See Paul compete on Ellen’s Next Great Designer on HBOmax.
What was my Hollywood experience like?
Very difficult if I was not among like-minded rule-breaking creatives. We stayed on the 17th floor of a tired Holiday Inn. I think we had the floor to ourselves, reminding me of The Shining with Jack Nicholson. Due to strict covid precautions, our key cards were taken. We were to stay isolated in our rooms except during filming. To ensure compliance, we had hallway police. If we wanted a cup of coffee, they escorted us down 17 floors and back. On
After one night, the creatives were having no more of that – day 2, we started planning our escape. Paranoid that mics and cameras were secretly embedded, a few of us flipped over a mattress, disassembled a room phone, and took down a few vent covers to ensure our plans or need for social contact were not being listened to. Nothing found, so nightly masked parties began in the fire escape stairwell. Not sure how it was done, but party stuff got smuggled up and past the hall police. It was the nightly storytelling and peeks into the other contestants’ backgrounds and design philosophies that got us thru long days in front of cameras on cold sets with milquetoast lunches.