Lights, Camera, Action!

28 11 2011

At the corner of La Brea and Sunset you can find a cute English-Style village; definitely not something that you would expect in the middle of Hollywood.  But, when you see Kermit the Frog looking down at you, you realize where you are.   The birthplace of moving pictures – Charlie Chaplin’s original sound stage, Home of The Muppets, otherwise known as the Jim Henson Company. 

Jim Hensen's Studio

It wasn’t until we had the opportunity to help out at an event designed and produced by our friends at rock and rain, that we realized how cool it was to be in this space.  The moment that made me pause during a very busy set up day was when I saw the “Recording” light and I thought about how many times that light had been turned on, and how many films had taken place in the same room that I was standing in.


You saw the “Before” above.  Now, take a look at the “After”.  I wish I would have attended a party that was this cool when I was a kid.  Ice cream sundae bar, candy goodie bags, a mirror surrounded in lights for facepainting and hairstyling, a colouring wall, a workshop to customize your own clothes, asian-style photo booths, tons of food, and a runway show.  What more could a kid want in a party?

The "After"

Best Facepaint Ever

The "Workshop"

Photo Op

The Runway

The Designer Walk

Just a Few Photographers


East VS West

1 07 2011

One 3am wake up call, two plane rides, and 8 hours of travel time.  It was all worth it just to have 40 hours on the Westcoast and spend 8 hours with a friendly face.  Sometimes you just need to get a sense of ‘home’.  Whether that means the moderate temperatures of the Pacific Northwest, the view of snow capped mountaintops and evergreens, chewy ginger molasses cookies, or calling a friend up as soon as you land and say, ‘I didn’t think about it until just now but do you want to come visit this weekend?’ and to be that close to home that it’s actually a possibility.

I forced my way to Seattle this weekend to help set up one of our programs that participated in Seattle’s PrideFest on Sunday.  It didn’t matter that I, in a sense, volunteered to work this weekend, that it would mean having 12 hours of sleep in a three day period, or that I would fly in on Saturday and turn around to fly back to the east coast first thing Monday morning.  Just being on the Westcoast is a vacation.  A vacation from the East Coast and the work that just won’t stop.  The difference between the Westcoast and the Eastcoast has never been more clear.

Super Bowl Frenzy

6 02 2011

Okay. Okay.  So now we all know who the winning team is….and if you haven’t seen the game yet, I won’t ruin if for you.

Despite the crazy winter weather in Dallas everyone’s been in great spirits.  Although I thought that the game was between the Packers and the Steelers.  Why is everyone wearing Cowboys jerseys?  These Texans just can’t let go of their home team!

Spent the weekend offsite but still caught the frenzy since we were giving away a pair of Super Bowl tickets.  The lucky winner had a tough choice as to which of her 3 friends she was going to take to see the game, sitting in $1200/ticket Club Level seats (which were apparently 2 rows behind Glee’s Cory Monteith).  Sweet!


Chicago, Dallas & LA

20 10 2010

I’m on the road again and coordinating a very logistics heavy tour.  3AM wake up calls, midnight bed times and 5,000 sample bags.  But, it looks great, and that’s all that really matters!


10 09 2010

Going through all of the photos we’ve taken in the last month I’m beginning to realize that we do a lot of stuff.  I guess it’s all in your mind set, taking things in stride with a certain perspective that sees opportunity and adventure instead of obstacles and aggravations.

Like you could say,

Argh, we have access to all of this fresh seafood at Granville Island but our condo sucks and we don’t have the right cooking utensils to make anything!”

Or…you could look at all of the fresh seafood and say,

“Who needs to cook the seafood?  Instead of paying $2.50 an oyster, let’s buy a dozen oysters and a shucker from The Lobster Man and make our OWN oysters on the half shell”.

By the way, with a little tutorial from our server, we are now Professional Oyster Shuckers.

Then there’s the fact that I can’t swim and motion/sea sickness is not out of the realm of possibility.  Do we look at the 3 foot swells and our little Zodiac boat and say,

“It’s a little rough out there in the Pacific.  I don’t want to get sick all over the boat.  Bleh.  I’m starting to feel sick already.  We can always go whale watching next time.”

Or do you say,

“If I’m going to go whale watching, the closer to the water the better!  Schedule the whales – I want to see a show!  But, just to make sure, I better take some gravel pills.”

