Yeah, I’d Do a TV Show


For no apparent reason, I woke up three hours earlier than my alarm this morning. Even more perplexing, I actually got up instead of rolling around in the sheets until I fell back asleep.

There are two exciting things happening over the next couple days. But I can’t really attribute the early rising to those. They actually hadn’t crossed my mind until I sat down to burn the fog off my mind with a blog post. Since I’m up, and my subconscious has thrust this pair of events to the surface, I suppose I shall yap about them.

This Friday kicks off the NW Ohio SCBWI annual conference. This will be my first in-person writing conference: seminars, critiques, pitching, advice, connections & encouragement. The timing is a bit odd. I’m in that writerly limbo space between querying one novel and writing the next.

I’m slowly developing the characters and expounding on the root ideas for Phreak Show. But this is a come-as-it-may process. I don’t rush it. I don’t force it. The characters clock in and out when they like. If they say something worth keeping, I scribble it down. The ideas drift by like clouds. If one shoots out a zap of lightning, I snap a picture of it. At this stage, I am like a court reporter–only transcribing what I hear and see. I don’t affect the proceedings in any way. I simply record them as they unfold.

So, entering this conference, I’m not in the thick of drafting or revision. Phreak Show is my work-in-progress [but only in the vaguest sense]. It will be interesting to see how attending a conference during this phase of the writing process will turn out. I’m suspecting it will kick the development of Phreak Show into overdrive.

The second event which is unfolding over the next couple of days has nothing at all to do with writing. It has to do with a TV show.

While at an antique show earlier this month, a talent scout approached my partner and I. She was searching for a pair of guys with knowledge of antiques & refurbishing skills to host a new show. Junk’d is a concept show pre-sold to CMT. Basically, it is a mashup of Extreme Home Makeover and American Pickers.

Here’s what has happened so far. The scout interviewed us with some questions regarding our experience, personalities and fit for the show. The Casting Director dug our video & followed up with a phone interview. We jumped that hurdle and moved on to a taped Skype interview. This video was edited down to two minutes and passed on to the executives. That’s the stage we’re at now. A decision is expected by Friday.

Things are set to pop quickly after that. Let’s pretend the execs select Micah and I to host the show. Here’s what would go down next. Flight to L.A. to finalize everything. Then, the pilot [of the show–not the plane…] would be filmed in Tennessee in early October. After that–more waiting to see how the pilot plays out. The whole thing could end there. If it’s a ‘go’, CMT could order a season consisting of 6-20 episodes.

This is one of those crazy-random opportunities which comes out of the blue. Obviously, there is nothing definite at this point. On Friday, I could get the whole, “You were great! But the execs decided to go in a different direction…” You know, like a form rejection to a query letter. That’s kind of how I’m mentally framing the whole possibility. It is equivalent to sending a query. The intern pushed it through the slush. The agent liked the writing sample and asked for a full. Now, agent has it and is running it by his colleagues to get their input–and final decision–on whether to offer rep as an agency or not.

Just as I’d love to land a lit agent, I’d also love to try my hand at hosting a TV Show. I mean, why the hell not?

In the meantime, I have some plotlines to shorthand and a conference to prepare for. Oh, and a fresh pot of coffee is in order. And it’s still an hour before my alarm is set to go off.  :: rubs sleepy eyes :: If you catch me napping later today, don’t tell anyone. I’m not used to being up before the sun. Wait…what time does filming start?

For those of you who are curious [and wise to the whole invisible ink thing], the payment for the TV show includes all travel & related expenses + $2,500 per co-host, per episode. Yeah, I believe I could handle that. 

Advertisements

Steampunk, Antiques & My Personal Celebrities


Steamjunk on its way to Steampunk

Three times a year, the sleepy little New England town of Brimfield, Massachusetts mushrooms into an antiquing mecca with an international draw. The Brimfield Antique Market boasts 22 separate fields featuring over 5,000 vendors. The sellers converge from all over the U.S. to peddle items ranging from chipped glassware & bits of metal junk haphazardly displayed on  muddy tarps to high-end 17th century English furniture staged beautifully in showroom-style vignettes.

