Los-Angeles based comedian Barbara Gray loves a good joke as much as she loves an ampm convenience store. So, when a new location opened in her neighborhood, she decided to commemorate the event in Millennial fashion with a sexy-glam photo shoot. Enlisting the help of fellow comedian and photographer Julia Loken, Gray posed and pouted all over the aisles, resulting in some hilarious (and super fierce) pics.
We caught up with Gray to get the behind-the-scenes scoop.
OK, seriously, what inspired this?
Look, the ampm-Arco down the street had been closed for over a year, and it was hard on the entire neighborhood. Where else was I supposed to go for a last-minute corn dog fix? Sure, 7-Eleven is on the other corner, but 7-Eleven doesn’t serve corn dogs. Ampm opened up, and I was so excited. I wanted to commemorate it somehow, so I thought, “Hey, why not a sexy photo shoot? Why not treat it like it should be treated?”
Which ampm was it?
The one on Glendale and Berkeley in Echo Park/Silverlake. (1605 Glendale Blvd.) Open 24 Hours, I think.
Did you carefully plan the shots?
Overall, it was very spur of the moment. Julia Loken, the awesome comedian and photographer who took the pics and did my makeup, just wandered around the store with me. I had visited the location a few times prior to scout it and buy Bugles, and when I saw the “Thirst Oasis” sign above the drinks, I knew we’d get some great shots in front of that. Once we got there and the slush syrup started flowing, the shots just came to us.
Did anybody in the store say anything?
Since this is Los Angeles, everyone barely batted an eye. Even when I crawled into the ice freezer, customers didn’t seem to notice. The only comment we got was at the end when an employee expressed sadness that we didn’t ask to take a photo with him.
What’s your favorite pic?
There’s one I didn’t include of me eating nachos that I really liked, but the double chin was a bit much to handle so that’s for private viewing. I love both of the “Thirst Oasis” pics, mostly because that was my first time having a Slushee (sorry, I don’t know what they actually call it there) in years and it tasted un-fucking-believable.
What’s your go-to ampm snack?
Let me say, this shoot might have changed all that. Previously I probably would have said a corn dog, but, as someone who used to be a liquid cheese hater, the hot cheese at ampm is surprisingly delicious. I might be a liquid cheese convert. The key is eating it right away while the “cheese” is still warm.
Any final thoughts?
I’d like to say that if ampm wants to sponsor me, I’d love to do a comedy tour and do these photos at ampms across the U.S. I don’t really know if they are across the U.S., but I’ll go as far as they do. Or if anybody wants to sponsor me to do comedy anywhere, please hit me up.