WEEK IN REVIEW: What are you sick of seeing? by Love You Back Productions

Watch and see! ^_^

This WEEK IN REVIEW covers the whole summer.

This summer was so alive!  Still is!

TUESDAY, the MAJORVLOG arrived!  Similar to this WEEK IN REVIEW, the vlog covers the whole summer.

THURSDAY, I was out of the office - location scouting!  Corner stores, corner stores, corner stores.

FRIDAY, I am at my desk, doing some reflecting.  So alive, this summer was all about seeing novelty inside familiarity.

My summer trips took me to all-familiar spots.  I returned home to Little Rock, Arkansas.  I gathered with family in Aspen.  2 weeks later, at my grandmother’s house, we gathered again.  The final rest stop was Boston.   Running along the Charles, stomping on the most familiar old cobblestones, I realized: novelty and familiarity are not exclusive experiences.

For the first time, I experienced Boston without anxiety.  No impending classes, papers, or final exams.  This time, I was on vacation, and I was free agent.  The freedom expanded my appreciation for the city.   Boston was on display.

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EARLIER, this August.   I spent 4 hours with my mother and grandmother at Eugene Richards photography exhibit.  Gary Knight of the VI Photo Agency introduced me to Eugene Richards back in 2013.  To this day, Eugene Richards is a critical and infinitely relevant influence on my style of documentary storytelling.

Curious, still? Please spend some time on Eugene Richards' personal website.  Also, here is the link to the exhibit - "Eugene Richards' Run-On of Time."

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NOW. Let me leap frog contexts.  Rather jabber on about experiences, let’s talk ideas.  Ideas about business.  About creativity.  Ideas about familiarity and innovation.  In an interview with Dan McGinn, senior editor at Harvard Business Review, Jerry Seinfeld gets to the heart of things:  

DAN MCGINN: How much was your lack of familiarity with the rules the key to your ability to innovate?

JERRY SEINFELD: You know, it’s very important to know what you don’t like. It’s good to have an idea, but a big part, I find, of a lot of innovation starts with someone saying, you know what I’m really sick of? That’s where innovation begins.

Like for me, it’s like I’m really sick of music playing while somebody walks out to a desk, shakes hands, sits down, how are you? How are you? You look great. So do you.

It’s like– I’m sick of that. I want to hear what’s the first funny thing this person said. I’m also sick of people who really, talking is not their thing on talk shows. But they’re there to sell their show, their product. The same thing with my TV show. That’s one of the places where I start. What am I really sick of?

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For Love You Back Productions, the main point is this: 

To produce innovative content, Weenta and I have to ask ourselves, “what am I sick of seeing?”

TODAY, I’ll go first.  I am sick of seeing, conventional business testimonial videos, different strains culture being mutually exclusive, i.e. trap music and Schubert piano quartets, linear storylines, the American South being a mystery, Business to Business videos completely devoid of comedy.   There.  That’s off my chest.  

There.  The initial brainstorm is over.  (Rubs hands together.)   Innovation should be just around the corner.  Perfect timing!  Weenta and I have a production-filled fall, coming up!

Want more?

RIGHT HERE: Another plug. Check out my most recent Youtube upload.  Similiar to this WEEK IN REVIEW, the video leap frogs contexts, returning to the question: what are you sick of seeing?

RIGHT NOW! Inspiration.  Check out what I am not sick of seeing.

Love Y'all Back!

Julia

WEEK IN REVIEW: Finding My Voice in New York City by Love You Back Productions

This week, I lost my voice. 

Turns out I've been putting myself under too much stress and pushing too hard as a real estate agent. I should've taken a full day to rest it, but I didn't and then I lost it almost completely. 

It's been a trying time. I've made fewer deals than I thought I would have at this point, and just last week one of the few deals I did make, fell through.

