Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Beirut-Mission Fashion-Week One

June 17th

Ok so I am here, Things are well. It has certainly
been an adjustment. But we are all well, the work is
looking good and only going to get better and better.
We are adjusting to our new living environment and
lifestyles, and learning our way around.

Today is the first day we found the Internet place.
Really, until today we have been on the move
rehearsing like mad men, and scrambling to be ready
for the first live broadcast. It has been like a fire
drill that has lasted a week. We are all tired and
tomorrow we jump back into it. It is kind of a sink
or swim scenario but we're resilient and in can only
get easier. I think when I get back from this
experience I will be super powerful.

The show is kind of like fashion American idol. They
have selected the top models form the middle east. 16
models selected from a group of something like 800.
Then they selected a group of Designers to work with
these models. They all live in this loft isolated from
the world where they have to learn parts of the
industry and design exhibit and compete. Every week
one designer and his or her model is eliminated.

The network I am working for has two channels.
Mission Fashion must be there premiere show because on
one channel you can watch 24 hours a day live video
feed from the contestants loft as they prepare and are
taught and judged. On the other channel The channel
has a regular broadcast of programs and once a week
they air there main program that compiles the
happenings of the week. They do this in a very
spectacular live approach complete with music dazzling
lights Choreographed dancers and circus stunts. Then
they are judged and one model designer team is

So there is the format. But what i didn't tell you is
that our very own show girl Amy Goodheart is one of
the panel judges. You should have seen the model and
designer reactions when they figured out this little
tidbit of information. Suddenly smirks and snub noses
went to bright eyes and big smiles waves and a little
touchy flirty stuff. For example I have the former
snobby Miss Egypt sucking up to me now. A really
funny situation. I have to learn to distinguish the
difference between fake smiles to genuine ones. At
the moment I just assume they are all fake and

Well I would love to talk more but I can't. The
others are waiting for me to go to dinner so here are
a few quick excerpts form my journal. Just know that
we are safe, well and the work is going good and
getting better and better all of the time.

June 13th
Well here i am in Lebanon. I have always wondered
what it would be like to spend time in the country of
my ancestors and now I get to find out. There are so
many things going through my mind that I don't even
really know where to begin. I guess I should start
from the beginning.

So we left the US on Monday at 7pm, Just so you know
Lebanon is 12 hours ahead of NY so in Lebanon It was
already 2am the next day. I am traveling with 5
other freaks from NY. Really we are a NYC dream team.
Some of the best at what we do all brought together
to work on this reality show in Beirut.

We have:
Amy Goodheart (show girl, Director / Choreographer)
Maine (Dancer)
Adrian (Dancer)
Flambeaux (Fire performer)
Una (Aerialist)
and me

We are all great performers seasoned and professional.
I think that our nerves are a little tied up in knots
right now but that is to be expected before the first
show. Give it three weeks and we will be on auto

The people of Lebanon have been so nice to us so far.
Even when we were waiting in the immigration area
right off the plane one of the officers was telling us
about how glad he was to have us in his country. When
I told him that I am half Lebanese he was particularly
interested. He told me that Saab (my last name) was a
very old, big, and famous family here in Lebanon.
(In fact there is a famous Lebanese Designer named
Allie Saab who we will be working with this Saturday.
I wonder if there is any relation?) Well when I told
him that My father was my Lebanese side then he
immediately told me " well you are Lebanese then, We
determine your blood from your fathers side" i don't
think that my cousins would be too happy to hear that
and I don't necessarily agree with it but in my case
and fro my time here it is definitely helping.

Every one seems to be really interested with the fact
that I am Lebanese. It is getting me way more
attention that I had expected and they are all very
warm and overly welcoming about it. I hope they will
allow me to leave when it comes time. And hey the way
I feel right now I will probably be the one with the
hard time. I feel like every where I look I am seeing
my cousins, parents, aunts and uncles. I am just
blown away.

The country is beautiful . A giant mountain range
runs through the middle of the country and just about
fills the land. The mountains come pretty much right
up to the water. You can snow ski and sun on the
beach in the same day. Only 15 minutes apart.

I am picking up Arabic slowly but surely . Hopefully
by the end of this I will be able to have basic
conversations. Right now all I can do is charades.
Be polite, and talk about food. Thankfully many of
the people in the studio speak English.

The show is going to be great. It is recording live
in front of a studio audience and airing live with a
10 second delay. I am thoroughly looking forward to
it and all that we can learn form it. Our first shoot
is on Saturday. Our first audience is estimated at
16 million viewers. Kinda crazy.

Hope you are all well -more later and talk to you soon

Michael Dirt

waleg.com info on the show

1 comment:

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