Oct 7 – Smile please. And a little to the left.
So I got the pharmaceutical photo shoot gig, or I should say my girlfriend and I got it. I think they liked her best, and I got picked up since we were a couple, but I will take whatever I can get. The job pays, and pays well.
We got and email from Michael Bini, the producer at On Request Images, saying they would like to use us, and that the wardrobe person would be contacting us soon about what to wear. Colette called a few days later, and gave us a list, some of which I didn’t have, so it was an excuse to go shopping. The things I was mainly looking for were some dressier shoes, a lightweight jacket that wasn’t black, and some pants that were khaki colored. After two shopping trips I managed to find things that a) were cheap and b) were actually things I would wear after this was over, if we ended up using them.
Shoot day came and the call was at 7:30 am. We both have to get up early for work, so it wasn’t that much of a hardship. The shoot is at a nice Victorian house up on Queen Anne Hill. Now if you are not familiar with Seattle, let’s just say that this neighborhood has money. The houses are beautiful, and the yards are immaculate. The house we were at could have been in the pages of Architectural Digest, or the finished product of This Old House.
They production company had a RV trailer out front which is where we were to check in. We got there a little early, so we spent most of the time just sitting in the RV’s living room watching the crew run back and forth getting ready. The caterer showed up with some food. Bacon, quiche with asparagus, red pepper and goat cheese, and cinnamon rolls. I was in heaven. I have to say, one of the reason’s I have gotten into this business is for the food. People ask do you want to do film or theatre, and I’m answer film…they at least feed you, even if they don’t pay you. Here I was getting both.
We sat and chatted with people as we waited. Turns out Michael the producer and my girlfriend are from the same neck of the woods and went to rival high schools. I chatted with one of the guys we were going to be doing our shoot with, and he owns a small women’s clothing boutique downtown.
We got our makeup put on, and then we went through a few clothing changes. I ended up using the pants I bought and a pair of shoes. The rest they had bought for the shoot or had on hand. We went through a few choices because we had to have the right colors that didn’t blend in with the house we were in front of, or the patio furniture that we were sitting on. Plus, we had to blend nicely, but not too much, with each other.
The scenario was the my girlfriend and I are having a nice casual front porch get together with our nice gay male friends. We got to sit outside, acting as if it was a nice summer day, even though it was about 50 degrees out and overcast. At first it wasn’t so bad, but after a while it got to be pretty darn cold sitting there. The crew would bring us jackets to wear while they were setting up different scenarios, but then we would have to take them off for stretches of time. We also had to hold glasses of ice water, and cold ceramic plates with appetizers on them. That didn’t help.
We’d get directions, like lean a little forward, ok, hold up your glass like you are going to take a drink, tilt your head a little, smile, ok try shifting your one leg forward, and then put your weight on your other leg, smile, good, now everyone look at Trent, ok smile…
One person from each couple was picked to be the “caretaker/hero” for each couple. That person who is always making sure that everyone has what they need, or make sure that you take your medicine, or don’t eat the donut, etc. The guy caretaker went first. He compassionately offered us hors d’oeuver, and we all smiled and looked up at him thankfully. We tried different positions, my girlfriend with her hand on my shoulder, the guys holding hands, us looking like we were having a toast and clinking glasses.
Then my girlfriend got to be the chosen one (see, I knew they liked her better). We repeated the process, although by this time we were freezing to death, so it was harder to keep the smiling going realistically. Luckily the guys who we were with (who weren’t a real couple) were both very friendly and charming.
We joked a lot. Lots of gay inside jokes, that we gay people can always fall back on in a pinch. Stuff about butts and sex, and how obviously this house was so neat it must belong to the guys, but we lesbians built the porch for them in trade for getting my hair highlighted. I sort of wonder if the other groups have their standard repertoire. Anyway, it helped break the ice and gave us something to laugh at so we didn’t have fake smiles. I do not have a good fake smile.
After some more shots, we got to wrap up, give the clothes that weren’t ours back, and then get our clothes packed up. Had a few more snacks at the craft table, said thank you to everyone, and then headed out the door.
One job done. I hope there are more. With food.