Sunday, August 24, 2014

We're WRAPPED (For Now)

Hi everyone, 

It's 1:30am on a Sunday and we just wrapped principal photography on four new episodes of the Doorman web series. There's still hope for more episodes this season, though we've shot everything in our means. For now. My bank account is empty, my credit cards are maxed out, I sold my watch and my Xbox. I've put everything I have into this project, emotionally, creatively and financially. 

It's all been worth it. Every penny, every minute of every shoot. 

I know this show can find a home on a network. Now that it's fleshed out over the 35 pages of material that we were able to shoot over three fantastic nights, we've increased our odds immensely. It's going to happen. It has to happen. I won't accept anything else. 

So, a big thank you to my amazingly talented cast and crew, who worked hellish graveyard hours to help see this humble, ambitious project through. You guys are rock stars. 

And thank you to all who donated and supported us through all of this. It's only the beginning. Stay tuned to the Doorman Facebook Page and Twitter for production stills, clips, and updates on a big screening that we'll be doing in the fall. 

I'm swelling with gratitude, and this is probably overly mushy. Whatever. I'm happy. Accomplished. Excited for the next step. 

Till next time, 

Chris 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Doorman Goes to the Post Office: Part I

About a year ago, I, at the ripe age of 29, had to send a letter in the mail. Not an email, not a text or a snapchat, not a fax (holy shit, God forbid), not an e-document or a screen shot - but an actual letter in the mail. I had to Google it. Seriously. I had to fucking Google where to put the stamps and how many I need, along with where to put the return address. My guesses were mostly correct. Mostly. The first shot, the "dummy" envelope, for lack of a better term (it's a perfect term), saw me place the stamps where the return address would go.

Upon arrival to that giant blue metal box on the sidewalk that I the occasionally plow into crotch-first while I walk and text, a wave a panic washed over me:

What if I don't have enough stamps?!?

I put six stamps on there. SIX. It was going Poughkipsee, NY, a mere two hours from where I was sending it from. 

Am I SURE the return address and destination address are in the right spots?!?

I take out my phone and google "how to mail a letter in the mail" one last time. Everything looks kosher.

How am I going to know if they've received it?!? Do I get an email confirmation?!? SOME SORT OF RECIEPT?!?

No. You're living on the edge, kid.

I sent texts to the receiver of the mail every day for the entire weekend. On Sunday morning, I was told that it definitely wouldn't be coming that day. I don't know why they were so damn sure of that. It finally got to them, on a Tuesday. Rejoice. 

Anyway, I guess you can call me a typical Millennial kid - I have a blog, a web series, a few online dating profiles, and a chronic dependency to my iPhone. Though I never really felt as lost in the real world as I did a few days ago, when I sold my watch on eBay and had to go to the post office to ship it. I sold it to help cover the money we didn't raise for the new Doorman episodes (more on that in my next post). 

I offed a few more items around the apartment, though it was all in-city, pick-up-only stuff. This was the item I dreaded selling the most, because it meant that I would have to enter a building that I hadn't been in since I got my passport in 2008. The anxiety of having to go in and figure it all out without looking like a completely helpless, thirty-year-old baffoon, was killing me. Losing my virginity wasn't this fucking stressful. 

As the time expired on the auction, I took a deep breath as my aging MacBook Air slow-cooked my genitalia. It sold for about half of what I wanted to get for it, but that's besides the point. The point was that it sold, to some dude in Alabama.

This mean I had to ship a package.

I'm thirty years old, and I've never had to ship a package. I don't know if it's pathetic, or I'm just wildly efficient at avoiding dreadfully boring tasks.

Friday

Auction ends at approximately 3:30pm. I immediately convince myself that it's way too late in the day for that Alabama fucker to expect me to go to the post office. He's getting a nice Citizens watch for a third of the market value. He has no right to complain.

Saturday 

I wake up around 1pm with a stage-five hangover. I have to be at work at three. I stand up and look at the watch. The final remnant of a failed three-year relationship stares back at me. Bad memories come flooding back. The feeling makes me sick to my stomach.

Nope, that's the booze and late-night halal food. I run to the bathroom and scream-vomit into the ter-let. No post office for me today.

Sunday

I wake up at 10am. No hangover this time. I look at the watch and have another panic attack. Then I remember it's Sunday, and fuck this guy if he thinks I'm going to send him a watch in the mail on a Sunday.

