I woke up this morning to one of the those eyes-wide-open-staring-at-the-ceiling realizations: Wait, did I confirm hair and makeup for today's shoot?!
It also dawns on me that hairstylist Robert Steinken's agent at CloutierRemix did email me yesterday saying Robert was unavail. With all the chaos of setting up for our Genlux event at the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, I put our shoot on the back burner—and then, forgot to book another hair stylist.
I call Amanda Eliasch, who we're shooting today, to explain the situation and ask if her favorite hair person, Angela Kalinowski, the one who does her hair all the time, is available. Amanda gives her a call. Good news! She's in. Whew! One down, one to go.
I send one of those phishing texts to makeup artist Camille Clark to see, if maybe, she's on board. (No way can I let her know I messed up). Me: 'Hi Camille, are you on your way?' Camille: 'On my way where? I'm working today.' Okay, time to panic.
I contact the agencies and then call our photographer, Tracey Morris, to see who might be avail to do makeup. Tracey whispers that Amanda has gotten wind about the no makeup sitch and is getting upset. and quickly hangs up. Oh, great. It's only 10:00 and the anti-creative universe has decided to wreak havoc.
When shooting "divas" of which Amanda (she'll be the first to admit it) is one; you CAN NOT give them a sliver of negativity or the whole shoot goes right down the toilet and the next thing you know, the grid goes down and when the grid goes down, suddenly you find yourself being punched in the stomach over a can of soup (Direct TV commercial reference).
Tracey calls me back and lets me know that one of our favorite makeup artists, Su Han, is available. "That's the good news," Tracey says, "The bad news is she's an hour away." What choice do we have? Book her!!
At about 11:00, I pull into Amanda's house where we are shooting and quietly sneak through the front door—fully expecting some trouble to be brewing inside. It's eerily silent. Amanda pops down her stairs and seems to be happy. Really happy. She says I have to come upstairs and see the fashion. Apparently, Lisa Cera, the stylist, has scored some amazing fashion from Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, Junya Watanabe, etc., and so, the potential storm, which is our Amanda Eliasch, has been calmed. Some of the fashion Lisa pulled is from the notoriously snobby Maxfields. They usually don't lend for shoots but Amanda is such the shopper over there, they pretty much said, 'Here, take this, take that, here, take the store.' Smart on their part, they know she'll buy whatever looks good on her.
Lisa also pulled gorgeous shoes from Carmen Steffens. Turns out another smart move. Amanda and Lisa Zane (Billy Zane's sister) both fall in love with the shoes and decide to buy those too.
Then Amanda takes me to see what's in her garage. The door opens to a beautiful white Jaguar F-Type that Jag has lent us for the shoot. "We have it all day," Amanda says, adding, "They pick it up on Monday. It's beautiful isn't it—I want one. It's only a hundred grand." Me: Eye roll. Gee, only a hundred grand.
Just when I think the storm has passed, like a monsoon, Sharon Harroun-Peirce, (who heads up BritWeek and helped arrange the Jaguar—one of her biggest sponsors) flies through the front door and has a look on her face like she's ready to kill somebody. My mind is racing. 'What did I do?' 'What did I do?' What did I do?' Sharon tells me that she's not mad at me, but that Amanda told Jaguar she wanted to keep the car until Monday, but no, Sharon's come over to let us know that Jaguar will be by at 1:00 to pick up the car. No exceptions. Okay, Sharon, no worries, they can pick it up, at um, 1.
Okay, so it's 12:30 now. Amanda is still in hair and makeup. The car needs to be positioned, lit and out of here at 1:00. I'm thinking there's no way. But I tell Sharon, "No problem." I jump in the car and position it on Amanda's beautifully manicured front lawn (Photo shoot rule number 23: Just do it. It's always easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission). Tracey and Robert Morris (Tracey's hubby, digi-tech, assistant, and all-round good guy) sets up the lights for Amanda to just walk in and snap a few shots. By some miracle, we get it done at 1:06. Jag picks up the car. And everybody is happy—especially Sharon. Right, Sharon? Sharon?
Four more setups and we get four more great shots of Amanda—one of which will be the cover of a special BritWeek edition of Genlux.
One thing I've learned after hundreds of fashion shoots: If you go with the flow, everything works out. The anti-creative universe will try to suck the life out of you, but remember, in the end, the creative universe always trumps all.