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December 24, 2019 33 mins

No demand is too extreme when producing glamorous high fashion shoots around the world and fashion producer Steven Dam makes it look effortless. Whether it is a last-minute request for puppies on set, catering to the particular tastes of celebrity talent, or simply getting people (and their luggage) to a gig on time, it’s his job to make sure that every detail and crisis is handled. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
I get a phone call from one of the models,
she's a big Brazilian supermodel, and it's like, oh, hello,
it's me. I'm like, what's going on? Are you okay?
And she's like, I'm here at the airport and I said, okay,
there should be a driver for you, and she's like, no,
I'm here with the driver. I said, okay, great, She's like, yeah,
the driver doesn't have a car. Welcome to A Way

(00:23):
to Go, a production of I Heart Radio and Fathom.
I'm jaraln Gerba and I'm Pavio Rosetti. Our guest today
is Stephen dam, a senior producer at Art and Commerce,
a global agency that represents directors, photographers, stylists, and hair
and makeup artists. He travels all over the world for
his job, working behind the scenes for the top fashion
houses at Paris and Milan fashion weeks, for famous musicians

(00:45):
at Fashion Rocks, and a list celebrities at the Met Gala.
But he's not just the anonymous hand model on the
cover of Italian Vogue with Gazelle or the guy in
the tucks carrying Lady Gaga's twenty train through the Met Gala.
He also orchestrates that make it appear out of nowhere,
and money is no object demands all over the world,
all hours of the day and night. Thanks so much
for joining us, Stephen Hi, thanks for having me. So

(01:07):
you literally travel for a living making the images that
we all see that make us go, oh my gosh,
I want to be there and I want to be
that person. Now. I'd love it if you could start
by telling us a little bit about a particular travel story,
or maybe just a few of the anecdotes that go
into these crazy behind the scenes escapades. I think a

(01:30):
lot of people think I have a really glamorous life
and that I travel and it's fun and luxurious, But
most of it is work. I mean the key word
is work. A lot of times I travel and I
don't even see a place that I've been to. So
I'll spend a week in a hotel room, locked up
without a window, and I post one Instagram picture of

(01:51):
like a beautiful thing, and everyone's like, oh, Stephen's like
some were tropical today, so good. But I'm like sitting
somewhere crying, like I remember this was a while ago. Um.
In my previous job, I was a fashion producer, for
fashion shows, and I would work on the Louis Vutan show,
and I would go to Paris for two weeks twice
a year, and I would be sitting in the louver

(02:12):
and they would close it down and I would be
there for a week in our workshop and we would
rehearse these fashion shows and do lighting tests and it
was so beautiful. But I was there from like five
o'clock in the morning until two o'clock in the morning.
I'd go home for three hours sleep, wake up in
the morning, call my mom crying, and go straight back

(02:34):
to work. And I never saw anything, And did you
even see For a long time, I actually hated Paris
because it just reminded me so much of work. And
I actually had to go where I went back on
a personal vacation and I actually went to just kind
of like clear myself. It was almost like I needed
a cleansing. It was like yes, yeah. And I still

(02:54):
I don't actually go to Paris that much anymore. I
still have like those kinds of weird tension of like
I like being here, but everything reminds me of work,
you know. Can you tell us a little bit about
what makes up the work that you do? What comprises
a trip. Yeah. So normally when I get a job,
I'm like a creative executor. So I'm a producer. I

(03:15):
execute the creative brief of a photographer or a creative
director or a client. And that involves everything from booking,
travel coordination, making call sheets, making sure everything going well
on set, taking care of catering hotels, you know, even
down to like the pins and making sure everything that
is there for the stylist, hair and makeup, photographer. Um,

(03:39):
it's all of the nuances that are involved in like
a really high end luxury photo shoot. What does your
go bag your travel bag look like? I'm thinking of
Veep and Selena's assistant who carries the briefcase, who has
everything she could possibly need. Yes, And when you said pinsuse,
I'm like, I want to see this. We have a
travel kit. We call it a hit and it's like