Monday

Time to stop fucking around. I need to send this out ASAP to avoid this thing call "negative feedback" that these eBay addicts are always going on about. I plan to leave for work two hours than usual, to allow enough time to get to the post office and wait on line. People wait on line at the post office, right? It takes hours, right? RIGHT?!?

12pm - Time to leave. I panic. As I throw the watch in my bag and get ready to go, I notice that my room is a clutter. Well, I can't leave the house with my bedroom looking like this. What if I'm on my way home from work and a big-breasted, gorgeous woman comes up to me on the subway and is like, "Hey, I like how you wear low-top converse with shorts. Wanna take me back to your place and fuck?" What is she going to think when I open the bedroom door and sees all of this clutter on the floor? Those panties are going to be pulled right the hell up. Unacceptable.

12:46pm - I'm swiffer-mopping behind my computer desk. I finish and hold up the mop like a I'm a gladiator who's just slain his enemy and the mop is my trident. My bedroom looks immaculate. Immaculate. 

What the hell was I doing? 

POST OFFICE! FUCK!!!

12:52pm- I haven't called my mom in a while. Gonna give her a buzz and say hi. She'll appreciate that.

1:15pm - Up to speed on all the family gossip, I tell my mom that I love her and say goodbye.

That was good. I needed some home-comfort.

Where was I? 

THE WATCH! FUCK!!!

1:17pm - Well, it's too late to go now, because waiting on line at the post office takes hours, right? I opt to watch an episode of Wilfred as I contemplate my next move.

1:42pm - Wilfred is fucking hilarious. As soon as the credits roll, I click "next episode".

2:06pm - I have to leave for work. Wilfred and Ryan are getting stoned on the couch, an indicator that the episode is over. I'm already six minutes past the time I usually leave for work. I should get going, I have to run to the bank and make a deposit. Then there was something else I was supposed to do. What the hell was it?!?

FUCK!!!

Will Doorman make it to the post office?!? Will he get negative feedback on eBay?!? Will Ryan ever find out if Wilfred is really speaking to him, or if he's a figment of his imagination?!? WILL THE MAN FROM ALABAMA GET HIS WATCH?!?

Find out next time!!! 



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Indians and Arabs Only, Please

I love Indian food. I love it the same way I love sushi - I order exclusively off the "rolls" side of the menu, which, from what I'm told from sushi "foodies" (translation: pretentious dickbags), is not "real sushi". To that, I say whatever, bro. It's delicious, and I'm spending money in the restaurant. I prefer a pot luck of veggies and rice and fish, crafted and wrapped in mayo and egg and avocado and whatever-the-fuck else, drown it in soy sauce and shove it in my face, white face. A slab of gamey raw fish on a small bed of white rice? Fuck you, you're boring me. 

But I digress. Back to Indian food. 

Like sushi, I tend to be unadventurous and boring when it comes to what I order. My favorite thing, which is the only fucking thing I've ever eaten, is chicken tikka masala. My only basis of knowledge of chicken tikka masala is that it's the most ordered and favored item on every Indian restaurant on Seamless.com (which means it's most popular amongst Financial District yuppies and Pace University students). The first time I ordered it, I fell in love. It was so good, I didn't mind the subsequent three days of shitting broken glass and burping it up in the faces of girls I was trying to sleep with. 

In both of these instances, I tend to lean toward the ordinary, "Americanized" dishes that a native would likely never order in a heartbeat. But guess what? I spend money in the restaurant and tip well. So what the fuck do they care what I eat? 

Which brings me to this story:

I'm at the bell desk replenishing my valet tickets. An Indian man, stack of restaurant menus in his hand, approaches me. He has a thick mustache and an airy vacancy in his dark, beady eyes. I immediately recognize the menus, as they have a location in my neighborhood. I've ordered my chicken tikka masala from there numerous times. While delicious, I tend to order from there as a last resort because it's the most expensive in the area. I won't say the name of the place, but I will say that it starts with a "B" and ends with "enares". 

Anyway, the Indian man puts the menus on the desk. His accent is thick:

Indian Man - "Hello sir, I have menus here for your guests."

Doorman - "Terrific, thank you!" 

Indian Man - "You know, for Indian people. Arab people."

