Monday, May 4, 2009

Work the Runway

As Recessionista Roadmap has continued to rise in popularity, we took our show on the road (well, Park Avenue) for a promotional photo shoot. In the name of my readers, I was willing to endure a lengthy amount of standing, posing, and hefty amount of blushing in the middle of the busy New York street, along with a grueling second round from a tar-covered Manhattan rooftop. As passerbyers gawked, giggled and guffawed, I worked a sandwich board that advertised slogans that inspire others to keep a sense of humor during these difficult times. Here are some of the highlights, photos, and general shocking moments from the shoot:

1. Everyone, from a man wearing a cravat who lives on the Upper East side to the masseur working at Ricky's to the drunk personal trainer to the homeless man competing for "business" found extreme humor in my "Will Work for Shoes" board. In fact, many stopped to talk about their own challenges during the recession, as well as opened up to share many of their own tips for dealing with economic hardship.

2. Part of standing in the middle of a higher-end Manhattan street wearing a sandwich board involved reacquainting myself with humility and embarrassment, not unfamiliar emotions during this difficult economy. Despite feeling the need to constantly explain (it is for a PHOTOSHOOT, I am not really looking for a JOB!!), I realized the metaphoric emotional experience of what I was doing with how it feels to lose a person's job or experience economic hardship. Those experiences may feel embarrassing, frustrating, or shameful, but just as I was eventually able to remove the board, you will find a path out of the difficult times. Humor goes along way in the meantime.

3. Modeling is not for the faint of heart. Being posed, standing for long periods of time in uncomfortable positions/environments, and wardrobe changes - these are not enjoyable endeavors for the multi-tasking sort. Thankfully, I had a patient photographer who dealt with my diva antics. Also thankfully, I was able to return to my nerdy self after a couple of hours, rather than have to endure being prodded and adjusted every day. The experience reminded me how important patience really is when we have to deal with less-than-ideal circumstances.

Utilizing the (free) efforts of a photographer friend of mine, along with donated set (courtesy of the city of Manhattan and a friend's apartment building rooftop), we were able to keep the shoot costs to a minimum. The price of my pride, well, that is still being paid off...

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