A day in the life of

If you managed to miss the world tour, the first round of finalists or the final round of finalists, then consider yourself lucky that you don’t have to read the thousands of words that have been written about the project. In short, I decided to have a contest to select 4-5 people to tour the world researching, writing, photographing and making videos of body modification around the world. I got it narrowed down to the last 10 folks and I needed help to decide who would take the final positions. I asked people to make videos our of “a day in their life”. The assignment was to make a video, write a blog post and take some photographs to recreate what we’ll be doing on the trip.

As you know, I posted about the final 10 the other day when I had decided it was too hard to make my choice without giving the potential team members one final assignment. Ferg and I had been chatting about how to get around Australia when he suggested the train ride out to Perth, which I would love to do. His worry was that it would take two days of our valuable time and I told him 2 days over the course of 3 months wouldn’t be a big deal for an amazing train ride. Have I mentioned I love trains? It suddenly dawned on him that the trip was actually 3 months and not 6 weeks like he’d thought. He emailed me a few days later to withdraw from the competition. I’m sad to see him go but I know that he has an amazing tour of his own (not to mention what he’s been doing for years!) so I know he won’t be missing out. People have asked that I consider adding someone else in to take his place but I don’t want to do that because it only makes my own decisions that much harder.

Here are the assignments from the final 9. In some cases the finalists included their photos in the video and in others they’re separate. Both are okay but they’re all in this post grouped by the finalists. This post is automatically scheduled to go up at Midnight Friday morning on the 5th so if you see a finalists name and a blank space, then they didn’t get their submission to me on time and they’ve been officially disqualified.

Hopefully this helps me to narrow it down to the final four (or five if I can’t make up my mind, everyone is superb!). Cast your vote at the end for your FAVORITE application. Base your thoughts on everything you’ve seen so far and pick your favorite finalist. I’m only allowing one vote this time around. Good luck to everyone! The winners will be announced around Midnight Friday night. Don’t forget to help support the tour by using the coupon code worldtour and getting 30% off on almost everything in BMEshop!

P.S. Sorry for the weird formatting with the photos in some of the posts below. That’s entirely my fault and I’m not sure why wordpress kept eating up and barfing out the changes that I made to photos to try to fix the layout.

Click through to check out their videos and blog entries!

Finalist: Nae

Is my day nearly as exhilarating as what will be happening daily on the BME World Tour? Probably not, but it comes darn near close. Sit down for a bit and let me tell you about a typical Sunday in my life.

At 8:15am, the slight glow of Michigan’s cloud-covered sun attempted to light up my room and managed to successfully wrestle me out of bed. I groaned a bit as I dragged myself away from the loving arms of my stuffed animals, Otter and Gloomy Bear, but I was excited for my morning shower. Showers are really exciting to me. First of all, it’s naked time, and everyone loves naked time. Secondly, it’s the time that I give myself to plan out my day and to think through the upcoming events and people I’ll be running into- all while lathering myself up with my Lavender Dr. Bronners’ to make a fresh and clean Nae! Drying off and getting dressed are much less exciting to me because, well, I have to do them. I don’t necessarily have to shower every day, but I do have to be dry afterwards (or else it will happen naturally) and because I live in the frozen tundra of Michigan, I have to get dressed in generally multiple layers. Yes, picking out my clothing is fun, but there are better, more exciting things to do; showering, for example.

Anyway, by 8:40am I was all dressed and prepped for the day (I really don’t take much time or maintenance) and ready to go out to the real world! I headed out of my room and went to go check on the computing sites in my building. As an RCSC (Residential Computing Systems Consultant), it is my duty to maintain, protect, and defend both of the computing facilities within the residence hall that I have been trusted with… and to fill the printers when they need paper. The paper is really the important part; I think they just give me the other responsibilities to feel special (and boy, does it work!). Thankfully, it is spring break right now at the lovely University of Michigan and that means there are no students around – aside from yours truly – and that means that no one is printing and therefore no printers need to be filled.

Once I secured the computing sites, I ran up to my room to throw my laptop in my backpack and grab my things for the day. I then began my adventure to the art school! After frolicking down five flights of stairs, I left the mighty Bursley Hall and journeyed through the University of Michigan’s north campus forest till I found myself at the doors to the School of Art and Architecture building. It was an exciting walk! Spring is near which has been bringing out the squirrels and melting the snow away. I stopped in my studio to drop some sheet metal off (argentium silver, if anyone cares), then swung by the metal studio to see if anyone was around. Of course, no one was there because it’s spring break and I’m pretty much the only one left in this town.

I was starting to get hungry, so I grabbed my friend to go with me to one of my favorite Ann Arbor restaurants, Seva. We both had scrambled tofu with home fries, soy sausage, and toast – it was delicious! The server was fast and friendly, the food was amazing and yummy, and overall it was a great experience! Unfortunately, I had to be at work by 11:30am, so we left Seva and headed off to the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.

Not many people call the Shapiro Library by its full name; most just call it the UGLi. The acronym ‘UGLi’ stands for ‘undergraduate library’ and while yes, it is the main library for undergrads, it is anything but ugly. The curved glass on the front of the building allows for tons of light to shine in on students and to help reduce the ‘trapped in a cave’ feeling that many students studying in a library get after a while and the interior has been remodeled to create a warm and friendly environment. Unfortunately… I don’t have the privilege of working in the warm, sunny parts of the building. No, as a Campus Computing Sites Rover, we get shafted with a basement office with no natural light and the light outside of our office turns off after fifteen minutes if no one walks by. It’s okay though – I’m a ball of sunshine and I light up the room just fine! After providing my beaming light to my coworkers, I left to start my shift.
All I had to do in my four-hour shift was to visit the computing sites in the Michigan Union and the UGLi. Because all of the students are gone for spring break, not only was everything working properly, but nothing was broken! It was amazing! I came back to our dark, lonely office after completing my shift and sat around waiting to get an urgent page from someone on campus asking for me to be that person who could come rescue them from the depths of computer-hell…. but no one called… so I played around on tinychat.com with a bunch of people from iam.bmezine.com.

Upon completion of my roving shift, I headed on over to Angell Hall to work four more hours consulting in the Angell Hall Computing Lab, affectionately called the Fishbowl by staff and students alike. Because of spring break, the Fishbowl was excruciatingly slow and in my entire four hours in the Fishbowl I only spoke to two users. One user told me she didn’t need my help because the last time she needed assistance my coworker had helped her and she’d rather get his help this time for the sake of continuity. However, the other user asked me for some help with a long document she was writing, which helped end my boredom. Luckily for me, the internet is really cool and all of the downtime at work provided me tons of time to explore it!
After my consulting shift, I went back to the UGLi and did the exact same roving shift I had earlier in the day. Needless to say, more computer fun times were had. My coworker, Lou, was also done with his shift earlier and asked if I wanted to watch something online. It was around 11pm at this point, and our shift ended at 11:30, so he suggested watching a random episode of a TV show. We both sat at a computer, pulled up my Netflix account, and searched for something that was 30 minutes. Lou had this great idea of watching ‘Happy Tree Friends’. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this show, or if you’ve ever had the misfortune of watching it, but let me tell you that this is one messed up show. I sat in horror, unable to look away from the horrifically cute animated characters being mercilessly slaughtered one after the next for 22 entire minutes. Needless to say, I was very excited when I looked at the clock and saw 11:29pm. I packed up my things, put on my coat, and clocked out at 11:30.

