September 3, 2012 by Kat Richter
Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a big deal but A) it’s one of my favorite shirts (teal silk, second hand but still…) B) I’m headed into New York for a film shoot thanks to my 30-man, 100-date experiment and C) I haven’t had any yogurt today.
“Maybe it’s…” her voice trails off before she can name the unspeakable horror that has landed itself in the middle of my chest.
But we both know what she’s thinking. This is Philadelphia—a city—and there are birds.
“It’s good luck!” she concludes.
I love this notion of “good luck.” Its like how they say having rain on your wedding day is supposed to bring good luck. I mean who decided that? “Hey, don’t worry! Your outdoor reception is ruined, and your gown is caked in mud, but you have 50 years of wedding bliss to look forward to! How fabulous!”
I immediately text The Wedding Date (aka my boyfriend) to tell him of my plight “(I’ve been shat upon by a bird!”) and he replies almost immediately with the same “It’s good luck” nonsense.
As we wait for the bus, I perform a little mental investigation. I don’t remember being shat upon by a bird. In fact, I was sitting inside the bus shelter until my partner in crime showed up, and since when did bird shat become so… so oily? And buttery smelling?
Finally it hits me. I threw a cornbread muffin in the microwave before I left the house. And I slathered it with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. My dad drove me to the bus stop but having been at a Jimmy Buffet concert the night before, he was a little worse for the wear. (I’d fire him as my official fashion advisor but it’s hard to fire your fashion adviser when he also happens to be your chauffeur and your landlord.)
I grab a napkin from the deli on the corner and start rubbing but it’s no use. Fortunately, I have another two shirts inside my purse.
Well, in my never-a-dull-moment career as a freelance writer, teaching artist, tap dancer and relationship columnist, I was asked to come into New York to shoot some footage for Wake Up to a Break Up web tv.
Having already cut my teeth on CNBC, Good Morning America and most recently HuffPost Live, I’m learning. And given my propensity to spill/sweat/accidentally impale myself on a pair of scissors (seriously, it happened; I bled through my favorite Victoria’s Secret undies and everything!) I decided to bring a few spare shirts. And shoes. My blog is called Fieldwork in Stilettos, after all.
So I get to the studio and make a beeline for the restroom. There are a lot of really cool women also coming to the shoot—women who are way more established in their careers as dating coaches and relationship advisers than I am—and the last thing I want is to stick out like a sore, buttery thumb.
I change into my periwinkle blue off-the-shoulder top (the same one I wore for my double header outing with Date #11 way back when) and head into makeup.
Makeup, mind you, is a place and inside is a man called San who comes equipped with about sixty million little brushes and an eye shadow for each one.
Having never had my makeup done by a professional makeup artist before, I’m not really sure what to expect. And having changed from teal into periwinkle, my obnoxious dollar store eye shadow no longer coordinates with my outfit so I ask San if he’d like me to swipe.
“Let’s see what we’re dealing with,” he says.
To my great surprise, he actually likes the dollar store teal. (Granted, I know enough not to tell him it’s from the dollar store because I hate it when hair stylists get all uppity about you using “quality products” and I imagine it’s the same with makeup artists.)
He tells me we’re going to “incorporate” the teal into my “overall look” but half an hour later, I’ve been shadowed and lined and glossed to such an extent that there’s not a hint of teal in sight. It’s probably just as well because I look… well, probably the best I’ve ever looked for television. No wonder people like San can make a living doing what they do.
The only problem is makeup was rather hot. By the time I get into the studio and the sound guy asks me to snake the microphone down my shirt, I’m sweating.
“You’ve got a spot on your shirt,” the camera guy announces.
“I know,” I groan. It’s like the bird shat/butter incident all over again.
“Maybe I can just fold it?” I suggest. A few seconds later, I’ve tucked the sweat stain under a non-sweat stained part of my shirt, but the producer isn’t too crazy about my wrinkled chic so it’s decided that the camera man will simply edit the sweat out.
(Who knew such things were possible?)
I’ve been given my questions in advance so I sit there against the green screen for the next hour or so, telling stories, giving advice, saying the word “thing” too many times and cursing myself for not having brought any bobby pins along with my multiple shirts and shoes.
But it’s fun. In fact, I feel like a real grown up for once and the producer keeps telling me I look “great” on camera (well, aside from all of the sweat stains and lock of hair that just won’t stay out of my face…).
By the time we finish, however, I look like Whitney Houston. And not in the diva/superstar sort of way. The last thing I want to do is head back out onto the streets of Manhattan looking like a crack head so once I’m unhooked from the microphone and provided with my parting gifts, I head back to the bathroom and change into my third shirt.
I have 45 minutes to catch the bus back to Philly, which is more than enough time to make it back to 34th Street so I take a slight detour to one of the jewelry stores on Broadway. Unfortunately, I’ve totally forgotten that the bus picks ups on 12th and 34th, and 45 minutes is not enough to make it 12th and 34th unless you run.
And you know what happens when you run, don’t you?
My swag bag contains a Jimeale make up bag and two t-shirts from Wake Up to a Break Up. I consider changing into the one that says “It’s not you, it’s me” but I’m meeting The Wedding Date for dinner and I don’t want him to think I want to break up with him.
So I ride home in silence, sweating my brains out as we make our way through the tunnel then freezing my butt off the rest of the way because my seat is right underneath one of the air conditioner vents.
Moral of the story? If you’re going to a film shoot, bring not one, not two, but four shirts. And don’t even bother trying to color coordinate between your outfit and your makeup. It’s just not worth it.