Doorman - "So, no white people?"

I was joking - I even nudged his arm a little and laughed. I'm thinking that he's going to correct what he said, playing along with my busting his balls. He did not. He kept talking. 

Indian Man - "You can give it to Indian people, Arab people. You know." 

Ok, well if you're going to keep talking... 

Doorman - "So, you want me to give this to Indian and Arab people? No whites? You don't want me to give them to any white people?"

Now, I was still half-joking. At this point, I wanted to see how far I could push it before he realized I was calling him out on his poor approach to getting new customers. But it didn't faze him. Not. One. Bit. 

Indian Man - "Give it to Indian people, Arab people."

Doorman - "Sir, excuse me if I'm misunderstanding you, but are you telling me to give this menu exclusively to Indian and Arab people? Not anyone else? Do you realize that might be a little fucked up?" 

Indian Man - "Give it to Indian people, Arab people. You know, white people. Black people. They don't know."

Doorman - "They don't know? What don't they know? How to read and order from a menu?"

Indian Man - "You know, white people. Black people. They don't know. They don't know this."

A long pause. He's not relenting, nor is he joking. He really doesn't want me to give the menus to anyone who isn't Indian or Arab. I break the silence.

Doorman - "Are you fucking kidding me?!"

Before I could explode on him (because it was that kind of day), another Bellman, a white guy, comes to the desk, fresh off getting stiffed on a front. 

Bellman - "What's up?"

Doorman - "This dude has some menus to give to guests, but he doesn't want white or black people to order from there. Just Indians and Arabs."

Without hesitation, the Bellman takes the menus, cocks them over his head like Thor about the lay down the hammer, and slams them in the garbage.


The Indian Man quickly does an about-face and darts to the door without saying anything else. 

Now, before you play devil's advocate in your brain, attempting to justify the piece-of-shit, racist thing this asshole did (and the restaurant condoning it), let me paint another picture for you: 

Imagine me, a white guy, walking into an establishment, any establishment, and speaking to someone of a different skin color. Any skin color, doesn't matter. I hand them a stack of menus from, say, an Irish pub. Then I tell that person, to their face, that I only want them to send me white people. Any other races are a no-no. Is there any scenario where I don't become the national face of racism? Would you believe, for a second, that that employee wouldn't report me to one of these exploitation websites, branding me a hateful enemy and calling for protests to shut down my restaurant immediately? 

It's not like he didn't want a bunch of drunken white people stumbling in after a Knicks game and loudly wreaking havoc in the place. He didn't even want to have a situation where HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO WATCH THEM EAT IT. 

I know I'm not the first guy he's approached with that bullshit. Why is that okay? 

What's the difference between a delivery ticket that says "Mark Smith" and "Mahesh Patel?" They're both spending money, keeping your business afloat. What the fuck do you care? 

I hate to be the guy who says, "I'll just take my business elsewhere." But in New York City, throw a fucking rock and you've found an Indian restaurant. So, yeah, I'll be taking my business elsewhere. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Doorman Breaks Down a NYC Bellman's Graveyard Shift

Nothing shakes up your routine like getting scheduled for a random string of overnights. It should be easier for me, because I'm out of work at 11pm every night and usually don't fall asleep till 3 or 4am. But it isn't. Not at all. Sure, an extra-large coffee at 11:30pm will carry you through a decent chunk of the shift, but once 5am rolls around, your normalcy begins to erode. 

When you're out drinking, or up all night talking to someone you like, or binge-watching a show on Netflix, it's easy to stay up till sunrise. Though when you're stuck at work, forced to function as you would in the middle of the day amongst the living, things get a helluva lot more difficult.

What does help is the entertainment factor. Working an overnight bellman shift calls for a few zany occurrences here and there (see: The Girl From Iceland), mostly as a result of alcohol. The money is shitty, which is why the guys with the least seniority are summoned to this desolate eight hours of solitude and boredom.

Last night, I recorded every interaction I had during my graveyard shift. I switched off my normal 3-11pm on the door because I was having a rough week and the thought of cutting my human interaction by at least two-thirds for a night made me salivate:

11:15pm - Getting ready to leave my apartment, I stuff my Kindle, laptop, and phone charger into a bag. I have no idea what I'm going to use, I just want to have as many options for entertainment as possible.