After an exhilarating bus ride home, I walked into my room, sat down my backpack, set up my computer, and got to work on a project for my internship. I’m currently working on mapping out links in Adobe Flash to help organize course scheduling for architecture majors. My day has been long and exciting, and I am going to keep on going till I can’t keep my eyes open!

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Finalist: Darah.

Daily Treasures BME from Darah Wraine on Vimeo.

8:30 a.m.
Driving home this morning, the sun like a shotgun blast to my eyes. But it is warm, finally, winter nothing but a dirty, tired memory. There is a cup of free coffee sitting in the cup holder, Guns & Roses crooning through my speakers and me with my subsequent enjoyment of singing along, singing alone. I am behind a school bus at a stop sign, been following it for blocks now. Suddenly, I am not alone. I notice a gaggle of judgmental adolescent eyes peering at me from the rear windows. I felt thirteen again, being scrutinized and shamed by my peers for simple pleasures; singing while in a car? God forbid I should ever admit to sticking my finger in my ear to better understand earwax or remaining giddy after I’ve plucked an eyelash to examine the sturdy follicle.

I feigned an exaggerated yawn and quit singing just as the song reached my favorite part. Bastards. One part of me wanted to blow them kisses just to see their excited, petulant reactions. Another darker, more honest part of me wanted to follow them into the parking lot and cough exuberantly when they exited the bus. Hey, I may not have swine flu, but that doesn’t mean I can’t amuse myself with the social paranoia that epidemics inspire.

10:44 a.m.
Two hours later and I am in the car again, my destination outlined by labor vehicles and piles of wood, brick, cement. I am curious about the new addition to the local hospital that has recently become something of a landmark in this town, eager to invite a series of workers over to discuss my questions about their jobs. When they approach me, I smell the scent of blue-collar work on their skin; construction workers, truck drivers, machine operators. Men who reshape this Earth with their hands. Tugging, digging, building, destroying. I would be lying if I said that such rough-edged potential did not excite me.

There are various orange-shirted men milling about behind the gates, building new offices, lobbies, nurses’ quarters, areas of emergency and care. I hear a constant discordant symphony of vehicles scraping and turning over new earth only to cover it moments later with cement. I hear the hard smack of hammers and wood planks, I watch my coffee ripple in its glass when the vibrations reach maximum level. These constructs stretch upward, not outward, and the sky is being eaten away in square chunks.

1:25 p.m.
The energy I felt from my early morning triple-decker coffee has subsided. Nap time, to dream of warmer weather and, if my brain is feeling really generous, Hugh Jackman.

3:42 p.m.
Wake-up! Groggy, but loving the sunlight pouring in through the bedroom window. I stretch my limbs like a cat and curl into the brightest, warmest spot on the bed. Purr.

6:30 p.m.
Grocery shopping, a necessary evil. I want to dive bomb into the fruit displays and grab handfuls of cherries, grapes, plums, avocados. I pass by the vegetables and inhale the intoxicating smell of wet earth. Turnips look delicious tonight. Strange, as I usually dislike them. Note to self: take more vitamins.

8:00 p.m.
Video game marathon! Gears of War is a never ending love story for me, a challenge I rise to with plenty of curse words and high-fives to my fellow teammates. And it never fails to make me ravenously hungry. Grilled cheese sandwich time!

10:30 p.m.
Lemon yerba mate tea and a few chapters of a recently checked-out library book. My current before-bed novel is Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood. I’m reading almost feverishly before I glance at the clock and realize that midnight is fast-approaching. So difficult to put this story away! Oh, you addictive imaginary antagonist! I will see you again, tomorrow. Same time, same place.

Finalist: Thaddeus

I decided to highlight one of my favorite days of the road trip rather than trying to fill you all in on two weeks of adventure in one post.

We are in New Orleans. Actually we arrived last night and went out and had some drinks with friends but we were exhausted so nothing amazing came from it. We were lucky to get a hotel in the French Quarter, because almost everything was booked due to some sporting events. I have been to New Orleans before but my friend Mason had not so we decided to head out and explore the French Quarter.

I was looking for the place I first had absinthe, but we ended up at Jackson Square to look at the street artists. The cathedral in the picture is Saint Louis Cathedral, it is one of the oldest continually operating catholic cathedrals in the United States. The not so pleasant weather we were having really helps the ominous feel. At this point I realize I should have brought my wider angle lens for the day.

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Hunger was starting to set in so we grabbed some OJ and water from a smoke shop and asked the owner where we could get some good food near here. She said we had to eat at the Royal Street Deli about 2 blocks away.

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We wandered over there but as soon as we sat down we heard horns, cheering, and clapping. A parade was coming down the street. New Orleans will have a party for any reason at all and this parade was in celebration of this lady’s birthday. She was turning 80 and it looked like all of her friends came out to celebrate. I hope when I am that old I can still have a great time.

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After they came by we finally got down to ordering some food. We were starving at this point. The lady that recommended the restaraunt to us said we had to have a shrimp po boy, and that’s exactly what I ordered.

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Amazing is the only way to describe it. The french bread was perfect, soft yet crusty at the same time. Now that we finally had some great food, we were ready to go on our next adventure. There was one last surprise though, our amazing waitress Michelle had some Otter pops for our desert.

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I don’t know how we got to this idea but we decided that a airboat tour of the bayou country would be something interesting. With some quick iphone googling we found a place called Jean Lafitte’s Swamp Tours, which was about 30 minutes outside of New Orleans.

The weather is getting even worse but we had to experience an airboat ride through the swamp. We finally arrive and we are greeted with an albino alligator and a giant standing stuffed gator inside their welcome center.

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After we filled out all the necessary paperwork we are taken out back and shown our trusty boat. Hearing this V8 start up was killer. The motors didn’t really have any muffling and they were super loud.

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Soon we were introduced to Captain Lou. His family grew up on these swamps and was very familiar with getting around in the bayou. Jokingly we asked, “Why are alligators so ornery?” Without missing a beat he said, “It’s their medulla oblongata.” I guess Captain Lou has seen Waterboy too.

