Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Time At The Sundance Film Festival 2011

Well we actually arrived a day early and woke up to find that we had nothing to do for the day. A quick trip to the hotel lobby and all the rack cards gave us some direction. We would head out to Antelope Island to see some bison and well, antelope. The drive out there was of course stunning aand we made our way across the miles long bridge to the island. Antelope Island is surrounded by a lake so rich in salt you can not sink and the only thing that survives in it are brine shrimp. We were met by a rather playful magpie that gave us a game of tag as we attempted to take his photo. We drove around the island for a while, saw bison, antelope and mountain goats.

A small portion of the Montage Ski Resort, Deer Valley Utah

The next day began among some beautiful scenery. The Montage resort of Deer Valley Utah held our gift lounge for the Sundance Film Festival. It is perched high on top a mountain and the road ends right at the hotel.

Set up was pretty smooth and we were put in the corner (which works for us since we could put the art up against the wall on the chair railing) A delicious spread of fruits, cheese and breads were conveniently set up in the middle of the room, oh and some to-die-for Tomato Hummus.

One of the first celebrities to enter was Kevin Sorbo. Now you all know how big of a sci-fi geek I am and his show was one of my favorites. He actually chatted with me for a while and wanted to take a photo with me (which of course I was not going to say no to) I thought it was very nice of him.

This lounge was very different this time. It was more for the Turner execs than anything else but I must say we were very well received by them. Apparently word got around and some of the execs came looking for us. That was very cool. I did manage to give out information on some of our artists when asked and one of them walked away with two of my necklaces which I happily gave to her. She said they were for her daughters but joked that they could borrow them from her. I don't mind, I was just glad she liked them so much.

We ended up finishing up early and decided to go downstairs to Daly's Pub. I had the best veggie burger on the planet, Long grain jasmine rice with mushrooms and zucchini diced in, topped with alfalfa sprouts and avocado on a toasted bun. I wish it was not so far away because I really would like one now.

After the first night we were offered tickets to see one of Sundance's movies. Never one to miss an opportunity like this I decided to grab them and enjoy. I picked the tickets by time and had no idea what the movie was about. We headed down into town and found the theater and waited in line for it to open. The movie we were about to see was called "Kaboom" and um, well it was certainly different. I got a few laughs out of it but I can say it was nothing like I thought it was going to be. I had fun regardless and it was more of an experience than anything else.

The next day was similar to the day before. mostly execs and few celebs which made my job very hard. I did manage to rotate the art so at least everything got into a shot. A few celebs did not have time to pose and the photographer decided to snap a few of me talking to them. Unfortunately it was snowing and everyone was more interested in skiing than they were in the gift lounge. Only a handful of celebrities showed during our stay, Luckily Chaske Spencer was nice enough to hold two members artwork and the band One Rebublic each held something.

All was not lost though, we made a few good connections for our artists, picked up a couple of new talent, got to see a Sundance movie and had some great food with a few laughs.


Monday, January 24, 2011

My Time At The Golden Globes Gift Lounge Day Three and Four

Ok, I am sorry this has been a little behind but we had the rare occasion of back to back shows. Only two days after I landed home from LA I had to turn around and head to Utah for Sundance. (more on that in later installments)

Well everything went off without a hitch the next morning and we were the first to arrive in our room so we had a chance to walk around to meet other vendors.

The first celebrity we met was Naveen Andrews. Val and I are such big LOST fans that it was a real treat. Naveen is a very soft spoken man, at least he was to us. We chatted for a minute or two and then he took a photo with one of our artist's paintings. Then he told me something that made me happy but I will get to that a little bit later.
The good thing was that The George Lopez Foundation was next to our table so even if certain celebrities did not walk around being gifted we at least got to see them. There were a few that stopped by only to do that. Katey Sagal, Jesse McCartney and Joe Montegna were a few that were there to only sign the guitar.

I guess I could pick a few of the names I met during the next two days and tell you a little bit about them since the event is such a fast paced blur. I have my list in front of me of who was scheduled to be there. Not all of them showed but I will try to remember the best I can.

Jennifer Love Hewitt: What a lovely woman and beautiful too. She was very interested in our work and asked a few questions which made my job easier. She took a liking to some of our artists work and was very interested in hearing how some of the pieces were created.

Handmade paper rose on my coffin jewelry box

Tiny bottle pendant necklace

Billy Gibbons: Both Billy and his lovely wife Gilligan arrived in the back way behind our table (there was as sliding door that we were next to) I needed no introduction and held out my hand to shake his. I talked to them for a little while. He was drawn to my handmade coffin jewelry box and I was rather intrigued by the mass amounts of skeleton keys hanging around his neck. I will be sending him a print of one of my versions of a skeleton key.

Billy and Gilligan Gibbons
Chelsea Traille: Got the best dressed award in my opinion and what a beautiful woman. She took a liking to my carousel horse pendant and chose that to hold for a photo. It is quite an honor when someone chooses your work and admires it.