(04:01):
sometimes three to six suitcases. It has everything, um, wet wipes, condoms,
the whole thing. And this is maybe a trade secret,
but it has the number one thing is always like
a diptique candle or something really yes, exactly, and those
are the things that you can't find sometimes in like,

(04:22):
you know, a really remote space, and people always want
a nice candle and a cark scram and a cork
scy Yes, true, Um, so yeah, we travel with everything.
I think the thing about New York is that we're
so spoiled and we have access to anything you need
at all hours of the day. And when you're going
to a jungle in Hawaii or when you're going even

(04:45):
to somewhere like Tokyo or South Africa or even Brazil,
you don't have access to those things even between nine
and five stren Is there anything you learned the hard
way of Oh, I can't believe we don't have blank
I think some like really simple things we I did.
I did a job in Brazil for Fashion Rocks Rio,

(05:05):
and we were sending lists of like these are what
we need, and there's always like lost in translation kind
of you know, things that are either hard or they
don't understand, and so you send pictures and people say, oh, yeah, yeah,
we've got that. Or you know, you go to st
Bars and they said, yeah we've got that, and you
need these fifty velvet hangars, black velvet hangars and they say, yeah, yeah,

(05:27):
we've got it. We're great. You show up and there's
like three old raggedy plastic hangars from Kmart. It's not
the right number, it's not the right you know, texture.
And the people that we work with, you know, they're
very specific about everything that they work with. So sometimes
those things just they don't come through and you have
to make the best of it and you kind of
have to laugh. But it does suck because people look

(05:50):
at me expecting to have all of those things and
they think I haven't figured it out. I'm sure nobody
who you work with is a diva. I'm sure everybody
is for easy going and zen. No diva is just
interesting personalities, big characters. So you were saying that you
execute the creative vision that a photographer or that a
creative will have. Does that mean that you get a

(06:12):
brief that says, for instance, I want a colonial city
near a white beach, and then you have to figure
out do we do this in Cartagenna, do we do
this in Mexico? Or does somebody say we want to
film in St. Lucia and we want it to look
like this. It can be both. Sometimes people will say
I really want, you know, sand dunes, and I don't
want to go to the Hampton's find that for me

(06:34):
in this time of the year, and I want beautiful weather,
and so you just kind of look for various options
and you price them out and you see how much
is it going to cost for everyone to get there?
And do these look really nice? And you're kind of
scouting the world or you're getting pictures sent to you
from various options. Sometimes people just say, I want to
go to St. Lucia. Let's figure it out right, and
then how far in advance do you arrive at the

(06:57):
location to make sure everything has matched up to what
your client is anticipating. In an ideal world, I would
want to arrive a couple of days before, but realistically,
with budgets now, it's maybe a day before. You're you know,
a day or two. You're meeting with someone who's local,
who's kind of on the ground, like a fixer, and yeah,
I mean you get there just early enough to settle

(07:20):
into your hotel, set up whatever you need to set up,
and then meet them the next day at the airport
and you have to act as if you've been living
there for the past two weeks, and you have to
know everything answers to every question. We're going to take
care of you, it's all set and the number one
is always like, oh, where do you like to eat?
Or like, what's the weather going to be like tomorrow?
And it's like, I have no idea. I just got here.

