Detroit, Part One

detroit2

I wish I had time to fully explain this crazy, wonderful whirlwind that has been my life lately. But, you see, I just got back from filming a commercial in Detroit five days ago. Tomorrow, I leave for a vacation to visit one of my best friends in New Mexico and from there, road-trip to Arizona with her. (YAY!) As giddy as I am about this, I definitely didn’t plan on leaving the state two weeks in a row. The past few months have definitely taken me by surprise, and for that, I am exceedingly grateful. And on that note—A few weeks ago, I was sitting by my favorite pool, tanning on my day off. My phone rang and I was asked if I’d like to be flown, all-expenses paid, to Detroit to film my second paid commercial for U By Kotex. Considering I should be sleeping at this very moment as I have a 6:30 am flight tomorrow, here are the Cliff Notes of that trip (I’ll save part two for the nitty gritty details.) :

ubk

Detroit Cliff Notes:

  • Flying first class for the first time, and feeling like a duck out of water, being the twenty-four year old girl surrounded by a bunch of middle-aged men. But completely taking advantage of the free drinks and comfy seats. Being confused when the flight attendant handed me a hot towel. It was so tightly rolled that I thought it was sushi at first, but I followed along with the middle-aged men and wiped my face with the thing?! When in Rome  flying first class….
  • Arriving at the gorgeous MGM Grand, and calling my husband, excitedly informing him that the shower was the size of our walk in closet at home. Taking full advantage of the whipped coffee/double espresso machine.
  • Having a makeup and wardrobe artist for the weekend

wardrobe

  • Sitting in on a production meeting in which I drank wine whilst everyone in the room and on conference call tried to decide what outfit I would wear for the shoot. This also meant everyone, including me, having copies in their hands of uh, me….in different outfits. Okay, that was also a little weird. But a cool kind of weird.
  • Filming at the Fillmore, on the same stage that rock stars perform on.
  • Being doted upon and loved by the U By Kotex peeps, just by being my naturally happy, highly energetic, slightly dorky self.
  • Not being allowed to pay for anything, despite the all too generous per diem that was delivered to me. Oh, and somehow getting paid to have one of the best times of my life. Also that.

production

  • Hanging out with the production team after-hours, while also getting a pretty incredible tour of the town. Amongst many other amazing experiences (more about those later)—I partied and mingled at a shop where bicycles and watches were made, slung makeshift slingshots at a sign in an office building, visited a breathtaking island between Detroit and Canada, drank cocktails way past closing time at Sugar House, ate a mix of delicious Mexican and Italian food at El Barzon, bowled at the oldest bowling alley in the US and climbed out of an apartment window to see an absolutely gorgeous view of Detroit. Needless to say, I fell madly and deeply in love with this underdog-rising-up city. And also the folks residing in it.

I really have to go to bed now, but a more thorough part two (with many more pictures!) is soon to come, friends. I wish I could come up with a perfect ending to describe in a few words how very smitten and amazed I am by everything happening to me right now, but I’m about to fall asleep on the keyboard. And I have a flight to catch in less than eight hours. So, er….Goodnight, y’all!

Surreal, But Real. (Demo Diaries, 2013)

I have this really crazy, amazing, unreal story to tell y’all. Except here’s the thing–As unreal as it still seems, it’s all very true. And it’s happening to me. I don’t know where else to start this post but from the beginning. So here goes.

filmcrew

Back in May, I received a message from a cameraman on the site that I use to schedule photo-shoots for my modeling hobby. He said that he’d love for me to come out and audition for a commercial. I then read over the details and found that they were looking for someone “Outgoing, authentic, confident, charismatic”, “Very likeable”, “Willing to take the camera crew and viewers into her personal life and share information about her life and style.” and, oh yeah, “Someone who other girls would like to be.” Oh, you know. Only a little intimidating. Gulp. But the pay was more than great, the location happened to be right by my university and I was wrapping up the last bit of my finals. I was leaving for a cruise in the next couple of days and was working that afternoon but had a little bit of free time to spare. I thought about it and then I thought, “Why not!?” So I went in for the audition. I walked into a crisp, corporate building, went up an elevator and was escorted by an assistant into a room with bright lights, two dudes and a camera. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t nervous. But the guys were so friendly and genuinely sweet that I felt myself almost immediately calm down. After a few basic questions, they asked me about my hobbies. If I was to pick a question to be asked in an interview, that would probably be it. I’m all about my hobbies, y’all. So I ramble on (I was still a little nervous and my rambling becomes pretty intense when I’m nervous) about my hobbies, probably glowing a little as I talk about my most recent endeavors as an event blogger. The guys are smiling and I feel giddy with adrenaline. Before I know it, the audition is over. But before I leave, Travis (cameraman who emailed me) told me, “I think you’re our favorite of everyone we’ve interviewed so far. And we really don’t just say that to everyone.” As the assistant walked me out, she smiled as she let me know, “They really haven’t said that to anyone else.” If I wasn’t glowing yet, I know I was by that point.

ubykotex4

I found out in Louisiana, the day I got back from my cruise, that the production team also saw me as a favorite and that I had been cast in the commercial.

A few days later, I was meeting up with part of this team to go over details and sign the contract.

A day after that, I had the U By Kotex film crew begin following me around for a week in my life, filming for an online commercial entitled “Demo Diaries.”  They recorded me as I event blogged (I was trying out a new water sport that week, so it worked out pretty perfectly), hosted my on-campus radio show, went out with a friend, ordered a drink from a coffee shop (Everyone seemed a little stunned as we walked into a small-town coffee shop with a full camera crew. A barista proceeded to ask me if I was famous.), BBQ’d with my hubby, and even as I did laundry and vacuumed (Travis informed me that I didn’t seem real if they were just filming me doing cool things like flyboarding and hosting a radio show. I am very real, I swear it! Thus the everyday life things. Ha.)  

It was an incredible, surreal, insane, whirlwind of a week that I will never ever forget. I worked with an absolutely fabulous crew and cannot even describe how blessed I feel to be given such a crazy, wonderful opportunity. I’m tempted to say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing, but apparently that’s not quite the case.

detroitticket

I was going to wait for a couple more weeks, when the commercial aired, to let y’all know about all of this craziness. But then I got a call from the production team, asking me how I felt about doing a second commercial. Oh, and how would I feel about them flying me to Detroit to do so? Um, what!?…Huh!?…Impromptu vacation!?.. Filming another commercial!?…Yes,yes,yes!!! (That was basically my thought process within the phone conversation.) Long story short, and to condense the shock and excitement that I feel into a short amount of words, I will be flying to Detroit tomorrow night. The pay will be just as much or more than my previous commercial, which is crazy to me because I would probably pay to have an experience like this. Thursday I’ll have a wardrobe fitting. Friday I’ll be filming all day in the new-to-me city of Detroit. My heart started beating faster just typing the previous sentence down. I still can’t quite believe all of this is happening. I’m completely stunned, but in the best way possible. I’m dazed and grateful and thrilled. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that as surreal as this all is, it is still real. So, uh, because I’m apparently not dreaming, I still have a bag that I need to finish packing?! Stay tuned for part two, y’all. Detroit, here I come!