LA Auditions Begin Today!
One of my favorite moments from Season 2 happened at the LA auditions when that winged wierdo came in and began squawking. Tim simply put his finger to his lip - he's so cool! We would love to hear from some BPR field reporters who are either participating in the Season 3 auditions or just stopping by to see who they can see. We know Santino and Tim will be there for sure. Send any photos to The Scarlett at The_Scarlett_Letters@comcast.net and feel free to post your commentary in the comments here. Good Luck to all the Season 3 hopefuls!
This doesn't link to LA hopefuls, but NYC hopefuls, I'll be happy to help with auditions tapes. I am quite good at editing footage.
I can't wait to hear some news about the audition. Goodluck to those who are there!
I went to the auditions in LA today as a fan. I met Santino. He was really nice and humble actually. He looked completely exhausted. The judging went until about 6pm and started at 8am. My daughter saw Tim Gunn! He seemed very nice. There didn't seem to be many other project runway fans. Most of the designs we saw were really weird--one was an outfit made entirely out of garbage bags, another was some weird futuristic vampire tulip dress. My daughter commented that most of what she saw looked like "hooker-fashion." We sat near some designers who made it into the semi-finals. They seemed very happy. We couldn't see what their designs looked like since they were in garment bags.
Can anyone that went tell me how early people got there in the morning? Were there people sleeping over the night before? I'm trying to decide what time to go in New York.
jamienicole - are you auditioning? If so, make sure to tell us all about it!
I checked out the LA auditiion yesterday, and was not impressed. There weren't that many people there, maybe 100 tops. Yes Tim was there and so was the infamous Santino. But, it was totally dis-organized and un-professional; managed by a cast of television wannabes who weren't the least bit articulate, if you know what I mean, "will work for a brain", types.
When it neared 5pm, the "will work for a brain" staff grabbed a couple of bearded burly gals from the hotel maintenance staff, to serve as bouncers. They had to "make it work" in other words, thin out the line. So at about 4:30pm, one by one, the two burly gals dismissed the people in line, it was a bit like the club line in the movie, Night at the Roxbury. Basically, Project Runway's time management skills, or lack thereof, would have earned them an "Auf Wiedersehen".
So, for anyone considering auditioning for this show and seeking advanced wisdom, my best advice ...think twice. It's not about talent or ability it's an arbitrary arena where people seeking instant fame and notoriety are exploited and humiliated. Where a patternmaker wins and a Nick goes home.
I doubt if you will ever see either a Jay or a Chloe on the pages of Vogue. Why waste your time.
How can auditions have run until 6pm and there have been only a hundred people there? That really doesn't make sense.
You would think that given the fact that audition numbers doubled from 800 to over 1600 from Season One to Season Two that there would be a lot more than that, and if they were thinning out the line, then they had too many auditionees to make it through a ten-hour time slot.
In other words, the last two comments contradict each other somewhat (and I'm not accusing anyone, I'm just saying).
Maybe everyone auditions in NYC. I'm guessing that's why they have so many people from NYC auditions on the show. Still, that doesn't explain how they couldn't get through a hundred people in 10 hours. O.o
...And by 'the last two comments,' I meant skedhio's and milliondollarbaby's. Sorry for the confusion!
.. heard those applications took ...A..... l..o..n..g t..i..m..e for them to read.
Sorry to dissapoint you though, I just report the facts.
Okay--so how many out of a hundred got through to auditions? I'm still a little confused.
