I’m subtitling this “Reality Check.” You’ll see why:
In Part I of the NYFW blog I set the stage as it were, pointing to how much work goes into the week in general & how much spiritual work went into it for me. I thought I’d expand on it a bit in the sense that Eila & I have a flexible routine to get us ready; just in case you thought we were chauffeured & fed throughout, here’s what usually went down.
· I wake up 4 hours before the 1st show of the day. If the show was at 9:30am, I was up at 5:30am, which happened a few times.
o 1 hour to check e-mail, shower & dress for me.
o 1 hour to drive to pick up Eila getting Starbucks (Iced Venti Skinny Vanilla Latté for me, Venti Decaf Non-fat Latté for her) 2 whole wheat bagels from Brendel’s with light cream cheese & gas up the car.
o 2 hours to drive into NYC, usually on the 59th St. Bridge then hunt for free parking, time allowing.
§ On heavy traffic days find the best garage.
The reality of this is that Eila & I traveled a very different schedule than most. Her work as a journalist took us all over NYC & included a lot of prep work. It is very different from anyone who just goes to see the shows. So from my point of view, if you can get to experience the week as a spectator, GO! It looks like a lot of fun if you aren’t there to work. Well, a different kind of fun than we had. It really is an amazing feat of production that goes on twice a year. Maybe someday we’ll just go to a show, but for now the daily adventures are more thrilling for us than any 1 show… ok with a few exceptions.
Two of those exceptions were the Project Runway show & the Viktor Luna show. I didn’t get to see every show Eila did. That’s not our arrangement. She’s working, I’m assisting. When I did get to see a show, which was often, it was more of a treat as I have no essential attachment to the fashion world except that Eila meet her objectives day to day.
The 2 shows I mention here both have their ties to reality TV, Project Runway a challenge/expertise based reality show & Viktor Luna, one of the finalists of P.Runway from Season 9. When Eila started working on the Project Runway book, we were both really excited. Interviews began in January of this year & she got it all done in a few months. I got to meet a ton of people associated with P.Runway : guest judges like Rachel Roy who is absolutely gorgeous btw. Heidi Klum is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met in person, smart & charming to boot.
Above all of them however, I really enjoyed sitting for lunch with Fern Mallis, original creator of New York Fashion Week. Eila also interviewed her for her NYFW book. I was a bit a’scared to meet her at first. But as many will tell you, she is the nicest & a very comforting person, in person. OK, Fern is kind of my all time favorite because with all that power, she is still really calm, clear & kind. I just respect her immensely.
I also got to meet a number of different contestants. I met Austin Scarlett, Kara Janx, Daniel Vosovic, Christian Siriano, Jerell Scott, Kenley Collins, Anthony Williams, Emilio Sosa, Carlos ‘Casanova’ Cassanova, April Johnson, Michael Costello, Mondo Guerra, Joshua Mckinley & Viktor Luna. Mind you, Eila interviewed many more in person, on the phone & via e-mail that I didn’t meet. But these listed above are just the ones I met in person during the interview process.
It was kinda cool to sit back & sip coffee while Eila did her work. She’s really good at what she does, makes her subject very comfortable, assuring them she’s there to bring out the best for her books. Then they just open up to her. I won’t say she’s seductive, but she does get the best side of people’s stories. She interviews the way I teach & read people, with a sense of humor & a sense of clean intimacy/safety.
Anyway, the reason I’m even mentioning this is… OK confession time. I, like millions of others tend to get very judgmental about people on reality TV shows. It is so easy to project onto these people who for whatever reason place themselves in what is often a very unflattering spotlight. I am guilty of ‘loving’ or ‘hating’ random people on different sows, making quite literal snap second character assumptions based on what the producers & editors present to us on TV.
That kinda ended this year. There is not 1 person I met connected to a reality TV show that was anything less than an artist, at least in the Project Runway context. Those of us on a spiritual path would do well to remember that each of these people have a history & a future they want to get to. They have feelings, aspirations & are each quite beautiful in their own unique way. I found many of their energies incredibly deep & insightful. But deep & insightful isn’t usually considered ‘Good TV.’
Being the intuitive that I am, I couldn’t help but read the energy of each person & feel their sense of connection or disconnection to source energy/spirit. Few were the walking wounded, in fact, I ‘saw’ much success & expansion for the majority of them, not just in fashion, but in life.
Why do we tout that ‘We are all One’ face to face, but put that face on TV & suddenly all that spiritual truism goes out the well dressed window? I was struck by the sweet humanity if not the inherent spirituality of each that I met & was lucky to get to know a few more deeply in conversations over the months. In essence, my illusions of judgment were smashed by the truth of their radiant spirits, just like everyone else incarnate on planet earth.
This was the real Reality Check. These people aren’t just real, they are talented & a few of them I even found quite easy on the eyes, but I’ll keep those names to myself. A Witch knows how to keep some things secret you know. But as a Witch, Professional or no, I learned what I was trained to do in a deeper & more unexpected manner. I looked past the façades of style, fashion, artistry & met some amazing people. I expected shallow & found depth. I expected frivolous & found insightful. I even stumbled across some ‘closet mystics’ but that I’m keeping my yap shut about too. To Know, To Will, To Dare & TO BE SILENT! Remember?
My perception of reality TV changed drastically before NYFW 9/2012 & even more so at the shows where I met many more people; Anya Ayoung-Chee, Anthony Ryan-Auld, Bert Keeter, Peach & so many that I snapped pictures of for Eila. Yes, I became an unexpected fashion photog this past week. This shy Virgo (yeah right) had to activate his Mars conjunct Leo Rising to walk up to these total strangers & ask them for a picture. Granted, everyone wants their picture taken, but from models to designers, celebs & editors everyone was courteous, kind & willing to spend a few minutes to chat. It was lovely.
I wish every day was as wonderful as the Project Runway show & Viktor Luna’s. Viktor’s was amazing by the way. He even does menswear which I was thrilled to see & am even more thrilled to someday wear. But not every day was so easygoing, especially Tuesday September 11th, which will be the subject of Part III of this Blog. I’ll get to it after classes & clients tomorrow, as I am teaching Tarot II all 1 – 9pm Sunday.
Oh yeah, I also met Manila Luzon of RuPaul’s Drag Race at Viktor’s show… I swooned, but no one knew but Eila.
So stay tuned, my next post has more of the spiritual punch you know I am capable of delivering.
Mark A Lyons
Follow me on Twitter @ProfWitch