It was definitely worth the trip.  And it’s a good thing that I did take some medicine because I can happily say that I didn’t get seasick, although I can’t say the same for others on our boat….or deny the fact that we had to go in early because they got sick on the boat. Bleh.

And there are all sorts of things to complain about when you’re coming off of a 2 week vacation high and you have to go back to work,

“We are in the middle of nowhere for this stupid tour.  This is a waste of our time, there’s not even any cell reception.  Let’s just get this over with and get out of here!”

But when you take a break and look around,

“What’s that across from us? Oh my gosh!!  There’s a baby lion cub named King!  And you can get your photo taken with him.  Before I leave this place, I MUST hold a baby lion cub.”

And with the soundtrack of the Lion King in my head, I got my photo taken with King.  It was pretty cute, he kept putting his paws in my hair.  And, for the first time (and maybe the only time) in my life, later on that day I looked down and said, “I have lion cub fur on my shirt“.  It was pretty exciting.

Then there’s always the time when you rely on others to do a task that you KNOW you can do better and they SCREW IT UP!  Like being promised that you have a spot to park your exhibit for the biggest concert of the year: Jay Z & Eminem and finding out the day before that ‘they decided to go in a different direction’.

“I’m about to throw the world’s biggest hissy fit!  Why the hell did they even tell us they had a spot, we could have been working on this for weeks now.  Well, we might as well call up our client now and let them know we don’t have a spot because everything has to be blocked off and taken now.  And we don’t have time to get permits…”

Or just suck it up and get the work done,

“Better start making some calls – (Jay’s manager, Live Nation, Comerica Park, and the City of Detroit).  Let’s just push until we can’t push anymore. We have 12 hours to get something together.”

And wouldn’t you know that 12 hours was just enough time to get a PERFECT spot to park right in front of Comerica Park WITH all of our proper permits.  It may have been my proudest moment.

So, with my rose-coloured glasses on, and a world perspective that seeks out opportunities, adventures and all around cool experiences, I don’t think that I have a ‘BUCKET LIST’ (things to do in your life before you ‘kick the bucket’) but I do have a BUCKET and I’m just going to keep on filling it.

Ice Cream Overload

6 07 2010

The last weekend in June included a 3am wake up call, a 5am set up time, the hoisting of a cow and a dog up 14 feet and 6 hours of watching a perfect event unfold on 5th Avenue in NYC.  In 6 hours our smartly dressed ambassadors gave away 15,000 ice cream samples.

Bonnaroo Buzz

20 06 2010

When we landed at Bonnaroo, I thought, ‘this is very similar to Vancouver Folk Festival – I know what to expect.  It’s just bigger’.  Well, this experience was nothing like my experience at Folk Fest.  Not because it didn’t have a lot of different stages with an eclectic mix of music.  And not because it didn’t have thousands of people flocking together, where bathing suit tops, sarongs and flip flops were the dress code.  And definitely not because it didn’t have a delicious assortment of vender food and a huge assortment of jewelry, clothes and other arts and crafts to be sold.

It was so different because we were ensconced in the artists area, away from the masses.  And here, we were able to meet the people who put the whole festival together and see how things really work.  Here we met the sponsors, the hospitality crew, the bartenders, the volunteers, the production and camera crew, artist management, etc.  Really, we met all of the important people.

And what we realized was that everyone takes care of each other and here is where you get opportunities to see things and experience things you never thought that you would.

Years ago, at my very first Vancouver Folk Fest I watched Michael Franti & the Spearheads perform a long ways back from the stage.  And it was one of my favourite Folk Fest memories.  At Bonnaroo, I had the opportunity to watch the performance from stage left.

Jay-Z always puts on a good show.  But standing on an elevated stage left platform beside Stefan (from the Dave Matthews Band), a few feet away from Stevie Wonder, and across the stage from Beyonce, looking out at a sea of people as far as I could see, made a HUGE difference.  It took me a while to come down from that Bonnaroo Buzz.

Watching the Zac Brown Band perform on the elevated stage left platform also gave me the opportunity to notice that one of the guys just so happened to be wearing a Rocawear t-shirt and button up woven.  Guess our gifting worked!

And we just had to stay to see the Bonnaroo Finale – Dave Matthews Band performance.