Katherine O'Hara: A funny, funny woman, I always enjoyed her work and was honored that she liked mine. I was actually surprised that she chose my coffin to be photographed with but she really liked it.

Michael Clark Duncan: We had a great conversation about cats. He loves them and has a few and I rescue them and have many. He was drawn to Debbie's iPad cover and that is what started the conversation. I told him that "The Green Mile" made me cry. I said I was only able to watch it once and he said the same thing.

Grey Damon: Instead of posing with our artwork Grey decided to take a photo with the both of us and pulled us in. That is me in the red and Valerie in the pink

and last but not least (the thing Naveen told me about that made me happy): My favorite character from LOST...Terry O'Quinn. He came in from the back door behind our table as opposed to the regular door. I was on the other side of the table bending down with the bags when I looked up to tell Val something, as I did that Terry came in from behind her and I let out a gasp. I apologized for reacting that way but he really caught me off guard. Thankfully he was laughing at me and very sweet. He took some time to chat with us too and told us about a new show he is going to be in.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Time At The Golden Globes Gift Lounge Day One and Two

Ok, first things did not start off good at all, a simple direct flight turned into many hours of nightmare. Originally I was supposed to fly out on Wednesday morning, fly directly from my airport to LAX and I was supposed to land at noon. Well that is not exactly how it happened. See we had the pleasure of another snowstorm and my flight was to leave smack dab in the middle of it. Great.

The day before I got a cancellation of my flight but they were kind enough to rebook it for me, only problem it was landing AFTER I was to take off to return home, well I am not sure if Continental has the knowledge to actually manipulate the time space continuum but I am guessing they do not. The only other option was to take a flight out of La Guardia and it would not be a direct flight (shudder) There goes a big taxi bill as there is not one person I know of that will go anywhere near that airport. I scrambled for a car and got one only to be told a few hours later that I am not guaranteed a ride in the morning because of the snow. Now I am pretty adaptable but this was really taxing every ounce of sanity, the only thing I could come up with was to go to the airport the night before and sleep there until my flight at 10:30 am. Yes 12 hours in an airport, on a cot, yay me.

Skip ahead to actually landing in LA. I was lucky as we were told that my flight was the only one going out before 6pm so I did make it, a bit ragged looking but here I was. I was supposed to have a shuttle take me to my hotel but when I called there wasn't one available, Thats just great until I found out it was a town car picking me up, finally something goes my way. Now never having the chance to ride in such a thing I did a silly thing. The car pulled up and I walked my luggage around the back of the car and was going to fling it in the trunk, Um yeah, apparently they don't want you to do that, nor do they want you to let yourself into the car either (well, now I know) The driver was nice though. I will say that I was in LA for about a half hour and I already had to dispel the myth that people from New Jersey DO NOT fist pump and we do not act like what you see on tv nor do we talk funny so stop it all of you (pointing my finger), it gets tiring defending my state, I had to do it the whole time.

Check in went smoothly and I walked to the drug store, no not the one that is four blocks away but the one that was about two and a half miles all because I can not seem to keep Willshire and Santa Monica straight.

After my five mile round trip walk I got ready for bed that is until Shannon and Valerie showed up. I finally got to meet my partner in this venture and one of our talented artists and we got along instantly. I was exhausted but they convinced me to head downstairs to the bar. I was already in my PJs, Shannon put hers on too so I figured what the hell and downstairs we went. Carlo was the bartender and he was making drinks for Val and Shannon while I admired the Absinthe decanter thing they had (The hotel is one of the few that serve Absinthe) The night went on and somehow it ended with Shannon and I eating pizza with Carlo and the concierge (Steve?) Carlo thought I was 28, bless his heart because he wasn't even close.

The next morning was set-up day and due to a bad GPS that thought it would be funny to take us to the right street at the wrong end we ended up just making it to the London Hotel at the last possible second. We rushed upstairs and quickly set up just in time for the press to show. We were in a room with the best people. There were five vendors with us. The Wine Chataeu (which I happen to drive by on my way to work, small world) An awesome Vegan Chocolate company called Chocalive, and let me tell you that their chocolate is absolutely delicious and a California cheese company called Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. There isn't a blue cheese on this planet that tastes that good. We also had The George Lopez Foundation which is such a worthy cause. We had the best room in the house as far as I was concerned (wine, cheese, chocolate, art and charity) and the other vendors were a blast to hang with.

A little later in the Meet And Greet we heard that George Lopez was around and he was making his way to our room. It took a while but he showed and Valerie is a big fan. She got him going and joking around and there was some photos of most of us doing a secret sign George taught us. He was also filming for his show I believe. After the Meet and Greet we had to bring up all of our gift bags with the help of Johnny who works at the London. We unloaded everything pretty quick and then it was time to rest because tomorrow was going to be an exciting busy day.

Stay tuned for Day Three and Four of my adventure at the Golden Globes awards show...

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