The brand was “little big horn.” I kid you not.
The video shoot. Oh my gosh.
OK, It was in this crazy building:
I guess the pilot of ER was shot there, along with parts of Pearl Harbor, a bunch of horror movies, and other things I can’t remember because I never remember things like the names of movies or TV shows. But Howard Hugues apparently lived in the top floor for a while. It was a hospital until 1990, and has been used as a film set since then, and I don’t think it had been cleaned since about 1955.
There was a crematorium in the basement, and everyone kept talking about how there were human ashes all around in the crematorium room, but I never got a chance to make my way down there. I can’t say I exactly tried very hard. There were old hospital gurneys and terrifyingly dirty hospital beds scattered around.
But the building was insanely beautiful. Isn’t it amazing that the film industry can save places like this from destruction?
I had a really good time taking pictures and wandering around, until LA actor-y girls started coming in and shedding their leggings and Uggs in preparation for being dressed as burlesque dancers and flappers. Then I got weirded out and shy—all the girls seemed nice, but I didn’t want to be a part of that scene.
I wanted to hang out with my friends in the band and my sweetheart (their manager)–with the boys. When the time came to get into the wardrobe room, I told my friend Than that I didn’t want to be in the video after all. I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal—I was just going to be an extra in the background.
But Than knows me and my initial reticence to living life as opposed to bitching about it, and he literally dragged me into the wardrobe room. All the actor girls turned to look at me and my skinny-in-any-room-but-this-one hips, and I shot daggers at Than, who turned me over to the wardrobe women and fled.
They turned to me and began holding up dresses. The wardrobe ladies turned out to be super sweet (and possibly the most styley people I’ve ever met), but they still made me try on no less than five outfits (two of which were authentic 1920s dresses that wouldn’t even pass over my hips, ha!), before we settled on a sweet Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister) number that I adored. They gussied it up with glued on ribbon and a brooch, tight pantyhose and tight knee socks, and witchy heels.
Then it was off to the dreaded makeup chair. I’m just not a girly girl like that, and all the accoutrements of traditional femininity make me nervous.
Happily, the bubbly makeup lady shoved all my hair under a ridiculously awesome hat, so that was easy. When she was putting the foundation or whatever on my face, I told her that this was only my second time wearing makeup ever. (I didn’t tell her that the first time was when my grandmother died and I inherited all her fancy makeup and old, old perfume and tried it all on for fun.) She said that was probably why my eyelashes were so long and my skin was so clear, and proceeded to cover both with tons upon tons of makeup, all the while saying that she was “going easy” on me because she wasn’t putting fake eyelashes on, which most of the burlesque dancers were wearing.
Now I just had to worry about dancing. I am not a dancer. I am a jumper, which sometimes looks like dancing:
But is not.
Most happily, my sweetheart Jacob was technically supposed to be overseeing the video shoot, but was recruited as an extra when they needed more dudes, giving us the opportunity to take an astonishingly large, wedding-like quantity of photos together. Not to brag or anything, but I think we are officially the cutest couple in the history of the universe:
Everyone who knew me before my transformation into the chic-est of the Bloomsbury set kept telling me that this should be my new everyday look, and I think they are right. I think drop-waisted dresses and 1920s hats are going to make an appearance in my day-to-day clothes from now on. I actually begged the stylist to sell me the dress I was wearing (the tag was still attached–$98 marked down for $400), but she said it was her dress and she had fallen in love with it, so no dice. But she did admit that it was made for me and that she understood why I so wanted it.
Several people told me that I was the most “authentic” flapper there, and Jacob admitted that though I was the least sexily dressed girl in the whole place, I was undoubtedly the most awesome. I was a fucking intellectual flapper, dudes!
Because Jacob was in the video, our part consisted of flirting with each other, which was easy and fun and fine. We stood on the set for a while, chatting with all the real actors and realizing that our version of “acting” consisted of saying “A HA!!” in weird high voices and doffing our hats a lot, while the real actors’ version of acting was to look ridiculously chic and talk in 1920s voices about how everyone else on the set had STDs and things. Seriously! The flapper girl at our table turned to us the minute the camera was moving and said, in a suave old timey way, “That fucking whore next you in the white wig has the clap!” Which made us laugh in a very festive, uproarious, authentic way, which I think might have been her plan all along.
In general, it was fun. All the actors talked about how cute they looked, which agency they should go to, the importance of good headshots, shoes they wanted, and makeup. The boys in the band absentmindedly jammed while waiting for their parts, the crew bustled around trying to herd everyone into their places, the director and label people and Jacob talked about whether the lead singer should wear a long sleeve shirt because his arms are so amazingly cut and beautiful that they were “distracting.” (In the end they voted no)
At about hour ten I got tired—tired of wearing heels for the second time in my life, tired of remembering to not rub my eyes, worried my skin was starting to rebel against its mask of skin-colored paint, tired of wearing pantyhose.
I’m used to working long hours, but I’m used to working all of those hours. A 12-hour way with only two hours of actual work is incredibly boring, and the minute the shoot was done we said quick goodbyes and went home to Echo Park (a very cute and interesting neighborhood with lots of vegan restaurants!) to sleep the sleep of the just.
That girl’s hair was already like that!
All in all, I’m proud of myself. I tried something new, didn’t let my hardcore feminist beliefs prevent me from having fun, and enjoyed an unfamiliar world.
(I am still waiting for my flight to go out! Jan and her entourage of two [see previous post]—it looks like a husband/partner and a nanny/PA, plus a cute kid— are patiently hanging out and entertaining the kid and snacking, and I am resisting the urge to run up to Jan—Jacob and I have been unapologetically calling her Jan this whole time—and tell her how I watch The Office online every week and I fucking adore it so much that it sometimes I think my heart is going to burst out of its body, it is so consumed with Office-love.)
PS: I couldn’t show you any of the trillion cute band shots I have because the label wants to save them for some behind-the-scenes-y stuff. Meh. Please forgive the me me meness of this post!