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We were off on our airboat adventure. If you have never ridden in one, I can tell you they are fast. It is a weird sensation, it doesn’t feel like a boat going through the water but more of a skimming over the surface feeling. You really cant use anything else to get around due to the shallow water and all the grass. Your prop would just get stuck.

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After seeing some wildlife, Captain Lou said it was time to find some gators. He said it might be difficult due to the colder weather because the alligators like to hibernate. It didn’t take us long to find one. He would toss a marshmallow towards the gator and the vibrations from it hitting the water would draw them closer. After they would get curious, the Captain would make this weird barking sound to interest them even more.

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Before we knew it there was a gator right next to the boat.

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Unfortunately we couldn’t stay that long. We were informed that there was a tornado warning and we should probably head back in. Captain Lou didn’t seem very unnerved by it, so neither did I.

After we got back to shore we were asking about some interesting roads to take towards Memphis, luckily the guys at Jean Lafites gave us a unique route to take. They said we had to stop at a place called Middendorf’s. Everyone that worked at Jean Lafitte’s agreed that this is the only place to get friend catfish in Louisiana. That was a good enough reason for us to go.

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The drive there was like nothing I have experienced before. All the roads were these highways elevated above the swamp. There would be small islands but almost the entire highway was above water. If your car broke down you would just have to wait for someone to rescue you. The weather really turned on us and it started pouring but we eventually got to our destination.

Everyone here was incredibly nice. We even met the owner. She could tell we were not locals and brought us some of her homemade banana pudding to thank us for driving all the way out here to eat. Southern hospitality is not dead. Everything was cooked perfectly and delicious. I highly recommend making the drive out here if you are near New Orleans.

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After stuffing our faces it was time to turn North and head toward Memphis. We jumped in the car, turned on some Elvis and headed off into the night.

Finalist: Ed

When I got word that I was in the top ten finalists, my heart skipped another beat. Closer and closer to a trip around the world. I could feel my passport tugging on my sleeve, “can we go!? can we go!? please please please!”, but I calmly explained to my anthropomorphized government document that the decision was not up to me. I still had one more assignment to prove I was worthy of such a trip: a blog entry, video, and photos of a day in my life. Luckily the next day had potential to be interesting enough to share with the Internet.

My day started with my fiancée, Heather, waking me up early with the video camera rolling. It was one of those cherished beautiful San Francisco days where the sun was shining and it was actually warm. In between my half-awake grunts, she said goodbye as she was off to hike around Alamere Falls with friends. Shortly after she departed, I crawled out of bed and made myself a gourmet breakfast of Lucky Charms and soy milk. A quick shower and shave and I grudgingly sat down in front of the computer to do some work. The curse of working for yourself is that every day is a possible workday. Luckily addressing my emails and other chores only took about 2 hours this time and I was soon out the door.

Down the three flights of stairs with a laptop, camera, and flip video and tow; I jumped into my car and trekked across the Bay Bridge to Oakland. I was headed to NIMBY, an industrial art space in south Oakland, to work on one of Interpretive Arson’s fire art pieces, 2pir.

For those not familiar with it, 2pir is “a blisteringly interactive large-scale fire toy”. It consists of two circles: an inner circle fitted with motion sensors and an outer circle comprised of 16 large flame effects. When a participant waves their hands, feet, or any other body part over the motion sensor it triggers a large column of flame. While on the inner platform, many people perform their best sorcerer imitation, summoning fire with their hands, while others choose to dance and twirl around, flames following their movement. The beauty of the piece is that the performance is different everytime.

2pir was designed and built by Interpretive Arson, a Bay Area fire art group that I’m a member of. It was originally built in 2006 and has since undergone several upgrades. This year it’s time for another one of those upgrades as the ignition system was no longer up to our standards for reliability. In addition, several components needed to be upgraded in preparation for our second international run in Denmark later this year at Smukfest.

The previous day we had spent some time finalizing a design for new flame effects and built a single prototype for testing. We wanted to make sure one new flame effect worked successfully before building the other 15. Today it was time to actually test this prototype and see how well it performed.

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We dragged the prototype outside, hooked all the plumbing up to a tank of propane, plugged in the electronics and hit the switch. The resounding sound of combustion echoed off the walls of the warehouse. Success! But it wasn’t perfect. Ignition wasn’t 100% reliable and we wanted the best shape of fire we could get. After a period of tweaking, adjusting, and experimenting we were mostly happy with what we had. We made a quick run to Home Depot to grab a few materials and then stopped off for some burritos to refuel ourselves.

Back at NIMBY, the sun had set and the darkness of the seemingly deserted industrial section of Oakland was just asking for some noise and light. We fired the flame effect back up and enjoyed lighting up the yard and bouncing the percussive sounds of explosive propane combustion off the walls. After a bit of fun it was back to work: grinding, cutting, drilling, and welding the frames for the new effects.

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Finalist: Megan

I was considering not going to pull/suspension last Saturday night.

I was left with one lens, and I could always use more sleep. Sure, it would be good to show support for some really great friends but I also could have a very successful night with a bottle of booze and some Lifetime Movie Network.

After weighing the pros and cons of each, possibly interesting photographs won out over an early morning hangover.

I arrived at Freaks on 39th and was pleased that the book should not be judged by it’s cover (it looked like a tiny shack with water-stained wooden shingles). The epic selection of jewelry was tastefully displayed in wooden, almost steam punk looking, shadowboxes and the photography wasn’t half bad either.

The piercers (Eric Wolff, and Chelsea-apprentice) were super chill and attentive to all of the kids doing the pull and suspension, and they also let me set up as much lighting equipment as I wanted so long as it didn’t get in the way or cause a safety hazard.

After a lot of waiting the girls (Amanda and Trista) were finally hooked up, and I halfway expected it to be some sort of epic battle to see who could pull the hooks out of each other’s backs first (my terrifying, competitive nature?), but in fact, it was one of the most serene experiences…I had ever…experienced? Miss Meg compared it to something like good sex, and if I had ever had good sex before, I’m sure I would agree. The soothing music, gentle swaying, and dim lighting was one of the sweetest things I had seen in a long time.

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I found the suspensions to be a different story. they seemed to be much more a test of will. Cary went first and after a few tentative steps down the ladder and a bit of adjusting he started swinging and Adrian (the other kid suspending) made sure to give him a few good shoves.

The birthday boy decided to go last, and after much heart-wrenching pain felt like the slow combustion he felt in his chest probably wasn’t a smart thing to ignore. He had to stop before fully suspending. But you made for a great model, kid.

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All in all, for me, the entire night made me feel like the world’s biggest pussy.
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Finalist: Kaelah Bee.

