On my work as a “Background Artist” / “Intrusive stranger standing behind actual subject of photo”Posted: December 30, 2012
I was waiting for the subway about a month ago when I heard a woman approach the girl standing next to me on the platform. She gently tapped the girl’s shoulder and said “Excuse me, I’m a blogger for Shy People Fashion and I just love what you’re wearing. Could I take a picture for the blog?” The girl laughed a little and said it would be fine.
After pouting for about two seconds that I hadn’t received such an enthusiastic compliment on my ensemble (Jeans, boots, scarf, striped shirt -> yeah, I quickly saw why I was ignored) I realized that this girl next to me was going to end up on a
Subway Platform Style Street Style blog. I also realized that I would never be on one of those, unless I acted quickly.
As the blogger got ready to take the photo, I leaned forward a bit, as though suddenly immensely interested in the internet that was refusing to connect on my phone. I was determined to be in the photo.
And I was:
The rush I experienced from seeing my face out of focus on a small fashion blog reminded me of another insignificant media appearance I’ve made. Back in 2007, I spent a day as a background artist on The Wire, as a “debate team member.” I keep meaning to watch The Wire but I’ve never gotten around to it so I still don’t know the context, although I’m sure that this high school debate was about the least important thing on the episode, unless there was a drug bust in the auditorium and I somehow missed it. Anyway, all I know is that Mayor/Governor Carcetti tries to shake Howard Colvin’s hand and Colvin totally leaves him hanging (this all took place after the debate, in the school parking lot). I walk by them (celebrating my very successful debate win, I decided at the time) and, in a flash of blurry purple, give the audience a momentary break from the drama.
If you ever get a chance to work as a background artist, I highly recommend it, especially if you can do it with a group of friends. It can be a little boring, but it’s cool to see how a TV show is filmed, and if you’re with friends it makes the boring parts bearable. If you ever get asked to be on Street Style blog, cherish the experience! And also please call me because I’d like to position myself in the background of your photo.