We had driven up from Orange County and didn't get to the auditions until about 3:30. There seemed to be quite a few people in line, some with garment racks and garment bags, some with small suitcases. All with portfolios. I didn't stand outside where all the hopefuls were in line because I would have seemed like a stalker :), so I sat in the hotel lobby bar/cafe that had a view of the front of the line and of people taking the elevator down to where the auditions were being held. My daughter and a friend of hers were waiting right outside the conference room where they held the auditions. Because they were only 17 and sitting quietly, the organizers let them stay down there, but otherwise they did chase people out who were not actually auditioning according to a man I spoke to whose spouse had tried out and was in the semi-finals. He said "you know, my wife is a middle-aged dress maker. They always need a type like that." My daughter said they let people in in groups and they were in the conference room for a while. I think they closed down the outside line around 5pm, but then there were a number of groups waiting downstairs outside the conference room. I honestly can't say how many people they had all day long, because we got there so late in the afternoon. I would be really surprised to learn that there were only 100 people all day long. It seemed like there were that many just in the short time we were there. My daughter called me about 5pm from downstairs and said that they had just let some people in to be interviewed and they had been waiting downstairs for quite a while. In the meantime, one could hear designer hopefuls in the cafe/bar saying that they had made it to the semi-final level. It was a very multi-cultural mix of people--and more women than men. Mostly young obviously LA types. Those people were being pulled aside by a camera man and it seemed like they were getting interviewed as semi-finalists for a second time.The final downstairs interviews with Tim Gunn and Santino (and we don't know who else) didn't finish until 6pm. One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that a lot of people trying out were dressed in costumes or in clothes that looked so obviously hand-made (as in: home sewing project). The people who were semi-finalists did not look like that!
yes, i'm trying out in New York. You guys can check out my website at www.jamiemihlrad.com and i would love any advice anyone has!
My project runway audition in L.A.
Man I was hotter that fish grease this morning after that project runway audition ! To be perfectly honest I felt doomed from the start. When I stepped into the room I immediately heard two of the judges gasp…. like… what in the hell do we have here? Sitting behind an application cluttered desk I saw Tim Gunn and Santino, flanked by two women I didn't recognize ( More than likely the producers of the show. ). After standing there for a second and really looking at them, it was clear by the look in their eyes that the gasp was a reaction to my appearance. Not that I was dressed bad; I was wearing a black Japanese silk button up shirt and some chocolate brown English tweed pants. I make my own clothes; so I was looking forward to the opportunity to tell them this. The pants had cuffs at the bottom, an inverted pleat patch pocket with buttoned pocket flap on the hip, and two slanted welt pockets in the front . During the Christmas break I traded hats with my father… so I had on this cool black bee-bop hat he had given me, cocked slightly to the right, and broken quite pimpishly over the right eye ….aaawww yeah daawwwggg. But it took me a few seconds to realize the gasp came from the fact that TO THEM I really don’t look much like a fashion designer. O.K. here’s an exercise ....close your eyes and imagine an American male fashion designer. This may sound really judgmental, but I highly doubt that out of ten of you, even ONE of you caught a vision of a big black football player lookin' brotha. Evidently they couldn’t see it either. I’m a pretty big dude and though I have a heart of gold I admit I can look intimidating to someone who doesn’t know me. But it really caught me off guard that they, being the professional representatives of the show, should react to me in such a way; though I am used to that kind of response from people in the fashion world.
After their initial shock, they tried to gather themselves and look at my paperwork to see who I was and what I was all about. In the process of them doing this, the lady sitting to my right was watching me out of the corner of her eye as I was hanging my garments up on the rack. With the most interesting quizzical look on her face, she sets my application down and asks, " Are your pieces menswear?". I had placed on the rack a black men’s tuxedo jacket , an blue men’s two button sports coat, and a pink tweed women’s one button tweed jacket with a white silk blouse to match it. "Yes... SOME of them are men’s wear. ", I replied. This stopped everyone dead in their tracks. It was almost like in those terminator movies where you see arnold get a visual image of someone and through his eyes you see his little internal computer screen assess them as the enemy. I guess in seeing the two men’s jackets, all four of them simultaneously categorized me in their minds as another Emmett ( the menswear designer from season 2 who had difficulty designing women’s wear.). No disrespect to Emmett or anything like that, but it was as if they automatically assumed that since I did menswear I DIDN'T know anything about women’s wear.
At this point let me explain WHAT I brought to the audition and WHY I brought it. In addition to the pieces I just mentioned, I brought a portfolio with pictures of two dresses, a bustier, and a skirt. I had the portfolio, AND all of the garments pictured in the portfolio, and the jackets inside of my garment bag when I arrived. I knew from the original posting on the project runway website that they wanted to see three looks and a portfolio. While we were waiting in the makeshift greenroom, all of the designers were reminded of this. I decided that I should choose to bring in the most complicated as far as construction is concerned.
