The Time I Almost Ruined Michael Cera’s Photoshoot

One of the reason I was able to move to New York City was because I was extended an offer to work for a magazine publication in Midtown. I was super excited because not only would this allow me to live in New York, but also have a full time job at a great company. It was the perfect way to get my foot in the door. That being said, I was the Office Coordinator. One of my responsibilities included arranging transportation for company employees and visitors. So on my second day of work, I was tasked with arranging a car for Michael Cera.

If you aren’t already familiar, Michael Cera was the affable boyfriend of Ellen Page’s character in the indie film Juno. He later starred in a number of films including Super Bad, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, and This is the End. They feature one variation or another of an genial, overtly awkward young man trying to stumble through life one foot at a time. Anyway, it was a lovely Tuesday evening (like I said, my second day of work) and an editor requested that I arrange a car for Michael Cera (under a pseudonym of course) from his apartment the next morning at 10AM. Got it! From him home apartment, to…

Hmm, to where I wonder. To where indeed! At the time, I hadn’t thought to ask him for an exact address. I was under the assumption that I would arrange a car for Mr. Cera from his apartment to our office. That was the only logical course of action I could think of. And so I did just that. Being the responsible individual I am, I forwarded the car confirmation email to the editor and from there, everything was set.

Wednesday morning comes and the editor double checks to make sure the car situation is taken care of. Of course it is, man! So I’m at my desk, chillin’ but not chillin’ because there was a lot to learn and I was actually quite busy. But for the sake of this story, I was chillin’. I was looking down at my computer when I hear someone say “hi” at the desk window. I look up and there you have him, Michael Cera. He was visibly just as humble and awkward as he seemed in all his films. So being the perfect Office Coordinator I was, I asked him to sign in (LOL). He obliges and then comes in the office to have a seat. I shoot an email to the editor letting him know Michael was CHILLIN in the office, feeling mighty proud of myself. I offer Michael some water and tell him to take a magazine or four – you know however many he wanted. And then I go back to my area.

5 minutes later, the editor approaches me in what I can only describe as a semi-crazed frenzy and asks me, “why is Michael Cera here?!??!?” Well that was clearly a confusing question directed at me. Of course he’s here. I had the car pick him up. So the editor starts panicking, goes over to Michael, and I see him apologizing. It turns out, Michael Cera was supposed to be a photoshoot in Brooklyn… where he lives. Not our office in Midtown. For those of you unfamiliar with New York City boroughs, let’s just say I took him way out of the way and if his photoshoot was at 11AM, and he was sitting in our Midtown office at 11:15AM… that was bad.

So I apologized to the editor and helped him figure out how to get a cab downstairs so that he and Michael could hightail it back to Brooklyn for the cover shoot.

If you ask me, I think I made an excellent first impression.

An Impromptu Date with a Drug Lord

This is a topic I’ve been meaning to write about since I first created this blog. Actually, it’s primarily the reason this blog even exists. It’s why I had to sit down, take a deep breath, and honestly evaluate some of my life choices. But I don’t want to bored you with the why when I could just simply tell you what happened:

I had recently moved to New York City with a dollar and a dream (credit: Sir Jermaine Lamarr Cole) and after three months of sharing a full size bed with my cousin in my aunt’s apartment, I figured it was time to go. Fortunately, my good friend JB was also in search of a place to live! (There’s actually a much larger story regarding the apartment hunt between me, JB, and another friend… we’ll call Chuck Taylor. But I’m keeping it simple for the sake of this story. Perhaps I’ll get into that another time.). So JB and I were looking for sublet rooms/apartments and needless to say, we were having some trouble. It was New York City, and if you don’t know, apartments are hard to come by. Sublets are even harder, and the asking price is usually absurd. Like I said, I had a dollar right! So anyway, we were having trouble and that weekend I had decided to take a break and lay around in bed, nursing a hangover from the night before.

Around 12:30PM, JB calls me with “great news!” He says he had just looked at a room in an apartment in the Upper West Side, and that the tenant actually had TWO rooms available instead of just one. “The asking price is right in our range and the guy is super chill. He’d be down to let you come see it, but you have to come see it today, right now!” Ok that’s great! I’m thinking to myself. So I tell JB I’ll be right there and I get dressed. [Side note: There was no way in hell I would be “right there” considering my cousin lived in West Chester. Again, for those of you not familiar with New York City … let’s just say it was pretty difficult to get to the Upper West Side without a car. Hello 2 hour train ride!]. I get dressed, putting on my best kaleidoscope sweatsuit (no exaggeration) and head out.