(07:41):
I used the same apps you use. I'm like figuring
this out and kind of like faking until I make it.
But yeah, you just have to be confident and reassured
and just hope for the best. Do you have an
example of a great cool When you landed somewhere and
somebody asked you for something, You're like, I know the answer,
and they really really made it seem like you knew

(08:01):
what you were talking about. For me, the cruise are
when travel goes perfectly, when cars arrive at the right time,
when flights aren't delayed, or if they are delayed but
you've made alternative arrangements. Those are the things that I
don't think people recognize and that they don't kind of acknowledge,
But those are the things that make me feel super
relieved and make everything seem a lot more smooth and seamless. Right,

(08:23):
you want someone to be like, how is your trip? Oh,
what's fine? Totally yes, though you know that you're maybe
like you know, a lot of times people will miss
flights or you're having to make backup flights or other arrangements,
or you have to you know, we have a lot
of clients and they fly private chet but the you know,
equipment and luggage is too heavy, so that has to

(08:43):
go on a ferry and then onto a regional flight,
and you have to coordinate these two separate kind of
streams that arrive around the same time or kind of
make it seem seamless. And that is often like those
two me are the big coups, but those are not
the ones that people acknowledge. I think the other thing
is like sometimes it's really bullets about. You know, you
do put a diptique candle in someone's hotel room and

(09:03):
they say, oh I love that scent. That's so nice
and something so simple. But those two me are like
those are the strangely the biggest things for me. Do
you have the Delta CEO on speed dial? We sadly no,
we have no. We have no help. If we can't
get you would I would love that if anyone out
there knows anyone from Delta, we would love that, because

(09:25):
please hold the plane. The model overlapped to get to
the island. Mont of times people show up and they
you know, oh I forgot my passport, or you know,
there's things that like not even of our doing, or
not not even of the airlines doing, and you're constantly
trying to figure that out somewhere because you have to
fix it. It's always as soon as someone leaves their
house on a travel job, everything of that is yours.

(09:46):
So I lost my purse, or my shoe ripped and
I need new shoes, and or I I came to
this location and we're shooting outside in Alaska, and I
didn't bring boots. I only brought open toad shoes, and
that is somehow your responsibility. But yeah, I mean it's
those are like easy enough things to fix, although they
can be eye rolling at times. But oh my goodness,

(10:07):
I don't know how you would keep your patients. I'd
be like you whiney, dumb dump. Yeah you should not
be doing that, would be I can handle to making
all the arrangements because I'm a very virgo. I'm super precise,
but as soon as somebody was just that incompetent, I'm
just sometimes I admire your patients, so I often think

(10:28):
like man there are times where I think this is
the craziest or most annoying job, and then I think
I could work at Starbucks and there are sixty people
every ten minutes screaming at you saying you got this wrong,
you got that wrong, And I don't know. Like I
at the end of the day, I still eat amazing,
luxurious catering. I still get to go to these insane
hotels that I would never be able to afford. I'm

(10:50):
traveling with people that are not of my world, and yeah,
I get to like experience all these things that I
just I as a little Canadian guy, I just never
expected in my life. How did you end up doing this?

(11:12):
How did you go from the little Canadian guy to
you know, eating the gourmet food on the beaches with
the top fashion designers who's then, you know, filling the
vogues that we looked through and drool over. Um, it's
all about right place, right time I lived. I lived
in Canada. I actually didn't study fashion or photography. Um,
but I loved America's Next Top Model. And I had

(11:34):
a friend who lived in New York who worked at
a modeling agency. So there was a position open, and
he said I think you would be good at this,
even though I've never done it before. He just had
this strange faith in me. I moved here on a
whim for that job. Three weeks later, the whole modeling
agency goes bankrupt. Sorry, what was that job that he
thought you'd be good at? I was basically a glorified

(11:55):
intern slash assistant for a model booking company, and I
did everything. I swept the floors, throughout garbage, made model cards,
arranged photo shoots. I kind of had to figure it
all out. And I think maybe I look well, I
definitely look younger than I am, and I think I'm

(12:16):
just like a resourceful, smart person. And I think that
was it. It was like I didn't know how to
do something, but I could figure it out, and very
quickly I figured out. I don't know, I did well
at this modeling agency. For the three weeks that I
was there. I ended up everyone got fired, it went bankrupt,
everyone ended up getting laid off. And I said, you

