. It would take forever to find anything."

What followed was an argument between the counter clerk and the manager the exact phrasing of which I wish I could recall. What I can say is that it was obvious that the clerk was used to haranguing and manipulating Mr. Hendler into actually bothering to provide his customers with the service they wanted. 

Once it was over the woman looked at me conspiratorially, had me leave my coat behind the counter, and lead me downstairs through a labyrinth of shelves and boxes to the boiler room where there were probably literally 30 boxes of felt fur. After telling me she'd give me a $2 discount per hat if I bought a dozen fur felts, she left me to my own devices. In the basement of their store. By myself.


After a glorious half hour digging through and rearranging boxes of fur felts in the boiler room, I went upstairs with my prizes where I was interrogated by Mr. Hendler once again.

"Did you get your hands all dusty?" He shouted down, this time not bothering to lean out the window.

"Yes, but I also found the fur felt I was looking for! Thank you."

"Good. Make sure you wash your hands before you go back outside."