Fast forward. So I’m at this apartment building and I’m calling the tenant who we’re going to call “Marcel”. Marcel isn’t picking up the phone and I’m getting annoyed because I need this man to let me in. Well I call JB and he tells me to call some woman in LONDON and she will get Marcel to open the door. What? Ok so now things are getting interesting. I call this lady in London, she tells me to keep banging on the door and he should open up. I do just that and what do you know, a thin, shirtless, half asleep, rosary bead wearing man opens the door and says he’s Marcel. So immediately I have about 5 questions: Why is he shirtless? Who is this British lady? Why was he asleep? Why is it so dark in there? Why is there a gaping hole in his underwear and why can I see it!? But he tells me to come into his apartment and I do [Disclaimer: Don’t do this].

Immediately, I see half empty liquor bottles, beer cans, and an empty pizza boxes scattered around the living room. The curtains are drawn and the place looks barely inhabited. He introduces himself, shows me around in 2 minutes and says, “I don’t care about the money. Y’all can live here. I spend most of my time in London anyway. I’m a business man. But you are gorgeous, let me take you out.” … I’m trying to process what’s happening. Does JB hate me? Is this a prank? I thought we were friends! So I try to ask Marcel more about the apartment, but all he wants to talk about is my style, how I look, and if he can take me home to mamma. Apparently he and JB drank half a bottle of rum. WHY WERE THEY DRINKING RUM?!?! Who drinks rum while negotiating a sublet!? So of course, I should have left right? But instead, I spend about an hour shooting the shit talking about nothing with this suspicious, shirtless, chicken eating, plate on the stomach man. It’s about 3PM and at this point I’m over it. I’m tired of hearing about “his business” (which I’d have a hard time describing to anyone if they asked). I’m trying to understand why he’s looking for tenants who can “hold him down” and be there “when it gets rough”. What is getting rough, sir?? Why am I holding you down?? And I’m annoyed that, by this point, he has asked me about 20 times to go to the movies with him. So of course you all know what I did. I did what any logical woman would!

I went to the movies with him [Disclaimer two: Don’t do this]. But before we get to the movies, we cab over to Red Rooster in Harlem to have a few drinks (WHY!? I KNOW, I KNOW). At Red Rooster, this guy knows the bouncers, the waiters, and businessmen, and the apartment brokers who drop by. I have no idea how or why he knows these people, but he’s ordering Patron, pulling twenties from a money knot the size of my fist, and I’m starting to get the picture. He tells me he was shot in the face in Chicago and demands that the bartender to refer to me as “little sister”. The bartender promptly responds, “yes bro!” Incredible. Am I really about this life right now? Is this how it’s going to go down? We leave Red Rooster and go to the Magic Johnson Theater with the intention to see ‘Gone Girl’ (HA! That was a mistake). No need to make this longer than it has to be, but let’s just say he didn’t like the movie, we left 15 minutes in, and I escaped.

So ladies and gentlemen, let’s review the mistakes I made and give some wonderful pieces of advice to the readers so that we never have to go through this again:

  1. Do not go into a strange shirtless man’s home to do business
  2. Do not stay in said man’s apartment for an hour
  3. Do not go to the movies with said man
  4. Do not ever answer said man’s phone calls

At least I followed the fourth point!

In the Interest of Interests: Introduction

For quite some time, I’ve had this grandiose idea that I should write a book. Granted, I’ve never had any idea what type of book this may or may not be, but I’ve been steadfast in the notion that I, Ashley Evangelista, will someday write a book. And based on how expansive literature has become, perhaps I’m not too far off base. But before I can write a book, I know that I must first… write. I’ve tried to blog before, but I was always bothered by over thinking. Who would read it? Why do I think that what I have to write deserves to be read?

Well, I’ve decided to take a different approach. I do have something to say. Who said I had to write about the turkey bacon, egg and cheese croissant I ate for breakfast, or my daily makeup routine? I’d much rather talk about dates with drug lords, celebrity mix-ups at work, or being stuck in Japan for two weeks.

With that being said, I’ve got a brilliant idea! I’m going to write ridiculous life anecdotes and stories. How fun! 😉 This is a commitment to myself and I will hold myself accountable!

Let the foolishness begin!
– Ash