downton abbey

At Least 5 Reasons I Should Have a Small But Definitely On-Camera Role in the Downton Abbey Movie: An Open Letter to Julian Fellowes

At Least 5 Reasons I Should Have a Small But Definitely On-Camera Role in the Downton Abbey Movie: An Open Letter to Julian Fellowes

 

My Dear Mr. Fellowes,

I was thrilled to bursting when I saw the news last week that Downton Abbey: The Movie will start shooting this year. I love this show. For six winters, my entire Sunday days were dedicated to prepping my home for our Downton Abbey viewing party. Sometimes this meant something as simple as popping a roast in the oven; sometimes, opera-length gloves were involved. My Monday days were spent discussing every detail of the show. And my Thursday days were spent shivering in the corner because it had been far too long since I had seen the Crawleys and I feared I never would again. 

Though I may just be another fan in the masses, I think we would be a great fit to work together. I have detailed my reasons why below and am open to any questions or clarifications you require.

  1. I already own several corsets. Think how much money you’ll save in wardrobe by only having to dress 45 of your 46 extras for what will surely be a glorious holiday or wedding ball where I proudly walk through scene without weeping openly in joy and touching everything around me just to make sure it’s real!
  2. You’ll look super woke. People love saying “woke” these days and they rarely get to say it about costume dramas like Downton or Tory peers like yourself. In fact, there’s much gnashing of teeth about how even though people of color were definitely hanging out in early 1900s society, they rarely get featured in films and shows about these eras. Think of all the awesome PR you’ll get just by having me walk through frame and definitely not smile directly into camera.
  3. I watched Gosford Park about 45 times. With a running time of 2 hours and 17 minutes, I invested a lot of time in this work. I think it’s only fair that I cash in on that investment of that time that I could have spent with “family” or “friends” by spending a bit more time flying across the globe, motoring out to Highclere Castle, fannying about a green room, and then crossing through a scene definitely without embracing Anna Smith in the middle of a take.
  4. I just used the phrase “fannying about” without batting an eye. I may have been born in Texas and now live in California, but I’m pretty much the most British of all my friends–even the British ones. And when I had my DNA tested, it turns out that a full 10% of me hails from slaveowners that came from Britain. It would mean the world to me to return to my homeland for the occasion of appearing, if only briefly, in a scene wherein I walk through the drawing room definitely without reciting every single one of the Dowager’s best one-liners while weeping happily.
  5. I just spent a bunch of time crafting this new webseries, Black Girl in a Big Dress, which is, in part, a nod to my love of all things slightly old and very British. I mean, come on. 

 

For real, your Lordship. Let’s do this!

I look most forward to receiving your reply.  

Sincerely,

The Oreo Experience

PS. I am actually quite excited about this new project, BLACK GIRL IN A BIG DRESS! And hope that everyone reading will take a look! It’s been a labor of love for the last half year and I can’t wait for everyone to see the whole thing. Find us on twitter @BlkGirlBigDress and Facebook.com/blackgirlinabigdress
PPS. I can’t promise that I’m not wearing that giant dress right now.

PPPSNext Week on The Oreo Experience: At Least 5 Things I am Willing to do to be a Part of the Downton Abbey Movie.

 

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What’s your favorite costume drama (okay, or favorite “regular TV show”) and why should you have a role in its next installment? Let us know in the comments and let’s get you on camera! 

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For Mor-eo Oreo and to find out more about Black Girl in a Big Dress:

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Your Acceptable Black Friend

So, I have some news. I have a new friend. She’s… Black.

And I’m not talking about just another card-carrying, flag-waving Oreo. She’s no RBP, but she downloaded Beyonce’s secret album the other week. Whatever. It’s no big deal. She filled out the application. And so now we have coffee every now and then.

Obviously when making a new black friend it’s important to be careful. Get too many of you together and it looks like you’re trying to stage a revival of The Color Purple.

