Okay, well that's not entirely true. I am a designer. An Interior Designer that is. A real life, flesh and bone, creative spirit and glorified schlepper to the rich and (in)famous. It is a career, much like my last one as a modern dancer, that garners a lot of ooooohhhhs and aaaahhhhhs from envious (and slightly delusional) people who have no idea what I actually do on a daily basis. Being a designer is a lot. Having your own firm, a lot more. It is creative (a bit); it is details and logistics (a lot); and it is dealing with an abundance of people and personalities (often too many and too much). You are part detective, part producer, and part artist. It is exhilarating to see your ideas come to life and it is frustrating when you can't realize your vision for one of a gazillion reasons. It is a compromise and a collaboration. It is fantasy and it is reality. And it is, besides all of the romantic notions, a job.
In 2012, while hobbling along as a designer trying to earn living, I got into TV as a fluke. That long and crazy story I will save for another day. Since then, I have had a myriad of strange and beautiful experiences on TV. I won a design competition. I shot five episodes of a show where I was the host and helped to craft the overall concept. I was the designer on two specials, one about Christmas with Bebe Winans and one outdoor extravaganza with Chris Lambton. And this year, I shot an episode of travel show that felt like a natural fit. And although none of those experiences has been long lasting (yet), they have been extraordinarily fun. And today I want to share some of the reasons, both serious and not so serious, that I love being a designer on TV.
What can I say, I love working with people. I love the energy of creative people getting together and making something extraordinary. Something bigger than ourselves. Bigger than the sum of our parts. Something no individual could do alone. The crafting of a story and the telling of a tale. Creativity and productivity meet in a great, and often extremely trying narrative.There are a ton of moving parts, high stress levels, short timelines and minuscule budgets. There are on-set logistics, production factors, and network directives. There are producers, and camera men, and sound engineers, and talent. Its a big hodgepodge of a million different things going on at once. And yet in middle of all the chaos, I find myself energized and happy to be a cog in the wheel. What can I say, I have masochistic tendencies. Im a glutton for punishment.
One of the things I like best about being on camera is that it forces you to be absolutely, 100 percent Present. There is no other time or other space. There is no past and no future. There is only the now and everyone is watching. To be good on TV you have to be present and you have to be real. Phony doesn't fly. The camera reveals everything. Be in the moment, be present with people, and reveal who you are. Otherwise, you might as well drop the mike.
The Craft Services
Ummmm…. I'm serious. Every snack you can imagine can be yours in between takes. I'm just saying… the perks is the perks.
The Communication: Geeking Out
After graduating College I was a teacher. A first grade teacher actually. Not a career for the faint of heart, but incredibly, undeniably rewarding at the same time. And then I taught dance in public schools. I was pretty much a cross between an army sergeant and a pumped up version Debbie Allen on Fame (if that is at all possible). Needless to say, I loved it! Teaching is in my blood. Explaining. Talking. Illustrating. Sharing. Coming up with ideas and finding creative ways to express them. Constantly learning. Continuously growing. TV gives me a chance to do that in a different way. I get to talk about what I love and share my views with anyone who is willing to watch. The more problems to solve the better. The more I get to geek out on design even mo' better. And the better I get at sharing something that people can really use in their lives... the best!
Let's face it the lingo is cool. "Wheels up at 8:30." Walkie Talkie antics. And who can beat saying "Copy That"?!?
Until next week...