I said to myself before coming here that if I at least made back what I spent to get here, I'd be happy, but that's not the story I was building for myself in my head. In truth, I'd set goals much higher for myself. I thought if I put all of my effort into it, that maybe I would make $10,000 by the end of the summer. Now that the summer's almost over, I'm at a point where I'll be lucky if I make $3000. 

Sometimes I board the bus to get to an apartment showing because I don't want to take yet another $10 Uber ride and I think about how I've been boarding the bus my entire life. I wonder if I'll ever stop being poor. If I'll ever have my own car and not be afraid to drive it. 

The past two days, I started losing my voice at a time I could have been showing tons of apartments. It was frustrating to see lots of opportunities to make money go by, but it also made me pause. I think everything in life happens for a reason. I think losing my voice happened because I needed an adjustment in my approach to this job. In this time of silence, I've keep returning to the same thought: working harder doesn't necessarily always mean making more money.

I'm not saying that hard work doesn't count, but one thing I've been trying to figure out about this job is what kind of hard work gets results and how I can work hard without burning out. I've been doing tons of showings but I still don't have the results I expected. I'm trying to figure out if there's a different way of doing this where my time is used more effectively, especially because I have so little of it left here. 

Last week, someone offered me $175 + tips to pass around h'ordeuvres at a fancy party in Manhattan. I said no. Why? It's not that I'm above working as a waitress at a party. I've done that job many different times in my life. It's because I wanted to escape the hustle. I wanted to stay focused on my goal--making money at real estate.

Do I need the money? For sure. That money could pay for meals or offset the cost of the frequent Uber rides I've taken to show apartments.

I talked it over with my partner, who reminded me of a speech we heard at the Women and Business Challenge back in March. The keynote speaker was Bevy Smith. 

She asked, "who in here considers themselves a hustler?" In a room full of entreprenuers, almost everyone raised their hands. Then she said something the effect of, "I don't want to be a hustler, I want to be a boss."

I thought about how I would feel rushing over to Manhattan, serving food while trying to look cute, then rushing back home and waking up the next day to refocus my efforts on real estate.  It takes all of my effort and energy to be halfway decent at this job. I knew that taking a serving job, even for one night, even for just a few hours and some good cash, would have done more harm than good. 

Sometimes you have to choose to be a boss, not a hustler. Sometimes, working harder does not mean you make more money. And sometimes, you have to shut up and rest your voice.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: "It's an alternate universe!" by Love You Back Productions

Last week, Love You Back Productions had its biggest production week to date!  During the Love You Back Productions pre-production meeting with BBC Destination Management, I asked BBC's Director of Operations, Denise Malo, "what makes this event unique?"   The amazing, super-star spectacular Denise took off her glasses for dramatic effect and answered, "this event is the kind of event that happens once every 10 years." @bbcdmc

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THE WEEK IN REVIEW: New York Living by Love You Back Productions

Rooftop life.

Rooftop life.

It's been 3 weeks since I started working in real estate, and I've made 3 deals so far. My co-workers say I'm doing great, but as July comes to a close, I'm eager to pick up the pace. 

While I've had successes these first 3 weeks, there have been plenty of stressors. So I took some time to unwind at a rooftop pool party courtesy of my close friend and fellow real estate agent, Jane. 

The view of the city skyline was spectacular and so was the sunset. 

Scavenging for hors d'oeuvres by the pool. 

Scavenging for hors d'oeuvres by the pool. 

Here's a few lessons I've learned in this short time: 

1. Keys. The right ones are hard to find. Sometimes they don't open the right doors, and there are just so, so many of them. 

2. Subtlety. It's an art. You have to provide "constant gentle pressure" to your client. You can't be too aggressive because they already have an idea of a real estate agent as someone who's there to sell, not to help. I tend to talk too much and not ask questions and listen when I'm doing sales.  I'm still learning what it means to apply "constant gentle pressure" and how to do it effectively, but as a first step, I'm working on asking clients more questions. 