You know it’s going to be a great day when you wake up to a barking dog and killer sore throat, and then you realize you slept for 12 hours. It all started yesterday… the sore throat really came out of nowhere. It was not a welcomed visitor, however. Like most people, I really do not enjoy being sick. It hinders my plans for the day; No one likes that. I braved through it and headed to Portfolio class anyway. I didn’t really have too much to show but I was able to get a bit of feedback on a CD design from my classmates nonetheless. After class, Mike picked me up from school and we headed to Goodlettsville so I could have some sleeve work done by my artist, Jason. Fairly uneventful for the most part, but the sickness started to really sink in. We paid a visti to what could be classified as the most ghetto mall in the world before we headed home. By the time we reached Franklin, Mike was feeling lightheaded and dizzy. We were both in pitiful condition. A hot bubblebath to try and soothe it all and then we settled onto the big sectional sofa in our room and watched Wristcutters: A Love Story. I took some Nyquil and I managed to sleep a solid half-day.

I woke up at 10am today to prepare for what was going to be a solid day of getting stuff done. I managed to slink on a dress and head out the door to class. I had to get to school early for a Student Government meeting (Yeah, I’m one of those girls) and go over the budget for the Spring Cocktail. By 1pm it was off to Print Design 2 where the 7 of us (Yes, I really said 7… My school is tiny!) brainstormed over creative headlines for a high-profile real estate brochure we’re having to create. Mike decided to be a sweetheart and drive me all the way to the Sweet CeCe’s in Belle Meade (20 minutes away) because they had Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet and it’s my favorite. We literally live less than a quarter-mile from Sweet CeCe’s in Franklin; Sadly they only had Orange Sorbet! Yuck! It was a fun adventure trying to find it, but I won’t lie… the rest of the night got juicier.

Upon arriving home, I was greeted by the fact that my slime-ball exboyfriend had listed the Macbook computer he stole from me onto Craigslist. He lives in California now and it’s been this ridiculous battle for months. I’ve contacted an attorney and I’ve tried waiting it out… Nothing works. I let him know (very firmly) that I found out about him trying to sell it and he should prepare for a fun little legal battle. I gave him until 5pm CST tomorrow to send a tracking number for the computer to me or I’d get to work. It’s so frustrating when people try to take advantage of you, ya know? I’ve been trying to avoid any kind of legal mumbo-jumbo-hullabaloo but now I’m just ready to give him what he deserves. Ugh!

Mike is playing Grand Theft Auto while I write my little blog. I just finished up the video to go along with this thing. It’s all music and video (Nothing of me talking) because I’m quite the sick one still. I can barely speak, and when I do, it’s not pretty. I sound like an octogenarian who has smoked since she was 12. Not to mention I can’t smell a darn thing (This could be good though… Mike just scolded Georgia for what is most likely her “signature scent”… if you know what I mean…ha) I wish something more exciting could have happened for you all to read about… It was really just a regular ol’ Wednesday though. Tomorrow will most likely be more of the same. Portfolio class and then hopefully more sleeve work. I’ve always got rambles at my blog though… Feel free to visit and see that I’m not a totally illiterate being. XO Kaelah

Finalist: Chez

Wow. The last few days have been pretty hectic! We arrived into NYC on Monday for a partial day off. We were booted off the bus immediately upon arrival so the drivers could head to a hotel in Secaucus that had parking for all the buses and trucks. I picked up my room key and headed to my room. The room was super cute but the bathroom was really weird… The toilet was so high that I couldn’t touch the ground!

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Once settled and showered, I headed out for a meander. There was still snow on the ground!

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I headed towards St Marks to hit up S’mac and get my standard nosh, the all-american with slab bacon!

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After lunch, I wandered around St Marks for a bit and laughed at all the tattoo shops that sold bongs. This was my favorite, buy one get one! I just wonder, is that for the bongs or for the tattoos? SKETCH!

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I did a little shopping, wandered down broadway and finally was so exhausted that I grabbed a cab and headed back up to midtown.

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I spent the rest of the day danger napping and eventually went to bed around 11. We had our gig at Madison Square Garden that day and it was nuts. When working at the garden, you work with 3 different unions to get your work done. For all the PA and FOH work, you get IBEW. For all the work on the stage or monitor requirements, you work with IATSE Local 1. For truck loading, you get teamsters. It’s very convoluted and can be dramatic. If you piss of the unions, they will make your life a living hell. Fortunately, the show went off great and all of my union hands were great to work with.

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And in the fine words of Jay Z, we were “on to the next one”… Washington DC! The most important aspect of my day:

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For more insight into what my day is like on a show day, feel free to check out my audition tape at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whi3M5xAru8.

Everything was filmed with my fuji finepix and I apologize about the crappy audio in the first minute of the video. The mic on the camera leaves a little something to be desired! All photos from this blog post were taken on my iphone, nothing has been retouched! Hopefully that shows you that I can frame a photo, and with the proper equipment, I could probably get some pretty awesome photos too!

Finalist: Richard

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For this assignment, I wanted to emulate a possible excursion to a tattoo and piercing establishment for an interview. Visiting a shop in my own backyard would be a good place to start.
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In my first video for the BME World Tour audition process, I briefly introduced a body piercer named Kati Vaughn during the final montage. We had planned a short interview when I visited, but time constraints prevented it from happening. Well, in this second video I got the chance to sit down my friend, Kati Vaughn.

Currently, Miss Vaughn is piercing out of Sacred Tattoo and Pure Body Arts. In the interview, she explains her beginnings at Body Piercing By Bink in Tallahassee, Florida and how she ended up in New York City. Kati and I met in Tallahassee through mutual friends in the local roller derby league. We quickly formed a strong friendship through a mutual love of leather jackets, bourbon, and body modification. She is an upstanding professional, an inspiration, and my piercer. I’m proud to introduce her in the video below.

The most exciting part of today will be visiting Sacred Tattoo. Its a 3000 square foot studio right off the main drag of Canal St. in Chinatown. Before going, I gained permission to film to shop for the purposes of constructing a short profile section in the video. Thankfully, they were very cool about it. Took a train over the East River and arrived in the late afternoon. Business was slow at the time, so it gave me the chance to conduct the interview without interruption. Plus, I was not in anyone’s way.

Filming wrapped within an hour or so. By that point, customers had started to trickle into the shop needing various work done. I made sure to thank everyone at the shop before leaving. Hopped on the train back home and contemplated the work in the days ahead. Bartending, editing, and paying this months bills will consume my time until Thursday’s deadline. Looking forward to seeing what the other contestants create. This has been a spirited competition. I consider myself very lucky to be apart of it.
Alright, alright… enough rambling. Time to get to work. Good luck, everyone!

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Finalist: RobW.

Today started like any other. Well, except for the camera pointed at my head, I’ve only had that happen a couple of times. I was really exhausted, and climbing out of bed took way too much effort. I had stayed awake until around 5am last night learning how to work with Adobe Premiere. I’m still not an expert in it, but I definitely think I’ve learned enough to make it through the editing process later tonight.

