Alicia Quarles

In the span of 24 hours, I went from sadly covering the funeral of a legend, to interviewing an icon whose career was being celebrated. As viewers, you get to see the final product, but I want to share with you what goes on behind-the-scenes. 

Thursday, June 27th, started off in a frenzy as our team raced from a shoot across town, to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Nearly two-thousand people were gathered inside to pay their final respects to James Gandolfini. We filmed and reported as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie exited the church, followed by Mr. Gandolfini's friends and family. This is always the most difficult part of the job. You have to respect the privacy of those who are mourning the loss of a loved one, while still reporting on the life of someone who in many ways, belonged to their fans. 

After tracking (industry lingo for voicing over) three pieces, it was time to switch gears again as I had to get ready to host an event for Wear New York week. This is one of the many reasons why you will not hear me complaining about my job: no matter how much is going on, there is a team of talented people there to help me out (I mean, how many people get to have someone do their hair and make-up). Lending my support to this was important because I am always trying to use this platform (E)to raise awareness and give back. 

I arrived at the Wear New York fashion show transformed: wearing a design by Sunhee for Julia Jordan, make-up by Daniel Deleno and dressed by Rai Gomez and PJ Pascual. The room was HOT (as in the AC was not reaching everyone), but this is why I love New York. A little sweat can't keep us away. So many people came out to support local designers and the industry.

From there, it was back home to do work (you have to respond to emails and keep up with your sources at some point), get changed again (yes, I change a lot in one day), and go to Marquee nightclub at midnight to interview the one and only Cher. By the time she arrived at about 1:45am, the E squad and I were running on fumes, but as soon as the interview started, everyone was wide awake. Cher is incredibly engaging, telling stories about her 87-year-old mother who recently released her first album. After the interview, it was time to go inside of the venue with Cher. We looked on as her fans went crazy and Cher looked back with tears in her eyes. The early morning rolled on as drag queens performed some of Cher's biggest hits in her honor.

As I went to bed at about 4am, I couldn't help but to reflect on the careers of James Gandolfini and Cher. There is one commonality among all others that sticks out: much of their careers were spent surrounded by good people who have their backs. So, here's to my: producers, camera crews, editors, glam squad, family, friends, assistant and of course the viewers. 

Until our next adventure. . . .  .

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