(Photographer Christina Gandolfo @gandolphoto)
Who Am I?
Welcome! For those of you who don’t know the face behind the name “Decorating Pages Podcast”, my name is Kimberly Wannop and I am an Emmy-winning Set Decorator best known for my work on the HBO comedy series "VEEP" and many other hit tv shows and films. Originally from Philadelphia, I moved to Los Angeles after college where I studied Interior Architecture. One of my most recent set decorating projects was working on The FX Series "American Crime Story: The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton" along with a few other exciting projects in the works. You can visit my work at www.kimberlywannop.com.
So, now that you know a bit about me, my history, and what I do, you may be asking yourself “Well, how did she get here?” and by “here” I mean starting my own podcast and educating the next generation of set decorators on the ins, the outs and the behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it’s like working in this industry. Of course, I also aim to cater to the everyday film & tv fanatic as well! Read below to learn about my journey of how I got here, in hopes that it will inspire and educate you on what it’s like to be a Set Decorator who launched her very own podcast interview channel!
The idea of the podcast really came to me while listening to the “Freakonomics” podcast on my way to an Emmy event, how funny is that? I was thinking about all the interesting people that are interviewed on the show and how our industry is filled with interesting people. I also thought about how much I love hearing our stories and the comradery we all have. It inspired me to want to share stories of the people within the industry that I have had the pleasure of working with, aspire to, and those who became new friends during this process!
It took me almost a year from the initial conceptualization ( in my spare time) for Decorating Pages to become a “thing” and I knew I needed a catchy name and wanted the word Decorating in it. I just kept thinking of the connection of my job with the words on the pages and voila - Decorating Pages was born!
The Support of My Friends
I’m very lucky that starting on all this I have some very talented friends who were willing to just sit and talk to me. I barely knew how to record and edit and was very proud of myself to even get those first five episodes together! Fast forward to now I have 80+ podcast episodes! I don’t know what makes me more nervous... talking to my friends or the incredible professionals I am only just meeting. One thing I do know I owe a lot to my friends for their support in this adventure.
Taking a Break
I was so excited to get this passion project going and then I found out I was pregnant with twins while working full time on “The Good Place” a popular Netflix show, and then starting the last season of “VEEP”. I just didn’t know how I could keep it all going because it took so much for me to get the first five episodes out that these other factors were just more important at the time. But I knew I would pick it back up and thought about it all the time. About a year after taking a hiatus to focus on personal priorities, I picked up episodes again and I really started to hit a stride of not only interviewing my friends but others too! Needless to say it’s been nothing but “up” from there!
I won’t sugar coat it, I took advantage of everyone being home during the pandemic and know everyone else was too. With so much free time to binge tv shows and movies, I noticed a real pique in the interest of people wanting to learn more about the in’s and out’s of producing each masterpiece. People really had time to give and really think about the work we do. During the pandemic, I experienced some incredible interviews as a result of really seizing the moment while we all navigated having such an unknown feeling about the future.
One of the best things about the Decorating Pages podcast is that I get to speak with industry experts that I would never get the chance to speak with otherwise. I have been able to really relate to absolute strangers who share a passion for this industry and have been able to keep up these connections which feels incredibly special.
Being in Awe
I am constantly in awe of people's stories of how they got into this industry. Hearing how some of the tv shows and films that inspired me came together, and especially when I hear about a situation that they were in that I can relate to and how they handled it, inspires me greatly and continues to push me in my own creative endeavors. I literally pinch myself sometimes that I have my dream job!
Keeping it Going
As with all things in life, it hasn’t been easy to keep this podcast going while raising twin toddler boys, working 70 hours a week, the pandemic, and navigating everyday life. What has absolutely kept me going is the support of my peers. When I get an email or text from a peer who says they caught an interview and really enjoyed it, or worked with that person, or even learned from it, all I can do is just smile. It brings me so much fulfillment to educate and inspire others during this process.
My vision for this podcast is that it becomes an educational tool for people who are just starting out or are thinking about jumping into this industry. I was there once and boy would I have loved to have the resources to tune into candid conversations of esteemed professionals and their experiences. I try very hard to keep the conversations educational for non-industry listeners but also aim to keep the episodes entertaining for those who are. I hope that a student will hear a tip or a story and be inspired by it, and furthermore, I hope to play a part in shaping the next generation of Set Decorators!
Thank you so much for being a part of my journey! I am just getting started and there is so much to come – stay tuned!