After finally rising from my slumber and crawling to the shower, I was able to get my breakfast bagel in the toaster and really start my day off. The first few hours passed like they normally do, read the news while eating, then buckle down and begin to write. The past few weeks I’ve been so focused on becoming an intern for BME that my writing has fallen to the wayside. Not to say that I haven’t been writing, I just haven’t been working on the projects I have started. Currently I’m working on several stories, juggling them daily to determine where my focus will be for the day. They’re all various forms of fiction, but as the ideas flow in one tale, I’m struck with an idea for another. The way I write is very stream of consciousness oriented. I’m still in the early stages of these projects, as I’m not sure which one I really want to finish first. I know that once I make that decision the rest will have to wait their turns. Like I mentioned, the BME world tour has been on my mind so much, I haven’t really been able to sit down and focus on my fiction. Instead I dedicate at least an hour daily to some form of writing. What is produced is strictly for me as I use it as a reflective exercise. I talk about what’s happening in my life, what’s on my mind, heck I even talk about the news I just read. Whatever it is, I put it down. So today’s writing was mostly about last night, and my trials and tribulations learning a new piece of software.

I received a phone call from a close friend letting me know that he was available to help me out for my video today. He rushed over as I started editing in the morning clips I had shot. When Trevor arrived, we quickly got to work talking about the plan for the day, how I wanted things to look, etc. After sorting out the video equipment, and giving Trevor a refresher course on how to take the lens cap off, we sat down to have a quick chat to catch up with each other. I told Trevor about the internship, and how excited I am to be a finalist. Now Trevor and I have been friends for about ten years, and in that time we may not have been close all the time, but when chips were down, we knew we could count on each other. I knew that he wasn’t working steady at present, but he had just filmed a commercial (he’s an actor), and had gotten himself a new job close to home. The big news came when he revealed that he was interviewing out of town tomorrow to work at a radio station in Woodstock, Ontario. As long as I’ve known him, he’s always wanted to work in broadcasting. To have the opportunity to finally achieve a dream is something we’d all be lucky to have. So we talked about places for him to live once he got the job.
Checking the time we realized we were burning daylight, so we headed out to begin our day of filming. The first stop, the mall! I know, it’s not very exciting, but it did provide some interesting events. I knew that I needed to pick up a few items; little did I know I would only have the chance to actually get one thing on my list. After filming for a while we were approached by mall security asking why we were walking around with a camcorder. It turns out that one of the stores we went into thought we were taking footage to use against the store or the mall. We were politely asked to leave the mall, and the security guard was kind enough to show us our way out.

Now Trevor had never actually been to the mall, nor had he been to the area around it. So I took the opportunity to take him to a park near where I grew up. To describe the area as a park is a bit of a misnomer. Along the western edge of Toronto runs the Etobicoke creek. This runs from north of the city, all the way down to lake Ontario. The park that we went to is the northern tip of a series of parks connected by a path that follows the creek. This time of year it isn’t much to look at, but when spring and summer arrive, the park is constantly filled with families spending a day walking the wooded trails. I don’t get to come over to this area as much as I used to, as I’m now living in another area of Etobicoke, so it was a treat to be able to wander my old stomping grounds. Growing up so close to a park meant in every season there was something to do. Tobogganing in the winter, baseball in the spring and summer, and biking the trails in the fall. It’s a serene experience no matter what time of year you visit. Although today, because of the sun, the ground had started to melt and wandering off the paved trail put you as risk of losing a shoe to the mud.

After spending some time in the park, we headed back to my place to quickly change discs in the camcorder, grab a bite to eat, and hit the road up to the tattoo studio. While we were in the park my artist, Matt Ellis, called to let me know that he had a cancellation and I could come in early. Seizing the opportunity, Trevor and I ate quickly and hopped in the cars, only to find that the highway was backed up from an accident on the other side of the city. Luckily the accident had been cleared, so we only were in stop and go traffic for an hour. In Toronto gridlock, that’s a lucky break. Needless to say all hopes of getting to Matt early were dashed and we ended up being late.

Thankfully Matt understood, and we quickly got started. Today was a day I had been looking forward to for a while. The C’thulhu themed sleeve that Matt has been doing has been coming along great, but there was a huge section without color: the deep-sea diver. So I sprawled out on the bench, Matt fired up the gun, and Trevor flipped the camera on. Now Trevor had never seen a tattoo being done on someone before so Matt and I got to answer a lot of questions. The obvious, “does that hurt” came up, but we ended up getting into a really good discussion of techniques and styles. Of course I didn’t realize at the time, but Matt was doing something to my arm that I can only describe as incredible. I’ve never seen anything with the color palette and shading that he was able to accomplish with the diver. Unfortunately the discussion had to be cut short as Trevor’s band was rehearsing soon and he needed to get going. We said our goodbyes and Matt got right back to work. Thankfully there was no ditch work to be done today, so I breathed a sigh of relief.

At one point we took a quick 2 minute break to stretch and I grabbed the camcorder to talk for a little bit about the experience. Little did I know that the disc was full, and the spare discs were in my car a few blocks down the street. Not wanting to break the rhythm of the session, we got back to work and finished up the 5 hour session. Following the session Matt and I had a quick talk about the internship and when it would be taking place, so we put off the final appointment until after the tour ends, as we both agreed going on the road with flaking skin might cause some problems.

The drive home was uneventful, except for the burning hatred of cab drivers that was reignited as I drove through the downtown core. Getting home, I unwrapped the gooey mess that was my arm, grabbed a quick snack, and sat down to write this out.
So that was my day. It was an atypical day, but it was definitely an enjoyable one, and I’m lucky to have a video copy to remember the experiences. I’m getting tired and I still have a lot of editing to finish up before I finally submit my final assignment for the contest to Rachel, so I’ll wrap this up. As I mention in the video, I am extremely grateful for all the support I’ve been given over the past few weeks towards the competition. I just hope now I’ll be given the opportunity to show everyone I was worth their support.

Here’s a small gallery of some of the pictures I took today: Click Here.

Place your vote for your favorite finalist. You can only pick one finalist to vote for this time!

79 thoughts on “A day in the life of

  1. Seriously, just because you have a girl crush on Nae(omi) doesn’t mean you should vote for her. I closed the door when she opened it.

  2. I’m letting him slide in. Major negative points though because I gave a shit ton of time in order to do what we’ll be doing on a daily basis so it was a bit of a fail on his part. Waiting till the last minute is never a good thing.

  3. Hey Rob, if I can give you a small bit of advice for any future videos you make, the music while you’re talking is unnecessary and for someone who is hearing impaired (me), it made it almost impossible to tell what you were saying.