One thing I noticed about both seasons is that although some of the designers may be really creative, they lack the patternmaking and clothing construction skills needed to be able to actualize the garments they conceive. For those of you who know anything about design, it is an indisputable fact that menswear is more complicated to design and construct than women’ s wear. A menswear garment should look just as attractive on the inside as well as the outside. Also when you get around to setting waistbands and sleeves in, doing welt pockets and making figure adjustments for different types of figures...trust me it's not for the faint of heart. We all remember Nick's dilemma with the "men's suit" he created on the show. Although I know I definitely wouldn’t have had time to make something like this on the show; I had brought in the tuxedo jacket to show them that I could sew above and beyond what would be needed for competency on the show. Both of the men’s jackets were drafted from measurements and made the old fashioned custom Italian way; with the horse hair canvas chest piece hand sewn in, steaming and pressing the shaping into the garment. I was sooo trying to be cocky, I left all of the original basting stitches in as a design detail so that they could see I REALLY knew what I was doing. The women's jacket actually was done using the fusing method (A piece of fabric is glued to the inside of each individual piece so that it has more body.). I wanted them to see I could make a jacket using both contemporary and custom techniques. Making a jacket is difficult using ANY technique; if a person can make a wearable jacket… I mean like a dress coat type of jacket, THEY CAN SEW. With the contemporary fusing method I could draft the pattern(From just measurements if neccessary) , cut and sew a fully lined jacket within about three and a half hours, so that definitely would fit into the time frame allowed for the average challenge. Before I could even draw a breath and explain any of this to them as to why I chose to bring in my menswear pieces and not my women’s wear pieces , a groundswell starts amongst them about how this was a bad, bad thing for me to do. Santino, condesending and dryly says to me, " O.K. you need to come back when you are ready to do women’s wear. " They all nonverbally said “amen” to that comment and were ready to push me out the door; so with what little breath I had left in my body I tried to explain why I brought my menswear stuff....and explained to them that I designed, cut and sewed all of the pieces they were looking at. With this I handed them my portfolio that had the pictures of my women’ s wear. I told them that I had the pieces with me and if they would like to look at them I could get them. Tim Gunn took the portfolio from me, looked it over, and loosely commented on the fact that I should have chosen these pieces to show instead of the menswear pieces. The lady that initiated the question about my stuff looked across the table, OVER Santino to the page of my portfolio that Tim Gunn was looking at , and while shaking her head concluded that my work was not the kind of stuff they were looking for. I wondered how she could make that assessment from looking at one page of my portfolio, looking at it from an angle at that, and from at least three feet away. At the end of the day their general consensus was that it was a bad decision for me to have chosen to highlight the men’s stuff over the women’s stuff. I reminded them that I had all of the garments with me but at that point it was clear that they collectively had summarized my offering as a bad decision and they were already past me to the next person. I thanked them for the opportunity and told them that I'd be back next year. As I was leaving, two of the production assistants from the show stopped me and asked to see my portfolio. They both said they liked my stuff and asked me what happened. When I explained it to them they both suggested I try it again with the women’ s wear. One girl stepped aside and checked with someone over her headphones. She came back told me I should get my women’s wear stuff out of my bag and go get back in line ( at the end of the line). The other p.a.girl suggested that I try to audition over again in one of the other cities. She told me I should try to contact the production office and told me to call and speak with someone about how to go about auditioning again.
Of course hindsight is 20/20.... but from this experience I learned two things. First,I should have brought a model with me. If I had walked in there with a model in one of my dresses... I would like to believe the whole audition would have gone differently. The people who went in with models stayed longer than people who went in with just clothes on a hanger. Also I got further clarification and confirmation of how disarming my appearance is to fashion people. When I first decided to learn how to sew I decided to go to every tailor shop and design studio i could find and beg them to teach me how to sew. When I say I begged I MEAN I BEGGED; “ Pleaase, I’ll clean up the shop, Do whatever you ask, I’ll stay as long as you want , no pay…. Honest!” After I had gotten about 12 no’s I thought it was funny so I decided to start counting. When I got to 30 I decided to stop asking and just go to school and learn how. Even after I had learned how to sew and could now go into the shops with a completed jacket, shirt, skirt, or pair of pants…they would actually say out of their own mouths that they didn’t believe I made it.