3. Trust. This is the number one thing between you and making a sale, and sometimes it's hard to get. Again, people have negative assumptions about real estate agents, and many of those assumptions are based on real experiences. For instance, the other week, I had a morning appointment to show an apartment to a client. The lead came from my friend and co-worker Jane. I went into the office early to look over the details of the listing. Lo and behold, the apartment had been rented. When I texted this to the client, she accused me of "baiting and switching" her. This is a very common practice in New York real estate. You tell one client you have a fabulous apartment and you direct them to the amazing pictures online. They make an appointment to see the apartment and all of a sudden it's mysteriously "unavailable." That's when they try to sell you on another apartment. That particular client might have already had this happen to her, so she wrote a bad review--under my friend Jane's name! That was the most disappointing part--Jane had almost no interaction with this woman, and yet she was angry enough that she didn't care whose name she wrote the review under.

4. Emotions. These are very hard to control, and they are directly linked to trust. This is the number two thing between you and a sale. If you don't know how to set expectations and redirect a client's emotions, you'll have a difficult time doing this job. For me, it's a welcome challenge. I have a hard time not just being "nice" but in this job it's always better to be more direct than it is to be nice. Just a few days ago, a client was upset with me because I didn't realize one of the apartments I showed her had been taken off the market. She had come to see it twice. It was an hour and a half out of my way on the train to meet her there. We finally made a decision on which apartment, and when she found out it was taken, she was devastated. She's a single mom and wanted a nice place for her and her son. She had already started planning where the furniture would go. In the end, she took another unit in the same building, but we parted on bad terms. 

This is what it means to be in real estate.

This is what it means to be in real estate.

...but it's not all gloom and doom. I'm learning a ton about sales and I know I'll be able to bring back that knowledge to our business in the fall. 

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Of the 50 states, which is God's favorite? by Love You Back Productions

Let’s start THE WEEK IN REVIEW off with a July 4th bang.  Last week, Weenta, you posted your July 4th-themed WEEK IN REVIEW.  Well, I also wrote about July 4th.

We’re all familiar with the adage, “the West is the Best.”  Two weeks ago, I spent time with family in beautiful Aspen, Colorado.

Of the 50 United States, can you guess which is God’s favorite?   It's Colorado, of course.  The saying, “Colorado is God’s favorite state,” is one I've been hearing all my life.   And I’m here to testify that… Yes.  Yes, Colorado is most certainly the best.  

Last TUESDAY.  My family’s tradition is to celebrate the national holiday in Aspen, Colorado.  Our tradition is to attend the town's parade, a rather homogenous parade.  This year was no different until a special spectacle turned the corner and made the holiday extra memorable.

The best July 4th in Aspen has to offer is the Sante Fe/Aspen Ballet.   Near the parade’s end, my family and I found ourselves camped out in the best spot to watch the Ballet's sweeping 10 minute Mexican heritage performance. 

The performance dazzled an entire block of spectators.  Check out the photos (above and below).

Spectacles, aside.  Last week was full of history.  On SATURDAY, July 1, my mother, father, and I went on a special tour of Aspen mountain. 

The tour's focus was silver.  Aspen mountain is a mtn. o’ mines, ladies and gentlemen.  Full of valuable minerals and bespeckled with stories.

Aspen, the little town of about 6,700, is known for skiing, luxury shopping, classical music, the Food & Wine festival, the Ideas Festival...and not much else.  But Aspen was originally a mining town!

Around the 1880s, when the silver standard backed our country's currency, businessmen, financiers, miners, electricity companies, train companies, laborers, security guards, lawyers, any and all persons of industry scurried into town.  The clamour and opportunity shooed out the area’s indigenous Ute Indians.     

But, no sooner did everyone arrive, and the U.S government called it quits.  The United States' silver standard dissolved in 1893.  Aspen went quiet.  That is, until mid-1950s when skiing became the town's next money boon.  

In the 1960s, only a decade later, my grandfather (who skied up until his death at age 89) discovered Aspen. The rest is history. 