On my way out the door, one of my roommates is getting water in the kitchen before bed. You know, like a normal adult who has found a normal adult job and settled into a normal adult routine:

Roommate - "You're going to work now? Ewww!"

My sentiments exactly.

12:00am - I punch in. The guy I switched with is still there. He made $120 in cash (not including shift pay) during the shift I was supposed to work. Cock sucker. I didn't make that in the last two nights combined. Now I have a bench mark on what I have to make without wanting to mutilate myself.

12:18am - Taxi pulls up. Three American ladies. I greet them at the curb, bring in their two suitcases, and take them to the front desk. No tip, no thank you. 

12:20am - A beer-bellied Midwestern Bro with a 12 pack of Bud Light tucked in one arm, and a solid 3 he triumphantly brought back from the bar in the other, asks about rooftop access. I jokingly tell him that this isn't The Hangover. He doesn't appreciate my mediocre quip, but his girl giggles. I like her better. He scoffs and they disappear into the elevator. If he'd handed me a 20 before he started talking, I might have been a little more helpful. 

12:25am - Front. The three American ladies who already didn't thank me for bringing their bags in. The ask for directions to Yankee Stadium. Turns out they're from Michigan, and they're here to see the Tigers play the Yankees. I tell them that my roommate is from "The Mitten." They laugh and are impressed I knew to call it that. Such a charming little bell boy. $5. 

And I'm on the board. 

12:30am - I arrive back at the desk and there's a young American couple, hammered, waiting for me. They ask for directions to a great little bar called American Whiskey, where I coincidentally had my 30th birthday party a couple of weeks prior. I excitedly share this information with them. They don't give a flying fuck. They just want the address so they could get in a cab and continue drinking. I oblige. 

12:33- Front. British couple, 4 suitcases with Emirates tags. Fantastic. The man has a request: 

British man - "Can you leave these up in the room while we go get something to eat? I'll see you when I get back." 

Normally a British accent with Emirates luggage tags is a toxic cocktail of fuckery that I would avoid at all costs, but I had nothing else going on. And when someone makes a point to say, "I'll see you when I get back", it's always worth a shot.

Doorman - "Sure, no problem." 

British Man - "Cheers, brilliant, thank you!" 

Sir, I assure you - there's nothing "brilliant" about what I'm doing. 

12:44am - Phone rings at the desk. Guest wants a car service to JFK at 6:15am. That's a $10 commission for me later on. Righteous. 

1:00am - Front. Three Chinese people. They have a car to valet and one small suitcase. Right behind them in line is a Jewish family, carrying four pieces of luggage with Air France tags. Neither of these are lucrative prospects.

I have to take care of the car to valet, so I bring the Chinese people outside. The loading zone is completely empty, yet they parked the car at the hotel across the fucking street. 

I quickly write them the ticket, tell them to park the car out front of the HOTEL THEY'RE STAYING AT, and if I'm not there when they get back, to leave the keys at the front desk. 

I run back to the front desk, where the family is ready for me. I take them to the elevator, and the patriarch asks about taking the stairs from the 11th floor for the Shabbat. I offer to try and get them a floor closer to the ground level. He appreciates my effort, and tells me that they're going to be out all day Saturday and won't return till sundown. This gesture on my part scores me a $10 tip. 

Boom. 

1:15am - A young American guy who's here on business asks what he should do with the couple of hours he has to spare before his flight the following day. I recommend trekking up Harlem to try Dinosaur BBQ, because it's fucking awesome. He tells me he lives in Austin and that he would never eat BBQ in New York City. I decide I don't want to talk to him anymore, so I excuse myself to make a fecal deposit in the toilet. 

1:30am - Homeless guy leans against the glass front door of the hotel and masturbates for about 30 seconds. I wish I could be more detailed for you, but that's pretty much it - a homeless guy, with his hand shoved down his pants, pulls his pud while leaning on the door. That's all I got.

2:00am - Mother from Myrtle Beach, SC and her hot little teenage daughter and friend talk to me about their stay for about 20 minutes. I find out that they've walked into every single Times Square tourist trap imaginable - they gave $30 to a CD Hustler and got a blank CD, a guy dressed up as a Despicable Me minion grabbed her daughters ass while taking a picture then demanded a tip, they bought tickets from a barker to the "Comedy Central comedy show". I feel bad, so I book them a car service to LaGuardia for the next day. Sure, it's about $10-15 more than they would pay for a yellow taxi, but it's probably the best investment they've made the whole trip. Don't judge me. A man's gotta eat. 

