Forgot to post this on the blog, this is a quick video recap of the CREATE Festival which I had the privilege of going to.
Here’s how it all worked: I got sent the application through my friend and applied. They said OK- we’ll play one of your videos on a projector and give you a VIP badge. Steeltown reached out to people in the festival to schedule Facebook live interviews for the event, I said I’ll do it. I get to the venue 20 minutes before the interview with my camera – because I’m super aware of opportunities that happen because you do things you were never asked to do. Head to the front where they tell me I’m able to sign in to the left. But the VIP badges are in front of me, so I clarify that I think I’m supposed to get one. “Oh!” They ask me my last name. “James.” A lady to my left exclaims “Oh, hey! Willy? Are you Willy James? We were just looking for you.” I’m escorted a few feet away where there’s a good number of production people – all of whom also seem to know me by name.
There’s a spotlight and multiple cameras. It’s sectioned off and within view from the people hanging out at the festival. They give me the details of what they want to talk to me about and when they’ll need to get me mic’d up and all that.
Now, let me tell you, the whole process felt very accommodating. This isn’t an everyday thing for me at all, this made me feel special. Like I *was* somebody. You need somewhere to sit your backpack? Yes, of course, let me get that for you. Also overheard a number of times “That’s Willy James with Ask Pittsburgh” which is hilarious to me because that’s not a big thing yet.
Back to the front desk, they give me a VIP badge with my name on it, a t-shirt, and a swag bag. I’m really feeling special. My video isn’t being played but that’s OK because the ability to say it was supposed to is just as good to me.
Talked to my friends at the GPAC table so my social gears are warmed up before the interview. I’ve done the interview and I’m just hoping it was everything it could be. Actually watching my own interviews makes me feel uncomfortable, I haven’t seen the whole thing.
30 minutes until the “VIP” party starts. I Ubered to my place and back, it set me back a surprisingly low $9.75. Still a chunk of change to me because I’m freelancing and go from gig to gig at the moment. I’m also very frugal, think Larry David. But I Uber this time because I had my backpack with me and who wants to walk around drinking with their backpack? Not this guy. I get back to the event, head to what I’m thinking is the open bar – and it’s not. $5+ beer, $8 mixed drink, $10+ wine. But there are drink tickets. Was I supposed to get one of those?? I buy a mixed drink anyway and go up to the front desk to ask. And, while they didn’t come with the $50 value of VIP tickets, some companies apparently had them and the lady said I could probably talk my way into them. I’m all for it, but right before I circled the room I got wrapped up in a conversation with a cute girl who I thought was interesting. I don’t even really flirt that often but I will if you put a VIP badge around my neck.
And then she left because she had to get going. We were going to hang out today but I just don’t think she’s super interested in me! Taking that in stride is what I’ll do.
After that, there were a number of other people I spent time talking with so I didn’t really eat much of the food they had there, as nicely laid out as it was. That’s how it normally happens, I’m usually too caught up in talking to eat.
The awards ceremonies ended. The festivities ended. I was left alone once again and walked down the street to McDonalds out of necessity for my stomach. I didn’t look forward to the fast food like I did when I was much younger. And there was like, 1 employee doing all the work so it took 10 minutes. Then I walked home and didn’t mind doing it. Especially when I have Spotify and my earbuds.
This video would have actually been out a day or two sooner but I typically put the video work I’ve been hired by others to do higher up than my personal projects so, had to get that out of the way first.