    At the beginning of the video, I thought my phone was ringing because that’s the ringtone I use for my bff. I actually checked my phone. Too funny.

  4. I am very excited to see the final winners of the internship, I think this is a great idea and Rachel will pick the most suitable interns.

    Personally, I really enjoyed Nae’s video and you can tell she put a great deal of work into her video as well as her photography and blog. She was my one vote.

    I watched all of the videos and read all of the blogs and viewed all of the photos from the finalists and I think everyone did a great job (although it is easy to tell who put in more time and effort than others and really took this seriously).

    I would be concerned about someone not being able to meet a deadline that they were given a week to prepare for, from the comments above I am sure that will be taken into consideration.

    Good luck to all of the finalists!

  5. Thanks Jen, I was just happy to be able to put the actual clips together. I’m still learning multiple audio layers. At one point I was thinking of adding an “umm” counter when I was talking to just the camera. For some reason my “umms” go down significantly when someone is holding the camera, as opposed to a webcam on a stand.

    If it helps, when I lost audio and footage, I added text :)

  6. #11 Jen – I agree about the music, it was very distracting while trying to make out what he was saying in his video.

  7. Rob – I totally appreciate that as I am trying to learn how to mix audio in videos as well. And the text definitely helps. It’s something that happens so often, where music just sort of drowns out what a person is saying (not just in your video but in movies, etc.) and it’s so hard when you’re hearing impaired to try and pick out what the person is saying above the music.

    I’m still laughing that I actually picked up my phone and looked at it at the beginning of your video. :)

  8. When I explained to my camera guy why I needed a close up after I put my shades on, he was rolling on the ground for a good 2 minutes.

  9. It wasn’t distracting at all. I could hear him perfectly.
    When the team is finalized, it should be given a name! Good luck everyone.

  10. i never seem to learn that mistake haha, wasting all my time and putting things off to do things till the last min, it never works out in the end , every time, or its just a bad end result. sorry rob i was rootin for you but good luck
    i personally still wish everyone good luck. i take it there will be more homework i guess, maybe not.

  11. Happily casting my vote for Ed! Humor, honesty, lack of ego, FIRE, a fun attitude, multitalented (great photos, video, editing and post-production), interesting pursuits, FIRE!, obviously a team player, a skilled writer and reporter, prompt and organized, and, oh hey, did I mention OMGFIRE!! Seriously, the BME World Tour is the role Ed was born to fill.

    I’m also glad to see my other favorite finalist is doing (deservedly) well in the voting.

    I can’t wait to learn the final results; it’s sure to be a superlative crew!

    GO ED!

  12. Wow after watching these videos I changed my mind completely on who I think should go. Some of these were really well edited and you could tell how much time and thought the person put into it. Megan’s video actually made me snort more than once!

  13. There is ‘taking photos’ and there is ‘photography’. Megan does photography – the best pics on this page are hers, and, for that reason alone, she should be considered for the team.

  14. Almost all of them, except for the first one (Nae), were incredibly boring and unoriginal. Music and montage…wow. Take that Nae girl, she will be interesting, likable and will pull her own weight (as well as being low maintenence).

  15. The submissions also changed my mind a lot on who to bring. I have my final four selected. I was going to make a 5th position but due to the expense of the trip, I think it’s better to go with my original 4 positions and save the extra money for better resources for us while on the trip.

    I’m waiting to get more feedback from people as they watch the videos. I think everyone returned solid work for the assignment that they were given and the best ones were from people who had nothing going on but still made an interesting video out of their days.

    Nae did a great job and I was impressed. I really feel like she came out of no where and nailed it.

    Congratulations to everyone for a job well done!

  16. Wow, that is such a vegetable eye you have there. Did you even bother to watch any of them excluding Nae’s? Every entry had its own unique flare, did you honestly think that they were all replicas of one another? What else would you have asked of them? All that was required was to create a video of you everyday life, create a ‘blog’ about it, and hand it in. I would honestly like to hear what you would have done if you were apart of these finalists. Please intrigue me.
    As for you hopping on the Nae bandwagon (sorry, I had to say it. I don’t disregard her talents at all) I just don’t get it. I mean sure, she’s cute and all, but what separates her from the rest of the finalists? She seems on par with everyone else, hence; why Rachel chose these particular finalists.

    Sorry for the rant, I am just trying to finish a 20pg thesis due today, but I cannot seem to bypass my current brainfart.

  17. Wow!!!! Thank you all so much for all of the support! I still feel extremely lucky and honored to be up on this list! I put a lot of work into my video and it seems to be paying off.

    I am really impressed with Richard’s and Ed’s videos ,Thad’s photography, and I really liked Chez’s sense of humor in her writing! I would not want to be Rachel today making these decisions!

    Thank you all again for all of the positive feedback and support! I am keeping my fingers crossed that I make the cut tonight!!

  18. I’m glad rachel gave this assignment it changed some of my opinions on the candidates. I was very impressed by Nae’s video, she looked like she really cared and put the extra effort into it. Good luck to all the contestants.

  19. Megan’s photos are amazing! I love her video too! I think I love her… but that’s not really relevant to the world tour!

  20. For my part I would say the videos changed my opinion on some of the candidates as well. I’m not sure why anyone would say they were all boring. I loved watching the videos and I’m waiting on my flip cam to arrive (birthday present to myself) so I can make a similar video just because it looked like fun. Though I don’t have video editing skills so I couldn’t do the job that most of these contestants have.

    It’s a talented bunch and this process has been crazy hard!

  21. I know there are a lot of great candidates, but I can’t believe Thaddeus got such little votes.

  22. M2 – Oh I don’t know if I’m quite ready for that level of humiliation. :) Besides everyone would complain that it was unrelated to ModBlog. ;)

    I thought Thad used a Nikon but maybe that was just Rachel’s camera? I have a Nikon D80 and Rachel has a Nikon and I know there was some lens swapping at Tattoo Hollywood and Phil made me use this super heavy lens that killed me. The lens was bigger than me. (Not really but Meg claims I’m pocket sized so it was close.)

  23. Some would say…travel sized? ;) (cheesy wink) She may have been exaggerating, probably more along the lines of 2 of those lenses stacked together are bigger than you. That I could see.

    I kinda thought it was a telephoto, but i was wonderin’ on the details. I’m only mildly curious now that I know it’s a Nikon. (Burn.)

  24. I have a variety of lenses, 70-200mm f2.8, 105mm f2.0, 50mm f1.8, 17-55mm f2.8. I think I used the 50mm on this trip because I bought it right before I left and its small and light. The 70-200 tends to draw too much attention when traveling.

    I use nikon and have a d80 and if i get to go i am moving up my purchase of a d700. The 105mm and d700 is one of my favorite lens camera and camera combos.