Oh, and they tipped me $5. With the $9 commission I'm making the next day, that's money in the bank and a $14 interaction. 

2:21am - British guy with the Emirates tags comes back and gives me $3. He winks and nods like he just handed me a 50. 

2:30am - I'm summoned up to the storage room to retrieve packages for incoming guests. Every package has a name that sounds something like, "Maria Aguilar Oliviera Silva". What happens is the Brazilians get themselves an Amazon Prime account, buy up a bunch of shit and have it shipped free to the hotel. This is why we get so many of them. Because in most hotels, there's a charge to store incoming packages. A bellman will get $2-4 a package to store and deliver them to the rooms. Here? Nope. We do it for free. So they take a gluttonous advantage of this. 

2:52am - After bringing a cart-load of God-knows-what down to the front desk and getting nothing for it, I grab my kindle and try to get some reading done. I plow through the end of Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Me. I enjoyed the movie more, mostly because I'd heard most of what was in his book from his stand up sets. Why the fuck am I telling you this? 

3:21am - Town car pulls up. It's one of our drivers. He gives me a $3 commission, because another bellman had a trip going out on my watch. The overnight bellman serves as the doorman, since there's no one out there at this hour. 

There's 3 Mexican ladies with 4 suitcases going into the car. I help them. They tip me $5. On top of the commission, that's an $8 interaction. 

Believe it or not, I'm making much more money than I usually do at this time. Since there's some good mojo in the air, I opt to not take a nap in the locker room and push through without a break. 

3:25am - A family of Brazilians and 5 large suitcases emerge from the elevator. I ask the matriarch if they need a taxi. She quickly sticks her index finger up and waves it back and forth in my face. 

"EHHHH No Tax!" 

Doorman - "Do you need help with the luggage?" 

Brazilian woman - "NO!" 

Not gonna argue with that. 

3:33am: The sounds of their overstuffed, disproportionate, hernia-inducing bundles of misery tumbling and crashing down the steps make me giddy. 

3:40am - A man with a thick, Jamaican accent who looks like Hannibal Burress comes into the lobby asking for a room. I refer him to the front desk and continue sucking miserably at 2048.

3:41am - He walks past me again with a phone charger in his hand. He looks directly next to the large paintings hung highly on the wall, then next to the paid phones. Because that's where the outlets are. Fucking moron.

Doorman - "Sir, can I help you?" 

Jamaican Man - "Where is the outlet?" 

I gesture under the seat next to me. 

Doorman - "Right here." 

3:43am - He plugs his phone in and starts thumbing through it. I can feel him looking at me, gearing up to ask a question. I immediately regret inviting him to charge his phone here.

Jamaican Man - "What is the wifi? It is not free?" 

Doorman - "No, you have to buy a code at the front desk." 

Jamaican Man - "Oh..." 

3:45am: Out of the corner of my eye, I see his stupid face creak towards me again.  

Jamaican Man - "How much is the code?" 

Doorman - "I'm not sure, you have to ask the front desk." 

I go back to what in doing. He continues to fiddle with his fucking phone.

3:46am: He sighs. I ignore him.

Jamaican Man - "Where is a hotel that has rooms for $100?" 

Really? This is what we're doing? 

Doorman - "The Hotel Pennsylvania. 33rd and 7th. That's the one place where you'll fine a cheap room at this hour." 

He doesn't thank me. That's the last question I answer. I get up and walk about five feet away to the bell desk, praying he takes my advice to go to the worst hotel in the city and have bed bugs feast on his too-many-question-having flesh. 

But he doesn't leave. Instead, he makes a phone call. He will stay on the phone for the next forty minutes, speaking in an obnoxiously loud tone. At first, I'm furious. I'd just downloaded a new book to read and this asshole (who isn't even a guest) is ruining it for me. 

I even started passive-aggressively popping my gum, like a 3-year-old who just discovered his first sheet of bubble wrap. Didn't faze him one bit. 

Then I started eavesdropping on his conversation. These are things he said, verbatim. I tried writing everything down as quickly as he spoke. Here's the highlight reel: 

"Boom boom boom boom... Now?" 

