Friday, May 23, 2014

Champagne And Video Shoots

Every year Gottex (the company that owns Gap, Nike, Berksha, Zara and a bunch of other franchises in Israel) throws a big party for all of its employees. The party is apparently the "event of the year" and a pretty big deal. Each chain picks an 'employee of the year' from every branch (I think there are around 60 branches total of all of the companies) and presents them with a certificate at the party.

I was chosen to represent my chain despite the fact that our store is fairly new (and one of the qualifications is to have worked with the company for at least half a year). When my managers first told me that I was chosen as the employee of the year last three months I was a little apprehensive but then they told me that there was a prize along with the certificate and lets be honest, who doesn't love prizes?

I was finally getting used to the idea of having to go up on stage in front of thousands of people to accept my certificate (and prize!) when I got the message that they were heating things up a notch this year. They decided to make a music video of the star employees to screen at the party. Yep that's right, in addition to having to go up on stage in front of thousands of people, I was now going to be in a music video. Perfect.

After receiving the "exciting" news, the week seemed to crawl by at a snails pace. I was absolutely dreading the whole ordeal. But despite my begging, pleading and fervent denial, Thursday morning arrived and I was sent off to Tel Aviv to confront my worst nightmare.

The train seemed to shoot down the tracks at hyper speed and I arrived in Tel Aviv in record time. There was supposed to be a van waiting for us at the entrance to the station but I was twenty minutes early and there was no van in sight. I made my way over to a nice shady tree and sat down under it to ponder my next move.

Just as I was about to give up hope, I noticed a girl decked out in full nike apparel. I asked her if she was also looking for the van and she said that she was. She sat down next to me and we were comforted by the fact that if the van never showed up at least we'd have each other. A couple of other people joined the crew and we sat around chatting about the music video that none of us had any interest in doing.

Eventually we realized that the van wasn't coming to us and so we set out to find it instead. After fifteen minutes of aimlessly walking through the giant parking lot, we found the van full of impatient people that had been waiting for us. Everyone clambered in and we set off for the studio. The drive wasn't long and we were hurried into the building and up to the studio.

First stop was makeup and styling. The stylist didn't actually have any clothing from gap so she left me in the clothes that I had come in (a dress that my manager loaned me for the day), but she added a scarf and vest for some extra "pizzazz".

After makeup and styling we were sent into another room for champagne, sushi and other snacks.

Everyone drank, ate and took selfies galore. My phones camera is a little lacking in quality and doesn't have a front facing camera. It clearly couldn't compete with all of the samsung galaxys and iphones so I left it in my bag for a majority of the time. As a result, I don't have many pictures of me...
The only picture that I was in, I'm not exactly a selfie aficionado.
They called us in in groups and had us lip sync to a parody of ke$ha's timber. I gave them my best "deer stuck in the headlights" look and they nodded sympathetically while saying "We'll work with it..".
The camera is blocking me but you can see my fingers holding the gap card on the screen! 
After the verses were all worked out we all had to dance to the chorus while lip syncing (yes there was a dance...). I tried to hide in the back but was too short and got moved to the front. I once again proved my incompetence on camera but there were lots of other people flailing around so hopefully I'm not too noticeable. We had a freestyle at the end and after repeatedly performing my one and only dance move (spazzticly trying to "raise the roof") I gave a wholehearted rendition of "run away as fast as possible" (by far my most effective dance move).

Despite the terror of knowing that hundreds of people are going to see the video and the fact that I have to go on stage to get the certificate afterwards, it was actually a lot of fun. I don't think I'll be doing anything like this again any time soon but I'm glad that I more or less survived. They wouldn't play back the footage for us so I guess we'll have to wait two weeks to see it at the party.

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