Here’s a photo of me and my sister…I mean.. my mom on Aspen Mountain’s very first nordic ski jump, repurposed from the wood of unused silver mine cart tracks. Wow!

Moving on to later in the week.  Still full of curiosity.  Last WEDNESDAY, bright and early (on the morning after the 4th), my father dragged the family to the Aspen Historical Society.

What was in store?  Another history tour, of course.

This time, we toured Aspen’s residential West end.  Even as a little girl, this part of town bewildered and intrigued me.  The West end is a glorious mishmash of architectural styles, namely Victorian and Bauhaus styles.

To both reinforce and preserve Aspen's architectural character dating back to the 1880s, the city enacted some bold design regulations.  One regulation, in particular, from the 1980s stands out:

All new buildings or development projects, even residential or home projects, must be designed in direct contrast with Aspen’s historic Victorian-era homes.   See below.  Aha!

Last THURSDAY, we took yet another tour.  History, aside. This time, the Aspen Art Museum!  

(Note: ASPEN Art Museum is an example of modernist architectural style, which directly contrasts the museum's surrounding historic buildings.)

There was an excellent photography exhibit by Peter Fischli and David Weiss, known during their thirty-three-year collaboration as Fischli and Weiss, and the American artist Wade Guyton.    The exhibit included a 30 foot, 10-panel led light-box.  Each panel displayed 100 colorful photographs from around the world. 

Where each photo was taken…you had to guess.  That was all the fun!

Fischli and Weiss exhibit was chalked full of images that reflected past photographs. 

While examining the exhibits' vast display, I explained to my ever-curious mother (as seen above) the importance of visual consistency. Visual consistency is a term to define the way one image refers to another image.  Visual consistency is used to create a cinematic effect.

For example, in Love You Back Production’s most recent wedding film, “A Deep Love,”   I cut from a medium close shot of a little boy running in circles to the bride twirling her hair in circles.  I used this example to explain the term to my mother.   She delighted in her daughter’s very personal example.

Back to reality.  Today is FRIDAY, and this post was written last SUNDAYWhy, again, am I writing my WEEK IN REVIEW post before the week begins?

"The rest is history." - photo taken by my dad, Bill Evans on Aspen Mountain on July 1, 2017

"The rest is history." - photo taken by my dad, Bill Evans on Aspen Mountain on July 1, 2017

Right now, Love You Back Productions is having an amazing production week!  I'm busy, busy, busy.  "Down in the trenches” as they say... or at least that’s what I've heard Weenta say.

Happy summertime, all!

From your favorite July baby,

Julia

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: 4th of July Beach Babes by Love You Back Productions

This dude is everything. 

This dude is everything. 

Rockaway beach is the exact opposite of everything that you think of when you think of New York. Open skies, water, sand.

Since most people leave New York for other destinations, the crowds were manageable. We took a train to the beach and were there within 45 minutes. Phoebe, Jane, and my friend Ana all met up with Jane's friend Corrine and her group of friends. Corrine, not pictured, welcomed us with warm friendly vibes. 

From left to right: Ana, Phoebe, me. 

From left to right: Ana, Phoebe, me. 

Ana was inspired to take photos of Phoebe and Jane in their fierce red, white and blue outfits.  

Jane's hat probably should have said, "Make America American again."

Jane's hat probably should have said, "Make America American again."

The water was pretty freakin cold, but refreshing. I'm not the most adept beach babe--the ocean and the waves freak me out, but my friends were sweet and held my hand and hung with me where the waves weren't crashing too hard.  

Later that night we were invited onto a rooftop to watch the fireworks that night. We were running a few minutes late, so we arrived just as the show was starting. It was by far the most amazing fireworks show I've seen in my life. I thought after so many Fourth of July's there would be no awe, amazement or surprise I could feel, but I felt all of those things. We had the perfect view of the city and the silhouettes of the people on the next rooftop were beautiful against the backdrop of explosions in the sky.

