Pfister names Narrator finalistsMarch 18th, 2011 |
The Charles I room on floor seven of the historic Pfister Hotel. It’s the day-before-St.-Patrick’s soiree.
I’ve arrived early to begin reading through applications for the position of Narrator of the Pfister’s twice weekly blog. The civilized, opulent room overlooks a parking lot. Uniformed staffers come and go with snacks: black shiny bags of Smartfood popcorn (white cheddar) alongside “W” (the mineral water from the hotel’s Well Spa). Pepsi, both diet and not, and coffee, caffeinated and not. “Mist,” a lemon-lime soda, looks lonely. A martini would be nice about now. Dry. Shaken, not stirred, the way Bond (James) liked them in the 60s.
Balistreri. Bamberger. Begel. The alphabetized first three of twenty hopefuls vying for the 6-month gig that pays $1,000 per month. Today the scene will be narrowed to six, and in two weeks, we’ll have a winner.
A duo of sparkling crystal chandeliers hang above my head. This room reminds me of Versailles and guillotines, of the years when I visited the Crown Room upstairs; years of Liza with a Z and zany Joan Rivers.
I notice that if I stand just so and squint, there is a tiny slice of blue lake far to the east. Ten chairs arranged around a rectangular table wait, ten for the panelists, including Julie Ferris, last year’s selection. Across from me is the publisher of The Business Journal, Mark J. Sabljak. The décor is straight out of the swinging 60s: dark paneling, burgundy and orange swirls in the carpet, swag-drapes that resemble those in my Brookfield living room, circa that era. At each panelist’s place is a white and faux-gold ballpoint Pfister pen and a little pad emblazoned with the name of the illustrious downtown hotel. It’s for taking notes just in case.
Someone has ground a big sugar cookie into the carpet.
Konkel. Kutz, Makowski, Mertens. Their applications neatly arranged near elaborately lettered signs indicating who’s who. Last week, each panelist received a Drop Box full of the applications with instructions to select our top picks and have them ready for discussion at this meeting. I begin to be intrigued by the swirls in the wallpaper. I already know who gets my vote… the same two who got my vote last year and didn’t make the cut. That said, this is a very democratic process with lots of open discussion, including critiques and huzzahs.
Nakamura, Segal, Warren, Williams.
Tops are popped from Pepsi cans, cookies passed round. The pros and cons of each applicant are discussed. I stick to my guns and suck on a hunk of hard candy, wishing it was a cheeseburger with fries. The big question seems to be: who among the many possibilities will best fit the Pfister? Who understands blogs and why they are important to the marketing of the hotel? In April, Julie Ferris will be replaced. She says she learned a lot about blogging and hates to give up her Narrator position.
We each receive six black straws and are instructed to place one straw in a glass positioned behind our personal six picks. From the straw vote comes forth the final six. On March 31, we meet again. In the interim, the chosen six will be asked to write a blog and appear for a videotaped interview. Thirteen men and eight women applied.
And the lucky six are:
Nancy Camden, Judy Garty, Lacy Kutz, Anette Mertens, EllenWarren and Stacie Williams.
In the next installment of this scene stealer, I’ll let you know who the winner is…