Saturday, March 31, 2007

Taking Candy From Strangers...

Unlike the popular adage, "Don't take candy from strangers", my children see me talking to all people, from all walks of life, every single day.

The Israeli Arco manager, Jewish dry cleaner and Hungarian grocery clerk aside, I can get more info out of someone in three minutes than their spouses can in a week.

While my husband used to be annonyed at my gift of gab (as I'd spend more time finding out if the busboy escaped Vietnam in a boat or plane rather than asking Rex about his oil change or something equally life altering) I have converted him.

You see, if what you love makes you successful, and what I love is to talk (and thrift, but that's a subject for another day) then it only makes sense that I'd eventually get paid for my passion. This leads me to the answer of the Ty Pennington riddle two posts prior. Which, sadly, none of you smart people solved. The story goes like this:

I walked out my door a few years back to find a camera crew in front of my neighbors' house. This is nothing new. We live in a suburb that is constantly being used for filming due to its two story Cape Cod charmers. Our homes our small, but our charm is big. Due to our classic American pie vibe, it is a perfect venue for advertising to Main Town USA.

What made this day different for me is that I actually recognized the dude walking down the porch: none other than Ty Pennington himself.

A non-L.A. native might have dashed out their car for an autograph, flipping it for twenty bucks on Ebay, but I knew of someone worth more: The location manager.

I complimented his tight production schedule (foreplay for film crew) and, more predictable than Suri Cruise's future autobiopgraphy Life in Freakville, he gushed that he was always looking for new locations to shoot Ty's Sears ads. I invited him over to my house, and that very afternoon he shot pics of my dirty laundry... er... lovely 3 bedroom starter home.

Five minutes later he told me that my house was too small for the large cameras, but before he left, I turned on my comptuer and showed him pics of my childhood hood - a much larger, high ceilinged dwelling a few towns over. "Looks good," he said. "I'll call your mom."

He did.

Two days later my mom had a six thousand dollar contract in her hand to shoot a Sears' linens commercial in her house. (Not bad for a widow in search of some extra cash.)

Two weeks after that they shot the commercial (much to the disdain of the other homeowners on her street who want to retreat from their Hollywood day job, not still feel like working.)

Two weeks after that, I had a gorgeous chocolate brown sectional in my tiny tv room (I wish I could say it was from Ty, but it was from my mom. I still refer to it as my referal fee... or my L-Shaped vomit stain) since...

Two weeks later my couch looks like it does today. (Flattering photo above - of the couch. Well, of my family, too, if I must say so.)

Come on over and sit. On my couch. Not my family.

I'll regale you with stories of each and every one of the stains.

As they say in da biz,

That's a wrap!

PS: The other photo of Stella whacking a pinata on her 80th birthday in my mom's back room is what sold the director on using the home. It used to be an open porch, but in the mid '80's my father met a man in a doughnut shop who, in between drinking, re-did homes. They closed it up with French doors and, one year later, and feeding George each night for dinner, my folks had a beautiful sun room. The very one I danced in on my wedding. (I'm thinking my gift of gab comes from my dad, no?)

My mom looks none too happy in this shot. I should have snapped one of her after she got her check. That's me on the far right, during my short hair days and vintage cat eyes - the very pair, combined with a 1950's dinner coat, that I met Rex in. (He should have known then and there he wasn't marrying his mother, Our Lady of William Sonoma.)

And PSS - because I can't really ever shut up, you might find this last tid bit interesting: After the plant department filled my mom's backyard with exotic flowers and palms. After the set department re-painted the entire room and filled it floor to celing with Ty's Tricks: African linens, pillows, etc.,. After new furniture was placed throughout the siderooms (including an African drum and one vase shaped like a Buddah's Belly) you can't even see the transformation due to the tight shots of Ty's face.

I don't know why they didn't just use a studio, but as I crash on that comfy couch each night, I'm glad they didn't.


meno said...

What a great story. I need some of that gift as i hate talking to people and i always assume they don't want to talk to me.

"more predictable than Suri Cruise's future autobiography Life in Freakville" Ha, good one!

amisare waswerebeen said...

That's a fun story. Maybe I should list my house up for commercials/movies. It would be worth it for the paint job and free furniture.

Mama P said...

Meno - Glad you liked my story. I think you underestimate your likability. You have so much to say and I know I'd love to bump into you at one of your last minute grocery trips.

Amisare - Yes, location shooting is a super easy way to get your house painted. Furniture? No. You don't get to keep it. And also, you have to be willing to let all walks of life tromp through your house. For a few grand, I'll take it. Oh, and the CD swap, I'd love to do that sometime. After Easter, let's figure out how to make that happen.

gr said...

Oh. I guess this means I didn't win your contest. BUT he can come to my house, I would charge only maybe five thou. A bargain. And I won't tease him.

Mama P said...

GR - I say you donate some pottery to the Homemaker show for FREE and then watch how many people come your way for stuff. It'll more than pay for itself. You'll be RIIIIIIIIIICH.

Maggie said...

You're such a sweet daughter. That is a cool story. You my friend are the type of person who sees opportunity's doors everywhere aren't you?

Mama P said...

Maggie - I guess I'm what you consider a good daughter. But it's only because my mother has been nothing but my champion. I adore her. If I can do half as well by my kids, I'll consider myself a success. Love the cooking blog!

Princess in Galoshes said...

I love this story!!! :-)

And your couch looks very comfy, even if it IS brown. (Which, by the way, is the color I'm dressing my bridesmaids in. They hate me.)