[Chicago Slices raw: Gary Manicurists, Elevator Operator]

NAILS, Gary, IN. Interviews with 4 manicurists. We see all kinds of nails: Bulls nail, tips, glitter, etc.; LE TRICE FRANKLIN, elevator operator, Gary, Indiana. At work, tells story of a man who died there and how people holler at her, tell her how to do her job.

00:00Copy video clip URL Four ladies around a table in an office building review their painted and decorated nails. They comment that now people can create their own nail artwork. One says a person needs brush, polish, stones. The stones are held onto the nail by nail polish. She learned on her own, observing how others applied and created nails. She says her nails will last two weeks. She explains the difference between sculpted and press on nails. Sculpted nails are made with a material similar to what dentures are made from. Press on are just plastic.

01:58Copy video clip URL Another lady says sometimes she’ll do her own nails, other times a friend does them. They introduce themselves as Patsy Washington, Sharice Underwood, LeTrice Franklin, Tamara Harrison.

02:49Copy video clip URL Harrison shows off her glittery nails influenced by Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz. She says that the glitter can stay on for two weeks and is taken off by dabbling a cotton swab or by sticking fingers in nail remover.

04:10Copy video clip URL Washington shows her nails featuring pictures cut out and pressed on and covered with clear nail polish. They will stay on for two weeks. She says she keeps nails at a length she’s used to, so she can still use her hands to do things like dial a phone number. Others with longer nails use a pencil or their knuckle to dial. They say you have to train yourself to work with the nail length you want.

07:11Copy video clip URL They agree you don’t forget you have the nails on and they don’t stick themselves, but they do hurt if they hit their nail. They explain that a manicure deals with the condition and maintenance of the nail. Sculpting a nail has to do with applying material to the nail. Washington and Franklin comment that a manicure can be done while wearing attached nails.

08:48Copy video clip URL They comment that if a nail breaks they just repair the broken nail, they do not need to redo all the nails. Washington says you can repair a nail by using silk wrap, a fabric filed into the nail to hold it together.

09:34Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. The ladies say nails are expensive if done in a shop but not if you do them yourself. Cost could be 28 or 30 dollars at a salon. Harrison comments that one woman she knows charges 55 dollars.

10:52Copy video clip URL Washington talks about a bad experience she had at a shop. She says sometimes at a shop the nails applied come off and it’s difficult to get the shop to put them back on.

11:22Copy video clip URL They talk about where their ideas come for nail designs: sometimes spontaneously, other times planned. They create images that are personally meaningful or of interest to them. Franklin shows off her design: her name, tuxedo, champagne glasses. They were air brushed on. Underwood says she will sometimes paint her nails with an African ethnic theme.

13:04Copy video clip URL They comment that ideas will come from pictures and seeing other women’s nails. Designs could come simply from how they feel. Underwood comments that her design background helps her determine how and what will appear on her on her nails.

14:05Copy video clip URL They say they do change nail styles for various outfits, weddings, and other occasions. If Harrison knows her hand will be in a photo she will create a special nail design. Washington says she keeps her nail colors neutral so that they will go with whatever outfit or occasion comes up. She will change from plain to artwork. Franklin comments that most of her wardrobe is purple and so her nails often have a purple palette.  Underwood adds that the designs are determined by a person’s personality.

15:58Copy video clip URL People will come up to them and comment how pretty they are, ask who created the design and if they are their real nails. People think you’re vain, but it’s part of you.

17:00Copy video clip URL The videographer asks about holiday themes. Franklin says she’s had someone create a Chicago Bulls theme for her nails. Washington asks where that woman is, Franklin gives the address and comments how steady the woman’s hand is. Washington says she will go to the woman and that she personally is not artistic but is taking a class to learn. Washington gives advice on things she needs to do to properly paint designs on nails: keep clean brushes, have a different emery board for each person for sanitary reasons. Washington comments if you don’t clean out the fillings on your nails water can build up underneath resulting in fungus which can soften the nail. She goes on to advise that you have to take off press on nails to allow your natural nail to breathe once in a while. She says acrylic nails over time will make your natural nail brittle. Washington adds that you could hit your acrylic nail and it will crack. Franklin adds that acrylic nails are attached to your real nail and can pull it off if the acrylic nail breaks. Washington adds a bit about how the acrylic nail is attached originally to the nail and why it hurts when an acrylic nail breaks. Franklin notes first learning the difference between which end of the nail is considered the top and which is considered the bottom of the nail and tells an anecdote about the confusion she had once with a manicurist over which was which.