(12:37):
know what, I'm in New York. I'm gonna spend a
nice weekend. The following Monday. An old boss of mine
who's also a really good friend and kind of a
career mentor. Her name is Michelle Lee. She was a
casting director. She worked at k c D, which is
a PR firm. She was working at Mark Jacobs and
she got my phone numbers somehow and said, our intern
it hasn't shown up, show up? Are you interested? And

(12:58):
I said, you know what, when am I ever going
to go see the Mark Jacob show or even worked there?
So sure, I'll do it for the day. A day
turns into two days, turns into a week, and then
all of a sudden, now I'm working with her and
again right place, right time, and also just kind of
fake it till you make it. I didn't know what
any of this meant. I didn't even know the we're
casting directors for fashion shows. I did collection coordination, which

(13:20):
I didn't know what that meant. But that meant hanging
all the clothing and the right order so that when
models get to their rack, they know what to wear
and they want what to change into. I didn't realize
that was a thing or a job. But I am
also like super a type. I pack like that. I'm
a checklist maker. I I arranged birthday parties, dinner parties,
so for me, it all just made sense. It was like,

(13:41):
this is common sense for me, and I realized very
quickly that it wasn't common sense for people around me,
and so that kind of just led me down this
path of like fashion producer, that's what I called myself.
So can you tell us some of the locations where
you've ended up as a fashion producer? Where have you
done this? I've definitely been able to visit a lot
of like amazing places. When I worked at this fashion

(14:02):
pr firm. I did London Milan in Paris twice three
times a season. It was a regular thing. It was
almost just commuting to work, except work with Milan. I've
been to Brazil, Hawaii, Las Vegas, l A, Texas, all
starts like random places, Savannah, a lot a lot of
places in America, Russia, Tokyo, a lot of places in

(14:22):
the Caribbean. St. Lucia, St. Bart's Mystique, places I would
never have visited before, Palm Springs, places you'll never go again.
Some places I've I've really loved and I've had to
go back and visit on my own time. And some
places I will never see, like Mystique, I don't know
in a private place there I don't have access to
a private jet. But for that moment, it's a pretty
cool thing to do. You have to pretend that you did.

(14:44):
You get to pretend you did. Although the entire time
you're working, you have moments where you are like this
is amazing, and then you just kind of flip back
into it where you're like, oh, no, I'm working again,
and I'm yes. But when you whitewash it a year
later and you're like, well, I was like that time
I was in mistake. I do that all the time
and my and hated And also on Instagram, you get
one nice Instagram post and it just makes it look
so much more lug. Yeah, I mean even like for

(15:08):
example here, I shoot all the time at like really
luxurious hotels in New York, like the Plaza or the
Mark you know. But what's funny is I always enter
through the like basement service door, so I actually you
know where I know these hotels like inside and out.
I go to like really nice hotel, the Four Seasons hotels,
but I know every service corridor, I know every kind

(15:30):
of hidden entrance away, I know every like staff person.
So it's this funny thing where if I ever go back,
I know maybe some people in the right place, like
maybe a concierge might remember me, and that might be helpful,
even if it's just like a nice meal or access
to a certain room. But it's also funny because I
have such a different experience. I'm not really getting the
true luxurious experience. I feel like I'm seeing the dark

(15:51):
side as well. Well, you're in mr behind the scenes,
and you know how the sausage is made, right, it's
definitely buying the scenes. Yes, what's the story that you
tell at a dinner party about some crazy thing that
you had to do or wrangle at the last minute
in some crazy middle of the desert place. So a
lot of the stories I tell are actually horror stories,
because I think those are the things that my friends
enjoy most. Some of the things that are funny and

(16:14):
I think are funnier or like today, say we want
puppies on set to play with tomorrow, so we'll get
a room full of puppies and we'll do a casting.
So it's like, oh, do you want baby huskies or
do we want you know, like little pugs. And that
I think my friends often think is like really funny
because it seems like this weird celebrity legend, but it
does happen. You have to do that. We've done that

(16:38):
mainly here in New York or in places that have
access to do you have like puppies on call? We
do have speed. I have a doctor, and I have
a puppy place, a little black book of like all
the animals you might need. Animals is like the number
one thing that people want on demand, and strangely, in
a place like New York is pretty easy to get.
When you go somewhere where remote, it's a lot harder.

