Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Project That Wasn't: Jazz's Room TRANSformation

Jazz in her colorful room. Photo courtesy TLC.
In a few hours, millions of people will tune in to watch "I am Jazz." (airing at 10 PM on TLC). For about 3 days, during the shooting down here in Florida, I was being considered for the part of  "the family friend/decorator." Bringing me into the storyline was not random as I, for the last 2-3 years, on and off, have been trying to redo Jazz's room with some help from others in the design industry.

Quite simply put, my idea was: 
Amazing girl needs amazing room to match.

With her family in the pride parade several years ago. Photo swiped from Facebook.
I thought it would make a great before/after story for a magazine or TV show. After all, here is this incredible tween (this was 2012) beginning to shine in the limelight,  an LGBTQ advocate, breaking barriers, speaking on behalf of transgender youth at conferences and awards galas, forging a non-profit, TransKids Purple Rainbow, to help other trans kids, an extraordinary girl, with a strong and supportive family, facing challenges and surmounting them. With adolescence approaching fast, I wanted to help create a most incredible retreat for her that would adequately reflect the vibrant powerful young woman that she was swiftly becoming.

In her own words and images: Jazz envisions her new room.  I admire her modest requests and crafty nature.
I visited Jazz one day when she was home sick, but not too sick, from school. We made a little video that I hoped would foster the re-design cause. She was OK with it, but I knew I could help make it "jazzier." I approached a few people.

First up... David Bromstad. He was based in Miami and when I learned he too loved mermaids,  I took it as a positive sign. But with Design Star and such and his relocation to L.A., his handlers turned it down. Not enough time.

Then I took it to Ellen but I'm not sure how deeply the request infiltrated her organization because it went through a friend whose son is a producer for the show. My idea was that in return for Ellen's support, Jazz would gift her with a portrait. I imagined they'd have a sweet rapport but... nada.

So I introduced the idea to Mitchell Gold of MGBW Home, and he was the most responsive of all. I also gave him Jazz's book for Hanukkah last year. Not surprising, the forward-thinking man who made his mark with beautiful slip-covered furniture has a generous history and involvement with LGBTQ that runs deep and is well documented. Mitchell was so cool about it. "Let me know what I can do," he said. But for a couple of reasons, it never materialized.

Screen shots from my secret Jazz Pinterest board: I started pulling it together, using the colors she loves, but also mixing in lots of white and shimmer.
 And then along came TLC, and I got in touch with Jazz's mom who put me in touch with the producers and for a moment it all felt doable Then they decided it would just be a better story line (and less complicated) if the project went in-house. I heard there was a spatter paint party.

Supporting Jazz and TransKids Purple Rainbow at a Florida fundraiser.
Tonight I shall pay particular interest to the scenes shot in Jazz's room. I've caught glimpses in previews...the blue ombre chest, spatter-painted dresser, jewel-toned bedding, and cheery turquoise walls give the space a teen friendly energy. In a year or two if she wants something a bit more sophisticated and pulled together, I will gladly offer my services again.