Getting home was chaos. It was such a tight squeeze on the train that my body weight was entirely held up by the people squished in around me on all sides. We went two stops before getting off the train again and saw a woman crying in the train station with her family. The woman had lost her 2 year old daughter in the crowd. She had already called the authorities for help and told us it was ok, but it was still sad to think of that lost little girl. 

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: "Girl, you're in Texas." by Love You Back Productions

Howdy, everybody!  

I love this blog.  The Love You Back Productions Week in Review offers Weenta and me a space to catch up, just like normal buddies...(We're best friends in real life, too.)

More importantly, each week, I look forward to the opportunity of connecting with all of you, Love You Back Productions’ circle of blog readers!  What’s cool is, as Weenta and I continue passing the proverbial mic, the circle expands, too!

"....stayed with college buddies throughout our Texas tour." - Photo taken by Hallie Gluk on Friday, June 23rd at her home in Houston, Texas.

"....stayed with college buddies throughout our Texas tour." - Photo taken by Hallie Gluk on Friday, June 23rd at her home in Houston, Texas.

Last Friday, Weenta asked, “Julia, what you up to?”   Well, well, well, Weenta. I’m glad you asked. 

Today, I present to you, the Texas-ized Week in Review blog post.  This blog post is bigger (than most).  In correct fashion, the post is a bit boastful...because...."Girl, we're in Texas."

I’ve been traveling, lately.  Travels took me on a fulfilling tour through the Lonesome Dove state.

I started in Little Rock.  (More on that later, my best friend’s wedding deserves a whole Week in Review blog post.)  From Little Rock, I drove the 8 hours on to AustinAnd then, I crash-landed in Houston!

Let's start with Austin where..... Cold water + hot soup = summer thrills!

On Monday (last week) my college buddies took me out for a swim and a bowl of Ramen. 

The water was so nice, and the pork broth soooo scrumptious.   What with New Orleans having no swimming holes or competitive Ramen joints (at least, none that I’m aware of yet!!), I had to get my fill.  

Indeed, I did.  I paid Austin’s beautiful Barton Springs a visit. 3 times in 3 days.

Departure from Austin was bittersweet. It always is.  Old friends are too kind for hosting, and every time I visit, I wish I had more time to document their shenanigans.  Check out my friend Eris giving a sink bath to her pet chicken, "Poofs."  She is 1 of 6 household chickens. #Smallestfarmintexas 

Then, on to Houston.  Wait!  On Thursday (last week), I made a pit stop in LaGrange, where good friend, Alma, works as a farmer and education coordinator  

LaGrange is smack dab in the middle between Houston and Austin on 1-10 east.  

Rolling hills surround LaGrange; the town is little, a fertile inlet amid so much Texas desert.   If it wasn’t so hot, I’d call Alma's situation quite idyllic.  But with heat being a mainstay in LaGrange, I’m just going to admire Alma’s hard work from afar. 

"But with heat being a mainstay in LaGrange, I’m just going to admire Alma’s hard work from afar." - Photo taken on June 22, 2017 by Nik Bugas in LaGrange Texas.

"But with heat being a mainstay in LaGrange, I’m just going to admire Alma’s hard work from afar." - Photo taken on June 22, 2017 by Nik Bugas in LaGrange Texas.

From the left, we've got my best buddies: Maggie, Hallie, and Nik (Nikki).  - Photo taken on June 23rd 2016 by Julia Elizabeth Evans in front of Houston Center for Photography, where Hallie works. 

From the left, we've got my best buddies: Maggie, Hallie, and Nik (Nikki).  - Photo taken on June 23rd 2016 by Julia Elizabeth Evans in front of Houston Center for Photography, where Hallie works. 

Now, on to Houston!   It's Friday, and pictures say the most.  Why so many?  

Friday, June 23rd (last week) was Nik’s 27th birthday!  Happy birthday, Nikki!!! (Informational note: Nikki is my boyfriend/long-time partner.) 