(17:01):
Oh yeah, bring me that draft exactly in Alaska, No,
but sometimes that's where you know, I think of like
a hotel concierge, and they do exactly the same job
that I do, but in that place. And so we
become very close friends, and I kind of I sympathize
for them, and they sympathize for me, and so we
have this unspoken language of like we're gonna work together
and we're going to figure this out. But I've also

(17:22):
had a lot of horror stories. You know. Sometimes I've
had a celebrity has asked before before I get on
the plane, I want to see the fabric of the
of the chair that I'm going to sit in, and
I say, I rest assured, it's first class. It's this. No,
we want to see pictures of the fabric, Okay, we'll
try to get that for you. Or why why is
there ever any reason? Or is it? I have no

(17:45):
idea what the reason is. I never I never think
to even ask those things. I just try to think, like,
let me figure this out, check it off my list,
and move on, because for me, if I get it
stuck on the y, I you know, I'd be her
five years later. Um. And then sometimes you know, they're
a really simple things. Again, we did a shoot in
Brazil and we had a pretty specific talent rider. We

(18:06):
need a bullet proof at black suv to pick up
the celebrity, and what shows up is a great Toyota Corolla.
Did the talent get in the car or did the
talent say I'm not getting in that car. I think
she ended up getting in the car because I think
they couldn't find a bulletproof car in time. And yeah,
they were in strangely like pretty cool about it. But

(18:30):
it's one of those things where you you checked ten
times and they say yes, of course, of course, And
it's kind of a little bit that island time thing
where they say, oh, don't worry about it, don't worry
about it, and then all of a sudden you stop worrying,
and then it's your nightmare, which is it doesn't happen.
Another time, we were flying in all of these models
for a shoot and I get a phone call from

(18:51):
one of the models. She's a big Brazilian supermodel, and
I'm like, who's this person calling me? And it's like, oh, hello,
it's me. I'm like, what's going on? Are you okay?
And she's like, I'm here at the airport And I said, okay,
there should be a driver for you, and she's like, no,
I'm here with the driver. I said, okay, great. She's like, yeah,
the driver doesn't have a car what he showed up

(19:14):
at the airport, but he thinks that I have a
car or that a car will be rented, So I'm
just here with this driver. I'm like, I'm so sorry,
and like just getting a TAXI will reimburse you will
figure it out, you know. And I think people are
accustomed to like black town cars and and nice car
service here, and I think after you've traveled sixteen hours
you're like, whatever, I'll take a taxi. It's almost kind

(19:36):
of funny. And luckily people are They are for the
most part, like pretty forgiving or they can find the
comedy in it. So she gets in this taxi with
this guy and they end up driving back and then
midway down the highway they have to pull over. The
driver is sitting beside her. He's like, tells the other
driver to pull over, and he gets out of the
car and just starts throwing up. He's like, has motion

(19:58):
sickness or he's car sickness? Did you driver? As Carson?
The driver lists the carless driver cars, so the driver
passenger like, I'm not used to The model has to
take care of this guy as she drives back to
this hotel. These are the kind of things that you
and you just have to kind of make them work
because you don't really know you you're you're at a loss.

(20:22):
How long have you been doing this? I've been doing
this now for twelve years? Twelve years. Do you think
there's a time limit for how long somebody can do
work like this with this high pressure or is it
like this is my temperament and I will this is
I have found my thing. There are no there's definitely
a time limit. I think as I get older, it's
a pretty physical job. You're very fit, by the way.