19:40Copy video clip URL They talk a little about the direction of the designs, whether they are right side up so others can see them or reversed so they can see them.

19:55Copy video clip URL The videographer asks what other holiday themes they’ve done: Christmas, Easter, New Year’s. Harrison describes her Christmas themed nails which include piercing a fake nail extension and adorning it with a tiny hanging Christmas ball. They comment on the problems of piercing cracking the nail.

21:17Copy video clip URL Washington comments that she has never had her fingers stained from smoking cigarettes, but has had her long nail burned once. Nail polish is flammable.

22:31Copy video clip URL They say they often get together and talk about nails. They comment there’s no set amount of time that it takes to create nails. It could be 20-minutes or longer. It also depends on the materials used. Plastic press on nails don’t take as long as acrylic which require a powder mixture, buffing and drying time.

24:39Copy video clip URL They talk about maintenance of nails and how applying clear nail polish keeps colors vibrant.

25:36Copy video clip URL B-roll of their finger nail designs.

27:00Copy video clip URL They discuss a woman with finger nails that physically twist and how she has to polish the inside and outside of the nails. This leads to a discussion about extremely long nails and how long nails naturally curl.

29:15Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Idle chit chat about the tediousness of applying nails.

30:36Copy video clip URL They comment that nails should not be used as tools to open soda cans or dialing a phone. Harrison says she uses her nails for anything without problem. They comment that plastic nails don’t scratch the skin. Harrison says she will not do housework with nails on. They mention crazy glue is the glue of choice for holding on nails.

35:14Copy video clip URL Harrison demonstrates how to put on and decorate a nail tip. She glues on the plastic nail tip and repeats for the other nails. She comments that she learned by watching others and experimenting. She brushes on liquid acrylic dipped in powder and applying to the exposed top part of the nail as fill in. Then she files and buffs the nail.

40:24Copy video clip URL Change of location. Videographer is with Sharon on a balcony overlooking Gary, Indiana. She records two takes an intro to the nails segment. Her intro mentions that the women she works with have beautifully sculpted and painted nails.

42:35Copy video clip URL B-roll of Gary, Indiana from the balcony.

42:45Copy video clip URL Change of location. Videographer is in an office building waiting for an elevator. He chit chats with two women about their nails.

44:09Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Videographer in elevator with passengers and elevator operator LeTrice Franklin. As they travel downward, passengers idly chit chat while Franklin lets riders on and off the car.

45:09Copy video clip URL Franklin says she’s been an elevator operator for 3 years and that not many buildings still use elevator operators. She graduated with a degree in computer programming and wanted to work in consumer loans, but was offered this job and took it. She says the best part of the job is all the people she gets to meet. The Mayor and Governor come in occasionally. The Governor has an office on one of the floors.

46:43Copy video clip URL B-roll of Franklin as she picks up passengers and chit chats with them as the riders load, unload.

51:15Copy video clip URL She says sometimes her arm gets sore from opening the heavy steel door. Continue b-roll of Franklin picking up and dropping off passengers.

52:07Copy video clip URL Franklin shows how she can adjust the door to line up with each floor. She says most times it’s easy to line up the elevator door with the floor. When she makes quick stops or jerks the elevator to adjust to the floor, she says, people think she’s just jerking them around.

53:44Copy video clip URL The videographer asks Franklin if she ever hears the tired elevator operator joke: The jobs okay; it has it’s ups and downs. Franklins says she hears that joke about twenty times a day. The tenants, she says, are big on attitude. They want to see a smile on the elevator operator’s face. They are also fascinated by her sculpted nails and hair styles that constantly change.

55:05Copy video clip URL Franklin talks about the temperature in the elevator and in the building: cold when it’s hot outside. She says she likes the job but won’t stay long. She comments that the door is made of steel and chats with a passenger about where he’s going for lunch.

56:50Copy video clip URL Franklin says the variety of personalities she meets each day keep the job from getting dull. Some she speaks with, others she doesn’t. She will never argue with the irate ones.

58:25Copy video clip URL Franklin mentions the most unexpected incident she experienced as an elevator operator was an office worker who died on the 7th floor. One morning she took him up as usual and when he got off the elevator he collapsed. Franklin looked to see if he was okay, called an ambulance, and brought the paramedics up on her elevator. When they reached the 7th floor the man was dead from a heart attack.

59:32Copy video clip URL B-roll of elevator traveling past the various floors.

1:02:08Copy video clip URL END



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