Have you ever opened an email and before replying just had to fist pump the air or do some sort of ecstatic uncoordinated dance?!
That was me.
Back in early July when I was contacted by Lizzie, one of The Block challenge producers.
The hit renovation show had to come up with some new challenges, amidst the forever changing COVID-19 restrictions and Lizzie thought Upholstery could be on the cards.
(**queue an over-excited, little bit loopy, upholstery Artist named Kerri introduction, here).
Now, my name wasn’t randomly picked from a hat. It came from a solid 18 months of planning and pitching the idea to them, but thankfully I never gave up. Even more thankful that I had made enough of an impression on the Executive producer who remembered me when dreaming up a new challenge idea!
I headed into the meeting armed with a sharp pitch, some seriously high vibes and a belly full of nerves - which quickly eased as I chatted with the incredible team behind The Block.
Once it was on, it was really on!
A race against the clock to say the least. Knowing how much work was involved to teach 5 couples how to reupholster their chairs, I knew back up was required! Luckily an upholstery colleague and friend Jen, from Eclectic Boogaloo was the perfect superstar side kick to keep this fast-paced dream alive!
Then the hustle began! We played a huge part and experienced all the excitement of getting this show on the road. From sourcing era appropriate chairs and spending a decent 14 hours getting them ‘challenge ready’, to uprooting our entire workshops for the amazing art team, assisting the creation of an upholstery wonderland on set! (**insert eco-friendly sparkles here)
Challenge day arrived and wowsers - was it ever unreal to see. The contestants, crew and all staff involved were phenomenal. Everything came together like a well-oiled machine!
I certainly have a heightened respect and admire all the behind-the-scenes work that goes on, to bring entertainment to our screens.
The moment contestants started ripping into the chairs, my brain went into autopilot work mode! Seeing how dedicated the contestants were to not only reupholster the chairs but their genuine interest in the traditional upholstery process was enjoyable to witness.
The hours ticked over in what seemed like just a few minutes, and before we knew it the ‘5 minutes to go’ call was being made. I’m not sure where the time went, but one thing I do remember was the look of Jas’ face when she cut a chunk of my finger off. She was horrified, but due to the amazing effects of adrenaline I couldn’t feel a thing! *Happy to report no chairs were harmed in the process, and my finger pad grew back.
All bandaged up and back out on the floor for the final moments, to then enjoy the sighs of relief once ‘times up!’ was called and all the contestants celebrated their efforts together.
I won’t lie, in that initial meeting when the statement ‘we want them all to reupholster a chair each in 5 hours’ was made, I had no idea how it was going to happen. I now know that with persistence, an incredible team, and some TV sprinkle dust it was absolutely possible!
What an experience! One to hold dear in the memory bank, and one that I gained so much from. I learnt just as much about myself as I did behind the scenes of a hit TV show and I’m super proud!