I will simply preface the first chapter of this soon to be novel with a disclaimer: If you know me, you know I have a typically have a lot to say. A lot. But today, I am speechless. (a gasp falls over the crowd...) I am overwhelmed with experiences and emotions that I can never quite fully detail, I can just feel. So here's my best effort: When I saw Jasmine Star was again gracing the "interwebs" of Creative Live with her beauty, intelligence and charm, I immediately signed up to watch the slated course. Last August when she did a 5 day workshop in which she shot a wedding, I was glued to the computer screen. At work with my headphones on, listening as I quoted client jobs and fired back emails to design vendors. At home on a Friday night, in the dark, laptop on my side table, calling my Mom exclaiming "Put your web browser on Creative Live, you have GOT to watch this woman!". I was hooked and had everyone else around me listening attentively. (Fast forward to breakfast when I am actually a student about to join Creative Live this past weekend. Jasmine admitted that she had never watched any of the video downloads, prompting me to stalkerishly proclaim "Oh girl, no worries, I have watched it so many times, I can reenact it for you ..." . AWKKWARRDDDD!). Months later when I saw Jasmine was doing an open call for students to join her in Seattle for her next course, I watched her youtube broadcast and *literally* cheered out loud "This opportunity is for ME". I wanted to go so badly, I knew I had to take part. I was so excited for the chance to sit in the class that for days before I had even scripted my entry I felt like I had already won. Not knowing how to make it happen, or if I WAS chosen, how I would afford to fly across the U.S. ("Ohh Marrshallll, my birthday is coming up soonnnn....") I felt that it was my calling. This was my chance and I couldn't blow it. So I entered. (I'm terrible about setting ridiculously high expectations, f.y.i).
As the anticipation of her announcement of chosen students weighed on me for MONTHS (okay okay, I'm being dramatic, it was only a weekend, but felt like eons), I stalked everyone's entries.
"Check out this girl, she is dancing like a maniac all over the place! And she totally used her cute kids as leverage. Totalllyyyy!" (who was I to talk? I pulled out the birthday guilt card!)
"THIS guy must have hired a professional full-length feature film crew to make this jam! No fair! Ughhh." (As I watched it a million times over. And over. And over. And then sent it to my friends.)
"HIS NAME JUST CAME OUT IN GLITTER! GLITTER! Why didn't I think of glitter? I love glitter." (As I spit my diet coke all over my mac at the site of 20 gymnasts flailing around in glory took over my screen)
"HOLY MOLEY she is wearing a wolf shirt. Is this real life?" (Does she even realize she is wearing a wolf shirt in front of the world?)
"And ANOTHER one that had to of shelled out a ton of cash to hire a professional or something. Wait, this is kinda cute. Crap, no! I'm not supposed to like the competition! How did she make those doodles?!?!" (I have always been dying to know!)
"Dude over here had to do forty-eight different takes to get it just right. Oh lord." (And he's all coooool and artsy, and, oh, wait! An ARCHITECT! Great, killing one of MY selling points, man with the Seattle-esque glasses!)
So I stalked. Hourly. But can you blame me? I really wanted to go and it looked like with all of the incredible entries I was against stiff competition! The moment I got the tweet from Creative Live saying "Will you send over your email? Jasmine has selected you to join in the workshop" I SQUEALED with glee. The girls at work instantly knew that the high-pitched moment of delight meant I was going to Seattle, prompting a day of gushing and gleaming and gushing. Shortly after I got an email from Erin Oveis Brant. Then another. Then another. Then another "Jasmine just posted on her blog. Sh*t just got real."-Erin. After watching her submission (again, to stalkerish levels) I knew our energy levels were compatiable, so Erin and I decided to save some cash and split a room for the duration of the trip. I don't know this girl. What if she is crazy? Oh well. I have a hard time waking up in the mornings, and she has kids, so she would most likely be a great alarm clock...this could be golden.
I took my seat on the first flight of two, headed for Seattle. Sleepless, so you could say it was fitting. My hopes of catching up on my lack of night's sleep through the total 7 hour flights was squashed when my seat on the second (sold out) connecting trip to Seattle was in between two people. One of which had showered in Moschino perfume, the other chowing down on a delicious smelling Chic-fil-A biscuit, a #1 I would presume, accompanied by a perfectly chilled sweat tea. Oooooh, can I get a sip of that? Just a teensie one? (Com'mon! I didn't ask the lady for her drink! But I was tempted. Real tempted.) So I sat back and just tried to relax. Through my feeble attempts at "meditating" on board, my head was filled with visualizations and day dreams. Very Elizabeth Gilbert in the Ashram meditation cave. Hi Jasmine. I'm Ashley. Yes Ma'am, that was me with that amazing video. Wait. No. Don't say Ma'am......Hey Erin. You're not going to let me sleep through our early morning call time, right? Andrew! Dude! Can I just say that I was so jealous, I mean, so inspired by your video! How clever of you! Wait. Your name's not Andrew? Well what is it then? Just be cool Ashley, just be cool and no one will give you a noogie and flush your head in the toliet.
Candice Benjamin had promised the crew cupcakes, so in order to deliver she had secured a rental car (man, those were some expensive cupcakes! ;) But delish!) Considering our flights arrived around the same time she generously offered up a ride to the hotel. SAWWEEEEET. Making my first friend AND a ride? Jackpot! Manuvering our way through the city via iPhone GPS, we gabbed like two school girls. Mostly in regards to Jasmine, a girl we had never had a real conversation with. Funny how that happens. I have never been good at iPhone GPS, and talks about possibly scoping out Forks, W.A. with Candice got me overly excited and somewhat distracted thus a lot of turns, u-turns, then illegal reverses later, were finally enroute (the right way!) and successfully made it to the Holiday Inn, where we were doing? Chillin'. At the Holiday Innnnn.
Since I can't sit still for long, Candice and I didn't hestitate to ditch our luggage and set out on foot to wander the streets.
Thai food, Cameras and beer. A great combo. (Even if did result in my googling "Cures for spicy food").
OOOOH. Good wall! "See, in L.A. there's cool graffiti, but nothing you can walk up to like this. Maybe ride by and see it. From a distance. In the comfort of your car. With the doors locked." -Candice. So, we took advantage!
Orange you glad you picked me up? ;)
World Famous Pike Place Market. Didn't smell so fresh.
Spray painted flowers?! Who woulda thunk?
That's what she said....
Free People's merchandising had me geeking out. Yes yes, the Interior Designer in me will ALWAYS live.
Not only can the girl work it behind a camera, she can work it in front, too!
Cute Candice with her Seattle mocha and a cute Seattle shop dog. What's with the shop dogs guarding the places in Seattle?
There are bukoos of more posts to come. I LOVE YOU ALL incredibly. I am so happy I got to share such and experience and tour such a cool city with ya'll. I would mention each and every one of you, but you are all entirely too epic to mash into one post (yep. I said it. Epic.) so you each get your own. Set to music. Maybe in a slideshow.
You think I'm playin'.