(20:42):
Our listeners can't see you, but listeners, he's very thick.
Thank you. Yeah, there have been times. I remember one
time it was like we were at the met gala
and I was actually with paired up with Andre Leon
Tali and he said, do you have a piece of
gum or mint? I'm about to interview all of these people,
And I was like, you know what, I don't, but
let me ask around, and no one has gone or

(21:03):
a mint. And in my black tuxedo, in the middle
of like a degree weather, I sprint I don't know,
seven blocks through crowds of people who are like watching
Limo shop just to go to some like bodega to
buy some gum and come back. I think a lot
of times like I do a lot of executional stuff,
but there are definitely times where I'm just a personal
assistant and I'm just trying to make someone feel good

(21:23):
and I'm all attention to them, and you know everything
from like unpacking someone's suitcase in their hotel room with
them and laying out all of their stuff like it
can become very personal and hands on, and I think
that's what I like about it. There's something like nice
about being personal and about getting to know someone. But
it also is physical, and you know, as I get older,

(21:44):
it gets harder, Yeah, and it gets exhausting. But then
somehow the eye rolling that part, like the temperament part,
I think I've always had. I don't. I don't know.
Somehow I've I've managed to keep that. You mean the
putting up with temperaments. Yes, yes, the patient I would
say patients, right, I'm thinking about people who travel and

(22:06):
want to take it to the next level. And you
talked about concierge being a great resource for you on
the ground. Is there anything else that you keep in
your back pocket that you know, no matter where you go,
this is a person or this is a resource that
I can go to define out information or get something
that I need, Like is there an app or is
there like is uber saving your life? Or you know? Yeah,

(22:29):
I mean, just going off of the concerts thing. I
love to email the concertge like maybe a couple of
days before I get there, with just a random, like
banal question like do you guys have a steamer, and
it just puts my name in the tip of their
like minds. That way, when I get there, maybe they
remember who I am, and whether it's the receptionist, even

(22:50):
your room steward the concerts, I always tip up front.
I like to tip upfront because then it kind of
just keeps you in their mind. And I continue to
like tip even if it's small amount of money, just
a dollar or two. It kind of you value their
time and you're showing them that, yeah, you value their time.
But also instead of doing it at the end, after
you've gotten all the service, it kind of almost give

(23:12):
makes you get better service because they know, oh, now
this person is a serious person and or they're going
to tip me. And maybe again it's small bills, but
it's it's kind and it's appreciative, and I think they
often do a better job or they are more helpful
to you. They kind of remember you. Yeah, money does,
money talks. Money does talk, So I think that I
think that's good and that's something that people can take

(23:32):
away if they're just doing this. And I have to
say especially, it's not even the concierge. It's like room
stewart's crew. It's random people. Those are the people that
you ask. It's actually not tour operators or receptionists or concierge.
It's like the crew and the people who live there.
Those are the people who I ask, where do you
where do you eat? Where do you buy your groceries?
Because they actually will tell you stuff that's not touristing.

(23:54):
They'll tell you the stuff that's like where people who
may be less fortunate or people who are just like
you know, old class, are actually shopping and I find
oftentimes their restaurant recognizations are a lot better for me. Yeah,
on a personal level. Maybe not for our luxurious clients,
but you know, for me, that's where I get like
my best tips. Right, how do you travel when you

(24:14):
want it to be for pleasure? And what do you
do to counter balance the work aspect of travel. I
love to travel for pleasure. If I have even a
long weekend or a couple of days off, I will
try to book a little trip to get out of town,
just to get out of New York and to get
out of stress. And I try to take off as
much time as possible. And the biggest thing I do

(24:35):
is I take a yoga retreat or some sort of
retreat every year by myself, without my boyfriend, without family.
And what I love about a retreat is is it's
completely planned for you. So it's the exact opposite. I
actually get to experience what maybe other people are experiencing
on my shoots. I just show up, you know, someone
will bring me to my room. I don't have to