The estimated traffic is over 250,000 visitors per show. That’s a quarter-million antique hunters!

Like the vendors, the shoppers come from all over. Their taste has the same vast range as the items being offered. A lot of folks swoop in from the nearby cities of Boston, Philadelphia and New York. In addition to the American set, I have personally sold to clients from Canada, England, Switzerland, and Japan. These foreign buyers often target Brimfield in search of those unique items they’re itching to get their hands on.

While the majority of the shoppers and dealers are what one could term ‘ordinary folk’, with that many people amassed in one locale, there are also a good number of characters. Dudes in kilts, slave boys in leather hot-shorts, mod ladies, shirtless wonders sporting their own built-in sweaters, steampunkers, etc. I saw quite a few models for the characters in my novel-in-progress, Phreak Show.

Danielle Hinton – The perfect model for Twiggy

One girl in particular was the perfect fit for Twiggy. I pitched my novel concept, shared my character sketch, and asked if I could snap some photos for reference. She is a fan of both fantasy & steampunk, and graciously obliged the rambling request of a stranger. Danielle is a fantastic lady–you can just feel the fabulousness oozing out of her. Check her out on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/ConstantlyAlice & Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ConstantlyAlice. Also, I’m pretty sure I have added another pre-publication sale of Phreak Show to the list. 😉

Celebrities also slip into the mix at Brimfield. A few big names are frequent shoppers. Tommy Hilfiger and his crew often swoop in placing tag after tag on items they’re interested in. [Making the dealers quite happy.] There were rumors that Barbara Streisand was at this last show. I personally wouldn’t be all gushing to see her pass by, but I sure ran into a lot of people that seemed more interested in hunting her down than searching for an antique to purchase.

I did meet and interact with two celebrities-of-sorts which are more inline with my personal interests.

First was Evan Michelson, co-owner of the NY shop Obscura, cohost of the show “Oddities”, and lover of all things weird & macabre. My partner and I went with a Fun Haus theme for this show. Over the last two months, we focused on collecting circus & carnival items, medical & funerary equipment, anatomical models, and both animal and human specimens. Evan was in our booth three different times chatting with us. She purchased 4 items from us and gave us a verbal pat-on-the-back with, “You guys have really great stuff.”

Between visits, Micah said, “We should get her autograph.” I talked the fanboi off the ledge and convinced him not to badger the poor woman. Evan likes creepy things, but I’m pretty sure gushing fanbois are excluded from her must-have list.  In exchange for his reserve, Micah got to assist her by carrying some items and escorting her to her vehicle. On the trek, Evan shared some insight into her personality and how the show has affected her life. So, instead of a restraining order, Micah got a bit of personalized interaction with Evan.

 

The second celebrity  I met and chatted with at length was Bruce Rosenbaum. If you’re into steampunk–and you don’t know this name–then rectify this at once. These links will help: http://www.modvic.com/ & http://www.facebook.com/ModVic. It may be overkill, but I consider him the reigning godfather of the Steampunk movement. We talked about steampunk in general, where Micah & I are heading with our design company, my Phreak Show concept, and random other topics. I showed him the YA Steampunk I was reading, The Girl in the Steel Corset. It turns out he personally knows the author, Kady Cross. At the end, we exchanged business cards and he told me to get in touch with any questions along the way or if we come across any items he may be interested in.

It was great to meet these folks. Especially at the juncture where Micah & I have set a new aesthetic & philosophical course for our business. We are calling it “Victweirdian”. Think: Steampunk furniture, lighting, accessories, clothing, jewelry, and art mixed with oddities that would be included in a cabinet of curiosities. Our shopping and brainstorming for this new venture have already begun.  The leading photo of this post shows some of the ‘Steamjunk’ raw goodies. Stay tuned over the coming months to see how Lucah transforms them.

One piece I’m really excited about is a Victorian ‘Fat Jiggler’. You know–the shaking machine with the belt which supposedly shimmies all your fat off… Well, I found one with a great trapezoidal cabinet design. The belt has been removed. With a little tweaking, tuning up the motor, and the addition of some metal arms and implements–Lucah will have its first automaton maid.