    I have photos from a wide variety of subjects and the images I included are just a selection from THAT day. My primary focus is fashion, so my more produced photography is not included. The thought is to do produced lit portraits on the road with a trio of sb800′s.

  25. I enjoyed Ed’s video the most, but then again I’m a sucker for a local boy, not to mention FIRE!

  26. I shoot most of my photos with a Pentax K20D. I tend to alternate between two lenses:
    My 16-50mm f2.8 because it’s weather-resistant and a nice range (I often don’t know what I’m getting into when I go out).
    My 50mm f1.4 prime since it’s a bit nicer, especially in low-light.

  27. I’m surprised Richard isn’t getting much love! Both of his videos were fantastic and his photos of mods are really well done. I voted for Ed given that he’s my fiance but I would have voted for Richard too, if I could. And Nae! But really, it’s hard to pick because everyone is so good. :)

  28. I thought the music video type submissions were sort of a cop-out, since they tell one very little about the people who made them. Most of what you’re doing is picking up on the emotional cues of the music. I’m not saying those are a resultant vote against, but they tell me nothing, so I had to pretty much ignore those videos and just go on their previous submissions alone.

    Anyway, it was tough and close, but all things considered these are the three I’d choose (and some comments on their final submission):

    ** NAE ** This was a great video, well edited and informative (and by being first on the list became the standard by which I judged the others, setting a high bar), as well as having her personality in it. She feels very competent, and all around skilled, and I’m sure she’d do the project proud. I’d feel quite secure in choosing her — I think she’s a safe call that is quite an obvious choice.

    ** RICHARD ** We know from the first submission that he’s really funny, and this shows a more serious side. The editing is a bit too aggressive on the interview (cut too close), and there are audio problems with the music too high in the mix which is quite distracting, but I like what he chose to do, even though it’s not truly a “day in the life of” — but perhaps it will be on the tour, so that’s fair.

    ** ROB **
    Holy long winded — he should get a vote just for how much material he can produce. Anyway, he’s very likeable and can I’m sure create plenty of solid journalism, and, I’m not sure how to put this, but he seems “very BME” — I’d say the same about Nae (that said, I understand that Rachel’s goal is in part to expand BME’s scope, so I’d understand if she doesn’t see this as as much of a bonus as I do).

    I think all of the people I’ve short-listed are multi-talented as well, which personally I feel is important. I wouldn’t personally go with the people who are amazing in just one category.

    I want to say again that I think that almost everyone who’s applied is great, and all of these short listed people are wonderful and I’m sure could do a solid job — it was tough because some of the choosing among these people who are all quite qualified (and some arguably more so than my three choices) was just “gut instinct” about BME. I look forward to seeing what this tour produces.

    Good luck to all — Rachel included!

    PS. I have to rush off to pick our daughter up at school so I apologize if I have not proof-read this and there are errors. Thankfully it’s not me applying and being judged!

  29. holy crap! hey world hey. I’m greatly enjoying the different aspects of the different days everyone has made for themselves. Even if a day in the life of makes me look like a frantic bug, Ricky your the best.

  30. I’m sure it doesn’t matter at this point, but I’d just like to say that I feel some participants have ruined the purpose of having a voting poll open.

    By posting links to the voting on completely unrelated sites, they’ve destroyed what I’m sure was Rachel’s original purpose of the poll – Allowing IAMers and frequent Modblog readers to voice their opinion on who deserves this opportunity. Now all of the numbers are skewed by random Internet lurkers who come and peek out of boredom and vote for whichever name was told to them. I’m sure none of them have even watched any of the videos or read anything about it.

    That said, I’m sure Rachel has picked deserving candidates and I’m excited to see who they are.

  31. Molly, Rachel has said all along through comments that the votes mean very little. Also she commented on similar posts as your own about being in a contest she likes to see how you can market it. We ran into this same issue some people had in the last voting process. The BME World Tour was posted on myspace, etc as well to bring in applicants. I do not see where the problem is with this. It gives modblog even more exposure as well as BMEzine as a result. Again, Rachel said the votes mean very little..

  32. I know this Dawnie, that is why I said I’m sure it doesn’t actually matter. I was just stating an observation I’d made and my opinion of it.

  33. It is never bad to state your opinion based on observations. One of the things I enjoy about Modblog is honest opinions/comments – well I do not like the anonymous ones as much when they are “shes not hot” or some random unrelated cruel thing! Other than that I think it is a great outlet for comments!

  34. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve explained what BME is to people who (surprisingly) had never heard of the site. If nothing else, this contest has gotten BME more exposure.

  35. I’m right there with you Ed. I’ve been linking the entry to friends and family, and I’ve had quite a few people message me asking about the site. The votes may not count in the sense that the winner is in, but to be able to bring more people to the community is always a plus. Even if it’s just to browse the main site for information.

  36. @Molly Delilah

    I was an occasional BME reader who rediscovered the site thanks to this contest, have now become a regular reader, and am glad to have been reintroduced to the excellent and active community here.

    In general, I think the more promotion for BMEzine, the better. I also think that there’s an important difference between instructing strangers to come here just to vote for a specific contestant (e.g. “Go to this link and vote for ME!”) and alerting one’s social network to the contest (e.g. “I’m a finalist in the BMEzine World Tour contest! Watch all the videos here, and cast your vote!”).

  37. Oh, and for the record, I watched every one of the videos in the last round and this one before casting my votes. Which was by turns surprising, enjoyable, boring, delightful, facepalm-evoking, and touching. Ultimately, I’m glad I took the time to do so, as it certainly affected my opinions regarding several contestants.

    In the end, I cast my vote in this final round for Ed. (If could have cast two votes, Nae would have been my second – although she’s deservedly doing fine all on her ownsome.)

    Rachael, I know that you’ve repeatedly said that you’re just using the public voting as an additional guideline, which I completely agree with. The decision of who you spend three months with is yours of course, and it makes perfect sense to consider all the factors, from applicant’s skillsets to personalities, to their potential to work and travel well together and so on.

    That said, my dream team would include both Ed and Nae. I think that together they would be delightful: unpretentious, articulate, sensitive to their subjects, and exciting and humorous in that easygoing humanistic way that’s SO much to be desired when you’re watching the same faces day after day. Oh, and FUN.

    ED and NAE all the way!

  38. Slim, I agree with you to an extent about sending people to vote for their choice as opposed to whoever posted the link. While that does work in an environment where it will be seen by complete strangers, I don’t necessarily see the fault in asking for support from your friends/family.

    The reason I say that is because even if they just come to vote and leave, they do become aware of the site, and my come back to visit. Also, speaking from a personal point of view, I know that the friends and family I’ve directed here would definitely return to read about the tour if I was on it. Which is I think one of the reasons why the voting is taking place. It isn’t the final say, but it does give Rachel an idea of who will bring in new readers to the site, which is a big reason behind the world tour in the first place.

