A Mad Mad World

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Everyone has a voice today. Everyone has something to say about everything that happens in this world all the time. It becomes instantaneous, non­-filtered or filtered through the media, whether someone else wants to hear it quickly or not. Commenting or curating, liking, pinning, sharing, posting, reposting, or tweeting. It’s a mad mad mad world we have created. Never a day goes by, without someone’s voice trying to gain traction and be louder than the rest. Our voices can be creative, chaotic, or soundbites. Everything gets added to the messiness that is our mad modern world.

Who will be the arbitar of great taste or the curator of constant floating images around all the socials 24/7? Do you think you can do it, as if you were curating a museum of our time here on earth? What is it we are searching for creatively? In our hearts or minds? Is it out there in someone else’s voice or a picture we receive instantly from anywhere in the world? You can become a star for 15 seconds if your comment catches fire. If the celebrity in you, wants to shine in the light, you can become the ONE to watch. Thought-provoking or not. Who knows? How many people do you follow? How many people follow you? It’s a sport that inspires greatness in numbers, but does it really inspire greatness?

I don’t know the answer. I come from a time when stories and the storyteller guided the group. Stories move us emotionally; they connect to our heart’s core. What life looks like depends on our imaginations and inspirations. Did we lose it along the way? Or does our inspirations become a direct result of a pin, tweet, or post? Does each person get a vote in this utopian-­picture, buzz-­crazed world we live in? How does your voice sound buzzing round on all the socials?

How Emmy 2013 Changed My Life

photo copyShe’s golden, she’s heavy, she’s beautiful. She’s ready to take flight, holding the world in her hands, and, on September 15, 2013, she became a life changer.

As a costume designer, I’d been in a design rut for about ten years, slogging along from one project to another. Maybe I was a slave to the wage. With each new beginning, I’d hope to become inspired, but then disappointment would set in. I tried to stay positive and upbeat. I always wanted to bring something new to each project. I did my job very well, and I was respected by my peers, but in hindsight, all it amounted to were more projects on my resume. I was bored with the work and with the stories we were telling. I was numb. I said my prayers year after year, for a great project to design. A project that would make a difference, something that was different. I constantly had new ideas I thought would help me shift to another place professionally, but I couldn’t see them all the way through. When it came to giving up costume design, I just didn’t know how to walk away. Luckily, my buddy the universe, helped me hold out long enough so that I could be in the right place at the right time.

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In 2012, I was fortunate to be introduced to Steven Soderbergh by my long-time collaborator, Michael Douglas. Steven was prepping Behind the Candelabra and didn’t yet have a costume designer. I was thrilled when he asked me join the team. It was my 60th project, but finally one that held magnificent challenges.

My prayers had been answered. I felt the thrill of creation and collaboration. It was exhilarating and explosive. Though it was challenging every day, each moment was heavenly. We were creating the world in which Liberace lived. It glistened and sparkled from beginning to end. Steven made a great film, and we were all acknowledged for our contributions to it. Everyone received Emmy nominations; Steven, himself, received three. I couldn’t imagine it getting any better than that!

Then we were there: the night of the awards had arrived. We were all nervous, but there was magic in the air. Everyone was winning! When my category was announced, my heart pounded beneath my ostrich-trimmed, white and pink dress, like never before. Jerry Weintraub and Scott Bakula opened the envelope and called my name. I rushed to the stage, in five-inch heels, to collect her: my Emmy.

Finally, there I was. I had arrived. I had become an award winning costume designer. In that moment, as I held her, looking out into the audience, I realized I was proud of all the projects I had designed in the past. They were what had led me on to that stage.

That moment changed my life forever. It was a dream come true. I had hoped and prayed for an opportunity to get out of that grinding design rut and back into the joy of design I once remembered. But even this was beyond my wildest dreams. It beamed me into the limelight and brought me back home: to my true love of design.

As I reflect on this past year since Emmy, my life has definitely changed. I’ve left the slave wager behind and have opened my heart to all things new and exciting. There is a saying: “just do it.” Well, I’ve become confident that I can do it, and that has helped me grow by leaps and bounds. My dreamscape becomes more of a reality every day. My passion to walk in beauty burns brighter than ever. I accept all invitations; I am inspired to do work I’ve never done before. And most importantly, with the support of Emmy’s golden light, I’ve learned to embrace myself, my body of work and my past, as it’s a road that will forever lead to a greater tomorrow.Ellen Mirojnick Emmy

Being Sixty

Lips_SixtyRockNRollYou can be sixty and be a rock ‘n’ roller. You can be a mixer, high, low, young, old. You can mix melodies and metaphors, you can sit amongst different cultures. You can start a blog, you can dream a new dream. You can be sixty and have friends half your age. You can be at home among your kids, friends, you can start again. You can be cool, you can have lived lots of time. You can have wrinkles that are memories, or you can have your memories and age erased and start again. You can be beautiful and wise. You can be strong and conquer things you only dreamt about. You can start another career whether you want to or have to. What does sixty look like? Sometimes I’m close to the feeling, and thinking of being with a 60 rock ‘n’ roller is thrilling.

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According to Ellen – Part Three

What does being by the ocean do for you?

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Water is my element. It is cleansing, relaxing and regenerating.  The color of the sea is mesmerizing to me.  The different shades of blue, blue-green, light turquoise I find to be both inspirational and healing.  Whenever I need to escape, when my body and mind need to rest and recharge, I visit the ocean.  It is a dreamlike landscape, where I become reborn!  The beauty of water is staggering, and it renews me.

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According to Ellen – Part Two

What emotion do the colors black and white evoke for you?

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I adore most images and things black and white, because my imagination can run wild!  White is powerful; to me it is light.  When one wears all white, essentially an iconic image is formed no matter what!  Black is a blank canvas, a shadow that creates a silhouette. It is a mysterious essence, filled with many illusions.

Light and dark, weightlessness and shadow, hard and soft, the crisp architecture of a black line against the pureness of a white ground…that resonates with me.

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According to Ellen – Part One

How do you use color to make a statement in your work?

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I am a lover of all color and the juxtaposition of no color.  I love to live with color, dream in color and create in color, however in the medium that I work in color creates a statement that has to reflect the text and the story.

Color can create a mood without words, so when I am translating the text, I must choose the exact shade to evoke that emotion.

In real life (meaning beyond the movie set) color says the same about the person.  Picture someone walking into a room in a red dress, then picture one in a pink shirt, or someone wearing grey or green or lots of colors together…color is everything, and it sets the tone for one’s life.

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