If you don’t know about the history of the amazing Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show please read here.
Otherwise none of this will make any sense to you.
This is the story of the fantasy in my head vs. the reality of my life in my quest to capture my interpretation of the Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show.
I was strolling through the forest singing softly to myself when I happened upon a lovely spot to sit and reflect for a moment.
Butterflies and birds flocked to my sunny skirt and floral crown.
It was magical.
I gazed up through the trees in amazement at the clear blue sky.
I was so overwhelmed with emotion I had to lay down, close my eyes and let the overpowering love of the universe rush over me.
It was all just a dream.
Now the real story.
I recruited my husband to take photos of me in our backyard from atop a ladder. I knew exactly what I wanted in my mind, an ethereal dreamlike photo taken from far above.
This was lost in translation apparently.
I tried my best to direct him on how to set up the camera.
All photos from that shoot were overexposed to the point that it looked like the camera was pointed directly at an exploding sun.
We gave it another go. I set up the camera myself. The exposure was decent, but the photos were hideous.
Things to think about when laying down and trying to get someone to take your photo from above while wearing a bustier and oversized maxi skirt:
Lava-like overflowing side boob.
One inch legs.
Maybe if my husband was actually shooting above me and not on an angle (the ladder wasn’t anywhere near tall enough) I wouldn’t have looked so bizarrely misshapen. I looked like the love child of a Francis Bacon and Picasso painting.
Forget about the husband trying to help.
I tried taking some photos on my own standing up in my “usual” spot.
Me no likey.
I was determined to make this work on my own. Heck other bloggers can take their own atmospheric photos why can’t I?
I made a floral crown, changed my outfit and drove to my neighbourhood park.
When I opened the car door the extreme heat & humidity slapped me upside my face like a searing pancake fresh off the grill. The universe wasn’t going to make this easy but I stubbornly and foolishly thought,
“Oh yeah! Bring it!”
I traipsed through the bush slogging my tripod, shoes and camera while trying to hold up the tent skirt with my free hand, narrowly missing two large piles of dog poop on the way.
Battalions of hyper squirrels ran back and forth in front of me, a warning I was clearly off the beaten path and trespassing on their territory.
I found a spot I thought was far enough away from the trail to avoid attracting any unwanted attention. I began to set up the tripod, bending and contorting my already overheated body into extreme yoga poses while trying to avoid ant hills, dog poop, and sharp branches all the while still holding up the massive parachute skirt that was the heat equivalent of wearing ten plastic garbage bags taped together. Mosquitos the size of small birds swarmed around my head and feasted like kings on my sweaty flesh.
“Breathe, just breathe,”
I told myself.
“You can do this.”
Sweat dripped down my forehead from my floral crown and threatened to ruin my makeup. I hastily wiped it away with the back of my hand. My face and body was covered in a slick layer of perspiration. I had no kleenex, personal assistant, photographer or stylists on this shoot to scrape off the mud and dead leaves that were covering my cute heels that sank into the spongy ground as I tried to navigate my way through the fallen branches and undergrowth forest without falling.
I was on a mission. I was determined to make this work.
I sat down on a rotting log. It sank a bit under my weight, moist and putrid with decay. Perfect for a shot of the shoes and skirt!
“Hey!” I thought, “I’m starting to get the hang of this.”
After messing about for fifteen minutes trying to set up my tripod above the fallen tree I risked my safety and laid all the way down on the log on my back, half expecting a rabid squirrel to attack me from a tree branch above. I quickly started taking photos.
“This might work after all!” I happily told myself.
Just then I heard a guttural menacing growl.
I slowly turned my head and saw a large, mean and rather perplexed looking boxer dog about six feet away from me, clearly disturbed by my presence. When I tried to move he started barking excitedly, like he’d just discovered an alien. The owner relentlessly called him from the trail but the dog refused to leave. He was freaking out over this half human, yellow and pink sequinned tree that was moving. The equivalent of a doggy nightmare, when the trees you’ve been peeing on all your life rise up and attack you.
The dog kept barking.
The owner kept calling.
The mosquitos kept biting.
And that my friends…was the very last straw.
“That’s it! Eff this!”
I may have actually said that out loud at this point.
I couldn’t concentrate anymore. How was a professional supposed to work in these atrocious conditions? I’d have called my agent to complain but she was back home sleeping and snoring loudly. #lazypug
I packed up my gear.
The dog finally left.
I headed back to the car.
I passed another person on my way out of the park. They just looked at me knowingly, nodded and smiled like they were in on some brilliant inside joke.
(The joke is on you my friend! I got my photos! Ha!)
And that is what really happened.
I left my mark on The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show…
So who is next? I challenge you!
This skirt has many more stories to tell. Make sure you are one of them! Contact Melanie, the keeper of the skirt, “it” girl of Vancouver, Queen Comic Blogger and brilliant artist that started it all.