    So while Molly is partly right in that the votes should be by modblog readers and iam members, at the same time, these are also the people that will be coming to the site already. There isn’t any increase in traffic when it’s just the same people all the time. This contest is an opportunity for those of us talented in our respective fields to show off our capabilities, as well as to bring in people who are new to the site.

    When the tour goes out, there’s a hope that by visiting all these places around the globe, interest in BME will increase. Not just by the people the tour encounters, but also by the people back home who will start to read BME to learn about what their friends/family are doing on the road. There are so many different positive elements to the tour that I’d be typing for hours, but I personally believe that the key purpose of the tour is to add people to the collective world of BME. Either through readers of the site, or new members. Either way, Rachel wants to put together the best team that can put out a stellar product that can be delivered to as many people as possible.

  39. I think Nae and Ed should definately go through. Not feeling Richard’s video.. I mean, it was just an interview with a piercer.. A good one, but not something I think Rachel was looking for..

    Hope to see Nae and Ed get through!!

  40. Lornen –
    In Richard’s defense, Rachel asked for us to “Make a video, take some photos and write up a blog post about your day. You can do whatever you’d like with it. If you’re a student in school, just make a video about your day. If you’ve got time and you want to pretend we’re out on the road and you want to go interview a shop, do that. Are you going to a concert or some touristy spot during the week? Take photos and videos and write a post about that. There is a ton of flexibility. It doesn’t necessarily need to be “modification based” since the tour will include a lot of BME related stuff but also a lot of stuff about the people that we meet and the tour interns themselves.” With that said, I think he did a very nice job with his interview!

    Again, thank you everyone for so much support! I can’t wait to see who gets picked! Also, thank you again Rachel for giving us all this wonderful opportunity!

  41. Hmm, well, that was just my opinion. As a person, I felt that your video and Ed’s video gave me more of an insight into what you guys are actually like, how you go about your daily business and your video gave me a good idea as to who you are and what you do.. Richard’s video gave me alot of information about someone who isn’t a finalist in the BME internship.. I was just saying that, I liked your one better. Jeez!

  42. I’m sorry!!! I didn’t mean to offend! I just meant to give clarification as to why he did what he did :)

    I sincerely do appreciate your support. It really means a lot that you took the time to watch my video and that you liked it!

    <3
    nae

  43. Oh no don’t worry you didn’t offend me! It was a good interview and all that, but I did like how yourself and Ed used your video time to show everyone what a day in your lives was like. I love your jewelry and little rabbits! Blood spattered rabbit is WIN!

    All the best Nae!

  44. I find it really interesting that some people really stuck to the original assignment, and truly showcased an average day in their life, while others like Thad or Richard did things a little differently.

    Not sure which was the better decision, but all the videos look great!

  45. #57 Alexis: As do I. Even as one of the contenders, I liked not seeing anyone’s before I did my own. I think it may have hurt me in the long run (the way I did my a bit differently since I felt the umbrella assignment felt open for interpretation) but either way, I’m happy with it and I’m glad to have been considered. It was fun seeing everyone’s takes and see what everyone does in a normal day :D

  46. I’m fully stoked to see a post from Shannon. Nae put a lot of effort in, she has a great deal of skills and i agree that she definitely should get hers. I really like Megan’s photos in this post. If anyone from this list I would like to spend the next three months living all over it’s Richard. I’ve been on tour(skateboarding) and the funny, easy spirited ones make the rough times that much better. I would have liked to have seen more variety from everyone though. Out on the road their will be a various shooting situations to deal with and I hope whomever is chosen can handle whatever is thrown at them. Tim is the only one I have met from the original list, too bad he didn’t make it to the second.

    Wish I could have thrown in myself. Just couldn’t do it because of bad timing. The winter Olympics sucked for my work/personal schedule. To all those chosen, you lucky asstards, have fun and two words of advice, “shoot everything”.

  47. i have a question: megan and ed aside, WHERE ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHERS? i thought you wanted photographers.

  48. Shannon, I totally missed your post. Thank you so much for the kind words. Especially since last round you didn’t think I’d be the right guy for this, I’m honored you think I should be on the team.

    I also want to thank everyone who’s been supporting me through all this. To be able to do this is more than just a fun thing to do. At least to me. This is a chance for me to finally move away from teaching and go into the profession I would rather be in, writing. To be able to go around the world and document something I’m passionate for, would transcend anything I could ever achieve staying at home and writing on my own. I’m not a young guy any more, and I’m already taking a huge risk in my life by deciding to change my career goals. This opportunity would do so much for me in taking the big steps I need to make this change.

    And of course, a huge thank you to Rachel, Jen, and the rest of the BME staff for giving all of us the chance of a lifetime. Our fates are in your hands, and I’m sure you’ll make the best decision that will help BME grow worldwide.

  49. I vote for Nae! I know her personally, and she’s absolutely perfect for this. Smart, dependable, capable of anything she takes on, doesn’t have any drug or alcohol issues, and is a damn fine cook. :)

  50. des! – Richard and Thad are also photographers. I happen to be a very big fan of Thad’s photography (I’ve seen more of his than anyone else’s).

    Rachel didn’t just want photographers, the finalists are definitely a mix of writers and photographers (with some video thrown in and many jack of all trades).

  51. totally off topic, but i seriously hope you guys are coming to cairns when you get to australia! i wouldn’t miss it for the world :)

  52. For a chick with such short hair, Nae sure takes her damn time getting ready. Bummer that she appears to be the least talented out of the group, but at least she got her friends to vote for her. Richard seems like his photography skills are the best out of this particular group (though honestly, you blew that after your first elimination). Megan’s photos aren’t super interesting, but she needs to think of better descriptive words than just “epic” (unless, of course, she’s referring to something that’s literally an Odyssean feat). Since I don’t have anything nice to say, I should probably just leave off here.

  53. Since I’m on the West coast and didn’t realize what time it was, I didn’t get to vote, but it would’ve been for Megan. Her video was edited well, was interesting, and she clearly has some photography skills. Ed and Richard are also wonderful and I really enjoyed reading their submissions and checking out their videos.

  54. Des: There are several photographers in the mix here. I’m not sure why you’ve missed it but 4 of the people in the finalists specialize in photographer. I only need one though.

    I’ve made my choices any way so check them out.

  55. Michaela: “though honestly, you blew that after your first elimination)”

    I’m not sure what you mean by that? It’s also interesting that you said you’d stop after a point because you had nothing nice to say but I didn’t see much nice prior to that part of your statement.

  56. Awesome site! Your style is so fresh compared to most other writers. Thanks for posting when you get the chance to, I’ll be sure to bookmark your site!

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