(24:56):
plan like where meals are, when meals are, why our
schedule is. And I love to just like turn off completely.
What I also love about, especially like a yoga retreat
or kind of a health and wellness retreat, is that
they tell you to get off your phone. It's almost
like taboo to be like checking the internet all the time.
So it really forces me to disconnect because even if
I were to like lie on a beach on a

(25:18):
nice resort that has WiFi, I probably would end up
being on Instagram the whole time and then maybe shooting
off a work email, and then my coworkers get really
annoyed with me because I'm like jumping in, you know.
So I really love completely disconnecting and not making any plans.
And I was I'm going on this cruise um in
a week actually, and I love that too. I know
a lot of people think cruising is cheesy, but for me,

(25:39):
I just love how planned and organized it is because
I feel like I'm the cruise director on yeah, on
your whole life. This is what you're doing for people.
People go on trips to do the opposite of what
they do. If your job is to travel the opposite
and plan travel, then that means the opposite has to
be doing the sort of thing where you don't have

(25:59):
to make any decisions totally. But I will say the
A type part of me always comes out. So when
I do travel, my boyfriend always laughs at me because
I make a call sheet, I make a budget, and
I do it for your yoga retreat, for everything. Yes,
it's like breakfast. Well normally it's like all of your
pertinent details. So like when you know how am I

(26:21):
going to get to the airports, I'm going to take
an uber, Then I like plan out, well that's going
to cost three dollars. I put it out in an
Excel spreadsheet. I calculate them all and I have like
budgets for every single travel you know, for the past.
I don't know. I want. I think that the listeners
want to see these. People often ask me for like
recommendations or where did you stay or what did you do?
And it's like a really good way to remind myself, like, oh,

(26:44):
this is the hotel I stay at, And most people
remember what hotel they stayed out, or you can remember
a good restaurant, but you don't always remember like how
did you get from the airport to this kind of place?
And I was like, oh, I took this shuttle or
I use you know, I use booking dot Com on
this time to book this random bed and breakfast, and
I took this weird tour and I tried to record

(27:05):
every single little bit of it, so some of them
on the trip, so not so you have a call
sheet beforehand for some of the things, but then you
fill in the details. I feel like it's it's almost
looked more like a production schedule would say. It's like
a yeah, it's some of these things you don't know
until you're there and have done them right. Some of
the things I don't know until I've done that, and
some things or you know, I kind of have like

(27:26):
maybe I'm traveling from one hotel to another hotel to
another house. I went to Bali and I had to
get from one I had three hotels book but I
had no way of kind of knowing how I was
getting around, and I was trying to be as flexible
as I could be for a very a type producer person. UM. Yeah,
and I fill it in as I go. It's partly
so I record how much money I'm spending, and then
partly just so when I look back, I remember, oh, yeah,

(27:49):
that's how I got from here to there, from here
to there. Yeah. Do you have um, do you feel
like now that you've been traveling so long for work
that it has changed the way that you travel for leisure?
Are there any takeaways? So when I moved to New York.
I remember my first job. I think I went to
Savannah and we stayed at like a Marriotte, and I

(28:09):
was like, oh, this is so nice, Like I have
two beds in my room, had this whole room to myself.
I thought I had to share the room. So I
was like, mind loan that I didn't even have to
share my room. And I remember my boss being like,
I was disgusting, Like we wanted to stay five star
and every needs to stay in like the best hotel possible,
and I just never had I don't even think I
understood that I didn't understand the kind of levels um where.

(28:34):
Now I've definitely appreciate luxury and comfort, and if I
can have a night or two like that, I definitely will.
But I also understand the value of money. So I'm
also very open to staying at a budget hotel, like
a really charming you know, B and B. For me,
it's all about charm now. So yeah, like obviously I

(28:54):
love being pampered, I love I love being taken care of,
and I do appreciate, you know, five definitely find our
things and I've definitely like a nice meal. But I'm
also totally open to when I'm when I'm spending my
own money, I'm a lot more conscious about what things cost.
So if I don't even batton eye booking a thousand

(29:15):
dollar hotel room for work, you know, for me, if
I'm like a hundred fifty dollars, I'm like, that's enough.
I don't need to spend anymore. What are some of
your just top places at the high end and then
at the hundred at the thousand dollar a night and
at the hundred and fifty dollar a night. Play For me,
I went to Bali and I got to. So I
sometimes when sometimes when I go on vacation, I pretend
that I'm like producing a shoot or I'm scouting locations.

