It was the summer of 1999 and I had just arrived in NYC, excited to be in the big city, ready to conquer the world, and looking for work. I was determined to put the wig styling skills I had learned in New Orleans to good use, and so naturally Patricia Field's was my first stop. When I entered the store on 8th Street I was greeted with: "Hey, it's Alton On The Spot!" Luck was on my side, as a long lost friend was working behind the counter. She sent me to the SOHO store on West Broadway, where the wig department had almost shriveled into non-existence.
It was to be my first job in NYC working with club kids, drag queens, trannies, party promoters, fashion designers, stylists, nightlife legends, and other misfits and outcasts. Soon I was managing the beauty departments for both stores including 2 salons, 2 wig stations, 2 cosmetic counters, and some of the biggest personalities I had ever encountered. The stories are far too many to share, but it was an era of outrageous memories, new friendships and countless parties.
My career there lasted for two long years, what seemed like a lifetime then. From Wigstock 1999 through the fall of the Twin Towers in September 2001. Being only a few blocks from what was suddenly referred to as "Ground Zero", prompted me to journey a little further down life's path, so I left for Rio de Janeiro where I would spend a year before returning to Manhattnan and once again reinventing myself, in that city where dreams are made.
Now, like something of a time capsule, the documentary is out, "The Little House That Could", a film by Mars Roberge, that captures some of the essence and magic of that 'little house' and the big family it fostered. Honestly, I never really liked Patricia Field, nor do I think she particularly cared for me. But I did a good job, and did my part to keep the place running smoothly, along with creating some artistic wig creations along the way. For the friends, the memories, and the experience, I am forever grateful. So thank you Patricia Field for doing what you do, and thank you Mars Roberge for capturing it on film for us all to enjoy again.
|the little house that could