And sure, she does like theater, but if we stage any production, it will probably be a revival of Proof. I’ll be playing the mathematical formula. It’ll be pretty groundbreaking.

Yes, there are some obvious risks with consorting with other Of Colors, but there are actually a couple of plusses as well. Tread carefully enough and you can still be a very special snowflake, but your new pal might just become a friend with some benefits.

She’ll have lotion.

Your Acceptable Black Friend probably doesn’t spend as much time trying to deny her countenance as you do. Because of that, she totally accepts that sometimes, said countenance gets ashy. White people can live without lotion forever. If their skin is dry, all they have to deal with is a distracting itch that can lead to cracks in the skin and possible infection.

What they don’t have to deal with is the embarrassing trail of chalky, flaky, white streak on brown skin if they dare scratch. (Meditation classes on ignoring discomfort are starting up again in a couple of weeks. PM me for deets).

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

I’d take the infection if it means that a simple itch didn’t draw attention to my Hamish curse. This leads to wishful thinking which leads to not buying lotion which leads to having to wear long pants all winter.

But your ABF probably just “accepts” that she gets ashy. So she’ll buy lotion. Which you can borrow on the DL.

You’ll be better at crossword puzzles.

I don’t know what “deuces” or “turnt out” means, but it’s fun to say (ironically, of course.) Thanks, ABF!

She’ll create a diversion

Despite an Oreo’s best efforts, at first blush, you’re still going to look ethnic. Relaxers and Peter Pan collars and tulle skirts aside, people will still get the wrong impression. This means that sometimes, people will approach you and use terms like “yo” and “articulate” when they start talking to you. They’ll point you away from the delicious trout canapés and tell you where the okra is or ask you how you feel about grinding on surfboarts or Michelle Obama’s healthy eating campaign.

You’d think the deer in the headlights look would be enough to deter them, but it usually only makes them ask more questions. Or encourages them to build you a playlist that includes far too little Sarah Watkins and far too many vocal riffs.

Your ABF, however, can fill in the gaps between their attempts at conversation and your terrified silence. While they chat, you can slip away unnoticed and take a moment to yourself to start planning your next Downton Abbey viewing extravaganza.

That Dowager’s got nothing on you. 

Bring it on, Violet!

Bring it on, Violet!

Deuces!

Who are some of your newest friends? What are the best things about them? And what is going on with Mr. Bates?? He’s about to lose his mind, right? He’s totally headed for Crazyton Abbey?

Let us know in the comments. 

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

How to Sit For a Portrait

My friend made this! Go to his website, marvel at his other awesome paintings and then hire him to make beautiful paintings for you too!
(source: Leighton Hickman Art)

Sometimes, yours truly gets to do cool things. In case you want to do cool things, too, here’s a step-by-step guide for making said things happen.

Today’s lesson: How to Sit For a Portrait. We’ll cover everything from finding an artist to getting through the session.

Pencils up? Let’s go!

1. Through an amazing stroke of luck, find yourself employed by a top-tier animation studio.

2. Spend 4 or 5 months marveling at your luck, keeping your eyes down and speaking to no one lest you do something to wake up from this wonderful lucid dream.

3. Finally work up the nerve to start talking to people. Start with the dude you always seem to end up riding up 5 floors with in the elevator.

4. Chide self for thinking that the Bo Burnham lyric “…and f*cked her in an elevator…It was wrong on so many levels…” Is the funniest ish in the world.

5. Initiate sarcastic conversation about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich your elevator-mate is holding.

6. Wonder if maybe you shouldn’t be such a fucking bitch and maybe try starting conversations with “Hey, I’m TOE, I’ve seen you around…what’s your name” instead.

7. Take Artist’s lack of response as confirmation that you are a fucking bitch, ignoring any possibility that maybe Artist is shy or distracted or thinking about something, I don’t know, related to his life and not sitting around waiting for you to make some lame joke about sandwich crusts.

8. Wonder why so many kids want the crusts cut off sandwiches. The crusts really don’t taste any different from the rest of the bread.