"Security security security security. And the fire will begin!" :::Laughs like a sorcerer:::

"You know, you look like a Dubai woman. I will buy you the black ting, which covers 
Every ting. And the people will be looking." 

"Let me see your finger!"

Ten seconds later...

"Let me see your finger!" 

"She will clean the floors and go to Florida, like a good third wife!" 

"You have to put suction on it! This is your problem!"

He giggles for a solid 20 seconds, then deadpans "we are watching him." 

"It is time for me to come to Germany." 

"What is cheaper? In New York or Germany... To buy tings like clothes, shirts, suits, and produce?" 

He stops talking for about three minutes. I think he's done. Then, out of nowhere, he blurts out "ebola", pauses for another minute, then starts giggling again. 

Security kicked him out right after that. 

4:11am: Two attractive Asian-American girls need a taxi to LaGuardia. I oblige. $4.

4:30am: Three Spanish people come down and ask me to confirm their Carmel car service reservation by politely shoving the a paper in my face and screaming "CARMEL". I oblige. The car is scheduled to come at 5am. I tell them this, with a joyous smile. No tip. 

4:39am: Fiendishly swipe on Tinder for sixty seconds. I get three matches, all of which offer the bargain price of $120 per hour for the girlfriend experience. 

4:48am: Do a round of hate-reading Facebook statuses. There's one person in particular who doesn't know the difference between "then" and "than". Everything is, "Going to Jim's house for drinks than Forest ave for the night with my bestieeeeeeeeeees!!!!." One day, I want to wake up and see that one of her bimbo friends has corrected her, then I could delete her from my friends list, once and for all. 

5:00am: Grab an iced coffee from Tony's cart on the corner of 55th and 7th. It's the best coffee cart in Manhattan, hands down. He always gives me a freebee, so here's my plug! Ask him for the cinnamon coffee and you'll never want to drink Dunkin Donuts again. 

5:11am: I bring the Carmel people's bags to the curb. As I do that, another guest is walking out to one of our car services. Now, this little bit of serendipity doesn't happen often, but when it does, one must cherish it: 

I ran back up the steps to grab the other people, leaving the Carmel guests without waiting for a tip. People from Spain almost never do anyway. But as I'm waking the other guests (Italians, another group of offenders) to their car, the Carmel people stop me and put a twenty on my hand, right in front of the other guests! 

So as I perk up with glee and thank them profusely, the Italian people quickly begin to dig into their wallets. I load their car, and the patriarch hands me a ten!

That's $30 in 30 seconds. Shit like this happens at luxury hotels every day. See how much money I could potentially be making? 

Do you see why I get so fucking angry all the fucking time?!?

5:42am: Here's where the overnight starts to wear on you. On a normal shift, this is where I'd usually have dinner. Instead, it's too early for breakfast and I'm craving meat and potatoes. I should be eating eggs, but the thought of it is grossly unappealing. So I just don't eat, even though my last meal was about 14 hours ago. 

5:44am: Young British Couple. Taxi to JFK airport, $2. 

5:50am: Scottish couple. They booked a car with another bellman, so I get $3. They refuse help. I don't put up a fight. 

5:55am: Two American men, one of which looks and is dressed just like Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue. Taxi to Penn Station. $2. 

6:00am: I see the Scottish Man wandering around the lobby. His wife has lost their passports. I help them look for a while, let them back into the room, search every elevator. Nothing. After about 10 minutes, his wife runs into the lobby with the passports in hand. He gives me $10 for my troubles. I try to refuse it, but he insists:

Scottish Man - "No, no, no! You did gleat gleat and you din hafta ya kno but yee did and it's gleat gleat and I'm gleat full fah yee." 

I don't know what the fuck he said, but it sure sounded like he was grateful. 

6:10am: Two Japanese men store two suitcases with me for "ten minutes to eat in breakfast room." 

6:15am: The people I booked the car service with earlier in the evening leave and tip me $3. $10 commission for booking the car. $13. 

6:20am: Japanese men get the bags. I bring them out to the car service they booked. $2.

7:00am: The morning guys come in, which means I can go downstairs and take a breather. They're super territorial about the start of their shift, as booking cars and storing bags are integral to them making their money later in the day. This is the hour where the overnight guy steps aside and let's them do their thing. 

