Monday, January 16, 2006

Interview with the OUTCAST

Here are the questions that I presented to Karen Garrett:

Where did you apply to PR? How far did you get? Were you interviewed by any of the show's producers?

If you could guess what prevented you from being chosen for PR2, what do you think it was? Will you apply next year?

And here is her response:

I first auditioned for PR2 at the Houston casting call after a six-hour wait in line. I agreed to not reveal specific details about the producers' audition process, but I can say the producers took time to speak with everyone, flip through their portfolio, and study the three garments each designer was asked to bring.

A few designers, including me, were invited upstairs to speak directly with the audition team which included, in this case, a Banana Republic representative, the divine Tim Gunn, Wendy Pepper, and someone from Elle magazine. I was "wired for sound" and ushered into a room set up for TV filming.

I was asked a few questions when Wendy interupted, "I don't think you can handle the speed, and you have no fashion momentum!" I was tongue-tied, sort of the classic "deer-in-the-headlights." Stop camera. Interview over. Tim Gunn looked at me and said, "Karen, before you go, I want to say, you are fabulous." I left. Thanks Tim! No thanks, Wendy!

Wendy's comments bothered me, because I know I can out speed-sew just about anybody! And no one I saw in the line had "fashion momentum." Fast forward one week to the last day of PR2 casting in Miami. I came prepared. I had made an entire PR2 Audition collection in five days. When the producers saw me in the Miami line, I was immediately taken to be wired for sound again. Into the TV studio room I went to face Tim Gunn, Robert (thankfully), Elle and Banana Republic again. They all were smiling.

Tim smiled and started (on camera) "Please explain what happened in Houston [for the new panel], and what made you come back?" I replied, "Wendy said I could not handle the speed so I went home and made an entire collection in just five days, hopped a plane, and here I am. And as for fashion momentum, if I had any, the show would be called Karen Garrett and Elle present Project Runway!" They all laughed. Tim asked me to leave the room. When I returned, Tim stated," I stand by my original comment. You are fabulous....and you are IN."

I heard the producers short listed between 20 and 30 designers (out of 1,200) who were each instructed to make an amateur video to be returned to Bravo TV within 48 hours. Uh oh! I am an artist, not a videographer. Still, I was psyched! They took my portfolio and sent me downstairs to interview with an Elle reporter. Very cool. This is working, I thought. I flew back to Dallas, made my lame video, and waited.

Obviously, the video did not help my case. And here we are.

Project Outcast is really a paradigm shift for reality TV! Reality TV shows are strictly prepackaged and finely tuned by the producers months before they are aired. Project Outcast is done in real time, without the luxury and creative editing spin. What you see is what you get. And the best thing about it is the audience is truly involved "right now" through their cyber-feedback.

Imagine if Reality TV embraced "para-contestants."

Of course, my hope is for my collection to be sponsored on the runway at fashion week!

So far, we have 31 votes for the latest outcast challenge. Thirty are "out" and only one "in." The consensus is pretty clear but there is still time. I told her I would give her the official count on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. So, if you haven't voted yet, please do.


Arty said...

Well that explains it. Marla must have made one hell of a video!!!

Anonymous said...

Marla did! She went against PR's instructions and hired a professional video outfit to make it for her. See the early Season 2 audition TwoP forums for the link.

LauraK said...

Hey, wait a sec... How do you know that PR didn't allow the designers to use a professional videographer? Hmmmmm.... Marla's video is on the official Project Runway website. It's really cute. You see her house and her car and her store and her studio. Marla was relaxed and adorable. It's easy to see why she was chosen.

ABC said...

I like Emmett - but I don't know how he got on. He is very laid back, so his video couldn't have been that eye-catching. And his designs don't really pop either.

It must have been his Tim Gunn connection.

Anonymous said...

Have you watched Santino's video on the Bravo site? It was obviously professionally done. And, you'll notice, does not display any of his designs.

Anonymous said...

PR's specific instructions were written down on a sheet of paper given to all of the semi-finalits. The videos were to be "amatuer" and "uncut." I know this to be true beacuse I have a friend who made the semis and I have read the PR producers' insructions for myself. Check it out.

Katy said...

You should have done a vote on one of Karen's other designs, Laura. Poor Karen is probably thinking we're super harsh. I wouldn't have had any problem voting "in" for any of her previous designs, but this one was hideous (IMO). Hope next week is better!

LauraK said...

This is the first time Karen's webmaster suggested this. I would have been happy to have done it sooner.