Podcast #29: Being Paid to Shop for TV Shows With Goar Galstyan

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In this episode, I'm talking with Goar Galstyan, a Buyer in the Set Decorating department for Television. 

A Buyer buys furniture, artwork, and other pieces that make sets come to life. The Set Decorator will give style inspiration to the Buyer, and the Buyer is then responsible for going to the stores and prop houses to buy the piece. 

Goar has worked on some really cool projects like True BloodCastle, and Transparent and her background in Interior Design has helped her succeed in this industry. If you watch any of these shows, you're bound to see Goar's work on the sets!

We mention Granville, which is a restaurant we love to go to in Glendale, even when we weren't working. :)

Goar mentions how important it is to form great relationships with the vendors she does business with. There are prop houses in Los Angeles, like at Warner Bros., Omega, etc. that are run by people who help all the shows in town. In order to get the best pieces in a timely manner, Goar has to maintain strong relationships with the people in charge. 

This is the drop of blood I mentioned, that took 3 people to make perfect!

To be a Buyer, you need to be in Local 44, which is the union for Set Decorating and Props. To get into that union, you need 30 consecutive days of work as that position. Goar mentions a popular way of getting in by working on a Non-Union show that flips to Union. You can also put your name on the availability list, and if a show is looking for your position but there aren't any union people left, they will go off of that availability list, and you may have have a chance.

To get into Local 44, the initiation fee is $5,600. Most unions offer payment plans.

"If you really love what you do, it doesn't feel like work."