LOCATION Little Italy
RENT $1,600 [sublet]
SQUARE FEET 525 [studio in tenement]
OCCUPANTS Courtney Sell [filmmaker]; Jac Currie [fashion designer]; V.P. Walling [filmmaker]
I’ll put my coat on top of the baby stroller. [Jac] We got it for a shoot. [Courtney] That’s for our dolly shot.
I’m trying to figure out where everybody sleeps. Where I’m sitting . . . That’s my bed, sometimes.
Who sleeps in the closet? [Jac] Unfortunately my room is the closet. I do my design there too. I mostly screen-print on vintage clothes. [V.P., reading aloud the words on the sweatshirt that Jac made] “I’m over being American.”
How long have you been an American? [Jac] Twenty-three years.
So being over being American—was it just this year, with the election and all? It’s been a slow build.
Who’s the one who’s 19? [Courtney starts waving.] Oh, you. V.P., where do you sleep? [V.P.] In the kitchen—on the floor.
You stare at the bottom of the stove. I listen to the stove. I enjoy it. This is my first stay here. I’m trying to stay one month in New York, one in L.A. I have a house in West Hollywood, on top of an office. I have two roommates; one is my producer Francesca. I just made a documentary—how a person can survive on the Internet alone. I survived for a month, in New York. Then I was living in an apartment swap with a musician who moved to my place in L.A. [Jac] Was he at the wrap party? It was at Karma. [Courtney] We had a DJ—Jac!
Where are your records? [Jac] I use iPods.
You’re all so wired in this old building with a broken-down baby stroller. [V.P.] The other night I was at the MOMA party. I came back really drunk and was convinced Court should get a job as a busboy. [Courtney] Whenever you were in the middle of a sentence, you’d say, Court, you should be a busboy. [V.P.] That’s how good the party was. The staff looked so unhappy. I asked one, Why? He said, Because these people suck. We’re tired of passing around mini-hot dogs and hamburgers.
Do you all go to glamorous parties? [Courtney] Sometimes Jac brings me. [Jac] Court and I went to a Vice party. It felt more like a house party than a party in a Diesel store. Then I heard I was going to a massive bisexual party. I was going with Sonya, who you met on the way in. It was going to be a real orgy and I was sort of scared and sort of excited but it was really an art opening in Williamsburg.
Didn’t one of you use to sleep in Washington Square? [Courtney] Me. It was fun. It was the first place I went to. I got off the Chinatown bus after running away from home, in Boston. I came for a screening of my films at Cinema Classics on East 11th. This was the only place that said they could give me a real opportunity. I met V.P. the second day. [V.P.] He didn’t tell us he was in the park. [Jac] You should come see me at Emack & Bolio’s. I work there two nights a week. [V.P.] I got the job first and I felt really bad I had to go back to L.A. to edit the film. I had Jac come in and . . . [Courtney] I work on the streets. I’m a fundraiser for CARE International. They’re trying to end global poverty. I think they’re going to fire me. I just got the job. [Jac] They called me to verify Courtney’s employment history. Courtney told me he used me as a reference. It was regarding a number of our collaborations. I told them, It’s not a 40-hour week we work here. But it’s definitely full-time, quality work. Then they said, If Courtney loses his employment with you, would he be eligible for rehire in the future? I said yes. [V.P.] We would love to have him back in the firm.