I know very well the look I saw on their faces today. .....
Call it race card or whatever you want to , but they made it more than obvious that I didn’t fit into their idea of what the next American designer should look like. I mean I literally didn't even get the chance to even draw a breath and say, " Hi, my name is....". If this assessment is true then I can’t really be mad at them… it’s their show and they can do what they want with it. But when I step back and look at the bigger picture I wonder what that says about us as a people. I’m sure the rapper Eminem experienced a lot of racism when he was getting of the ground and trying to get people to take him seriously as a rapper, but does his skin color and appearance diminish the fact that he is undoubtedly one of the greatest to ever touch the mike? From what I understand he caught hell trying to break through. I guess I shouldn’t expect to receive any less. At any rate the beat goes on and honestly I have no malice in my heart towards any of them about it. All people have their own private predjudices. I just hope and wish for the best in people and I really hope to be wrong about what I saw today.
posted by immaari at 12:31 AM
your story is absolutely fascinating and i bet you'll have better luck the next time you do it but i do want to point out that it may not have been the race card (look at kara saun and santino is also half black) necessarily but the surprise of your physical appearance. if anything it'll probably help you down the line if you bring women's clothing because they are looking for people who are unique (austin scarlett, santino, etc.)
Like i mentioned on another blog, this was my weirdest and my be worst experience in fashion :) They didint even look at my portfolio nor my designs, i was inside for 5 seconds, and they told me this is not what we are looking for. Either they judged me from my appareance where i dresses preety fashinable, more european fashion vibe. Or they saw that i am not American, and they thought i am not for them, or hmmm i really dont know the reason. That's why it was really weird. In real any art competition, they look at your work and judge you from there, If they looked at my work and said " nope, sorry, this is not for us" i would tottaly understood them. Not a problem at all. But after waiting 6 hours outside, starwing and exhausted, and not even look at your portfolio kinda makes you mad. Honestly it didint even motivate me as a competition. I went to auditions because all my friends were telling me" hey you should deffinetly try" first i thought " no, lots of drama is going ton, it doesnt look like a real competititon" and then couple of days later i said " why not?, at least i would get some feedback from them" But after the auditions, i told my self " dont even bother your self with this kind of auditions, go to a real competititon which motivates you as an artists"
SO interesting. Immaari, you got me so entirely sucked in with your description I'm now totally bummed you didn't get in. I agree that it seems they had mixed feelings about you and your garments and another attempt with women's wear could be in order. You sound PERFECT for this show! Thanks for taking the time to write all that out in such a compelling way. Wish I could see photos of the garments you described.
Yes, you should go to another audition if you can. Yes, you should bring a model to make an immediate impression with your best look. You might want to wear one of the jackets you made, if you've made one in your size and it suits your look.
The fact that you don't look like the other contestants will eventually work in your favor once you get past the initial barricade.
The producers don't want a bunch of contestants that all look alike. Furthermore, they will remember you from your first tryout and will like that you are persistent.
Thanks for the comments guys... it really makes me feel better.
Dantram- I dont neccessarily think it was because I was black. What ever it was it had something to do with their initial impression of me; and I can guarantee you that reaction wasn't good. I was part of an acting conservatory for two years where we were trained extensively on how to identify and define impulses. I mean before they even laid eyes on my garments they audibly gasped when they laid eyes on me. It was so obvious Stevie Wonder would have been like, "Damn!....did you see that?"
Katie coo- thank you for reading my post. your comments were very encouraging...
insultcomicdoo- I'm on line right now looking for tickets...I gotta do it man.... all day before I even read your post I had been saying all of that to myself almost verbatim.
Once again thanks for the encouragement.
GOOD FOR YOU IMMAARI!!!
Immari, is that a link to your stuff? If so it's gorgeous! I'm going to email Andy Cohen of Andy's Blog re your post/audition. something sounds fishy to me. (and very very lame.)
actually yes, i learned 2 things too, and this could be a tip for designers who will go to the other city's auditions.For sure take a model with you and if they decide without seeing your portfolio no, then ask the reason.
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