Of all the cities in the world where Australians flock for want of “making it”, New York probably has one of the tightest knit Aussie communities (perhaps second only to Bali – but that’s another story for another time) that you cannot avoid. Not that you’d want to – the passing comfort of a familiar accent is very much underrated – likely in Nolita or Williamsburg,
likely almost certainly while buying coffee. While “oh you’re from [insert country]? You must know my friend [insert vaguely region-specific name like Hans or Maria or Youssef]!” would usually be an ignorant assumption; chances are that I did in fact go to school with your ex-girlfriend or intern at the same agency as your sister or frequent your old boss’ cafe for their spectacular avocado toast, but they would always spell my name “Magret” on my masala chai tea latte cup. But yes, of course! Way, way back Down Under. I guess we’re basically related now.
It’s a particular type of Australian that ends up in New York.
Shanina and I graduated to being mates so archetypically as above, that trying to pin down when exactly we first met or shot or both is a too much of a brain strain to bother with. We ran into each other a few times with mutual agents and friends, there was a shoot in Paris, a dinner in Melbourne, a chance encounter and ensuing tea chatter in Soho during which a distinguished gentleman sent a substantial bottle of champagne to our table. Of course, neither of us drink. So, we the giggling school girls, spent the next hour and half pretending to sip and clink glasses, avoiding eye contact at all costs.
And that was that.
Since then we’ve been meaning to do a dumpling dinner date with the agenda of scheming shoots and strange creative web ventures, but alas – ships in the night in our respective travels. So we were both glad to see each others’ names on our respective call sheets for this Studio W shoot we staged on a simultaneously miserable and perfectly cinematic rainy day in an eccentric Tribeca loft, with a fire escape slightly too wet and too high for comfort – at least, for the number of clothing items I’d stacked on her body.
But you know, Shanina the Professional. Worship-hands-emoji.