7:30am: Bags down. Couple from Mexico, 3 suitcases. Bring them out to get a taxi to Penn Station. $5.

7:50am: Phone rings. A Japanese last name reads on the monitor. 

Doorman - "Good morning, guest services?" 

Man - "Herro... Loom number 1832..." 

Pause.

Doorman - "Ok, how may I help you?" 

Man - "Terephone." 

Doorman - "Excuse me?" 

Long pause. 

Man - "Ok, thank you!" 

He hangs up. 

Ok, that's it for me. I stand in the storage closet till it's time to clock out.

8:00am: And I'm done.

8:33am: I walk in my front door. My roommate is getting ready for work, looking miserable. 

Doorman - "You're going to work right now? Ewww!" 

Total in tips and commissions: $105
Total shift pay: $85
$190 after taxes. 


That's AMAZING for a Wednesday overnight. Any overnight, for that matter. Once in awhile, you'll catch a big group and get a huge payout, and there's a lot of money to be made. But in terms of sheer luck and volume, it was one of the best overnights I've ever had. Maybe down the road, I'll post another one like this in the dead of winter, when I leave work with less than $10.





Friday, August 1, 2014

Thank You... Again

Dearest Readers, Family, and Friends-

Our indiegogo campaign has come to a close. We managed to reach nearly half our goal ($1,870), which obviously wasn't what we were hoping for, but we'll take it!!! Whatever the case, I plan on shooting everything I intended to shoot. I promise you that. 

Having taken a break from the blog over the winter was an enlightening experience for me. After the New York Television Festival last year, I was naive enough to think there'd be a stack of proposed network deals waiting at the front desk of my apartment building the day it was all over. That wasn't the case. It's just not that fucking easy. 

Once I realized there wasn't an immediate, get-rich-quick deal for me on the table, I tried to completely remove myself from this blog, this character, this alter-ego (for lack of a better term). I figured the well ran dry, that I might as well close it out nicely, with a hokey ending about me finding my voice and my balls and blah blah blah melodrama stuff. 

I started writing some non-doorman material. Some of which was horrid, like the short-lived "Chris Russell Blog", the "Michael Richards Show" of this whole Doorman blog experience (which I've thankfully removed from the internet). Though I managed to flesh out my first feature screenplay, an existential black comedy that I plan to make one day. Some day. 

Through all of that, I kept going to work. I kept opening doors, carrying bags, fetching taxis in all sorts of abominable weather (remember this past fucking winter?!?). The more time went on, the more I missed writing about my day-to-day follies, and the freedom to just sit down and vent to listening ears whenever I pleased.

The day I wrote my first post after a 5-month hiatus, it felt like a huge weight, which I wasn't aware of, was lifted. I had no idea how important it was to me. Sure, I continued to write and do other things, but I didn't have my foundation to fall back on when I needed it. Now I do. 

The day after my first post, I sat down and wrote three short Doorman vignettes. They were inspired by the 100+ stories I've gathered over the years, just like the pilot. I remember writing the pilot, with the intention of it getting into the NYTVF and the off-chance of getting a network deal. There was a lot at stake for me, and the pressure was on. As fun and growing experience as it was, it was business, and I approached it as such. I had a goal and a plan to execute it. I scoured the blog for the perfect story that would capture the Doorman character and the world he's up against. I picked My Name is Nunzio. Turned out to be a good move. 

Though this time around - without all the pressure of getting into a film festival and networking and pitching and selling and whoring and ass kissing and schmoozing and boozing - I was able to step back and enjoy the creative process. I've written over a dozen episodes, most of which won't see the light of day unless we manage to get ourselves a substantial deal. But the ones I've picked, the five I feel best represent what I'm going for, have been meticulously workshopped, retooled, revised, and perfected. And I had a fucking blast in the process. I look forward to sharing them with you, on my terms. 

So, with that, I just want to thank you all. We had a grand total of 50(!) contributors. Some were people I haven't spoken to since high school, some international readers, some longtime readers, mostly family and friends. Whatever the case, you have my deepest gratitude for your ongoing support. It's what keeps me fueled and hungry for more. 

Much love, 

Chris 

If you're still interested in contributing, please email me at TBoneHotel@gmail.com and we can have something arranged!