(29:37):
I love to. It's like a really good way of
kind of getting an insider's tour into homes. Um, you know,
I'll make a production contact there and I'll say yeah, yeah,
like let's let's yeah, let's go scouting, let's go see
a research in the end at the end of the day,
and now I will know. So I remember going, and
I actually went to the Bulgary Hotel in Bali, which

(29:59):
I think is like seven thousand dollars a night. Meanwhile,
I'm staying at a thirty five dollar a night, random
like hostile in something the backyard of someone's like house.
So I'm sorry, that's actually a really random tip that
I love to do. But yeah, I mean I've gone
to stay in like really nice I think nice hotels
like the St. Regis, the Four Seasons, those things I
never really they were never part of my world. And

(30:22):
now I really do look out for those places when
I travel, even if it's just for a cocktail or
a meal or to just make it like a nice
little introduction to kind of tour the ground. That's for
me the best way of being able to see something
nice with having to pay the like exorbitant room rate.
You'll just pay the exorbitant cocktail rates right exactly, and
the cocktail oftentimes is like as expensive as where I

(30:45):
like to stay. Right For me, I love finding an
off the radar, charming random place, even if it is
in someone's house I stayed in. I went to SANTAINI
and one of the nicest places I stayed in was
it this woman's like I can't remember. I googled it.
I found it on a travel website and it was

(31:06):
some random three room space that overlooked the caldera, and
she made breakfast for us every morning. It was tiny.
The shower I'm five seven and I had to duck
to get into the shower. But it was just like
so beautiful and there was something like charming. I don't know,
there's something just like endearing about staying at a place

(31:28):
like that. For me, I like don't care about WiFi,
or I don't care about a flat screen TV. I
don't care about a gym in the pool. It's for me,
I love to see how the locals live and that's
like a big thing. And I think maybe that also
comes from work travel where you don't see that, where
you'll only ever see luxury. So it's kind of nice
to be able to just live as the locals live.

(31:50):
I want to travel with you on the download. You
can be I know, generally you can go and be
the I'll produce our shoot. I would love to be
the intern because the intern and the production assistant, they
just get to run for coffee and they're there and
they get to have like the fun stuff. I always
think to myself, actually, hair and makeup. If you want
to get into like a really good job, just learn

(32:11):
to do hair and makeup because you're there for the
shoot and then you have all the other time. You
don't have to organize any cars, you don't have to
take care of any of that stuff. You just have
to come back and just blow the flyaways back into place.
Yes exactly. Oh great, Well, thank you so much for
joining us, Thanks for having It's been a really nice conversation.
This was wonderful. Thanks and that's our show. Thanks for listening.
If you like what you heard, please subscribe, and you know,

(32:33):
leave us a five star review. Oh way Ago is
a production of I Heart Radio and Fathom. You can
find the details we talked about in the show notes
and on our website fathom away dot com. Don't forget
to sign up for our newsletter when you're there. You
can get in touch with us anytime at podcast at
fathom away dot com and follow us on all social
media at at fathom Way to Go, Please tag your

(32:54):
best travel photos hashtag travel with Fathom. If you want
to really go deep on the travel inspiration, pick up
a copy of our book, Travel Anywhere and Avoid being
a tourist. I'm Jarrelyn Gerba and I'm Pavio Rosatti, and
we'd like to thank our producer, editor and mixer Marcy
Depeina and our executive producer Christopher Hasciotis. For more podcasts
from iHeart Radio, visit the I heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts,

(33:17):
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. M
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