9. Put the desire to rationalize with beings whose frontal lobes haven’t fully developed on to your list of reasons to not have kids.

10. Repeat awkward elevator rides for a few more months.

11. Finally determine you have a legitimate reason to talk to Artist because Artist is friends with the guy who dresses entirely in Victorian Era clothing and you need to be introduced.

12. Enjoy this new, albeit sometimes quiet collection of friends.

13. Go to a meeting of the Whisky Society at work.

14. Feel awkward there. Probably because you made the same lame jokes instead of just relating to people as human beings.

I’m not saying that I would have been into the impenetrable class structure and popular notion that slavery maybe wasn’t terrible, but man, sometimes, it’d be easier to live in a place and time where every conversation was already tacitly scripted in order to ensure the most pleasant effect.

15. Miss going to Artist’s goodbye party because you have a show that night.

16. Be surprised as f when six months later, you see Artist back at the studio.

17. Assume that when Artist says “Good to see you, we should hang out!” that he’s lying.

18. Have lunch with Artist anyway.

19. Learn that Artist has joined the Whisky Society at work.

20. Wonder if this might be a way back in to getting to sample some amazing amazing bottles.

21. Discover that yes, it is.

22. Attend artist’s birthday party.

23. Sample from too many amazing amazing bottles.

24. When discussing the other portraits in Artist’s home, mention that you did figure modeling in college.

25. Enjoy the fact that because this isn’t super conservative Texas, the creatives in the room understand that yes you were naked, but no, it wasn’t all creepy and/or sexual and that you weren’t causing your brothers to stumble. You were just helping people make art to the tune of a very good hourly rate.

26. The next day, wonder if you remember correctly that you said you’d pose for Artist.

27. See Artist at work. Confirm suspicions.

28. Send an awkward email asking if the third pour of cask strength Laphroaig caused you to say that you’d pose nude.

29. Learn that it didn’t.

30. Exhale.

31. Wonder if Artist is just following up on said portrait session to be polite.

32. Decide to go along with it anyway.

33. Gain 3 pounds. Of course.

34. When asked, say that yes, white truffle oil pizza and duck confit salad sound just fine even though you’ve never had either.

35. Haul your costume choices upstairs.

36. Discover that you don’t like truffle oil or duck. Try to hide this fact from Artist who loves the shit out of both and got this food as a nice gesture, you cultureless ingrate.

37. Marvel at the amount of preparation Artist goes through before painting. Realize you never knew that many different kinds of brushes existed and that you’ve never seen oil paint except on already-mounted pieces in museums. Wonder if you’re this diligent about your art. Think that it’s neat that this rough and tumble dude can make really pretty things with his hands. Wish there was a way to cut through small talk bullshit and get right to this part of a friendship from the first time you meet in an elevator.

38. Watch Downton Abbey while Artists paints.

I don’t care how put upon she is or how much of the entail she won’t get, that artless, doghearted dewberry doesn’t deserve Cousin Matthew!
(source)

39. Wonder why the effing eff you’ve never seen this miracle of television programming before. Seriously, it’s like the producers took all the things you love about life–including Laura Linney–and put them into one fantastic show handcrafted just for you.

40. In between episodes enjoy the sounds of brush on linen and cars on street.

41. Decide that this would make a great one-act play where the audience is forced to watch two actors be very still and to create all the movement and action in dialogue and acting alone.

42. Hope you’re not being vain by wanting to see the final thing.

43. See the final thing.

44. Gasp.

45. Hope that it’s possible that you sometimes look that lovely.

46. Finally feel confident in a friendship.

47. Ruin that bit of maturity by checking Aritst’s post of the picture to make sure that people are saying that not only is the painting gorgeous, but so is the model.

48. No really, truffle oil tastes like poop. How can anyone disagree??

Forget the fancy food, Cousin Matthew! We can have all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you want. I’ll even cut the crusts off for you.

How do you feel about truffle oil? Painting? Downton Abbey? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!