His birthday was a smash-hit, a day full of art exhibits, friends, fun, drinks, and yes more swimming.  All thanks to the host of hosts and Houston-native, Maggie!

As mentioned, we stayed with college buddies throughout our Texas tour. Maggie is a dear friend, who back in Boston lived in the same college house as me, shared bourbon drinks with me, tried to dress cute in Boston but ended up miserably cold just like me.  Yup.

And now....It's SATURDAY! 

Weenta, please! Watch the video below.  Video is of Rain installation at the Buffalo Bayou Cistern, where Maggie works.   The installation....I'm without words.  Maggie gave us a private tour...oh my goodness! Y'all!  Special thanks to Maggie Nemetz! #buffalobayoucistern #cisternrain!   

Both Hallie and Maggie hosted us.  Hallie works at the Houston Center for Photography (refer to above pictures).  She gave us a tour of the center, of course. The photography exhibits rejuvenated my spirit.  

My first love is photography.  This whole business really started back in high school when my father lent me his 1968 CANON SLR film camera. Enjoy all the photographs, friends!

UGGGGHHH! There’s still so much more I want to tell y’all! I fell in love with Houston!  Nik’s birthday was grand!  

Weenta, seen any cool exhibits in the big apple?  I know you are studying a ton.   If not, don't get up from your desk! Here's a different question, what kinda view is out your window?

....

Let me end this post with a TEXAS-SIZED thanks.  Thank you so much to everyone in Little Rock (more to come on the reunion/best friend’s wedding experience), Austin, and Houston.  Y’all all take Southern Hospitality so seriously, and I am all the better for it!  

Love You ALL Back,

Julia

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: You Can Take the Girl Out of New Orleans, but... by Love You Back Productions

This week marks my first week in New York City! Yay!!!

Since I arrived, I've been studying for my real estate exam like a mad woman. I've woken up as early as 5:30am to start my coursework and finished as late as 9pm at night.  

But it hasn't been all work and no play. My first weekend in New York, there was a "Mermaid Parade" -- I didn't get to go to the actual parade because again--studies!--but I was invited to an official after party. It was a costume party with a Mermaid/Atlantis theme. The whole thing made me feel as if I'd never even left New Orleans. 

I had just 2 hours to get costume-y, and I used all of my DIY costuming knowledge from living in New Orleans to my advantage. I found a phenomenal dress at a local thrift store, just 10 minutes before they closed. Then I raced over to Rite-Aid to pick up supplies: safety pins, shoelace, gift ribbon and a loofa. Yes, you read right--a loofa. I used it as a hair bow. My friends were in total awe. I told them I learned everything I know from watching New Orleanians make stunningly beautiful costumes out of total trash.

I was invited to the party by Fritz--my partner's best friend who was working at the venue. His only job was to make chaos and entertain. This was our first time meeting, and boy did he make a first impression. He has a limitless energy and devotion to play like no other. 

Me and Fritz in our House of Yes Mermaid party costumes. Fritz really knows how to put it on for the camera...hehe.

Me and Fritz in our House of Yes Mermaid party costumes. Fritz really knows how to put it on for the camera...hehe.

A professional photographer had a photo booth set up. ***Art directed by Fritz

A professional photographer had a photo booth set up. ***Art directed by Fritz

More photos from Fritz' computer. I'll have to wait to get access to the original photos, but for now I've got these screenshots Fritz sent me. 

More photos from Fritz' computer. I'll have to wait to get access to the original photos, but for now I've got these screenshots Fritz sent me. 

...and there was even a surprise guest appearance at the end of the night from my two best friends: Phoebe and Jane! They were also in full Mermaid regalia.

Phoebe looking like a mermaid princess.

Phoebe looking like a mermaid princess.

I'll be in the depths studying for my real estate exam for the next week. The test is next Thursday, so I'll be cramming till the last second. Hey Julia--what you up to? Look forward to hearing about it in next week's blog post.

-Weenta